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Today on Beacon Hill

8:30am Boston Fundraiser for State Sen. Candidate Chelsea Kline

10:30am Joint Committee on Public Service, Public Hearing

10:30am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

11:00am House Session, Full Formal Session

6:30pm 1st Hampshire State Representative Candidate Forum, JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road, Florence

7:00pm Meet & Greet with Middlesex District Attorney Candidate Donna Patalano

Must-Reads

ACCORD APPLIES NEW TAX STRUCTURE ON SHORT-TERM RENTALS » State House News Service Short-term housing units rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a cen…

State Senator Barbara L’Italien secures $16m in funds for Lowell — for a city she doesn’t represent » Boston Globe In a few short months, state Senator Barbara L’Italien has shepherded some $16?million into various bills for the city of Lowell, funneling state cash toward parks and more than $1?million for …

Trump is said to have wanted Ivanka to marry Tom Brady » Boston Globe It looks like President Trump really is a big fan of Tom Brady. …

Lawmakers nix proposal to ban single-use plastic bags » Boston.com Massachusetts lawmakers have decided against a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags by retail stores. …

Liberal secret-money network hammers House GOP » Politico Nonprofits connected by a Washington-based hub have spent millions of dollars on TV ads on health care and taxes in key House districts. …

Bills capping Uber and Lyft would punish communities of color too » Crain's New York Business (T)oday, Uber is out with a new line of attack. New York Urban League President Arva Rice and Rev. Al Sharpton are quoted in a New York Times piece today defending Uber and railing against a cap, call…

Despite persistent bias, Trial Court chief says she is committed to change » Boston Globe Judges of color fared substantially worse than white judges in the eyes of these attorneys — most of whom are white. Female judges did worse than white men, as well, though not as badly as peop…

“We are very disappointed the Legislature did not take action to ban single use plastic bags this session. Over eighty cities and towns have voted to ban these bags in their own communities, representing over a third of Massachusetts residents,” ... “Plastic bags are rarely recycled and often end up as litter in our parks, roadways and waterways, where they harm or kill wildlife and marine animals.”

Emily Norton, Massachusetts chapter director of the Sierra Club

On the statewide ban on single-use plastic bags not being included in the conference committee report

News By Category
Beltway Politics

In New Hampshire, Moulton calls for ‘new generation of political leadership’ » Boston Globe What the political future holds for US Representative Seth Moulton himself remains a topic of speculation. But on Saturday Moulton found himself at a small hillside gathering of New Hampshire Democrat…

Warren Highlights Puerto Rico’s Plight & One of Its Local Champions » Western Mass Politics and Insight Puerto Rico has no voting representation in Congress. That has invariably hobbled its ability to obtain necessary relief after Hurricanes Maria and Irma. But some in Washington are paying attention an…

Elizabeth Warren, GOP brace for Brett Kavanaugh fight » Boston Herald The showdown over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was front and center at yesterday’s town hall meeting in Boston with the state’s senior senator, just as her GOP counterparts…

Business

A lobster trap captures the complexities of a global trade war » Boston Globe Every month, Jim Knott Jr. orders at least a thousand tons of steel rods for his wire factory here in the Blackstone Valley.…

Deal struck to impose hotel tax on Airbnb units » Boston Globe Legislative leaders reached an agreement Sunday that would extend the state’s hotel tax to Airbnb units and other short-term rentals, a change that could raise at least $25 million a year for t…

Commercial Wharf Ch. 91 Exemption Would Grandfather Mixed Use & Parking Rights » North End Waterfront The battle at Commercial Wharf for access, use and parking rights continues on the North End waterfront. Negotiations and lawsuits have been ongoing for several years between the Commercial Wharf East…

Galvin: Make benefit districts subject to public records law » Worcester Business Journal Before lawmakers legalize community benefit districts that would have the power to demand fees from property owners to pay for local improvements, they should ensure those entities are subject to the …

Ash: Public-private partnership key to Apex Center expansion » The Metro West Daily News If you’ve driven along Rte. 20 lately, you’ve likely seen the transformation of Apex Center of New England in Marlborough and its surrounding roadways. To support the city’s goals…

17 percent tax on Airbnb stays? Massachusetts lawmakers consider rules for short-term rentals » The Republican

Senator cited "fundamental agreement" on non-compete reform » State House News Service

Civil Rights

Baker OKs Wiping out an Anti-Abortion Law and Other Outdated Garbage Still on the Books » Boston Magazine Goodbye, Massachusetts’ 173-year-old law against abortion which is somehow still on the books. Adios, the states’ still-technically-in-effect ban on contraception for unmarried couples.…

Massachusetts Gov Charlie Baker: “It’s a Great Day” for Abortion, Signs Bill Keeping Abortions Legal Post-Roe » LifeNews.com Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a pro-abortion bill Friday to keep the killing of unborn babies legal in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.…

Domestic Relations

Domestic violence victims struggle in family courts to retain custody of children » The Republican At a court hearing for a restraining order, Jaime's ex-husband admitted he pushed her down the stairs in front of her child, pulled her hair, slapped her face and held her against a wall, she wrote in…

Education

Grades Are In: Evaluating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos » WBUR What’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos been up to lately? The correct answer is: plenty. We’ll look at the report card.…

How do you get into Harvard? For the lucky few, there’s the Z list. » Boston Globe Getting into Harvard requires top grades, impressive extracurricular pursuits, and a dynamic personality.…

Mashpee Tribe's Summer Camp Teaches Kids A Mix Of Old Traditions And New Science » WBUR This week, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is wrapping up a science camp for its middle schoolers. The kids have been diving into subjects like water quality, climate change and sea turtle biology. But of…

Environment

What’s the value of a clean beach? Here’s how to run the numbers » Boston Globe MILLIONS OF AMERICANS head outdoors in the summer, whether for a day at a nearby lake or a monthlong road trip.…

Plastic bag ban dropped from Environmental Bond Bill » The Republican A House and Senate conference committee Thursday night released a $2.4 billion environmental bond bill that prioritizes spending for a smorgasbord of programs and capital investments across the state.…

Bag ban dropped from $2.4B environmental bond bill » Newburyport News House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday on a $2.4 billion package of long-term environmental investments, authorizing state borrowing to repair coastal infrastructure, fix up parkways and trails,…

State tosses bag ban from $2.4M bill » Worcester Telegram House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday on a $2.4 billion package of long-term environmental investments, authorizing state borrowing to repair coastal infrastructure, fix up parkways and trails,…

Federal

Flying the quiet skies » Boston Globe Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a n…

Sen. Markey talks healthcare, Supreme Court nominee at town hall » Patriot Ledger U.S. Sen. Ed Markey sees healthcare as one of the top issues for Massachusetts residents, especially since the Affordable Care Act hangs in the balance with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Cou…

Gaming

Budget Rider Makes Fantasy Sports Permanently Legal » Cape Cod Online Massachusetts residents who play daily fantasy sports can rest easy. The online contests are now permanently legal in the state.…

Health Care

Bill to support Alzheimer's disease research and help for families waits for Gov. Charlie Baker's signature » The Republican

Housing

Push for community benefit districts called a tool by some, a tax by others » Lowell Sun Proponents describe it as a tool for economic development. Opponents call it a work-around to levy more taxes.…

Department of Housing and Economic Development Announces Millions in Local Aid » Cape Cod Online The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Economic Development has announced $32 Million in Local Aid to 59 Communities across the commonwealth.…

Taxes on short-term rentals could hit 17.5% » Commonwealth Magazine New taxes expected to take effect in January 2019 …

Human Services

Critics call Gov. Charlie Baker's welfare family cap move 'devious,' 'disturbing' » The Republican Devious. Disturbing. Underhanded. Sneaky. These are among the adjectives that advocates for welfare recipients are using to describe Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to reject a change that would expand …

Veteran benefits bill that would replaces state's controversial Valor Act awaits Gov. Charlie Baker's signature » The Republican

Judiciary

Local hearings to be held for new judicial nominees » Gazette Net Public hearings in Springfield for a new associate justice for the Northampton District Court and a new associate justice for the Massachusetts Superior Court, both nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker, ar…

Frustrated citizens try to rekindle Feeley bill of address » State House News Service

Labor

How Governments Are Closing the Gender Pay Gap » Governing From banning certain hiring questions to opening up pay discussions between coworkers, states and municipalities are addressing years of inequality. …

Editorial: Unions must stand on their own » Boston Herald What are Massachusetts public labor unions afraid of? …

Local Government

In Waltham, it’s priests vs. city officials in a bitter battle over 46 acres of prime real estate » Boston Globe Could eminent domain spell the end of the earthly domain of a tiny order of Catholic priests in Waltham?…

House OKs $3.5M for road construction at Ludlow Mills » The Republican The state House of Representatives has approved $3.5 million for ongoing redevelopment efforts at the 170-acre Ludlow Mills property, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati, D-Ludlow, said this week.…

Lancaster receives Green Communities grant » Worcester Telegram The state awarded almost $15 million in Green Communities competitive grants last week to 80 municipalities across the state to fund clean energy projects, including Lancaster. The town received $235,…

Lawsuit: Black man called N-word by Brockton parking officer, faced 'malicious' prosecution » The Enterprise

Marijuana

Town testing pot shop/school zone limits » Berkshire Eagle The town's proposed 100-foot buffer around retail marijuana shops should pass muster with the state, the town's attorney said, even though it is significantly smaller than is typical.…

Massachusetts marijuana regulator Shaleen Title on the industry’s slow rollout and what comes next » Boston.com Shaleen Title says marijuana is her “lifework.” Even on the Cannabis Control Commission, the months-old agency set up to implement and govern the state’s adult-use marijuana industr…

Newton group pushes to ban pot shops » Boston Globe Newton voters could face two ballot questions in November asking whether to limit or ban recreational marijuana businesses within city borders.…

Opinion

Editorial: Vote for Chelsea Kline for State Senate on Sept. 4 » Valley Advocate So often with candidates running for public office, one must rest the decision to vote for them primarily on their words. …

Relax — the bikes and scooters don’t bite » Boston Globe F A BIKE-SHARING war breaks out in your city, you’re lucky. If a few dockless bicycles end up underwater, it’s a small price to pay for faster commutes and a smaller carbon footprint. An…

Despite persistent bias, Trial Court chief says she is committed to change » Boston Globe The festering racial animus that had been an open secret in the Massachusetts Trial Court burst into public view four years ago.…

Jack Spillane: Maybe a sleepy election season is just the ticket » South Coast Today It’s campaign season for the state primary election. But you’d never know it. Once again, there are hardly any competitive races on SouthCoast.…

In Trump’s America, Trayvon Martin’s story goes on » Boston Globe It’s been more than six years since the unarmed Florida teenager was racially profiled, stalked, and shot to death. Five years ago this month, Martin’s confessed killer was acquitted of …

Faneuil Hall’s slave legacy » Boston Globe AMID CALLS to boycott Faneuil Hall because its namesake owned slaves, a local artist has a promising idea that could help crack the code for dealing with slavery’s legacy in modern Boston.…

Editorial: In 2018, what does citizenship and the right to vote mean? » Worcester Telegram Advocates pushing for, and succeeding in, giving the right to vote to noncitizens are playing with fire. It’s a fire that’s sure to ultimately further inflame the divisions that are sepa…

Two sides of the debate over abortion and federal funds » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker is clearly misguided in opposing President Trump’s proposed changes in Title X funding to enforce the federal ban on tax dollars for abortion (“Baker hits US aborti…

Editorial: Kudos to local legislators who’ve advocated for rural school aid » The Greenfield Recorder We have to admit that sometimes solutions proposed by local leaders to our western Massachusetts problems seem a little pie-in-the-sky.…

Time for a spring primary in Massachusetts » Boston Globe Elsewhere around the nation, the general election campaign is in early to mid-bloom. In Illinois, primary voters cast ballots on March 20. …

Can the Supreme Court be saved? » Boston Globe PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION of Brett Kavanaugh is the culmination of an unprecedented campaign by activists to build a reliably conservative majority on the nation’s highest tribunal.…

A mother fights the opioid war after her son’s overdose death » Boston Globe JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT on July 10, Judy Rosa woke and saw the light and heard the TV still on in the finished basement of her Seabrook Beach, N.H., home. She called to her son, Philip, to turn them off. …

Baker is popular because he understands compromise » Boston Globe Re “Is Baker Republican enough for Republicans?” (Page A1, July 22): In my six-decade lifetime, the best governors of Massachusetts have been Republicans: John Volpe, Francis Sargent, Will…

The future of health care is already here » Boston Globe LAST MONTH we learned again that our national health care system is so beyond broken that it will require not one, but three billionaires and a world-renowned doctor to fix it. The venture — fo…

I would vote Republican if.... (Letters) » The Republican As a Democrat who voted for Charlie Baker, I have been asked what it would take for me to support a Republican candidate for Senate. Here is my list.…

Line Albany train  to Massachusetts » The Daily Gazette Imagine being able to take the train to Boston as conveniently as you can now go to New York City on Amtrak. Well, it could happen if New York state was to partner with Massachusetts on its ongoing ef…

What has Galvin been doing on election security? » Commonwealth Magazine A DAY AFTER THE INDICTMENT of 12 Russians who allegedly interfered with our 2016 elections, Secretary of State William Galvin told the The Boston Globe he’s “picking up the pace” on…

On Massachusetts' Knee-Jerk Reaction To Safe Injection Sites » WGBH I’m lucky. Drugs have not devastated my immediate friends and family members. Those who have succumbed to addiction have been incapacitated by alcohol, not needle drugs. And I’ve never b…

BJ’s ban confirms polarization is out of control » Boston Herald Massachusetts has never been a welcoming place for opposing political viewpoints, but when Sean Spicer gets banned you know it’s out of control.…

Jim Hand: A pink wave is crashing over politics » The Sun Chronicle The November elections are still four months away but already some are declaring 2018 “The Year of the Woman” in politics. …

Transportion equity: Is it a good thing? » Commonwealth Magazine Those who fear displacement don't see it that way …

5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review » Commonwealth Magazine Cost increases and lack of concern at Health Policy Commission are surprises …

Politics

The Massachusetts transgender anti-discrimination law could soon be repealed; How did this happen? » The Republican he fate of the transgender anti-discrimination bill -- a law passed in 2016 to protect transgender people from discrimination in restaurants, stores, movie theaters and other public places -- is in th…

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Spicer takes a (brief) look ahead to '21 » The Metro West Daily News You never know what someone will say when they’re relaxed, sipping coffee.…

Republican Baker campaigns hard in Democratic Lawrence » The Eagle Tribune Charlie Baker launched his first campaign for governor four years ago with an improbable commercial for a Republican candidate: a two-minute video of a heart-to-heart living room conversation between …

In 3rd District race, EMILY's List faces challenge: which woman to support? » Lowell Sun EMILY's List, an influential political action committee that works to help pro-choice women win elections, has been closely following the 3rd Congressional District race, watching its dynamics unfold …

Local progressives see hope in Ocasio-Cortez » Eagle Tribune When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, beat 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley by almost 15 percentage points last month in a New York congressional primary, the ripples of h…

US Sen. Warren's challengers now showing up at her rallies » Boston Herald U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's political challengers are adopting a new tactic — showing up at her rallies in Massachusetts. On Saturday morning Warren is planning a town hall in Boston's South E…

In 3rd Hampshire, a Primary Built from the Background up » Western Mass Politics and Insight In 2016 voters in the 3rd Hampshire District were treated to a rare electoral treat: a six-way Democratic primary. As with the soon-to-be vacated in nearby districts, legislative seats here are held f…

Healey backs Pressley over Capuano in Democratic Congressional primary » Boston Globe

Ayanna Pressley Just Landed a Huge Endorsement: Maura Healey » Boston Magazine

Public Health

UPDATED: Governor Signs Law To Raise Legal Age For Tobacco Products to 21 in Massachusetts » Framingham Source Today, July 27, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill that raises the legal age to buy tobacco products statewide from 18 to 21.…

Massachusetts raises statewide tobacco buying age to 21 » The Republican Beginning next year, you will have to be 21 years old to buy tobacco products in Massachusetts, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes.…

Local Lawmaker Seeks to Expand 2016 Opioid Law » Cape Cod Online With just two days left in the legislative session, lawmakers are working to address the opioid crisis.…

Governor Signs Bill Raising Age for Tobacco Sales to 21 » iBerkshires

Public Safety

First responders can be haunted by close encounters with suffering and death » Boston Globe From the start of his career, Rick Stack knew the kind of firefighter he wanted to be: one who stood out as a leader, with unshakable calm under pressure — the authority known as “command…

Following Weymouth killings, a look at the Massachusetts bail system » Taunton Gazette Should Emanuel Lopes have been locked up prior to his alleged killing of Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna? How about Thomas Latanowich, the suspected killer of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon, and…

Despite Denials, WBZ Scoop Proves Correct In Departure of Police Commissioner Evans » WGBH Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans announced this week that he is leaving the department, a scoop that WBZ first reported last month. Aside from vindicating WBZ’s initial report, the announc…

State Government

U.S. attorney to RMV: Call us next time » Boston Herald U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said the RMV needs to pick up the phone and call the feds to help catch fraud.…

Bill To Automatically Register Voters Sails Through Mass. Senate » WBUR

Taxation

Beacon Hill negotiators agree on new Airbnb taxes » The Salem News Short-term housing units rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a cen…

Baker sinks yacht club tax breaks » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker sunk a generous House proposal tucked into the state budget that slashed state rents for yacht clubs on public land. …

Mass. Might Tax Short-Term Rentals Like Airbnb, Keep Statewide Registry Of Units » WBUR Short-term housing units rented through websites like Airbnb could be taxed at almost 17.5 percent in cities like Boston, and Massachusetts would become the first state in the country to maintain a ce…

Transportation

Lyft testing subscription model » Commonwealth Magazine LYFT IS TESTING subscription models across the country, offering customers a package of rides for a flat, discounted fee. The packages promote Lyft loyalty and some bear a resemblance to transit passe…

As hand-held cellphone ban stalls, activists weigh ballot question » Boston Globe As another legislative season approaches an end without new rules to curb distracted driving in Massachusetts, frustrated activists are considering a ballot question to ask voters whether to ban hand-…

Social Media Spotlight

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Friday's Late-Breaking News

As Protections for Pregnant Workers Falter in Congress, States Step Up » Governing

Week In Review: Who Will Run For President From Mass. In 2020? » WBUR

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The Week Ahead

Monday - 7/30

8:30am Boston Fundraiser for State Sen. Candidate Chelsea Kline

10:30am Joint Committee on Public Service, Public Hearing

10:30am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

11:00am House Session, Full Formal Session

6:30pm 1st Hampshire State Representative Candidate Forum, JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road, Florence

7:00pm Meet & Greet with Middlesex District Attorney Candidate Donna Patalano

Tuesday - 7/31

Birthdays: Senator Donald Humason, Jr.

11:00am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

12:00pm House Session, Full Formal Session

6:00pm Concord Meet & Greet with Congressional Candidate Lori Trahan

6:00pm Grilling with Congressional Candidate Rick Green

6:30pm Milton Reception for Lt. Gov. Candidate Quentin Palfrey with Rep. Bill Driscoll

Last day for formal sessions of the 2017-2018 legislative cycle

Wednesday - 8/1

5:30pm Department of Agricultural Resources Public Hearing, Boyden Library, 10 Bird Street, Foxborough

6:00pm GOP Meet & Rally Fest with Rep. Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate, State Sen. Candidate John MacDonald and State Rep. Candidate Pina Prinzivalli

6:00pm Fundraiser for Rep. Keiko Orrall for State Treasurer

6:00pm Southcoast Summer Reception for State Sen. Candidate Jacob Ventura

6:00pm Beers with Barbara L'Italien Maynard Meet & Greet

6:00pm Reception for State Rep. Candidate Ed O'Connell

6:00pm Mac & Cheese and Healthcare with State Rep. Candidate Sabrina Heisey

Thursday - 8/2

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

1:00pm Board of Fire Prevention Regulations Public Hearing, Boards & Commissions Room, Department of Fire Services, State Road, Stow

5:00pm Safe Patient Limits Ballot Campaign Gathering, Democracy Brewing, 35 Temple Place, Boston

5:30pm Orange House Party for State Sen. Candidate Chelsea Kline

6:00pm Rep. Natalie Higgins' 30th Birthday Party

6:00pm Mass Victory Plymouth Office Opening Kickoff Party

6:30pm Needham Reception for Lt. Gov. Candidate Quentin Palfrey

7:00pm Rep. Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate Hajjar House Party

7:00pm Summer Social with State Rep. Candidate Sean Costello

Friday - 8/3

Birthdays: Rep. Stephen Kulik

10:00am Department of Environmental Protection Public Hearing, Conference Room A, MassDEP Headquarters, One Winter Street, Boston

10:00am Executive Office of Health and Human Services Public Hearing, First Floor Conference Room, 100 Hancock Street, Quincy

1:00pm Executive Office of Health and Human Services Public Hearing, First Floor Conference Room, 100 Hancock Street, Quincy


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