State Capitol Briefs — Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

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A spokeswoman for the state health and human services secretariat told the News Service on Friday that the federal government has granted the state another extension while the Patrick and Obama administrations continue work on a multi-year Medicaid waiver worth billions of dollars. The Patrick administration has received repeated extensions of a three-year waiver that ended in June while talks continue over a five-year proposal viewed as critical to health care coverage and innovation efforts and the financial underpinnings of the state budget as well as many Massachusetts hospitals. Asked for an update on the waiver in light of Friday’s deadline, deputy communications director for Secretary John Polanowicz Julie Kaviar told the News Service late Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “has indicated to us that they will issue a short-term extension of the waiver as we continue to work closely with them to finalize negotiations.” Kaviar did not specify the length of the latest extension. – M. Norton/SHNS

Judge Judith Fabricant, who was an assistant attorney general before she was appointed to the Superior Court in 1996, was named Friday by Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey as chief justice of the Superior Court. Over her career as a judge, Fabricant has worked as a regional administrative justice, as administrative justice for the business litigation session, and as chair of the Education Committee since 2009. Superior Court Chief Justice Barbara Rouse is nearing the mandatory retirement age of 70 and her term ends on Dec. 23, with Fabricant now scheduled to take over on Dec. 24. Fabricant has served on the Commission on Judicial Conduct since 2010 and currently sits in Suffolk Superior Court. A Brookline resident, Fabricant worked for three years with the Boston firm Hill & Barlow and was an assistant district attorney in Essex County in 1987 and 1988 before working in the attorney general’s office from 1988 until 1996. – M. Norton/SHNS

A boutique hotel near North Station, new housing units in Brighton, South Boston and downtown Boston, and a rail yard transformation project in Readville are among the highlights of six development projects approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority Thursday night. The projects have an investment value of $151.7 million, the authority estimated on Friday, and are expected to create 450 construction jobs and close to 700 permanent jobs. The projects include a boutique hotel on Canal Street ($30 million), the Readville Yard 5 project to create light manufacturing space for small businesses ($20 million), the Brighton Marine Health Center redevelopment that will create housing units for veterans ($40 million), condos and retail at 55 India Street on the Kennedy Greenway ($45 million), 50 units of residential housing at 933 East Second Street in South Boston ($5.7 million), and a five-story mixed use project at 45 L Street ($11 million). – M. Norton/SHNS

Gov. Deval Patrick has appointed an IBM executive and the president of the Mass Technology Leadership Council to the 13-member Board of Higher Education. Tom Hopcroft of the tech council and IBM Director of Citizenship Initiatives in Education Maura Banta will join the board immediately. Banta chaired the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from 2008 until this year and served on the boards of the Mass Taxpayers Foundation and The Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Hopcroft is an attorney and founded the New England Business and Technology Association, with merged with the Mass Software Council in 2005, according to the Department of Higher Education. The Board of Higher Education oversees the 29 public higher education campuses in Massachusetts. Banta and Hopcroft were appointed to five-year terms. They replace outgoing members Bernie Fulp and David Barron. Fulp stepped down after serving for many years and Barron was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last spring to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. – M. Norton/SHNS

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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