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STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – MORNING EDITION – WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

SENATE REJECTS DELAY IN EARNED SICK TIME PENALTIES

Senators on Tuesday voted 10-28 to rebuff an attempt to delay the implementation of penalties in the earned sick time law voters approved in November. Sen. Don Humason (R-Westfield) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2016 budget that delays penalties for violations of the law until January. Humason said his aim was to protect employers and give them a chance to comply with the law, while allowing people to still accumulate earned sick time. Sen. Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth), said many small companies do not have the resources or legal staff to process the law, which goes into effect on July 1. “The goal of the amendment is as long as they’re not willfully skirting the law they will not be charged treble damages,” deMacedo said. Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has proposed regulations to accompany the law and on Monday proposed a provision that calls for a transition period for employers with existing earned sick time policies. Sen. Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) said he had spoken with Healey’s office. Officials told him that they are on a “good path” with the regulations, and an amendment like Humason’s would “cloud the water,” he said. Four Democrats joined the six-member Republican caucus in supporting the amendment – Sens. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Michael Moore (D-Millbury), Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), and Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport). – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS

HIGHER ED BOARD TAPS DEPUTY FOR TOP POST

Story Developing. The Massachusetts board of higher education on Wednesday chose to elevate a senior deputy and former chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to commissioner of the department of higher education. Carlos Santiago, one of three finalists, is the senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs at the state Department of Higher Education. “He clearly has deep experience and credibility,” said Jim Peyser, Gov. Charlie Baker’s education secretary. The board vote was unanimous. The other finalists were John O’Donnell, president of Massachusetts Bay Community College, and Bill Walczak, founder of Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester and a former candidate for mayor of Boston. Before the vote, board chair Chris Gabrieli announced O’Donnell had withdrawn his candidacy on Tuesday. – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS