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Today on Beacon Hill

8:00am Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley's New Year's Breakfast

9:00am Youth Mentoring Day, Grand Staircase & Great Hall

Must-Reads

Kennedy tries to rally Dems in Newton, but not everybody's happy » POLITICO Massachusetts At a hastily called meeting of Democratic activists in the state's 4th congressional district on Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III sought to encourage a crowd of more than 200 to continue to fi…

Massachusetts mayors join coalition urging Congress to keep Obamacare » The Associated Press (AP) The mayors of Springfield and Holyoke are among 101 mayors nationwide who have signed on to a letter that urges Congress against repealing the Affordable Care Act, raising concerns that a repeal will …

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey to challenge Eversource rate increase request » The Associated Press (AP) Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday that she will oppose an Eversource plan to raise the rates it charges for delivering electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers in Massa…

IndyCar foes: Mayor's lobbyist tracking too late » Boston Herald Opponents of the failed Boston IndyCar race say Mayor Martin J. Walsh's proposed lobbyist tracking system is too little, too late. …

Will lawmakers gut key parts of marijuana law? » Boston Globe Marijuana legalization advocates fear the Massachusetts Legislature, which has already delayed the opening of pot shops, will now gut several key parts of the law approved by 1.8 million voters in Nov…

The Trump lobbying purge that wasn't » Politico Despite President-elect Donald Trump's much-publicized efforts to keep lobbyists out of his administration, they have continued to offer policy advice, recommend job candidates and contribute money to…

How Donald Trump came up with 'Make America Great Again' » The Washington Post “Make America Great Again.” The four words that would help propel Donald Trump to the White House were an inspiration born years before, when hardly anyone but Trump himself could imagine …

Who Is Killing the Towns of Western Massachusetts? » Backchannel This is the story of a dramatic failure of imagination and vision at the state level: Governor Charlie Baker's apparent insistence that Massachusetts relegate small towns to second-rate, high-priced, …

"I think our message to the Legislature is that the lieutenant governor and I are fine with where we are, but we'll obviously take a look at anything that they pursue on their own and give it a good, solid review, And I'm not going to speak to the detail on that again until there's an actual proposal."

Governor Charlie Baker

Speaking about legislative pay raises after Mayor Marty Walsh's "State of the City" address.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

NJ Governors Call on Gubernatorial Candidates to to Resist Trump on Environment » Observer NEW JERSEY POLITICS TRENTON — As inauguration day approaches for president-elect Donald Trump, environmental advocates in New Jersey have been leveling scathing criticisms of Trump's cabinet picks and issuing warn…

Planned Parenthood could be first casualty of Obamacare repeal efforts » The Washington Post A fierce battle over the future of reproductive rights is now underway in Washington as congressional Republicans made the first move last week to slash funding for Planned Parenthood. …

Senate grills Education pick Betsy DeVos on experience, family donations » Boston Globe Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Education, was forced to fend off questions Tuesday about possible conflicts of interest, her family's donations to antigay…

From Springfield to the White House, Kristie Canegallo reflects on time as top Obama aide » The Republican Kristie Canegallo grew up in Springfield, raised by a single mother who worked as an elementary school teacher at Lincoln School.…

Trump's inaugural parade will have no New England participants » Boston Globe On a famous boulevard during a hectic Inauguration Day, many of the differences between incoming President Donald Trump and his more traditional predecessors will be laid bare.…

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano becomes second delegation member planning to skip Donald Trump's inauguration » The Republican

Business

Whole Foods closing troubled Everett kitchen » Boston Globe Whole Foods Market said it has closed the Everett kitchen facility where it created ready-to-eat dishes for more than 70 of the chain's markets in the Northeast, instead outsourcing the food preparati…

Six takeaways for the business community from the State of the City » Boston Business Journal In his annual State of the City address Tuesday night, Mayor Martin Walsh announced several measures with a potentially big impact on businesses, including plans to put $100 million toward public hous…

Massachusetts gets $12 million in national housing crisis-era settlement with Moody's » Boston Globe Massachusetts will receive $12 million as part of a nationwide settlement between the US Department of Justice and Moody's Investors Service Inc., over allegations that the credit-rating agency misled…

Legislative Landscape: Seeking Reform » Commercial Property Executive The industry has entered 2017 in a political climate like no other. What does it mean for commercial real estate? Six organizations—the Real Estate Roundtable, the International Council of Shop…

Will lawmakers gut key parts of marijuana law? » Boston.com Marijuana legalization advocates fear the Massachusetts Legislature, which has already delayed the opening of pot shops, will now gut several key parts of the law approved by 1.8 million voters in Nov…

State Street to pay $64M to end criminal, SEC fraud probes » Boston Business Journal

Economist sees tug-of-war effect in Trump's policies » State House News Service

Civil Rights

DeLeo to look into 'proper honoring' of MLK in Mass. » Boston Globe House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Tuesday he will form a commission to work on how best to give Martin Luther King Jr. a fitting memorial in Massachusetts. …

Domestic Relations

Does Massachusetts Law Empower Criminal Rapists to Seek Parental Rights? » Lawyers.com In 2014, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a law that appeared to offer protection for mothers victimized by sexual assault, but it became widely criticized as inviting additional tra…

Education

Quincy College begins to ready bachelor's programs » The Patriot Ledger Quincy College will begin issuing four-year degrees in coming years in an effort to keep up with the increasingly higher levels of academic achievement employers look for.…

New president hired at Mount Wachusett Community College » State House News Service Mount Wachusett Community College will get a new president in March after the Board of Higher Education on Tuesday approved the hiring of James Vander Hooven, a veteran administrator with community co…

Walsh tries again for pre-kindergarten expansion » Boston Globe

Bay State education secretary praises Salem's turnaround » The Salem News

Environment

Enviro activists hope state will step up under Trump » State House News Service

Gaming

State lawmakers consider regulations, tax on daily fantasy sports companies » WWLP 22 It's a lucrative industry that exploded in popularity. State lawmakers are trying to wrap their arms around daily fantasy sports and the future of online gaming.…

DraftKings backs state regulations it once opposed » Boston Globe DraftKings Inc., which initially opposed some of Massachusetts' stiff limits on daily fantasy sports, is now urging officials to keep those consumer protections in place as the state considers broader…

Gaming attorney shines light on on-line sports wagering » State House News Service It generates about $275 million in revenue annually in North America, drew 134 million viewers in the United States in 2015, attracts illegal wagers from countless bettors and exists outside any concr…

Touting Boston hiring, DraftKings states its economic case » Boston Business Journal Attorneys representing daily fantasy sports startup DraftKings, including former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, testified before lawmakers at the State House today, arguing that the co…

Health Care

Baker's health cost controls assailed as 'tax' » Eagle Tribune Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to address rising public and private health care costs by capping provider prices and fining employers that don't offer coverage drew a strong rebuke from some in the busines…

Baker plan would penalize employers that don't offer insurance » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker, seeking to rein in the continued rise in medical spending, is proposing to penalize employers $2,000 per worker if they do not provide health insurance, and to also place new l…

Baker pushes health cost controls » Commonwealth Magazine Gov. Charlie Baker launched the beginning of what promises to be a very interesting debate about how to rein in the cost of health care in Massachusetts, releasing an internal planning document callin…

Biz groups see Baker assessment as tax to bail out MassHealth » State House News Service Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to address rising public and private health care costs by capping provider prices and fining employers that don't offer coverage drew a strong rebuke from some in the busines…

State, local health care officials uncertain about future of Obamacare » The Sun Chronicle Under President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican majority in Congress says it's determined to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's far-reaching health care over…

Judiciary

Bill refiled on behalf of Springfield mayor seeking to allow prosecution appeals of low bail » The Republican Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced Tuesday that a legislative bill that would allow prosecutors to appeal low bail rulings by judges has been refiled for consideration in 2017.…

Black, Latino lawmakers want end to mandatory minimum sentences for drugs » WWLP 22

Labor

Coalition lays out agenda to boost Massachusetts workers » Berkshire Eagle Labor unions, community groups and workers rights organizations set up shop in the Great Hall on Tuesday morning to draw attention to a raft of bills that constitute a "healthy workplace legislative a…

Allegations Of Unpaid Wages And Benefits Hit Asbestos Cleanup Firms » WBUR Federal prosecutors are investigating an asbestos-removal company active in the Boston area to see whether the firm withheld wages and benefits from workers, according to people familiar with the matt…

Legislative

Massachusetts legislative leaders put their paychecks on the agenda » The Republican The leaders of the House and Senate on Tuesday revived the often controversial topic of compensation for the state's political leaders, announcing plans for a hearing Thursday to take up a 2014 report…

State lawmakers revive plan to raise their pay » Boston Globe Legislative leaders have revived a controversial proposal to give themselves and other state officials a sizable raise at a time when Massachusetts faces persistent budget gaps, and most residents' wa…

Gov. Charlie Baker weighs in on legislators exploring pay levels » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker didn't shut the door on legislators who said Tuesday they're interested in exploring their pay levels.…

Canton's new senator sets priorities » Wicked Local Canton Canton's new state senator, no stranger to the State House, has a few ideas he's planning to pursue in the 2017 Massachusetts legislative session that recently began.…

Panel to address pay hikes for 7 top state officials » Boston Herald Fresh off of budget cuts and lawmaker raises, a joint committee will address pay hikes tomorrow for the state's seven top officials, with a proposal to dramatically boost the pay of House Speaker Robe…

Legislature to look at raises for top elected officials » The Herald News The leaders of the House and Senate on Tuesday revived the often controversial topic of compensation for the state's political leaders, announcing plans for a hearing Thursday to take up a 2014 report…

Focusing on the optics of a pay raise » Commonwealth Magazine

Local Government

In State of City speech, Walsh vows to fight 'for our values' » Boston Globe In his final State of the City address before his reelection campaign, Mayor Martin J. Walsh trumpeted his record on public education Tuesday evening and pledged to file legislation that would “…

Could lobbying rules have saved Boston from ill-fated Grand Prix? » Boston Globe If tougher rules on lobbying being considered by Boston City Hall had been in place two years ago, the city might have been spared the ill-fated Boston Grand Prix, opponents of IndyCar race testified …

Norwell officials weighing recreational marjuana options » Wicked Local Norwell Following the passage of Question 4 in the November election, local and state officials have been working to understand what the potential implications of its passage will be for their respective comm…

Address hits back at Marty Walsh's critics » Boston Herald Mayor Martin J. Walsh laid out a list of accomplishments and new promises in his third State of the City address, trumpeting achievements in education and public safety — areas in which he's be…

Milton signs community compact with state » The Patriot Ledger The town became the state's 251st municipality to sign a community compact with the state on Tuesday.…

Read the full text of Mayor Walsh's 'State of the City' » Boston Globe Thank you, everyone. To my mother Mary, brother John, and Lorrie: thank you for your love and support. Governor [Charles] Baker; President [Stanley] Rosenberg, Speaker [Robert] DeLeo, members of Congr…

Amesbury gets OK for three new liquor licenses » The Daily News of Newburyport The city has three new liquor licenses available, but just how they will be used depends on whom you ask.…

School Committee may need to reduce proposed budget by $3 million » Wicked Local Norwood

Opinion

The fabulous wealth of the 'Oxfam 8' » Boston Globe Oxfam grabbed headlines on Monday with a report claiming that the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the world's poorest 3.7 billion people — half of the planet's population.…

Cash is so 2007. Can the state lottery adapt? » Boston Globe THE COMMONWEALTH'S cash-only state lottery is on the verge of becoming an anachronism.…

Thinking big about Boston Public Schools » Boston Globe In my State of the City address last night, I announced a 10-year, $1 billion investment in the buildings and classrooms of the Boston Public Schools.…

Why was Obama so divisive? » Boston Globe THESE ARE President Obama's last few days in office, and so conservatives are dusting off their favorite critique: Barack Obama has been one of the most divisive presidents in memory.…

Mass. illustrates need for repeal and replace » Lowell Sun If you want to understand why the new president and his Republican-controlled Congress made the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act their top priority, look no further than Massachusetts.…

Our view: Lawmakers, governor must work together to close DA funding gap » Gloucester Times Investigating child abuse and neglect cases is expensive, and the costs are only going to go up as stigmas fade and more instances of abuse in the home and community are reported. The Legislature and …

GLORIA VARRASSO, Braintree: Gov. Baker gives out raises like candy » The Enterprise

GOP should heed Baker's warning on health care reform » Boston Globe

Politics

Who's going and who's not to Donald Trump's inauguration » Boston Globe These days, Jessica Tocco's invitation to the inauguration of Donald John Trump and Michael Richard Pence rarely leaves her side.…

Cambridge residents are mobilizing for Boston Women's March » Wicked Local Cambridge When tens of thousands of people take to the streets of Boston on Saturday, Jan. 21 in a rallying call for democracy and human rights, Cambridge will be well-represented.…

Tito Jackson seeks Deval Patrick's counsel for bid » Boston Herald City Councilor Tito Jackson is calling on Deval Patrick for help in his attempt to dethrone Mayor Martin J. Walsh, but the former governor might have bigger ambitions that will keep him out of the fra…

Bump on inauguration: 'If I were a member of Congress, I would be attending' » Boston Herald

Gov. Charlie Baker to attend Indiana Inaugural Ball as guest of Mike Pence » The Republican

Former Patrick aide will be executive director for state Democrats » Boston Globe

New director chosen to help lead Mass. Dems » State House News Service

Public Safety

Pols 'alarmed' whites make up 90 percent of state police ranks » Boston Herald The state police ranks are nearly 90 percent white, a number that “alarmed” minority legislators who met with Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday.…

State Government

Maura Healey, 8 other attorneys general urge rejection of EPA nominee » The Metro West Daily News

'Everything is on the table' in sweeping review of state alcohol rules » Boston Globe

Transportation

MBTA governance needs radical makeover » Commonwealth Magazine THE MBTA'S FISCAL AND MANAGEMENT CONTROL BOARD is properly in the process of developing a strategic plan that will help guide the agency into the future.…

Utilities

$18B for Water, sewer repairs » The Daily News of Newburyport Aging water and sewer pipes will cost Massachusetts communities nearly $18 billion in upgrades, according to an auditor's report that is prompting calls for state intervention.…

Eversource requests electric rate hike that could shock Western Mass. customers » Eversource customers could see their electric bills increase by about 10 percent next year under a request filed on Tuesday by the utility.…

Maura Healey wants DPU to pull plug on Eversource rate hike plan » Boston Herald Attorney General Maura Healey is blasting a plan by Eversource Energy to hike electric rates for its 1.4 million customers is Massachusetts, saying the move puts shareholder profits over customers.…

Social Media Spotlight

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

Brad Hill

Patrick O'Connor

Senator Jason Lewis


@boston_mayor



Tom Stanley

@RepStanley

Charlie Baker

@MassGovernor


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Six months after brain tumor, Donnelly thriving in Senate » Lowell Sun

Legislative leaders renewing pay raise debate » The Salem News

Surprise! Paul LePage Has Some Thoughts About Jim Crow » Boston Magazine

Gov.'s health overhaul includes employer charge, payment cap » Boston Herald

Don't offer employee insurance? Mass. firms may face penalty under Baker's plan » Boston Globe

Report: Mass. among highest in health costs, price disparities » Worcester Business Journal

Ethics commission seeks broader reg-writing authority » State House News Service

Baker plans $2K health insurance fine for Mass. firms » Worcester Business Journal

Coakley touts DraftKings during testimony » State House News Service

Moody's to pay Mass. $12 mil in settlement » State House News Service

Eversource files for rate increases across Massachusetts » State House News Service

Airbnb says Boston missed out on millions in tax dollars last year » Boston Globe

Tito Jackson, in bid for mayor, says he has asked for Deval Patrick's help » Boston Herald

Eversource looking to hike rates statewide » Boston Herald

Lawmakers hear appeal for info about private special education schools » State House News Service

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Recipe of the Week

NO-SEAR LAMB OR BEEF AND CHICKPEA STEW

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 TABLESPOON SWEET PAPRIKA

  • 2 TEASPOONS GROUND CUMIN

  • 1 TEASPOON GROUND CARDAMOM

  • ¼ TEASPOON CINNAMON

  • KOSHER SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER

  • 1¼ POUNDS BONELESS LAMB SHOULDER, TRIMMED OF FAT AND CUT INTO ¾-INCH PIECES

  • 1 HEAD GARLIC

  • 2 TABLESPOONS SALTED BUTTER

  • 1 LARGE YELLOW ONION, DICED (ABOUT 2 CUPS)

  • 2 TABLESPOONS TOMATO PASTE

  • 6 CUPS WATER

  • ½ POUND CARROTS (2 TO 3 MEDIUM) PEELED, HALVED LENGTHWISE AND CUT CROSSWISE INTO ½-INCH PIECES

  • 15½ -OUNCE CAN CHICKPEAS, DRAINED

  • 3 OUNCES BABY SPINACH (ABOUT 3 CUPS)

  • 1 CUP CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO, PLUS MORE TO GARNISH

  • 3 TABLESPOONS LEMON JUICE

  • WHOLE-MILK YOGURT, TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Reserve half of the spice mixture, then toss the lamb with the remaining spice mixture until well coated. Set aside. Cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact.

  2. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. 

  3. Add the tomato paste and the reserved spice mixture, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then add the lamb and garlic head, cut side down. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and reduce the heat to low.

  4. Simmer for 1 hour, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle bubble. Add the carrots and continue to simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes.

  5. Using tongs, remove the garlic head and squeeze over the stew to release the cloves. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

  6. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice, then season the stew with salt and pepper. Serve, topped with yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro.

Tip: Don’t use old spices. The backbone of the dish is the bold, vibrant spice mixture. Make sure yours are no more than a year old. Flat-leaf parsley can be substituted for the cilantro.



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