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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Department of Public Utilities and Department of Telecommunications & Cable Public Hearing, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston

10:00am Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, Public Hearing

10:00am Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture, Public Hearing

10:30am Joint Committee on State Administration & Regulatory Oversight, Public Hearing

11:00am Joint Committee on Municipalities & Regional Government, Public Hearing

1:00pm LGBT Aging Commission, Berkshire Athenaeum, 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA 01201

1:00pm Joint Committee on Veterans & Federal Affairs, Public Hearing

1:00pm Joint Committee on Public Health, Public Hearing

1:00pm Joint Committee on Judiciary, Public Hearing

1:00pm Joint Committee on Revenue, Public Hearing

5:30pm Re-Election Campaign Kickoff for Salem City Councilor Elaine Milo

Must-Reads

Baker names three priority bills for the fall » State House News Service After several weeks off, Baker met privately with Democratic legislative leaders Monday. Baker has put an array of bills before a Legislature that's taken a go-slow approach this session, and told rep…

Fear not, Elizabeth Warren is electable » Boston Globe Think of her ... as a young girl from Oklahoma, who grew up in a family living paycheck to paycheck, and who dropped out of school at 19 to get married. Holding on “for dear life,” she managed to …

Paid leave law talks expose rift between union, Gov. Baker » Boston Business Journal The National Association of Government Employees, which represents 22,000 state employees, issued a press release highly critical of Baker's management last Wednesday in which the union argued that it…

Baker again offers premium pay rollback » State House News Service More than a year after signing a law phasing out the extra pay workers earn during shifts on some holidays, Gov. Charlie Baker is taking another swing at asking lawmakers to amend that law.…

Audit: Transportation a barrier to food assistance benefits » Commonwealth Magazine TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES are the biggest barrier Massachusetts residents face in applying for federal food assistance, according to a report released on Monday by state Auditor Suzanne Bump. …

Mayoral ballots this month will feature three legislators » State House News Service Thirty-four cities across Massachusetts are holding mayoral elections on Nov. 5, including Melrose, Taunton and Westfield, where legislators are looking to make the jump from Beacon Hill to City Hall.…

Sabadosa to bring resolution on sexual harassment to party convention » Gazette Net Sabadosa, D-Northampton, is proposing the resolution along with state Sen. Rebecca Rausch, D-Needham. Titled “Addressing Sexual Harassment on Beacon Hill,” it would have the party call on the Legi…

How Democracy Dies, American-Style » New York Times Modern de facto dictatorships don’t usually murder their opponents (although Trump has been fulsome in his praise for regimes that do, in fact, rely on brute force). What they do, instead, is use th…

After Fall River bribery indictment, Baker joins calls to change local marijuana rules » Boston Globe The state’s system of local control over marijuana businesses — in which a single municipal official often decides the fate of a company — is ripe for abuse, a growing chorus of politicians said…

Hefner pleads guilty to three counts in sexual assault case that roiled Beacon Hill » Boston Globe Bryon Hefner, who multiple men said sexually assaulted them after he gained access to the highest echelon of Beacon Hill power, agreed to plead guilty Tuesday to a reduced set of charges, providing a …

“We’re not even at 30 percent women,” Rausch said of the Legislature. “It is predominantly white, it is predominantly male, it is predominantly straight.”

Senator Rebecca Rausch

Speaking about sexual harassment in the State House.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Why working-class whites aren’t giving up on Trump » Roll Call Democratic appeals to woo downscale white voters back to the party of Franklin Roosevelt on issues like minimum wage, jobs, and economic fairness and equality have had limited success because those vo…

Polls show Elizabeth Warren gaining ground on Biden » Boston Herald Pundits’ predictions of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s political demise, so frequently heard over the past year, have proved not only premature but dead wrong. Prognosticators declared her presidential c…

Warren Has Lagged With Voters Of Color. But She Has Strong Support In Boston's Black Community » WBUR Elizabeth Warren was on stage in Houston in April when a woman asked her what she would do to address the fact that for black women, the risk of death due to pregnancy-related causes is three to four …

Business

Shopify to acquire Waltham robotics startup for $450M » Boston Business Journal Waltham-based 6 River Systems Inc., a startup founded by former executives from Amazon Robotics, is being acquired in one of the year’s biggest M&A deals in the local technology sector. …

Undocumented elephant ivory trade 'thriving' in Massachusetts: Humane Society » ABC News An undercover investigation by animal welfare activists found that the sale of undocumented elephant ivory is still "thriving" in Massachusetts despite efforts made by several other states to ban the …

Governor’s former legal counsel lands new job » Boston Globe Dave Mackey has been friends with Lon Povich, Governor Charlie Baker’s former chief legal counsel, since they worked together as young associates at Goodwin Procter in the mid-1980s.…

Massachusetts among states behind new examination of Google » Gloucester Times Massachusetts is among the vast majority of states pursuing a newly announced anti-trust investigation into Google.…

Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain plans to close, sell liquor license to Davio’s » Boston Globe The iconic Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain, a pub with a storied political history that first opened in 1882, plans to close up shop and has inked an agreement to sell its liquor license to Davio’s North…

Bill eyes crackdown on large, local ivory market » State House News Service Sales of ivory and rhinoceros horn between Massachusetts residents, technically legal thanks to a gap in state law, will contribute to rapidly declining animal populations if left unaddressed, lawmake…

Cannabis

Changes to pot law something to ‘consider,’ Gov. Baker says » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker said changes to the pot law is something to “consider” to address corruption in the weed business, while the Cannabis Control Commission continues to ask for more authority.…

Gov. Baker: I'll take cue from commission on pot law changes » The Associated Press (AP) Gov. Charlie Baker is saying he'll take his cues from the state's Cannabis Control Commission on any proposed changes to the state's marijuana law.…

With Fall River Mayor Indicted Again, Baker Seeks Regulators' Input On Cannabis Law » WBUR Gov. Charlie Baker is saying he'll take his cues from the state's Cannabis Control Commission on any proposed changes to the state's marijuana law.…

State suspends licenses of Attleboro pot firm » The Sun Chronicle The state Cannabis Control Commission has suspended the six licenses of a company planning to open a marijuana business in Attleboro after one of its principals was arrested by city police.…

State Lawmakers Unfamiliar with Requested Changes to Pot Law » WBSM It has been one of the thorniest issues for marijuana regulators, but legislative leaders on Monday appeared unaware of the Cannabis Control Commission's months-old request for authority to enforce th…

Bribery case against Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia puts renewed scrutiny on Massachusetts marijuana laws » The Republican The allegations that Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia solicited bribes from marijuana businesses seeking to open in the city have caused renewed debate over whether changes are needed to the state’s …

Another marijuana proposal awaits embattled Fall River mayor's approval » The Herald News As the city wrestles with allegations that Jasiel Correia extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses trying to open in Fall River, a new proposal is sitting on the mayor’s d…

Reps call on state to delay Fall River marijuana licenses after mayor's indictment » The Herald News Fall River’s three state representatives co-authored a letter to the state Cannabis Control Commission Tuesday asking the agency to delay pending applications for cannabis businesses in the city and…

Civil Rights

Boston City Council to eye ban on masks after Straight Pride Parade arrests » Boston Herald Antifa’s trademark masks — used to shield the hard-left activists’ identities at protests nationwide that sometimes turn violent — would be banned in Boston under an ordinance proposed by City…

Massachusetts ‘gender X’ bill up for debate » Boston Herald Advocates for a bill to let people choose “X” as a gender on driver’s licenses and birth certificates plan to show up in full force for a hearing this week on Beacon Hill, but opponents said the…

Gender X bill supporters press for vote in House » State House News Service Next year, Ryley Copans plans to get married. But Copans, 25, who uses the pronoun they, said they have a lingering worry that the state marriage license documenting the partnership won't accurately r…

Domestic Relations

Bill would enable siblings to adopt siblings » State House News Service Rep. Jack Lewis asked lawmakers to imagine being 30 years old, living independently and working in a secure job. He asked them to imagine that their mother had them when she was quite young and that s…

Education

Brown vowed to raise $10m for Providence schools. It didn’t. » Boston Globe When Brown University pledged to establish a $10 million endowment for Providence schools in 2007, then-president Ruth Simmons expressed confidence that donations to support the struggling urban schoo…

State awards BVT $375K skills capital grant » The Millbury Sutton Chronicle Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) is one of 45 high schools, colleges, and educational institutions to receive a portion of $12 million in grants aimed at acquiring the…

MIT taps Goodwin to investigate who knew what about Epstein » Boston Business Journal MIT has hired the Boston law firm Goodwin to investigate donations to the school connected to the late billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as which MIT employees may have b…

Boston gives kindergarteners $50 in savings accounts » Boston.com Kindergarteners in Boston are getting a unique back-to-school gift: $50 deposited into their very own savings accounts.…

Five Colleges fare well in latest national rankings » Gazette Net As students return to college across the Pioneer Valley, so too is a yearly visitor that some college administrators await with anticipation: the U.S. News and World Report rankings.…

Charges dropped against Lowell teacher » Lowell Sun Hours after a School Committee member said he would fire a teacher if she were found guilty of accusations she assaulted a police officer during a protest on Aug. 31, it was revealed that the charge a…

Top MIT officials knew of Epstein’s ties to Media Lab, e-mails show » Boston Globe Top level MIT fund-raising and finance officials were aware of Jeffrey Epstein’s extensive ties to the university’s Media Lab and agreed to keep them hidden, e-mails from a whistle-blower obtained…

Environment

Dredging to start next month in Hingham » Patriot Ledger Boaters are being told to get their boats and moorings out of Hingham Harbor by the end of the month so crews can begin dredging the area.…

State awards Saugus $33K grant to battle climate change » Lynn Daily News Item The money comes from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and its Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant program. It will be used to mitigate future floodi…

Health Care

Voters Could Decide on Medicaid Nursing Home Rate Increases in Massachusetts » Skilled Nursing News A ballot initiative that would overhaul the way Massachusetts’s Medicaid program pays for nursing home services last week moved one step closer to reaching voters.…

Bill targets "fail first" approach to health care » State House News Service More than 20 states have passed legislation aimed at ensuring patients can have timely access to the specific treatments recommended by their doctors, advocates said Tuesday as they urged Massachusett…

Housing

Our Opinion: Affordable housing must be a priority » Berkshire Eagle When Beacon Hill eases back into session after Labor Day it's a good idea to move front and center with your pet projects in the hope that they won't be lost when action heats up. …

DeLeo plans to check in with mayors on housing bill » State House News Service Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker gathered a bipartisan suite of former and current state housing officials in his office, and the group coalesced around a message: lawmakers should pass a Baker bill aime…

Human Services

Eastern Bank’s latest cause: early childhood development » Boston Globe Bob Rivers is back at it again. The chief executive at Eastern Bank launched an effort two years ago to help foster minority-owned businesses. In 2018, Rivers dialed for dollars to successfully battle…

Auditor Suzanne Bump: Transportation, federal rules discourage mothers from applying for WIC food assistance » The Republican A lack of transportation and misperceptions about federal law are among the barriers families may face to accessing benefits from the federal Women, Infants, and Children program, according to a new r…

Immigration

Bristol and Plymouth sheriffs, lawmaker sign anti-sanctuary state ballot measure » The Enterprise The initiative would give local law enforcement the authority to detain people considered a threat to public safety to transfer to federal immigration officials.…

Our treatment of kids at border is a crime that should be prosecuted » Boston Globe The op-ed “The anti-child administration” (Opinion, printed Sept 5) shows that basic human rights have been ignored by government officials mistreating immigrant children at our southern border. …

Judiciary

Superior court judge arrested in Hudson; arraigned on domestic assault charges » The Metro West Daily News A superior court judge was released without bail on Monday after she was arraigned in Marlborough District Court on domestic assault charges. Hudson Police arrested Shannon Frison, 49, on Sunday after…

Goldilocks for the defense? That’s too much to ask of women lawyers » Boston Globe When I read Shirley Leung’s column in the Sept. 6 Boston Globe (“Guilty: of acting like a man,” Business), I was angered to read that lawyer Susan Church was held in contempt for “talking over…

Spare the charges, spoil the Straight Pride Parade protesters » Boston Herald Score another win for uncivil society and lawlessness. A Supreme Judicial Court justice appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker ruled that Judge Richard Sinnott III was not allowed to force prosecutors to pur…

Mass. High Court Sides With Suffolk DA Rollins In Battle With Judge Over Protester Charge » WBUR A Supreme Judicial Court justice sided with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Monday, vacating the decision of a lower court judge to arraign a counter-protester of the so-called "St…

Mass. Judge Charged With Domestic Assault » WBUR A Worcester County Superior Court judge has been charged with assault and battery in a domestic incident, prosecutors say.…

DA Rollins handed a win in Straight Pride Parade feud with Boston judge » Boston Globe A Supreme Judicial Court justice handed Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins a major victory Monday, ruling that Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott III had “no authority” to force h…

SJC orders clerks in ‘secret court’ cases to record all hearings » Boston Globe The state’s highest court on Monday ordered district court clerks to audio record all closed-door hearings that vet criminal complaints and regularly gather demographic data on these proceedings, sa…

Harrington launches new juvenile justice initiative » the Berkshire edge The plan will hold juvenile offenders accountable while encouraging positive youth development through proven strategies to reduce teen recidivism and address the root causes of delinquency. It is a s…

Local Government

Boston Mayor Walsh says he's committed to ‘overhauling’ city zoning panel » Boston Business Journal Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal will meet as scheduled on Tuesday morning, days after one of its members, Dorchester realtor Craig Galvin, resigned.…

Bribery case puts City Hall relationships under microscope » Boston Globe The key figures in the bribery scandal roiling Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal all have one thing in common: close ties to City Hall.…

Zoning board member takes panel’s mission seriously » Boston Globe I was taken aback by a recent Globe editorial implying that, as a labor member on the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal, it was somehow inappropriate when I occasionally have asked if a contractor had bee…

A $50k bribe is small change in Boston’s real estate boom » The Bay State Banner The indictment of a former Boston Planning and Development Agency worker for receiving a $50,000 bribe from a developer has focused attention on the city’s Zoning Board of Appeal, the body that has …

Boston City Council president calls for IG post in wake of ZBA bribery scandal » Boston Herald City Council President Andrea Campbell is calling for the establishment of an inspector general for Boston to “root out corruption, identify mismanagement and waste” and make the government “mor…

Fall River mayor's alleged co-conspirator has not resigned from appointed post » The Herald News One of Mayor Jasiel Correia II’s alleged co-conspirators, Hildegar Camara, said Monday that he has not resigned from his post as the director of the Bristol County Training Consortium despite a pend…

Politics

Walsh endorses two for Boston City Council at-large seats » Boston Globe In a rare show of support for a candidate for City Council, Mayor Martin J. Walsh handed out two endorsements last week in the at-large race ahead of the Sept. 24 preliminary election. He’s supporti…

Baker: ‘I Don’t Want to Get Involved’ in Presidential Politics » WBSM The 2020 presidential election is 14 months away, and Republican Governor Charlie Baker is under fire from the state Democratic party for not taking a more firm stance on President Donald Trump.…

Climate change forums set for Northampton City Council candidates » Gazette Net Two forums aimed at putting City Council candidates on the spot on climate change are scheduled this week.The forums are being put on by the activist organization Climate Action Now.…

Spilka, DeLeo stand by Markey in Senate race » State House News Service With U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy weighing a run against U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, the two top Democrats on Beacon Hill said Monday they would honor their prior commitments to support Markey's re-election …

Polling, like everything else, is moving online » Commonwealth Magazine HE’S NOT EVEN officially running, but we now have two polls showing Rep. Joe Kennedy III with a sizable lead over Sen. Ed Markey in the Democratic primary for US Senate. The first, from Change Resea…

Analysis: A Springfield Mayoralty Happening over & over Again—Now » Western Mass Politics and Insight Term limits are undemocratic. Aside from the awesome power invested in the US President—particularly after the atom split—they usurp the will of the people. However, a fair counterargument may be …

Public Health

Purdue Opioid Settlement Talks Stall Over Sacklers’ Cash » Bloomberg Politics Purdue Pharma LP’s settlement talks over the drugmaker’s opioid painkillers have stalled over how much money the family that owns the company is willing to pay, according to people familiar with t…

Drug consumption sites face state hurdles too » State House News Service The threat of federal prosecution is not the only challenge Somerville faces amid Mayor Joseph Curtatone's push to open a supervised consumption site by next year: even lawmakers supportive of the ide…

Public Safety

Poll: A majority favors ‘red flag’ gun laws, background checks » Boston Globe Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks for gun buyers and allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals, a Was…

Opinion: Time to step up support for police » Boston Herald Anti-police sentiment has moved from the streets to the state legislature, and while it hasn’t reached Massachusetts yet, it’s a bellwether worth noting.…

Cops blast DA Rachael Rollins after SJC tosses Straight Pride case » Boston Herald The Boston Police union is slamming Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ successful push to toss cases of disorderly conduct against anti-Straight Pride protesters, saying it gives troublemake…

State Police found years-old records in fraud scandal after telling prosecutors they didn’t exist » Boston Globe About a year and a half into sprawling criminal investigations of trooper payroll fraud, Massachusetts State Police officials this summer suddenly unearthed boxes of key documents that prosecutors had…

State Government

Our view: Change the law for transparency on Beacon Hill » Gloucester Times State Sen. Diana DiZoglio continues to press Gov. Charlie Baker for records to back up his claim he uses nondisclosure agreements with state employees only when a sexual harassment victim requests it.…

Transportation

Charlie Baker finally took the T, and here’s what happened » Boston Globe I was starting to think Charlie Baker, at 6-foot, 6 inches, was simply too tall to ride the T. Maybe that’s why he refuses to recharge his CharlieCard to be with us commoner commuters.…

Wollaston Red Line Station officially re-opened » Boston Herald WIth the snap of a pair of scissors Gov. Charlie Baker, MBTA Chairman Steve Poftak and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack cut the ribbon of the renovated Wollaston MBTA Station in Quincy Mo…

Sen. Brendan Crighton favors driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants » Lynn Daily News Item State Sen. Brendan Crighton said it’s time for undocumented immigrants to have the right to get a driver’s license.…

Disability advocates, officials celebrate new Wollaston Station » Patriot Ledger "Frustrating" is the word Anne Johansen uses to describe the seven years she lived at Wollaston Manor on Clay Street. She was two blocks from Wollaston Station, but couldn't use it.…

Letter: Safe-driver laws reduce hit-and-run accidents » The Eagle Tribune I write to address the Work and Family Mobility Act, which has been wrongly disparaged as “radical” and “dangerous.” Nothing could be further from the truth.…

Chris Dempsey: Gov. Baker Riding The T Is A Good First Step Towards Fixing Transportation » WGBH Gov. Charlie Baker publicly rode the Red Line for the first time over the weekend. For months, the governor has been under pressure to address the growing traffic congestion in Boston and improve the …

Congestion may be bad, but commute times changing little » Commonwealth Magazine Boston is struggling with the worst congestion in the nation, but drivers surprisingly say they haven’t seen a big increase in their commuting time over the last decade.…

Utilities

NRC could get earful on Pilgrim nuclear plant license transfer » Cape Cod Times The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday in Plymouth to talk about how the public can be heard during the decommissioning process.…

State rep, Westfield mayor seek to be apart of clean water talks on Beacon Hill » Western Mass News New developments on a story we've been following for several years now: contaminated drinking water in Westfield.…

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