This Week On Beacon Hill, It's Rx 'N' T

By Sarah Birnbaum & Wires

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Feb. 13, 2012


BOSTON — On Monday, Massachusetts lawmakers will be holding an oversight hearing on prescription drug shortages. The public health committee plans to hear from doctors, patients, hospital and pharmaceutical industry representatives at the hearing. Lawmakers say the shortages of prescription drugs have been increasing in recent years and are having a direct impact on patient safety.
 
On Feb. 14, the legislature’s MBTA caucus plans to discuss the T’s funding crisis. The MBTA faces a $161 million budget gap in 2013. T officials are warning of severe cuts in service or rate hikes or both. In the past, lawmakers have considered a gas tax, or placing a toll near the New Hampshire border on I-93 to help shore up the T’s finances and fund other transportation projects around the state. Lawmakers on the caucus say they’re looking to find any solution and everything’s on the table.
 
And state and federal environmental officials are continuing to hold public meetings on plans to invite offshore wind developers to build wind farms in a vast stretch of federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Federal regulators originally proposed a bigger area but protests from some groups, including fishermen who would be affected by fields of turbines, forced them to cut the area by more than half. The meetings will be held in Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford and Boston.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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