BOSTON (AP) - With steps big and small, Massachusetts is moving toward a future in which the state relies increasingly on renewable energy. One step came this week when Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced more than $500,000 in funding for eight "early-stage clean energy companies." On Beacon Hill, there are several environmental or renewable energy bills up for debate in the new session, including a proposal that all large-scale fleets of vehicle to go electric by 2035.

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts is making $7.7 million in grant money available to help more than two dozen cities stem gang violence. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration says the funding comes from an anti-gang initiative named late Sen. Charles Shannon, who was a police officer before being a lawmaker. The grants can be used by police departments and for a variety of programs that seek divert young people away from gangs.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A state senator has introduced a bill to add a 1 percent tax on the sale of hookah and vaping products to fund educational programs about the dangers of hookah use and vaping. Democratic Sen. Ana Quezada, of Providence, says many users, especially young people erroneously believe that hookahs and vaping are safe. The legislation would impose a 1 percent tax, in addition to all existing taxes, on all hookah and vaping products.

BOSTON (AP) - A push is on to require that tipped workers in Massachusetts be paid at least the minimum wage. State Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, both Democrats, are calling for the elimination of the so-called "sub-minimum wage" in Massachusetts, which currently stands at $4.35 an hour for tipped workers.

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