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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am Department of Mental Health Metro Boston Area Citizens Legislative Breakfast, Great Hall

10:00am Informational Session with Coleman Nee, CEO of Triangle Inc., Room 222

10:00am "Cookie Day" in support of the Mass. Rental Voucher Program, Grand Staircase

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

6:00pm NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts' 2017 'Men for Choice' awards honoring U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy and former Sen. Dan Wolf

Must-Reads

Judge Cypher to be tapped for SJC judgeship » State House News Service STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 7, 2017.....A jurist who has expressed her love for the Appeals Court could soon have a chance to preside at the state's highest appellate level, as Gov. Charlie Baker plans …

Widening income gap in House may have negative consequences, reps say » State House News Service STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 7, 2017....Now that pay raises for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadershi…

Dentists are feeling a sharp pain, thanks to big insurer » Boston Globe A plan by the state's largest dental insurer to sell new low-cost coverage has sparked an outcry among dentists, who fear the move will cut their incomes and force them to rush through appointments. …

Boston political power duo Larry Rasky and Joe Baerlein part ways » Boston Globe They came together 20 years ago: two friendly rivals who would build one of the city's most powerful public relations and lobbying firms. Two decades later, Larry Rasky and Joe Baerlein have parted wa…

A Conservative Answer to Climate Change » The Wall Street Journal Thirty years ago, as the atmosphere's protective ozone layer was dwindling at alarming rates, we were serving proudly under President Ronald Reagan. We remember his leading role in negotiating the Mon…

Jake Tapper spars with Kellyanne Conway over WH falsehoods » CNN Washington (CNN)Top White House adviser Kellyane Conway has apologized for citing a fake "massacre" in support of Donald Trump's travel ban, in an interview on CNN in which she acknowledged that not a…

One-Third Don't Know Obamacare and Affordable Care Act Are the Same » New York Times A survey finds confusion, particularly among groups most likely to be affected by the repeal of the health law.…

Trump begins charm offensive of conservative Democrats » USA TODAY The invitation arrived on Tuesday amid a bloody confirmation battle over Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who was approved by the Senate by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike …

Read the letter Elizabeth Warren got rebuked for reading » Boston Globe Senator Elizabeth Warren, after quoting from a decades-old letter written by Martin Luther King Jr's widow, was ruled in violation of Senate rules late Tuesday night, an extraordinary rebuke that sile…

State government moves toward reforms at Bridgewater State Hospital » The Republican BOSTON -- Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is taking the first steps toward improving care for mentally ill individuals housed at Bridgewater State Hospital. …

State insurance commissioner stepping down » Boston Globe Massachusetts insurance commissioner Daniel R. Judson is stepping down to take a job in the private sector. …

Analysis: As Struggles Mount, Sarno Seemingly Shifts Right » Western Mass Politics and Insight It should be relatively straightforward. Springfield does not participate in civil immigration enforcement. It probably could not if it so desired given the burdens of the department. Yet Mayor Domeni…

“He has made derogatory and racist comments that should have no place in our justice system,” she said. “To put Senator Sessions in charge of the Department of Justice is an insult to African-Americans.”

Elizabeth Warren

Speaking about Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions before she was silenced for a rule violation.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Issues Facing Republicans in Replacing Affordable Care Act » New York Times Many of the choices facing the G.O.P. are variations of a fundamental question: How much of the Affordable Care Act to keep, and how much to discard?…

Richard vs Barack - kiteboard and foilboard challenge » Virgin.com One of the first stories Barack told me when he and Michelle arrived on Moskito Island was how, just before he became President, he had been surfing on a dangerous break in Hawaii. When he came in fro…

Senate rebukes Warren after reading Coretta Scott King letter » Boston Globe Senator Elizabeth Warren was ruled in violation of Senate rules late Tuesday night after quoting from a decades-old letter written by Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow — a rare rebuke that silence…

The 17 rules of Sean Spicer, Rhode Island native » Boston Globe In 2014, an accomplished yet little-known Republican communications specialist shared his 17 rules for life with students at his alma mater, the Portsmouth Abbey, a Roman Catholic boarding and day sch…

Republicans Vote To Silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren In Confirmation Debate » WBUR The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass…

In Meeting With Sheriffs, Trump Repeats False Murder Rate Statistic » WBUR At a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs on Tuesday morning, President Trump repeated a false statistic about the U.S. murder rate that he repeatedly deployed on the campaign trail.…

Republicans vote to rebuke Elizabeth Warren, saying she impugned Sessions's character » Washington Post Senate Republicans passed a party-line rebuke Tuesday night of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for a speech opposing attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, striking down her words for impugning the A…

Democrats Slam Trump's Plan To Neuter Net Neutrality » WGBH One of the many fronts Democrats are battling President Donald Trump on is over how much to regulate internet service providers. Open access and open markets are clashing as Trump works to deregulate …

Elizabeth Warren raking in millions in campaign donations » Boston Herald U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is raking in millions in campaign donations as she looks ahead to a re-election bid next year.…

Senate showdown: Elizabeth Warren ordered to keep quiet after quoting Coretta Scott King » Boston Herald Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell interrupted a speech Sen. Elizabeth Warren attempted to give in opposition to the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general Tuesday night after Warren …

Sen. Elizabeth Warren to release new book about fight to 'save America's middle class' » The Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a new book coming out this spring, one that continues her battle for progressive economics.…

Chelsea, Lawrence to sue over Trump's sanctuary city order » Boston Globe The cities of Lawrence and Chelsea plan to file a lawsuit in federal court in Boston Wednesday morning challenging President Trump's executive order that would strip funding for so-called Sanctuary Ci…

Business

Biotech execs slam Trump's 'misguided' immigration ban » STAT News More than 150 biotech executives and investors took a stand against President Donald Trump's immigration ban, saying the controversial executive order threatens to undermine a multibillion-dollar indu…

Boston named 8th of 100 best places to live by U.S. News & World Report; Worcester claims 54th and Springfield 67th » The Republican Massachusetts has been reaffirmed as a great place to reside, as the U.S. News & World Report has released its 100 Best Places to Live in 2017 list, with the state capital claiming a spot in the top 1…

Despite Decades-Old Law, Funeral Prices Are Still Unclear » WBUR Shortly after Ed Howard's father was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer and given six months to live, Howard and his sister Kathy Howard-Almagor sat down and talked about what to do.…

A sweet senatorial visit » The Sun Chronicle When Bruce Ginsberg wanted to expand his New England Ice Cream business, he looked at several options, including adding on to his plant in Taunton.…

Local Tech Companies Say Trump's Immigration Order Is Bad For Business » WBUR As the legal battle over President Trump's executive order on immigration moves forward in California, more than 100 tech companies — including a few in Massachusetts -- have signed a legal bri…

Battenfeld: Boston PR powerhouse splitting up » Boston Herald One of Boston's most powerful business partnerships — at the center of some of the biggest political and corporate dramas of the past two decades — is breaking up.…

Crimes

Defrocked Mass. priest once jailed for rape now faces charges in Maine » Boston Globe A former Catholic priest of the Boston archdiocese, who served more than 10 years in prison for raping an altar boy, was indicted Tuesday in Maine on 29 new counts of sexual misconduct involving two b…

Bill would let DA hold fentanyl traffickers for up to 120 days » South Coast Today Illegally selling the powerful synthetic opiate fentanyl could be grounds for holding a suspect up to 120 days without bail, if a bill filed by State Rep. Chris Markey becomes law.…

Education

Baker Releases Progress Report on Preschool Expansion Initiative » Go Local Worcester A progress report on the first year of preschool expansion initiative shows that the Preschool Expansion Grant provided high-quality learning environments in all five communities and the participating…

Baker: Preschool programs succeeding » Worcester Telegram & Gazette Early education advocates have long argued that high-quality preschool learning environments lead to positive results for children and that argument is buttressed by a report released by the state Tue…

The Number Of Hungry And Homeless Students Rises Along With College Costs » WBUR There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.…

Health Care

Pro-Planned Parenthood Rally set for Saturday in downtown Springfield » The Republican With an aim of protecting Planned Parenthood from potential federal de-funding and protecting reproductive healthcare as a whole, a group plans to hold a demonstration this weekend at a "Our Bodies, O…

State inks deal with private health care provider at Bridgewater State Hospital » Wicked Local Bridgewater The change is designed to reform how patients are treated and cared for in the troubled facility.…

Health Workers Say Some Patients Are Missing Appointments After Trump's Ban » WBUR On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California began hearing arguments in a case weighing whether to continue the suspension of President Trump's travel ban on immigrants from seven majori…

Disabled Children Stand To Lose In Political Upheaval » WBUR A perfect storm of political challenges hovers darkly over disabled people, especially children. It shouldn't come as a surprise that a president who would mock a journalist with a disability should n…

Housing

Housing plan brings growing pains to Jamaica Plain » Boston Globe Boston officials this week are set to approve new zoning rules for a section of Jamaica Plain from Egleston Square to Forest Hills, bringing new growth and affordable housing to a neighborhood that ma…

Register of Deeds promotes Homestead Act » Wicked Local Dedham Stating that for many people their house is the most important financial asset, Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reminded homeowners about filing for Homestead protection.…

Human Services

Legislators knock benefit cap for families on welfare who conceive more children » Worcester Telegram & Gazette Drawing on life experiences she said gave her a "master's in poverty," Rep. Marjorie Decker on Tuesday urged support for legislation that would ease certain restrictions on welfare benefits to familie…

Insurance

Thousands enrolled in Mass. insurance plan » Sentinel & Enterprise About 53,000 people who previously did not have insurance coverage enrolled in plans through the Massachusetts Health Connector during an open enrollment period that ended Jan. 31 and more than 65,000…

Connector, Baker hoping for enough “runway” to adjust to ACA changes » WWLP 22 Acknowledging that the health care landscape could be drastically different a year from now, Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said that the federal government needs to give states enough time to adapt to …

Mass. employers strongly favor changes to Affordable Care Act » State House News Service

Judiciary

Federal judges express skepticism about Trump's travel ban » Boston Globe A Justice Department lawyer on Tuesday said courts should not second-guess President Trump's targeted travel ban, drawing skepticism from a three-judge federal appeals panel weighing the limits of exe…

Massachusetts Legislature To Revisit The Question: When Should A Suspect Be Charged As An Adult? » New England Public Radio When is a person considered an adult? That's at the heart of one proposal Massachusetts lawmakers are considering to reform the state's criminal justice system. …

Baker to nominate appeals court judge to state's high court » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday will tap a state appeals court judge, Elspeth “Ellie” B. Cypher, to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court, his latest step in reshaping the state's high c…

Baker to name Appellate Judge Elspeth Cypher to Supreme Judicial Court » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker will nominate longtime Appeals Court Associate Justice Elspeth B. Cypher to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court tomorrow, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision.…

Senate president supports criminal justice reforms » Bay State Banner

SJC nominee Cypher describes judicial approach » State House News Service

Labor

Mass. keeps a closer eye on hairdressers than on security guards » Boston Globe Hairdressers, fortune tellers, even kickboxing timekeepers have to be individually licensed by the state before they can ply their trades in Massachusetts. But not private security guards.…

Legislative

State Rep. Paul Tucker reflects on first term, outlines 2017 priorities » Wicked Local Salem It's shortly after 3 p.m. on a recent Friday, and state Rep. Paul Tucker just stepped into a bustling Jaho Coffee Shop on Derby Street after a busy day atop Beacon Hill.…

Three of North Andover's lawmakers vote 'no' on pay raises » Wicked Local As state representatives and senators passed a bill raising their own salaries - and then an override of Gov. Charlie Baker's veto of that bill - three of North Andover's legislators defected and said…

At Commonwealth Conversations stop at BCC in Fall River, legislators hear residents' concerns » Taunton Gazette Higher taxes for millionaires, restoring college funding cuts, threats to health care, gun laws pro and con, not losing women's domestic violence services, accountability for animal abuse in Westport,…

Senate listening tour stops in Taunton, where South Coast Rail looms large » Wicked Local Taunton It may have been a bus tour, but state Sen. Marc Pacheco made sure his colleagues got a look at the proposed South Coast Rail stop on Dean Street in Taunton.…

Widening income gap in House may have negative consequences » Lowell Sun Now that pay raises for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadership and committee assignments that coul…

Widening income gap in House could change loyalties, reps say » Worcester Telegram & Gazette Now that pay raises for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadership and committee assignments that coul…

Local Government

Council approves medical marijuana dispensary location rules » Wicked Local Cambridge The City Council voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in business and industrial districts citywide Monday.…

Grandson presents 'wish list' for next year's budget » Wicked Local Malden At Monday's School Committee budget meeting, Interim Superintendent of Schools Charles Grandson IV presented a wish list of items he would like in the Malden Public Schools budget for the next fiscal …

Brockton school committee will start talking 2018 budget » Wicked Local The district school committee is bracing for another tough budget season.…

Lynn marina nets $1M from state » Lynn Daily News Item The city has been reimbursed $1.3 million in federal money for repairs to the Seaport Landing Marina. The cash, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Federal Disaster Aid Program, enab…

As these buildings crumble, Fall River officials turn to AG's office for demolition funds » The Herald News Three abandoned and derelict properties in the city have been identified for demolition and the administration is hoping to use grant money provided by the Massachusetts Attorney General's office mean…

Brockton mayor calls outside review of hiring after $4 million discrimination judgment against city » The Enterprise Following an unprecedented $4 million judgment against the city for employment discrimination and retaliation, the mayor of Brockton announced on Tuesday that he is ordering an outside review of hirin…

Lowell Manager to investigate sanctuary bid » Lowell Sun City councilors gave a cool reception Tuesday to a citizen's petition asking that they adopt a trust ordinance, a formal policy instructing the Lowell Police Department not to detain individuals based…

'Enough is enough': Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno critical of new 'influx' of refugees to city » The Republican Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, after learning that several refugee families are expected to arrive in the Springfield area this week, has renewed criticism of local resettlement agencies, saying "enough is e…

Prohibitions, moratorium on retail marijuana to be decided at Town Election » Wicked Local Norwood

Opinion

Unlike Obama, Trump isn't obsessed with where Israel's Jews live » Boston Globe THE WORLD'S restless fixation with where Jews live has flared up again.…

IRS should not enforce silence from the pulpit » Boston Globe PRESIDENT TRUMP recently promised, with typical bombast, to “totally destroy” a law known as the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches and other tax-exempt groups from endorsing poli…

Trump's so-called presidency » Boston Globe A “SO-called” judge? A “very, very dishonest” press failing to report on terrorist attacks for insidious reasons of their own, while spreading fake news and polls to fool the p…

Gov. Baker's choice » Worcester Telegram & Gazette Governor Baker has a decision to make. Is he going to stand behind the majority of citizens of the Commonwealth who voted him into office? …

Politics

No one is taking Healey seriously » Commonwealth Magazine Attorney General Maura Healey says she wants to keep her job and plans to run for reelection in 2018, eschewing a showdown with Gov. Charlie Baker. A lot of people are having a hard time taking her se…

Gov. Charlie Baker: 'I find it hard to believe' Coretta Scott King letter was out of order » The Republican

Charlie Baker sides with Elizabeth Warren » Boston Globe

Public Health

Plymouth opiate forum emphasizes education, recovery » Wicked Local Plymouth You can't ignore the grim statistics or avoid the bad news, but at Saturday's opiate forum at the Plymouth Library the focus was on two areas where concrete progress is being made in the Plymouth area…

Public Safety

Fire department receives state grant » Worcester Telegram & Gazette

State Government

Senate agrees to more transparency for informal sessions » Wicked Local As part of the Senate rules package (S 8) adopted Thursday, the Senate required that agendas for informal sessions be made available to the public one day ahead of the start of the session except when…

Beverly receives seaport grant » Wicked Local Beverly The Baker-Polito administration's Seaport Economic Council recently announced a total of $5 million in awards for 13 coastal communities, including Beverly. …

Legislative income inequality » Commonwealth Magazine NOW THAT PAY RAISES for lawmakers have been finalized, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will soon dole out the lucrative leadership and committee assignments that coul…

Governor blames rain, quick temperature drop for difficult Wednesday commute » The Republican

Transportation

Worcester seeks regional summit on rail service » Worcester Telegram & Gazette The City Council wants the city to convene a regional transportation summit to look at how MBTA commuter rail service to Boston and Amtrak service to New York City can be expanded.…

Social Media Spotlight

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Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Northern Berkshire District Court among three cleared to fill vacant judgeships » Berkshire Eagle

Senate agrees to more transparency for informal sessions » Wicked Local Sharon

Word for pay raises is 'reprehensible' (Viewpoint) » The Republican

Mirra, Tarr vote against pay raises » Wicked Local Georgetown

Power industry warns of greenhouse gas plan side effect » Worcester Business Journal

State grant focused on keeping cranberries cool » Wareham Week

Charlie Baker Appears to Get Booed at Patriots Parade » Boston Magazine

Gov. Baker Touts Successful Open Enrollment At Health Connector » WAMC

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals employee arrested, charged with insider trading » Boston Business Journal

Bill seeks to force KP, Foxboro, Seekonk high schools to drop Native American nicknames » The Sun Chronicle

**** Here’s a great way for you to get your message in front of a large and sophisticated audience of government relations professionals. It’s an especially nice way to communicate with them if you don’t have the time or capacity to create banner ads, or advocacy-oriented web pages. For more information, please contact us at massinsider@instatrac.com. ****
Recipe of the Week

Ingredients

1 pound bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (51 percent to 64 percent cocoa butter) chopped into ¼- to ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon canola oil

¾ cup roasted, unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped

⅓ cup dried cranberries

⅓ cup crystallized ginger, chopped

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

 

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.

3. In a bowl that will sit on the saucepan without touching the water, place 12 ounces of the chocolate (reserve the remainder for later) and the canola oil. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until almost all is melted but some pieces remain whole and visible. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry.

4. Stir the remaining chocolate into the melted mixture until it is all completely melted.

5. Stir half the almonds, all but 2 tablespoons of the cranberries, and all but 2 tablespoons of the ginger into the chocolate until well combined.

6. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the parchment and use an offset or metal spatula to spread it into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle.

7. Sprinkle the remaining almonds, cranberries, ginger, and salt evenly on top. Refrigerate, uncovered, for several hours or until set.

8. Cut or break the bark into pieces. 
 



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