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State House News Service

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Lawmakers approve dam, seawall loan program

The House and Senate last week gave final approval, and Wednesday Governor Patrick signed, legislation creating a loan and grant program to facilitate the repair or removal of unneeded dams and help finance repairs to structures aimed at controlling coastal flooding.

Mass. foreclosures on downward trend, initiations still up

Completed home foreclosures in Massachusetts fell in November for the sixth consecutive month, according to data released Wednesday by The Warren Group, the State House News service reported.

Aging workforce, limited ed opportunities pose challenges

With limited higher education opportunities and the state's oldest workforce, employers on Cape Cod and the Islands face extra hurdles finding younger employees to replace retiring Baby Boomers, according to a report released Tuesday morning in Hyannis.

Business news from the State House News Service

A state law approved over the summer that went into effect October 30 allows people who present a doctor's note to use employee-only restrooms at retail businesses with three or more employees on duty.

State will check gas pricing practices as prices hover at $4 mark

State officials announced September 17 they plan to conduct price checks at gas stations around Massachusetts, saying they hope to prevent gouging as prices hover around the $4 per gallon mark.

Mass home sales hit seven year high

Single-family home sales in July hit their highest sales volume since 2005, and rose 27 percent over July 2011, according to data released August 29 by the Warren Group, the State House News service reported.

AG says ignorance of open meeting law is no excuse

Selectmen and school committee members may have a harder time claiming they didn't know better when they run afoul of the Open Meeting Law.

Cape and Islands see jobs rise, down elsewhere

Though unemployment ticked up in July, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate is down in the Cape and Islands as well as in Amherst, according to the Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Study assesses wait times for primary care physicians

While Massachusetts policymakers have been taking victory laps in connection with their health care access and cost control efforts, a study released Wednesday highlights continuing problems for patients.

Mass home sales up in June, inventory down

Home sales in June were up more than 18 percent over June 2011, giving Massachusetts a full year of month-over-month increases in sales, the State House News service reported.

Massachusetts Senate passes renewable energy bill

The Senate voted unanimously April 5 to pass legislation aimed at bolstering the state's renewable energy supply and getting a better handle on electricity prices.

Study says Mass housing affordability remains a problem

While a slumping real estate market has subtracted equity for homeowners across Massachusetts and led to substantially lower home prices in some areas, a study released February 24 asserts that stagnant incomes and rising rental housing costs have contributed to continuing affordability problems in Massachusetts.

Mass home sales up for seventh straight month

Home sale prices fell again in January as sales rose for the seventh straight month, according to Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

2011 housing production called dreadful

A local housing and planning group has labeled 2011 a "historically dreadful" year for housing production in Massachusetts, the State House News Service reported.

Mass home sales slump to lowest level in 21 years

Home sales in Massachusetts in 2011 hit their lowest levels since 1990, despite low interest rates and "soft" median sales prices that dropped 3 percent last year, real estate market analysts reported Tuesday, according top the State House News Service.

State panel finds no evidence of wind turbine syndrome

Experts convened by state health and environmental officials have found no evidence of a set of health effects from exposure to wind turbines that could be described as wind turbine syndrome, according to an independent panel

State tax collections fell 5 percent in December

State tax collections in December of nearly $2 billion tumbled 5 percent from a year ago and missed budget benchmarks by $87 million, according to the Department of Revenue.

Cape and Islands Senator Wolf votes no on gambling

Shortly after the Senate's 24-14 vote to approve casino legislation, Senate President Therese Murray's office released a list of those who voted against the bill.

Senators file renewable energy contract bidding bill

Republican legislative leaders are thrusting into the General Court's arena an issue that is currently being debated before the state's highest court.

Mass jobless benefits set to rise by $28

The maximum weekly benefit rate for new unemployment claims is rising from $625 to $653.