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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Registry of Motor Vehicles Public Hearing, MassDOT Boardroom, Second Floor, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

Birthdays: Senator Julian Cyr

Must-Reads

Trump appointee Carl Higbie resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio » CNN Speaking on 'Sound of Freedom' in December 2013, Higbie, while recounting a time he placed an advertisement to give away free firewood, said "the black race" had "lax" morals. He added that black wome…

Trump Lawyer Used Private Company, Pseudonyms to Pay Porn Star 'Stormy Daniels' » The Wall Street Journal President Donald Trump's lawyer used a private Delaware company to pay a former adult-film star $130,000 in return for her agreeing to not publicly discuss an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, …

A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women Are Running for Office » TIME Erin Zwiener returned to Texas to settle down. At 32, she had published a children's book, won Jeopardy! three times and ridden roughly 1,400 miles from the Mexico border up the Continental Divide on …

Tax Overhaul Is a Blow to Affordable Housing Efforts » New York Times By lowering rates, the law reduces the value of tax credits that have been crucial to rental projects nationwide, with the effect being felt already.…

Mass. high court rules judges must consider victim's viewpoint in sentencing » Boston Globe Crime victims have the right to influence the punishment of those convicted of harming them, the state's highest court ruled Thursday, ordering judges to consider victims' statements during sentencing…

Former MassLive president Allison Werder will challenge State Rep. Brian Ashe » The Republican Allison Werder, the former president of MassLive.com, announced Thursday that she will run for state representative.…

Lack Of Confidentiality Scares Off Witnesses In Rosenberg Investigation » WGBH News The outside investigators probing charges that Sen. Stan Rosenberg's husband improperly influenced government business are not allowed to independently subpoena witnesses. Investigators must reveal t…

'Trump's Racism Is a Rallying Cry for Us': Miami Haitians See Opportunity in an Insult » New York Times When Jacques Despinosse lost a primary for the Florida House of Representatives in the 1990s, he chalked up his drubbing to the skepticism many voters had for candidates from what was then a relativel…

"There's no question that it would create a chilling effect with respect to at least some witnesses if the investigation is set up in such a way that members of the Legislature will know who is saying what or who is even in line as potential witnesses,"

Harvey Silverglate - civil liberties attorney

Speaking about the witnesses in the Stan Rosenberg investigation fearing retaliation.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Trump upends GOP strategy to avoid shutdown with call to settle childhood insurance impasse » Boston Globe The House approved on Thursday night a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open past Friday, but Senate Democrats — angered by President Donald Trump's vulgar aspersions and a lack of …

Rep. Capuano On Shutdown: 'DACA Is Critically Important, But It's Not The Only Issue' » WGBH News In the midst of a looming government shutdown, GOP lawmakers are scrambling to find the votes to pass a short-term spending bill before a deadline of Friday at midnight. …

Business

Baker encouraged, but says he'll wait to hear from Amazon » The Daily News of Newburyport Amazon's inclusion of the Boston area in its list of 20 contenders for the site of its second headquarters makes a "terrific statement" about the quality of life in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker s…

Here's the email Amazon sent to Boston about the short list for its second headquarters » Mass Live Short but sweet: An Amazon executive on Thursday morning notified city and state officials in Massachusetts that the Boston area is moving on the next round through a quick email.…

Rosenberg: Short-term rental regs 'not rocket science' » Berkshire Eagle Airbnb runs ads asking state government to tax their short-term rentals, the hotel industry wants an even regulatory playing field with competitors, and yet for three years Beacon Hill has been unable…

Hopes dashed for Amazon headquarters in Weymouth » The Patriot Ledger Amazon will not be bringing its headquarters, and some 50,000 high-paying jobs, to South Weymouth after all.…

People 'jumping to conclusions' about General Electric, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says » Mass Live People should calm down about General Electric possibly breaking up, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Thursday after speaking with an unnamed executive with the conglomerate.…

Historic Jacob Wirth Co. restaurant up for sale » Boston Globe Jacob Wirth Co., the historic beer hall founded by a German immigrant in 1868, is up for sale, a victim, its owner says, of Boston's changing restaurant scene and some bad luck.…

'Too early' to talk incentives for Amazon in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker says » Mass Live Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker echoed Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday, saying it's "too early" to talk incentives for Amazon as the Seattle-based online giant searches for someplace to locate i…

Officials bond around Boston area's pitch to host Amazon headquarters » Wicked Local Rockland With the Boston area one step closer to landing Amazon's massive second headquarters, the mayor and top state leaders celebrated Thursday and indicated they plan to involve themselves in the next step…

'Cryptocurrency scheme': Unregulated digital token sales lead to charges » Boston Herald The Bay State's top securities regulator has charged a Brookline man with selling millions of dollars in “Caviar tokens” through unregistered securities through a “cryptocurrency sch…

Boston, Somerville prime for Amazon final push » Boston Herald Amazon's coveted HQ2 could be coming to Boston or Somerville and the region's power brokers are set to unleash a full-scale sales pitch to help land the $5 billion, 50,000-job prize.…

Boston, Somerville consider regional effort to land Amazon's HQ2 » Boston Business Journal Boston's bid to land Amazon's second headquarters mentions Somerville by name just three times. Somerville's bid, however, name-checks Boston 118 times in 81 pages.…

The Boston Area Is Among 20 Finalists For Amazon's Second Headquarters » WBUR Amazon on Thursday announced it's culled 238 proposals to host its massive second headquarters down to 20 candidates.…

Amazon sites: Boston in, Berkshires out » Berkshire Eagle Considering whom they were up against, both Pittsfield and Lee were long shots at best to make the next round of sites that Amazon is considering as a location for its second headquarters.…

Rotary is turning a new leaf in Lynn » Lynn Daily News Item The Rotary Club of Lynn launched its Satellite Club more than two years ago, and some say the results have been impressive.…

Massachusetts Securities Division Takes Enforcement Action Against Caviar ICO, based in Cayman » Crowdfund Insider The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Securities Division has filed an administrative complaint against Kirill Bensonoff and Caviar, a Cayman Island company. Bensonoff is said to own a home …

Elected officials bond around Boston area's pitch to host Amazon » Boston Business Journal With the Boston area one step closer to landing Amazon's massive second headquarters, the mayor and top state leaders celebrated Thursday and indicated they plan to involve themselves in the next step…

Ex-N.J. Gov. Chris Christie visits DraftKings in Boston » Boston Herald Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose last day in office was Tuesday, today traveled to Boston and paid a visit to local daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings.…

Sunny days ahead for state's economy, but have an umbrella handy » Boston Business Journal If the state's economic outlook for 2018 were a weather forecast, it'd be warm and sunny, with a slight chance of rain — in other words, nothing like the misery you've endured on your commute i…

Putnam CEO sees transit, housing as business group's top priorities » Boston Business Journal This month, Putnam Investments CEO Bob Reynolds takes over as chairman of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, a group of 15 powerful executives who work both in public and behind the scenes to …

Civil Rights

Massachusetts Senate Picking At Bones of Anti-Abortion Statutes » New Boston Post The Massachusetts Senate plans to take up a bill next week that aims to wipe old and mostly forgotten abortion and contraception statutes from the lawbooks.…

Mass. Senate to repeal dated abortion laws » The Recorder The Massachusetts Senate plans to take up a bill next week that aims to wipe old and mostly forgotten abortion and contraception statutes from the lawbooks. …

Crimes

Feds seek to disqualify Joyce's lawyer » Boston Herald 'False representations' at direction of ex-senator alleged …

Education

Baker, Lovely to speak at Keenan inauguration » Gloucester Times A host of local and state officials, including Salem State University alumni, will speak Friday at the inauguration of John Keenan as the university's 14th president.…

Education bills flow as committees face reporting deadline » The Herald News About two dozen bills -- including legislation dealing with child care subsidies for homeless families, local control of school resource officers and financial literacy -- won the endorsement of the E…

Gov. Charlie Baker proposes $15 million in aid for Massachusetts school districts that accept Puerto Rican students » The Republican

Baker seeks $15M for schools educating hurricane victims » The Associated Press (AP)

Environment

Dam removal, seawall funding awarded for Plymouth, Kingston, Marshfield » Wicked Local Plymouth

Health Care

CTE can begin soon after head injury, even in teens, BU study finds » Boston Globe The degenerative brain disease known as CTE starts faster and earlier than previously recognized, as jolts to the head trigger abnormalities even in teenagers, according to new research led by Boston …

Housing

Rosenberg: Short-term rental regulation 'not rocket science' » Gloucester Times Airbnb runs ads asking state government to tax their short-term rentals, the hotel industry wants their competitors subject to similar regulations, and yet for three years Beacon Hill has been unable …

Human Services

Service with no benefits » Gloucester Times Mary Maione served as a wartime nurse during World War II, taking care of wounded soldiers sent stateside from the front lines in Europe.…

Immigration

One of the original Dreamers fights for DACA » Boston Globe Tereza Lee, overcome by emotion, held back tears as she recounted a childhood traumatized by the constant fear of deportation. She had been brought to the United States in 1985 by her parents, who wer…

'Living in fear every day': ICE raids possibly on horizon in Massachusetts » Boston Herald Amid nationwide fears of large-scale immigration raids — seen as imminent in California — Bay State pro-migrant groups are gearing up to respond to any ICE sweeps in the commonwealth.…

It's Not Just Washington. At Least 3 Other States Share Drivers' Immigration Info With ICE. » Governing After learning about this information exchange last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a vocal critic of Trump's immigration policies, quickly restricted it. …

Salvadoran Immigrants and allies rally to fight TPS decision » Bay State Banner

Insurance

In cost cutting move, state workers to have fewer health care choices » Sentinel & Enterprise State employees will have fewer choices come July when the number of plans allowed to offer health insurance coverage through the Group Insurance Commission will be cut in half, a move designed to sav…

Major Mass. Insurers Dropped From State Employee Health System » WBUR A decision about health coverage for state employees and retirees is shaking the Massachusetts health insurance industry. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Health Plan and Fallon Health, which are th…

Gov. Charlie Baker defends public health insurance change » The Republican

Liberty Mutual sells life insurance unit for $3.3 billion as part of overhaul » Boston Business Journal

Judiciary

Cambridge parents react to potential change in state teen sex laws » Wicked Local To legally have sex in Massachusetts today, two parties must be at least 16 years old. …

Labor

Northampton City Council throws support behind movement to raise state minimum wage to $15 per hour » Mass Live The Northampton City Council voted Thursday night to pass a resolution that supports incrementally raising the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next three years, as well as indexing that …

Protesters demand proper severance from Kindred Living in Needham Heights » Wicked Local Needham When Esther Odiah heard that her longtime employer, Kindred Living in Needham Heights, would be closing its facility in March she was heartbroken and worried about what her future held in store.…

Jury awards former MWRA worker $1.2 million for wrongful termination » Boston Globe A Suffolk Superior Court jury Thursday awarded a former Massachusetts Water Resources Authority worker $1.2 million, finding the authority wrongly fired him for taking medical leave, court documents s…

MBTA reaches 'tentative' agreement with bus mechanics union » Boston Herald

MBTA reaches tentative agreement with machinists union IAM Local 264 » The Republican

Legislative

AG has spoken with alleged victims in Senate sexual harassment case » WCVB Alleged victims in the state Senate sexual harassment probe have come forward to speak with authorities, state Attorney General Maura Healey said on Thursday's taping of the WCVB show On The Record.…

Tarr named vice chairman of net neutrality panel » The Salem News The Massachusetts Senate created a special committee on Thursday to develop legislation in response to the Federal Communication Commission's decision to repeal net neutrality rules.…

9 state senators to review sexual harassment policies » The Republican Nine senators were named Thursday to a committee that will review the state Senate's sexual harassment policies and procedures, a task they have about four months to complete. The Senate adopted an or…

Local Government

Meet the candidates: Ty Waterman running for 2nd Bristol House District » The Sun Chronicle I'm not a career politician. I am a social worker and a public servant. My goal is to help you, the citizens of Attleboro, with your problems. Call me, I will respond.…

Merrimac board seeks NRC hearing on Seabrook plan » The Daily News of Newburyport The town joined half a dozen other communities calling for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a hearing on whether the Seabrook nuclear power plant's evacuation plan "can be effectively impleme…

Rockland receives nearly $8K for cultural programs » Wicked Local Rockland The 2018 grant recipients include several children's programs at the Rockland Memorial Library during school vacations, a two day art exhibition for about 80 artists at the Wright Building in Rockland…

Attleboro sewer project expands, likely to cause continued traffic tie-ups » The Sun Chronicle ATTLEBORO — The hole on South Main Street is getting bigger and so is the hole in the wastewater department's surplus account.…

Fiscal woes prompt Hatfield special meeting » Gazette Net Continued problems with Hatfield's financial practices, including a large deficit in the fiscal 2017 books, are causing a delay in issuing quarterly tax bills until a special Town Meeting is held next…

City-funded report on Brockton discrimination case finds no retaliation » The Enterprise A report was commissioned by the city of Brockton to look into a claim of retaliation as part of the Russell Lopes employment discrimination case. Lopes was awarded $4 million by a jury at Brockton Su…

City official in charge of race dialogue leaves post » Boston Globe The city official charged with leading Boston's much-hyped race dialogues has left her job, officials in Mayor Martin J. Walsh's administration said Thursday.…

Opinion

Our Opinion: Assessing Lelling's words on state pot industry » Berkshire Eagle Massachusetts' newly-appointed U.S. Attorney, Andrew Lelling, touched off a firestorm earlier this month when he uttered some words that weren't exactly what the state's leaders and its rapidly expand…

Trump supporters need to confront his racism » Boston Globe What to do when it becomes apparent that the president one voted for harbors racist sentiments?…

Here are three things Boston needs to do now to land Amazon » Boston Globe Frankly, I would have been stunned if Boston had not made it to the next round of bidding for Amazon's second headquarters. The real work begins now. We've got 19 competitors, metro areas from Los Ang…

Letter: Ruling opens door to 'nefarious behavior' by insurance carriers » Mass Lawyers Weekly To the editor: Your page 1 story in the Jan. 1 issue, “Claims adjuster not liable for suit's settlement offers,” misses the significance of Calandro v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services.…

Editorial: When sun shines, plan for rainy days » Boston Business Journal The Massachusetts economy is on a good run. The state's real gross domestic product grew by 5.9 percent in 2017's third quarter, nearly double the national rate. The unemployment rate is as low as it'…

Battenfeld: Congress shouldn't get paid till there's a budget » Boston Herald If Congress can't avert a government shutdown, make them pay. The first thing to go if lawmakers refuse to cut a budget deal should be their salaries.…

Baker steps up help for local schools (Editorial) » The Republican

Politics

A Year After The Women's March, What's Changed? » WBUR This weekend, there will be at least 25 events happening across the state to mark one year since the Women's March.…

How JFK played a big role in the inauguration of New Jersey's new governor » Boston.com When newly sworn-in New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took the oath of office this week, eagle-eyed regulars of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston may have recognized something fa…

Geoff Diehl campaign says it has $1 million in donations » Boston Herald Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl raised approximately $300,000 last quarter in his bid for the GOP nomination in the U.S. Senate race and his campaign claimed he is the first candidate in the primary…

This Senate candidate could not remember the name of his congresswoman » Boston Globe Republican US Senate candidate John Kingston, who is pouring millions of his own dollars into his campaign, got popped a question this week that should be even easier than asking about the price of a …

Activists Prepare for Second Women's March in Cambridge and Boston » Boston Magazine

Public Health

News Brief: Pignatelli urges real legislative action on opioid epidemic » the Berkshire edge Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, testified Tuesday before the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery to voice his opinions on Gov. Charlie Baker's newly fil…

Public Safety

Local fire departments get SAFE grants » Telegram News The Lancaster, Sterling and West Boylston fire departments received FY2018 grants for the Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) and Senior SAFE programs. The fire departments were each rewarded $…

Haverhill Receives $205,000 Police Staffing Grant » WHAV

State Finance

Accord points to unrestricted local aid boost of at least 3.5 percent » Sentinel & Enterprise If Gov. Charlie Baker sticks with his pledge to boost unrestricted local aid by the same rate of growth in state tax collections, then he will announce a planned increase in unrestricted aid of at lea…

In budget tease, Baker details local aid increases » The Salem News

State Government

State auditor approves unfunded mandated early voting costs » Leominster Champion In a Jan. 8 letter to members of the Massachusetts Legislature, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump certified that municipalities spent $1,063,978.14 in unfunded, mandated costs to provide early voting in t…

State Bill Would Create Commission To Investigate Harassment » WBUR Today, state senator Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat, filed legislation that would establish a permanent, independent, nine-member commission to field reports of sexual harassment and assault at the…

With shutdown looming, Baker anticipates minimal Mass. disruption » Boston Globe

A short federal government shutdown won't cause big disruption, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says » The Republican

Transportation

Keolis Crews Work To Keep Trains Running In Snow And Cold » CBS Boston After another batch of snow and cold temps, Keolis has crews working around the clock to keep the Commuter Rail on track, using switch heaters to keep snow from accumulating and to prevent the tracks …

As Green Line Extension moves forward, locals hope for expansion into Medford » The Tufts Daily The Green Line Extension (GLX), a long-awaited plan to provide light rail service to previously unserved areas of Medford and Somerville, is on track for completion by December 2021, according to the …

Winter woes put spotlight on Mattapan trolleys' fate » Dorchester Reporter The fate of the Mattapan High-Speed Trolley, a locally beloved offshoot of the Red Line serviced by 1940s-era cars, is the subject of renewed discussion after a collision last month took two trolleys …

Steamship boots national news networks from ferry TVs » Cape Cod Times Trips to and from the islands have just become no-politics zones, at least when watching TV on board Steamship Authority ferries.…

When a 'minor' delay on the T isn't so minor » Boston Globe

Utilities

Fuel banks seek $25M in state assistance » Cape Cod Times Fuel bank officials are asking for state assistance as plunging temperatures and rising oil prices burn through individual federal subsidies faster than usual.…

Social Media Spotlight

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umassuil



Mike Deehan

@deehan

Karen Spilka

@KarenSpilka

Eric Lesser

@EricLesser


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Homeless in Lawrence » Commonwealth Magazine

Worcester still in it as PawSox bill advances to RI House » Worcester Mag

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno endorses Gov. Charlie Baker's 'tough love' opioid legislation » The Republican

Top honors for troopers who launched daring Merrimack River rescue » Lowell Sun

Risk of federal prosecution weighing on Mass. pot industry » Berkshire Eagle

3rd District candidates' financials are trickling in » Eagle Tribune

State Sen. Eric Lesser receives award for work against opioids » MassLive

Cape and Islands Women's March Set For Saturday » Cape Cod Online

Rep. Dooley to host State of the District event » Wicked Local Plainville

Actually, Amazon meant Boston and two other Massachusetts cities advance in second headquarters sweepstakes » The Republican

Nominee for District Court appears to have votes for confirmation » Mass Lawyers Weekly

It's not just Boston: Somerville bid also included on Amazon's HQ2 short list » Boston Business Journal

Amazon: Somerville included with Boston as HQ2 finalist » Boston Herald

MGM Springfield seeks to aid Puerto Rico evacuees with job opportunities » The Republican

New state Senate leader for Transportation Committee » South Coast Today

Benton: A North Shore Senate race emerges » The Salem News

Fair treatment for regional schools » The Daily News of Newburyport

Walsh seeks to improve city's homeless shelter system » The Daily Free Press

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB 3938 - An Act relative to the civil service eligibility list for police officers in the city of Quincy

HB 1433 - An Act relative to the position of director of public works in the town of West Boylston

Most read bills of the week:

HB3952 - An Act to further define standards of employee safety

SB2244 - An Act providing for capital facility repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth

HB335 - An Act relative to early-onset Alzheimer's Disease

HB4033 - An Act relative to combatting addiction, accessing treatment, reducing prescriptions, and enhancing prevention

HB2246 - An Act authorizing municipalities to protect low and moderate income tenants and units of governmentally involved housing

HB4045 - An Act providing for capital facility repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth

HB3766 - An Act prohibiting the collection of personal information from a consumer

HB835 - An Act requiring child-resistant packaging of liquid nicotine containers

SB2202 - An Act furthering health empowerment and affordability by leveraging transformative health care

SB2211 - An Act furthering health empowerment and affordability by leveraging transformative health care.

House Actions This Week: 216

Senate Actions This Week: 129

Press Releases

Partners HealthCare Launches New Center of Excellence » Partners Healthcare

How Can a 'Biological Opinion' Help North Atlantic Right Whales? » Conservation Law Foundation

Cleantech Open Northeast Accelerator Program Awards 2018’s Top Cleantech and Energy Startups » Northeast Clean Energy Council

U.S. SETS NEW RECORD FOR OIL PRODUCTION IN SEPTEMBER MEETING VIRTUALLY ALL GLOBAL DEMAND GROWTH » Mass. Petroleum Council

MassDOT Commits Funds to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » MassDOT

How Small Businesses Can Sell Products on Amazon » National Federation of Independent Business

More than Two Dozen NFIB Members Are Running for Office Across the Country » National Federation of Independent Business

Lt. Governor Polito Hosts Roundtable on Dangerousness » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Baker-Polito Administration Further Expands Access to Opioid Reversal Medication » Office of Governor Charlie Baker

Warren, Markey Query Columbia Gas On Uninhabitable Homes Following Merrimack Valley Disaster » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Commends MassDOT Commitment to Help Amtrak Improve Longmeadow Railroad Crossing » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Urges FDA to Deny Approval of Powerful Opioid Dsuvia, Cites Warning of Committee Chair » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senators Press for Full Disclosure of Trump Family Business Ties to Saudi Arabia » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced Suspending Military Aid & Sales to Saudi Government following Khashoggi Disappearance » Congressman Jim McGovern

McGovern Statement on Apparent Murder of Jamal Khashoggi » Congressman Jim McGovern

Educators' Voices Are Influential on Ballot Questions » Massachusetts Teachers Association

CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COST LOCAL BREWERIES, WINERIES » Climate Action Business Association


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