Pot, taxes, crime among likely issues for new Legislature

Lawmakers return to Beacon Hill Jan. 4

BOSTON (AP) — The new year means the start of a new two-year session for the Massachusetts Legislature with all signs pointing to a busy agenda for lawmakers in the months ahead.

Among issues that could emerge early in the 2017-2018 session is recreational marijuana, with calls being heard for revisions in the voter-approved law. While no specific proposals have been made, the tax rate on retail marijuana sales and local control over pot shops are among provisions that could be re-examined by lawmakers.

Other likely challenges for the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker include nagging state fiscal problems and calls for change in the criminal justice system.

Lawmakers return to Beacon Hill Jan. 4 against a backdrop of national and global uncertainty surrounding the incoming Donald Trump administration in Washington.

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