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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am 2019 Health Policy Student Forum, Great Hall, State House, Boston

10:00am Special Commission on Bail Reform, Room 428, State House, Boston

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

Must-Reads

Beacon Hill looks to tackle school funding formula in new session » Boston Globe The year on Beacon Hill is starting with renewed momentum to overhaul the state’s troubled, 26-year-old school funding formula, which critics say now perpetuates inequality in education by short-cha…

The Populism Problem at the ‘Times’ » The Nation The paper of record needs to remember that it’s not exclusively a right-wing phenomenon. …

WARNING OF FLOODED CITIES, SPILKA PUTS CLIMATE CHANGE ATOP TO-DO LIST » State House News Service Senate President Karen Spilka told a room full of environmental advocates on Wednesday that nothing the Legislature does in the next two years will be as important as addressing climate change, but th…

LAW ENFORCEMENT VIEW TOO PREVALENT ON PAROLE BOARD, COUNCILORS SAY » State House News Service A hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker's nomination of the Parole Board's executive director to serve as a member of the board instead transformed Wednesday into an opportunity for activists and councilors t…

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard accuses fellow Democrats of ‘religious bigotry’ in questioning judicial nominee » The Washington Post Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a potential 2020 White House contender, is accusing some of her fellow Democrats of “religious bigotry” in their questioning of one of President Trump’s judicial nominees. …

Kamala Harris Ready To Enter Race For President, Sources Say » kcbsradio.com Sen. Kamala Harris has decided to run for president in 2020 and will announce her candidacy on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, probably at a campaign rally in Oakland, sources close to the fresh…

Coast Guard's Shutdown Advice To Members: 'Be A Mystery Shopper' » The Huffington Post The Coast Guard, which is the only branch of the military directly affected by the partial government shutdown, is shelling out financial advice to its furloughed members as the White House and Democr…

Top Bernie Sanders 2016 adviser accused of forcibly kissing subordinate » Politico As Sanders openly explores a second presidential bid, dozens of women and men who worked on the first campaign signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sanders and his leadership team “to discuss t…

LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION WHIFFS ON PUBLIC RECORDS REPORT » State House News Service After holding on to their public records law exemption in a landmark 2016 reform law aimed at making government more transparent, lawmakers assigned to come up with ways to open up the Legislature hav…

Massachusetts state employee salary database 2019 » Mass Live The state’s payroll in 2018 included salaries and wages for a total of 109,881 full-time employees, according to data from the Massachusetts Comptroller’s CTHRU website. …

Steyer won’t run for president in 2020 » Politico Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmental activist, said Wednesday he will not run for president and instead pump more money into his effort to remove Donald Trump from the White House. …

“We can spend all the time in the world creating the best rules, but if they continue to be suspended then there’s nothing we can actually do to enforce that,” Robinson said. “There are lots of people who have concerns about that and who are looking at some larger rules reform for this upcoming session.”

Rep. Maria Robinson of Framingham

Speaking about a rules reform package they want to adopt this session.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Elizabeth Warren to headline major fund-raising dinner for N.H. Democrats » Boston Globe US Senator Elizabeth Warren will headline a major fund-raising dinner for Democrats next month in New Hampshire — home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.…

Warren to make first New Hampshire visit this weekend as she explores presidential run » Boston Globe US Senator Elizabeth Warren will make her first trip to New Hampshire this weekend as she continues to explore a run for president, three people with knowledge of the trip say.…

New Tax-Writing Chair Has Taken Thousands from Companies He Criticized as Offshore Tax Dodgers » Sludge In a 2012 television ad, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, declared victory over corporate offshore tax avoidance.…

US Rep. Richard Neal offers plan to address pension ‘crisis’ » MassLive With many “multiemployer" pension plans reportedly on the verge of running out of money, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, announced legislation Wednesday that seeks to address the impending re…

Business

MassMutual bulks up worker benefits ahead of Boston expansion » Boston Business Journal The company is offering significantly longer paid leave to new parents, a new type of “caregiver” leave to employees with an ill “loved one,” and other revamped benefits.…

Bribe charges send message to drug company » Boston Herald Executives at the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics are accused of bribing doctors to prescribe its powerful fentanyl spray — a highly-addictive drug used to ease the intense pain of people …

More Local ATMs Will Soon Dispense ‘Cryptocurrencies’ » WGBH Bitcoin is coming to a store near you. In fact, check this map—it may already be available at your local deli.…

Education

Momentum growing for ed funding bill » Commonwealth Magazine SIX MONTHS AFTER the clock ran out on negotiations to revamp the state’s education funding formula, a broad coalition of lawmakers, mayors, and school leaders unveiled legislation on Wednesday to fi…

Massachusetts education funding bill supported by teachers, mayors, advocates would cost up to $2 billion a year » Mass Live A large coalition of politicians, mayors, teachers and education advocates are throwing their support behind a new bill that could eventually increase state education funding by between $1 billion and…

Brockton mayor 'encouraged' by Baker comments on school funding formula » The Enterprise The city has previously threatened a lawsuit over what it sees as an unfair state school funding formula. But now Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter says he’s “very encouraged” by recent comments ma…

Here are the basics on the bill to reform how Massachusetts schools are funded » Boston.com Massachusetts ranks pretty highly when it comes to its education system, but in some ways it is still falling short.…

State lawmakers tackle education funding reform » Boston Herald Two pieces of legislation, one from the state House and Senate and another from the corner office, seem to address the same problem — the state’s outdated education funding formula.…

Beacon Hill looks to tackle school funding formula in new session » Boston Globe The year on Beacon Hill is starting with renewed momentum to overhaul the state’s troubled, 26-year-old school funding formula, which critics say now perpetuates inequality in education by short-cha…

School funding forum set in Easthampton » Gazette Net The Massachusetts Teacher Association, along with local teacher associations, will hold a forum on public school funding Wednesday.…

Superintendents spotlight ed funding formula flaws » Commonwealth Magazine Say they can’t keep cutting to offset rising, uncovered costs …

Pittsfield, North Adams face losing free school lunch funds If shutdown continues » Berkshire Eagle Federal funding that provides free lunches and breakfasts at Pittsfield and North Adams schools is secure — for now.…

Designer picked for new MassBay campus in Framingham » The Metro West Daily News A Watertown architectural firm will study and design MassBay Community College’s future home in Framingham.…

Environment

3 local park projects get state grants » Cape Cod Times Three local park projects are in line to get funding from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the agency announced Wednesday.…

Spilka: Addressing climate change top priority » Commonwealth Magazine Senate president says coastal cities will flood otherwise …

Plastic bags banned in Attleboro » The Sun Chronicle The city council has voted overwhelmingly to ban thin-film plastic shopping bags commonly found in store checkout lines, effective Oct. 1.…

Federal

Mashpee tribe's casino land bill re-introduced in Congress » Taunton Gazette Mashpee Wampanoag tribal leaders are hoping the new Congress will take a fresh look at legislation aimed at keeping the tribe’s land in trust and reviving the prospects of a Taunton casino.…

Human Services

City program connects seniors with low-cost heat upgrades » Dorchester Reporter Every winter as temperatures plunge, the Mayor’s 311 hotline receives a barrage of heat emergency calls, many of them from senior citizens. This year, an initiative from the Department of Neighborho…

WMass lawmakers ask for more state food assistance money if federal shutdown continues » MassLive Two freshman lawmakers from Western Massachusetts are asking Gov. Charlie Baker to support additional funding for food assistance programs if the federal government shutdown continues.…

Some Mass. families face home heating emergency » Worcester Telegram Human service activists and lawmakers rallied outside the State House Wednesday, calling for the state to help offset a cut in federal funding by allocating $30 million to help low-income families aff…

Signs suggest ‘better way’ to help homeless in New Bedford » South Coast Today The new year brought a new plan for the city in helping those in need. Signs debuted in four popular intersections — some known for panhandling — on Tuesday that asked those donating to “change …

Immigration

Barnstable county sheriff: 79 inmates referred to ICE in 2018 » Cape Cod Times The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office referred 79 inmates to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the first year of its partnership, but even as the fierce debate over illegal immigratio…

Judiciary

New first justice named for New Bedford District Court » South Coast Today Judge Douglas J. Darnbrough is the new first justice of New Bedford District Court, the Trial Court announced late Wednesday afternoon.…

Rep. Whelan Named to Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board » Cape Cod Today House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster) to serve as his designee on the newly-created Juvenile Justice Policy and D…

Rachael Rollins Rises To National Stage With Country's Progressive DAs » WGBH When Rachael Rollins was sworn in last week, she broke several barriers. She became the first female district attorney for Suffolk County. She became the first woman of color to become a DA in Massach…

Labor

Council president calls for overhauling civil service hiring system for public safety jobs » Boston Globe Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell called for overhauling and possibly eliminating the city’s use of the civil service system to fill public safety jobs, saying the process thwarts the hi…

Work stoppage: Valley workers cope with federal shutdown » Gazette Net Now in its 20th day, there appears to be no end in sight for the partial government shutdown as President Donald Trump continues to demand the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico amid opp…

Legislative

A WINDOW INTO THE STATE HOUSE » Dig Boston Rep. Mike Connolly’s blog offers a critical look behind the curtain of Mass politics …

State lawmakers fail to reach consensus on whether to expand public record law » Boston Globe A Massachusetts legislative panel has been disbanded after failing for two years to reach an agreement on whether to expand the public records law to cover the Legislature, judiciary, and governor’s…

Acton's Gouveia is ready to listen: New 14th Middlesex rep talks priorities » Wicked Local Concord While she was running for state representative for the 14th Middlesex District, Tami Gouveia said she had wanted to run for elected office since childhood. …

Atkins reflects on her time in the House » Wicked Local Concord Cory Atkins looked back to her first bid for the State House. “Actually, it was my son who talked me into it,” said Atkins, D-Concord, who began her tenure of nearly two decades winning a special …

Local Government

Developers moving forward with Church Green 40B in Taunton » Taunton Gazette To be or not to be 40B, that was the question raised during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.…

Althea Garrison finally takes her seat on the Boston City Council » Boston Globe The indefatigable Dorchester resident has appeared on the Boston ballot no fewer than 32 times since at least 1982, as a Democrat, Republican, and independent perennially running for state representat…

Fred Hogan selected as Ward 6 councilor in Lynn, replacing Peter Capano » Lynn Daily News Item In front of a packed room of supporters in the City Council chambers, community activist Fred Hogan was selected as the city’s next Ward 6 councilor on Tuesday night.…

UMass to advise Manchester, Essex on regionalization » Gloucester Times The Collins Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston will advise the towns of Manchester and Essex during their initial regionalization talks.…

Amherst names new HR director » Gazette Net A Holyoke woman will become part of Amherst's senior management team when she assumes the role of human resources director in March.…

Counting Quincy's Asian population a challenge in 2020 census » The Patriot Ledger With city nearing a population of 100,000 for the first time, officials worry the Trump administration’s steps to include the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” will dete…

Gouveia eyes priorities for 14th Middlesex district » Wicked Local Chelmsford While she was running for state representative for the 14th Middlesex District, then-candidate Tami Gouveia, Democrat of Acton, said that she wanted to run for elected office since childhood.…

Marijuana

Report: Cannabis Subcommittee Votes to Allow Marijuana Cafes » NBC Boston An independent panel of cannabis advisors in Massachusetts voted Wednesday in favor of allowing on-site social use of marijuana at designated cafes, as well as delivery of marijuana products to custom…

Pot cafes get approval from advisory panel » Boston Herald A Cannabis Control Commission subcommittee voted to recommend that pot cafes and weed delivery vans be allowed despite reservations of some members.…

Marijuana business files lawsuit against Bourne » Cape Cod Times A marijuana business trying to open up at 340 MacArthur Blvd. in Bourne has filed a lawsuit against the town, arguing that a recent ban on recreational marijuana facilities was unlawfully adopted.…

Opinion

Columnist Karen Gardner: In gut we trust? Hopefully not » Gazette Net The president is a gut-level genius. No really, he's pretty much said so himself. In an interview with “Fake News” CNN in November, he said “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than…

EDITORIAL: The only boom at Devens is a growing economy » The Lowell Sun When Fort Devens closed in 1996 after serving as the Army's regional headquarters for 79 years, it's safe to say the future of that more than 4,000-acre parcel looked uncertain at best.…

Politics

Gov. Baker, Sen. Sanders "most popular" in Q4 approval ratings » State House News Service Gov. Charlie Baker extended his run as the nation's most popular governor to two full years but still hasn't matched the streak that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is on, according to new poll results.…

Public Health

Gun discussions, drug treatment on Mayor Walsh's health care agenda » Boston Business Journal Mayor Martin Walsh's health care priorities for the next two years include getting doctors to help prevent gun violence and expanding access to substance abuse treatment, according to a legislative pa…

Fall River officials accused of bias in decision to block addiction treatment center » Boston Globe The opioid crisis has come down hard on Fall River: Each year, rescue crews revive hundreds of people who have overdosed, and dozens more die; 50 babies out of every 1,000 births are born dependent on…

Lead in School Water: Less Than Half the States Test for It, and Fewer Require It » Governing Federal regulations neither require schools to test their water nor have a single health standard for drinking water. The resulting patchwork of state policies can have a big impact on how -- and whet…

State grant program aims to promote health in rural areas » Gazette Net A new program will provide nearly $3 million to organizations focused on improving the health of individuals, families and communities by addressing issues such as nutrition, safe housing, violence pr…

Public Safety

Belchertown police offer open door policy for drugs » Gazette Net With the implementation of a new open door policy, Belchertown police are seeking to provide an additional avenue for those struggling with addiction to start on the path to recovery.…

Springfield police detective Luke Cournoyer testified he lied to cover up kicking of handcuffed juvenile suspect in explosive case that rocked department » MassLive On a clear mid-June morning last year, Springfield Police Narcotics Detective Luke Cournoyer walked into a grand jury room in the city’s federal courthouse.…

Massachusetts banned from using Breathalyzer test pending reforms at state police agency » MassLive A District Court judge has decided that no Breathalyzer tests administered in Massachusetts can be used in court until the state’s Office of Alcohol Testing undergoes major reforms.…

Transportation

MBTA plans all-electronic fare collection » Gloucester Times The MBTA is losing tens of millions of dollars a year because of riders not paying fares, including many who are freeloaders on the commuter rail system.…

Social Media Spotlight

saldidomenicoma

mass_treasury

wbur



Rep. Bill Driscoll Jr

@BillDriscollJr

Andy X. Vargas

@RepAndyVargas

Eric Lesser

@EricLesser


Yesterday's Late-Breaking News

Mass. families face home heating emergency, $30 mil sought » State House News Service

Strong turnout at education funding forum in Orange » The Recorder

Law enforcement view too prevalent on Parole Board, councilors say » State House News Service

State Street to lay off 15% of senior executives » Boston Business Journal

If Elizabeth Warren runs for president and wins, here are the people who could go for her US Senate seat » Mass Live

Warning of flooded cities, Spilka puts climate change atop to-do list » State House News Service

Bill on Baker's desk creates crime of airbag fraud » Gloucester Times

Superintendents spotlight ed funding formula flaws » Commonwealth Magazine

Selectmen notes: Sutton Capital Plan draft to be presented Jan. 22 » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle

EDITORIAL: Lockout is over, fence-mending begins » Newburyport News

Pembroke lawyer nominated for judge at Quincy District Court » The Patriot Ledger

On economy, Boston Fed president leaning closer to optimists » State House News Service

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Graphic of the Week
The Washington Post

Press Releases

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $5 Million in MassTrails Grants for 71 Projects » Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Report: More Massachusetts Employers Offering Health Insurance » Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Advocates for public safety declare “Safe Communities Act” jeopardizes survivors of domestic violence particularly when judges free criminal illegal immigrants » Renew Massachusetts Coalition

MTA response to Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley’s 'Our Way Forward' report » Massachusetts Teacher's Association

States Oppose U.S. Labor Department Rule that will Undermine Workers, Enable Wage Theft » Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Senator Markey Urges FTC to Require Additional Children’s Privacy Safeguards at YouTube » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Senators Markey and Whitehouse, and Rep. Langevin Lead Legislation to Harness Offshore Wind Energy » Office of Senator Ed Markey

Massachusetts to Cancel Popular Electric Vehicle Rebate in September » Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter

Environmental and Business Groups Call for Transportation Cap-and-Invest Program » Environmental League of Massachusetts

Moulton Joins Reps. Larson, Kennedy, Shalala and Hill to Introduce National Service Plan » Office of Congressman Seth Moulton

Time to go big on solar » Environment Massachusetts

Baker Administration Announces New Funds for MBTA » Conservation Law Foundation

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Acceleration Plan for MBTA Infrastructure Improvements » MBTA

Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act Gives Workers More Freedom to Join Unions » AFSCME

In advance of greater Boston casino opening, Middlesex Sheriff's Office announces gambling survey results » Middlesex Sheriff's Office

TODAY 11 AM: Domestic violence survivors speak out for Safe Communities Act » MIRA Coalition

House's "GreenWorks" Climate Legislation, H.3846 » American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.7 Million for River and Wetland Restoration and Climate Adaptation » Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Neal, Brady Introduce Legislation to Improve and Expand Medicare » Office of Congressman Richard Neal

Banker & Tradesman: Bill Offers Big Projects Shelter from Liquor License Limits » NAIOP

Massachusetts to Cancel Popular Electric Vehicle Rebate in September » Conservation Law Foundation

Column: We Need a Carbon Pollution Fee to Combat Climate Change » Office of Senator Jason Lewis

MBTA Control Board Launches Independent Safety Review Panel » MBTA

Orange Line: Wellington to Oak Grove: Evening Trains Replaced with Shuttle Buses For Track Reconstruction » MBTA


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