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Today on Beacon Hill

12:30pm Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA, 01581

Must-Reads

Baker returns most of lobbyist’s donation for inauguration » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker last month accepted $2,500 from the firm of a registered lobbyist and longtime ally of Vice President Mike Pence toward his inaugural celebration in January, violating a self-im…

John Kerry: Forget Trump. We All Must Act on Climate Change. » New York Times Instead of tacitly accepting that inaction is preordained for the remaining two years of the Trump presidency, Congress should send Mr. Trump legislation addressing this crisis. It will force him to m…

'He got screwed': Gillum absent from indictment after DeSantis bashed him as corrupt » Politico But amid all the detail and alleged corruption in the indictment, one name is conspicuously absent: Andrew Gillum, who was Tallahassee’s mayor at the time and who was accused repeatedly on the guber…

The Gospel of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez » Roll Call Ocasio-Cortez is a Latina millennial, born of a generation in decline, in a major minority workforce segment that is paid an average of 47 percent less than white men and 31 percent less than white wo…

‘He’s gotten to know every slice of that agency’: Who is Steve Poftak, the next GM of the MBTA? » Boston Globe Little more than a year ago the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority celebrated the selection of a general manager with no public transit experience as the fresh set of eyes needed to bring new …

Massachusetts is leading the way on gun safety, but we can’t do it alone » The Hill In Massachusetts, we have a message to members of Congress and to my colleagues in legislatures across the country: It is possible to make progress on gun safety.…

Biden Should Run on a Unity Ticket With Romney » Politico Now here’s what Biden should do next: Pick a Republican running mate in a “trans-party” third-party run for the White House. …

"I certainly would have liked to have seen it last longer, but I do believe the secretary and Luis had a series of what I would describe as honest discussions and I do think Steve is the right guy to run with the capital program,"

Governor Charlie Baker

Speaking about the removal of Luis Ramirez as general manager of the MBTA.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Deal means Seth Moulton-Nancy Pelosi standoff comes to a temporary end » Boston Globe Representative Seth Moulton says he buried the hatchet with the likely future House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, after she promised to limit her time in leadership to secure his and other critics’ votes.…

Citing a “Mandate for Hope,” Ayanna Pressley Went after Democrats in a Closed-Door Meeting » Boston Magazine She's calling for change in the party, and a new message ahead of 2020. …

Business

Here’s what Apple’s snub says about Boston’s status as a tech hub » Boston Globe Apple announced Thursday that it would mostly bypass Boston as part of a multicity expansion, but home-grown digital retailer Wayfair continued its march through the Back Bay, where it plans to grow a…

Baker: Fishing, offshore wind coexistence 'something we have to deal with' » Gloucester Times Gov. Charlie Baker expressed confidence on Thursday that offshore wind developers and fishermen in the Northeast will find a way to co-exist.…

Online retailer Wayfair plans Pittsfield center, creating 300 jobs » Berkshire Eagle He started out in Pittsfield, the son of a GE engineer, and later built an online giant that made him a billionaire. And now, Niraj Shah is investing some of those riches back in his hometown.…

Federal Tax Program Is Eyed For Growth In 13 Boston 'Opportunity Zones' » WBUR A new federal tax-deferment program intended to spur economic growth in select low-income neighborhoods across the country will launch in the new year.…

State gives Wayfair $31 million in tax breaks for 3,300 jobs in Boston and Pittsfield » Boston Globe The fast-growing online retailer Wayfair Inc. landed $31 million in tax incentives from the state Thursday to help the company add thousands of jobs in Boston and hundreds in Pittsfield.…

Bill on Beacon Hill would eliminate clock-changing » Boston Globe Early sunsets got you down? A Quincy lawmaker has a cure for those wintertime blues. Yes, it’s about time again — time to debate the merits of daylight saving time.…

SBA lending in Mass. slows for second straight year » Boston Business Journal It was a down year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s most popular loan program in the Bay State, according to a report recently issued by the agency's Massachusetts office.…

Port of New Bedford ranks No. 1 for 18th consecutive year » South Coast Today Death, taxes and New Bedford ranked as the most valuable fishing port in the country remain certainties in life.…

State backs tax deals for United Lens and Northbridge kennel » Worcester Telegram & Gazette Two business in Central Mass. are in line for tax credits under the state Economic Development Incentive Program.…

Value of New Bedford's 2017 fishing haul tops among U.S. ports » State House News Service For the 18th straight year, the port of New Bedford in 2017 had the highest valued commercial fisheries catch, notching 111 million pounds valued at $389 million, according to federal statistics relea…

GE says it may replace KPMG as auditor » Boston Business Journal

Education

Hall monitor: Rich Doherty keeps watchful eye on higher ed trends » Boston Business Journal Doherty, head of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, recently discussed the challenges confronting higher education and other issues with the Business Journal.…

Booted briefly, Daily Collegian gets its office back » Gazette Net Journalists at the University of Massachusetts’ student newspaper have proven that the pen — or the tweet, at least — really can be powerful.…

Newbury College to shut down in the spring » The Boston Globe

Environment

Governor Designates Falmouth River Project A Priority » Wakefield Patch The Childs River restoration project in Falmouth and Mashpee has been designated a priority by the state, making it eligible for technical services like data collection, engineering, design work, perm…

Scientists say offshore testing puts whales at risk » The Salem News The iconic North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species teetering at the brink of extinction, possibly faces a new threat, marine scientists say.…

Animal rights group opposes beaver trapping in Framingham » The Metro West Daily News Conservation Administrator Rob McArthur fielded numerous calls and emails about the beaver situation this week. He said the city had few options, given that it’s illegal under state law to relocate …

Plastic Bag Ban In Boston Starts Slow Rollout Friday » WBUR A ban on plastic bags at Boston stores and restaurants takes effect on Friday with the goal of reducing the number of bags used and improving the environment.…

The Death of the Plastic Bag Is upon Us in Boston » Boston Magazine The ban starts now. …

Federal

Mayflower descendants back Mashpee Wampanoag in land dispute » Cape Cod Times Descendants of the country’s earliest settlers greeted by the Wampanoag people are backing the tribe in a fight to secure about 321 acres of reservation land under threat.…

Health Care

Facing headwinds, medtech sector won't be left to its own devices » Boston Business Journal Here’s a look at three key issues facing the medical device sector — and the Massachusetts health care economy at large — in 2019.…

Massachusetts residents spent $80 million on low-value health care, report finds » The Republican Massachusetts residents received at least $80 million worth of medical tests and procedures that were not necessary and added little value to their care, according to data released Thursday by the Mas…

Human Services

$20K to help answer how to aid aging on Cape Ann » Gloucester Times The town of Essex has received state money to fund a flagship regional effort to benefit Cape Ann residents affected by aging and dementia. …

Immigration

What A Boston Student's Deportation Reveals About School Police And Gang Intelligence » WBUR It was a lunchtime argument among East Boston High School students that quickly fizzled. But what transpired that day set a series of actions in motion and, three years later, the repercussions are st…

Insurance

State awards Humana full tax break despite wage settlements » Boston Business Journal Humana had claimed in its tax-break application that it had no previous labor-law violations, when it had struck two separate settlements with the U.S. Department of Labor this year alone.…

Judiciary

Norfolk DA looks to get a handle on expunging criminal records » Patriot Ledger Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, but a past conviction for possession is still part of a person’s criminal record. Now it’s one of the crimes the state will allow people to put behind them…

Legislative

Free from custody, cancer in remission, DiMasi speaking out for prisoners’ welfare » Dorchester Reporter Two years after his battle with cancer resulted in a shortened prison term, former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is stepping back into the public eye, offering harsh criticism of the federal Bureau o…

Rausch, representing Attleboro area district, joins record number of women in state Legislature » The Sun Chronicle Women make up 51 percent of the Massachusetts population and they will hold only 28 percent of the seats when the new state Legislature convenes next month, but that is considered progress by some.…

Area tour with senator-elect touches on homelessness, food insecurity, education and more » The Greenfield Recorder Senator-elect Jo Comerford began working to get the Legislature to address inequality in providing education, health care, human services and job opportunities, even though, as Senate President Karen …

Local Government

Is Brockton mayor leaving for state position? Nope, he says » The Enterprise Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter addressed rumors that he is leaving for a job in the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.…

Citizen's article limiting swimming pools has far-reaching impacts » The Inquirer and Mirror It will become significantly more difficult to install a swimming pool on the island should a proposal up for debate at the April 2019 Annual Town Meeting be approved by voters.…

Somerville Receives $500K For Water, Sewer Improvements » Wakefield Patch

Marijuana

Cannabis Control Commission approves 4 more retail pot shops in Massachusetts » 7 News The Cannabis Control Commission approved four more recreational pot shop locations in Massachusetts on Thursday.…

Four new pot shops licensed, another opening Saturday » Boston Herald Four new pot shops have been licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission just as another is opening up in Salem this weekend.…

Fall River will reduce payments it seeks from cannabis businesses » Boston Globe Bowing to pressure from the marijuana industry and state lawmakers, Fall River is preparing to reduce the size of payments it seeks from local cannabis operators in exchange for granting them permissi…

Mass. cannabis regulator signs lease for Downtown Crossing office » Boston Business Journal The Cannabis Control Commission will have a new Boston satellite office in Downtown Crossing, the marijuana industry regulator announced Thursday.…

License flow points to maturing marijuana market in 2019 » State House News Service As the state's third retail marijuana shop prepares to open this weekend, the Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday churned through almost two dozen more business licenses, setting up the legal pot …

Springfield Cannabis Co. gets higher grades on updated presentation for proposed marijuana store in East Springfield » The Republican

Opinion

Nancy Pelosi’s winning performance » Boston Globe This week, Nancy Pelosi made herself the Democrats’ woman of the hour by demonstrating why her skills and savvy are critical right now, even while acknowledging that no one is indispensable over the…

Pharmacy middlemen manipulating the system » Commonwealth Magazine A RECENT FEDERAL LAW allows pharmacists to inform patients when the price of their medication is less than the copayment they would pay using their insurance. This is helpful to some patients using ce…

MWRA has fulfilled its mission — time for other stakeholders to step up » Boston Globe The MWRA Advisory Board is glad that the Globe acknowledges, in its Dec. 8 editorial “Expand the MWRA’s mission,” that the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has successfully fulfilled its …

Editorial: A worthy effort to reduce unnecessary ER visits » Boston Business Journal If successful, the initiative would save health care costs without detracting from the quality of the state’s health care or discouraging patients from using the ER for its intended purpose: emergen…

Seth Moulton on Pelosi battle: ‘Tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker’ » Boston Globe ‘Take back the House.” That’s been Democrats’ call to action since 2016. You heard it every time President Trump ignored the rule of law, every time there was another preventable mass shooting…

Analysis: Does the Springfield Council Work Hard for the Money? » Western Mass Politics and Insight For those obsessively following every whimper and groan of the Springfield City Council, the revelation that some councilors were plotting to raise their own pay was not a shock. Five years after the …

President Trump’s behavior is as predictable as a Big Mac » Boston Globe My favorite story about young Donald Trump finds him alone with his friend Sandy McIntosh after a baseball game at New York Military Academy in 1963. When Trump talks about hitting a home run, Sandy r…

Bay State Dems take a hard left, keep going » Boston Herald Massachusetts, you have finally achieved the “Terminator” stage of progressive politics: They are coming to get you, your money, your property and your rights.…

Ed reform needs a new plan » Commonwealth Magazine MASSACHUSETTS, WITH ITS innovative industries and history of leadership and reform, should be the laboratory for reimagining public education to ensure equity, opportunity and excellence for all.…

Track care providers who commit abuse » Commonwealth Magazine IN EARLY NOVEMBER, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children and Families heard compelling testimony from families, caregivers, and state agencies about the need to pass Senate bill 2606, an act…

Baker Chooses Wind over Fishing [OPINION] » WBSM

In Quebec, clean energy goes to waste. Let’s use it. » The Boston Globe

Politics

At-large hopefuls join council incumbents in growing ’19 field » Dorchester Reporter There is no presidential election in 2019, nor races for governor, mayors, or state and federal offices. The only game in Boston is the upcoming city council campaign, with all existing at-large incum…

Retiring Rep. Steve Kulik bids farewell to Beacon Hill colleagues » The Republican State Rep. Stephen Kulik has delivered his farewell remarks on Beacon Hill after representing the 1st Franklin District for 25 years.…

Conservatives lament loss of Jim Lyons » Andover Townsman Jim Lyons grew up in a working-class Irish Catholic family with a father who headed a police union and told him never to vote Republican.…

In shift from first election, Healey to raise funds from donors for inaugural party » The Boston Globe

Public Health

5 people convicted of federal charges in Framingham compounding pharmacy case » Boston Globe An owner and four former employees of a now-shuttered Framingham compounding pharmacy were convicted Thursday of federal charges related to a 2012 meningitis outbreak that’s killed more than 100 peo…

Hector Montesino appointed to Alzheimer's advisory council » Wicked Local Concord

Public Safety

Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will attend Worcester firefighter Christoper Roy’s funeral » MassLive Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will attend the wake and the funeral service for fallen Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy.…

Bomb threats target businesses in Boston, state and nationwide » Boston Herald Emailed bomb threats flooded into dozens of Massachusetts businesses and others around the country Thursday afternoon, looking to extort the targets out of money, police say.…

DA-elect Rachael Rollins prepares to take office Jan. 2 » Boston Herald The incoming Suffolk District Attorney told jittery staffers not to worry about their jobs as her team gets ready for the transition.…

Mansfield chosen for nationwide program targeting domestic violence » The Sun Chronicle Police Chief Ron Sellon remembers filing over two dozen domestic abuse and neglect complaints against the same family in a single year two decades ago.…

'It's A Prison. It's Punishing Addicts': Calls To Reform Civil Commitments Increase » WBUR Standing inside the county jail in Ludlow, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi is clearly proud of his jail's newest wing. …

State Finance

The Week in Public Finance: With Revenues Soaring, States Are Spending More. But on What? » Governing The bulk of the funding boosts are going toward education and rainy day savings. …

State Government

Massachusetts prosecutors spend $68,000 to fight public records lawsuit by AG » Boston Globe Three district attorneys have spent approximately $68,000 fighting a so-far-unsuccessful battle to withhold records from the Globe. And the legal bills could climb further if the DAs decide to appeal …

Baker expresses regret over short tenure of outgoing MBTA boss » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday acknowledged the short tenure of outgoing MBTA general manager Luis Ramirez wasn’t ideal, saying he “certainly would have liked to have seen it last longer” th…

Transportation

$3.75M grant to aid Rte. 20 improvements » The Metro West Daily News The Baker-Polito administration announced this week a $3.75 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for widening and other improvements to Rte 20.…

The Loop takes over 5,000 riders through downtown Springfield in 1st 3 months; city wants schedule to align with trains » The Republican

Future of Transportation: Baker says state needs to build reliable system » Fox 25 News

Commission’s transportation recommendations unveiled » Commonwealth Magazine

State commission recommends VC funding for transit technology » Boston Business Journal

Utilities

Columbia Gas appoints new executive in Massachusetts » Boston Globe The parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts announced a change in its local leadership Thursday, a day after Governor Charlie Baker declared that most of the critical construction in response …

Offshore Wind Auction For 390,000 Acres South Of Mass. Blows Through Sale Record » WBUR

Social Media Spotlight

massltgov

massgovernor



Eric Lesser

@EricLesser

Michael O. Moore

@SenMikeMoore


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

AG vows more probes of doctor overprescribing of opioid drugs » Lowell Sun

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker: Salem marijuana shop’s appointment-only policy is a ‘good idea’ » MassLive

After vow to cap inauguration cash, Baker took lobbyist donation » Boston Globe

State awards Wayfair $31M tax break for Boston, Pittsfield expansions » Boston Business Journal

State Approves Haverhill’s Request for Consentino Aid » WHAV

Study: 'No Scientific Basis' For Challenges To EPA Endangerment Finding » WBUR

New teachers union campaign eyes $1.5 billion for education » State House News Service

Hate crime reports in Massachusetts hit ten-year high » State House News Service

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 4904 - An Act designating a certain bridge in the Town of West Boylston as the Spc. Kyle A. Little Memorial Bridge

Most read bills of the week:

HB4979 - An Act to ensure the safety and soundness of the Commonwealth's natural gas infrastructure

SB2633 - An Act relative to critical incident intervention by emergency service providers

HB4988 - An Act to protect locked out employees

SB2684 - Text of the further Senate amendment (Senators Moore and Montigny) to the Senate Bill relative to critical incident intervention by emergency services (Senate, No. 2633).

SB137 - An Act providing for provisional licensure for speech-language pathologists

HB2295 - An Act relative to the deliberate spread of contagious diseases

HB3288 - An Act to amend the presumptive disability law

HB2021 - An Act promoting local control and effective training of school resource officers

House Actions This Week: 143

Senate Actions This Week: 54


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