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Today on Beacon Hill

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

7:00pm Progressive Mass Annual Gala, Via webcast

Must-Reads

Baker will propose implementing first year of new school funding formula » Commonwealth Magazine GOV. CHARLIE BAKER will propose fully funding the first year of the recently updated school funding formula when he releases his fiscal 2022 budget proposal next week – a commitment that was delayed…

Karen Spilka outlines legislative priorities for ‘new normal’ as pandemic persists » Boston Herald “Are people going to continue working from home and remotely? What is commuting going to look like? How will that impact our roads and bridges and public transportation system? Our childcare — I h…

Biden plan to reopen schools ‘promising,’ but Massachusetts advocates worry timeline is ‘very unlikely’ » Boston Herald President Biden’s push to increase coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment in schools is bringing new hope to pandemic-weary Massachusetts educators, but some teachers and advocates sa…

Sen. Warren: Pandemic has really set women back » CNN “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) explains how the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected women and their career paths and how the government can help offset these effects.”…

Marijuana companies withdraw from trade association over delivery lawsuit » Commonwealth Magazine The companies say the delivery regulations will help achieve greater racial equity in the marijuana industry, and they are unhappy that the association is seeking to overturn them.…

Surviving COVID: After testing positive, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. found the battle was just beginning » The Republican It started as advertised, temporarily stripping Augustus’ sense of taste and smell. It evolved into a case of pneumonia that dealt the 55-year-old an exhausting cough and a “headache from hell.”…

Jeffrey Clark was considered unassuming. Then he plotted with Trump » Boston Globe It was New Year’s Eve, but the Justice Department’s top leaders had little to celebrate as they admonished Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the civil division, for repeatedly pushing them to help…

THE REPUBLICAN PAC THAT DROVE TRUMP INSANE IS TARGETING TED CRUZ NEXT » Vanity Fair Lincoln Project cofounder Rick Wilson hinted that Cruz—he of Capitol-riot-inciting infamy—could be in for some particularly nasty opposition ads.…

Business groups press Legislature to stop state income tax on federal stimulus aid » Boston Globe Without a change in law, small businesses whose income passes through to individual owners — and are taxed at their personal income rate instead of the corporate rate — still will face a state tax…

Bipartisan group of senators pushes back on Biden Covid plan » Politico A bipartisan group of senators told White House officials on Sunday that the stimulus spending in President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan provides too much money to high-income Americans, an o…

AR: Sarah Sanders, former Trump press secretary, runs for Arkansas governor » The Guardian Formal announcement confirms 38-year-old’s bid to succeed her father, Mike Huckabee, in state leadership role…

Deborah Birx said Trump was being given ‘parallel data’ on covid-19 » Washington Post “I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” she said.…

RI: McKee starts putting the puzzle pieces in place for move up to governor » Providence Journal Weeks away from his likely step up to governor, Lt. Gov. Dan McKee has begun lining up his cabinet, his own replacement in the state's No. 2 spot, and his counter-arguments to legislators seeking to h…

Numerous Capitol Police officers who responded to riot test positive for coronavirus » Washington Post Since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, 38 U.S. Capitol Police employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the head of the officers’ union said Saturday. Cases are also climbing among …

CA: 'Antithesis of the rule of law': Prosecutors revolt against LA social justice changes » Politico Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón ran on a vow to shake up America’s largest law enforcement jurisdiction. Sweeping progressive changes followed — and so has the California backlash.…

"I believe in simplifying," Spilka said. "I think the three phases and all that's involved in the different levels of each phase is confusing. Hopefully, if we get a large influx of vaccines, we will be able to do it faster and better."

Senate President Karen Spilka

On the frustrations over the speed of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth ranks 37th in the nation for administering the vaccine doses it has received so far.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Mass. exodus: A flurry of figures with Boston ties are heading to Washington. Here’s a look at who’s been tapped » Boston Globe Thousands of people work in the White House under each administration, and with President Biden and Vice President Harris at the helm, many will hail from Massachusetts.…

Bill Keating denies involvement after National Guard members forced into parking garage » Boston Herald U.S. Rep. Bill Keating has been caught up in the fury sweeping through Washington after National Guard soldiers called in to protect the U.S. Capitol were banished to a cold parking garage — but the…

Opinion: Trump’s Big Lie about voter fraud was based on little lies the GOP has told for years. Call them all out » Boston Globe The steal that needs to be stopped is the one that robs Black voters of access to the ballot box and strips them of their faith in the election system.…

Biden: Do as I say, not as I do » Boston Herald One of the causes of stress and consternation during the last four years was the fact that many Americans were closely watching their government at work for the first time. As they witnessed the day-t…

Bipartisan group of lawmakers met with Biden officials to discuss stimulus » Boston Globe A bipartisan group of lawmakers met virtually with administration officials on Sunday to discuss vaccine distribution and elements of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, pressing for …

Romney says he thinks Senate impeachment trial of Trump is constitutional, important for unity » Boston Globe Senator Mitt Romney said Sunday that he believes an impeachment trial in the US Senate for former president Donald Trump is constitutional and important for “truth and justice.”…

Business

Big E President Eugene Cassidy, now head of global fair association, describes industry devastated by COVID » The Republican At a time when The Big E normally gears up for late-winter trade and consumer shows — campers, hunting and fishing, and home improvement — the biggest event coming to the Eastern States Exposition…

For brick and mortar retailers in the Boston area, it’s boom or bust, depending on where you look » Boston Globe Legions of Boston’s office workers left town when the pandemic broke out. When they return, they’ll find its streetscapes profoundly transformed.…

In Attleboro area, reaction muted to Baker's easing of business restrictions » The Sun Chronicle Gov. Charlie Baker has eased closing time restrictions on businesses and the suggested curfew for night owls, but the reaction locally was muted. No one was jumping for joy, although the change was we…

Seven months ago CIC Health didn’t exist. Today it’s running the state’s mass vaccination effort » Boston Globe Tim Rowe started getting nervous last February. The founder and chief executive of the Cambridge Innovation Center, a co-working company, had heard from CIC’s Tokyo office about the emergence of a n…

After-hours gyms able to get back to late-night work(outs) Monday » Worcester Telegram Gyms and fitness clubs are on a long list of sectors of the economy forced to scramble due to the state's changing COVID-19 regulations and restrictions.…

Education

Digital divide remains wide for some » Boston Globe Rubia and Maynor Menjivar’s technical troubles intensified before the school year started. At the time, the Menjivars, who live in East Boston and did not have Internet service, began panicking abou…

Comments on social media put MCC trustee on the hot seat » Lowell Sun anuary 24, 2021 at 6:39 a.m. SCREENSHOTS OF since-deleted comments that Laurie Elliott made on a Facebook post as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded at the Capitol have been making the rounds on social med…

DeLeo lands post at Northeastern » Commonwealth Magazine DON’T CALL HIM “Mr. Speaker.” He’s now a “University Fellow for Public Life.” Longtime Massachusetts House speaker Robert DeLeo, who resigned last month and said he was in talks with North…

Superintendents: Move educators up in vaccine plan » Gloucester Times The superintendents and leaders of the teachers' unions for Cape Ann's three school districts are asking Gov. Charlie Baker to move educators into the first phase of the state's vaccine distribution p…

College of the Holy Cross in Worcester receives $23.5 million from the late Agnes Neill Williams, the largest estate gift in college history » The Republican The College of the Holy Cross has received a $23.5 million gift from the late Agnes Neill Williams, which officials say is the largest estate gift in the Worcester college’s history.…

Environment

As lawmakers plan to send a new climate bill to the governor, state officials and lawmakers wrangle over the true costs » Boston Globe When Governor Charlie Baker this month vetoed a landmark bill to address climate change, he told lawmakers that his controversial decision was motivated in part by the legislation’s requirement that…

Theoharides explains $6b cost figure » Commonwealth Magazine THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE between Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature on climate change legislation comes down to an issue where the two sides don’t seem very far apart at all.…

Gaming

Encore casino to open 24-7 again » Boston Herald Late-night gamblers delight: the Encore Boston Harbor casino will return to 24-hour service Wednesday.…

MGM Springfield returns to 24-hour operations Friday » Western Mass News MGM Springfield will be returning to 24-hour operations starting this Friday, January 29, casino officials say.…

Health Care

‘We’re projecting a downward trend’; How Massachusetts’ largest hospital is handling the second surge » The Republican After adding more surge capacity for the third time last week, doctors and mathematicians at Massachusetts General Hospital say they’re beginning to ebb out of the second COVID surge, and expect to …

Field hospitals play vital role as COVID surge continues » Boston Globe Kenneth R. Smith has visited the convention center in downtown Worcester many times over the years for trade shows and exhibitions. This month, he was there as a patient during a pandemic.…

Moderna plans study of a COVID-19 booster shot to combat variants » Boston Globe Moderna said Monday that its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine generates a weaker immune response against a worrisome strain of the disease that first emerged in South Africa, prompting the firm to plan a cli…

Two patients, one week in the hospital, and a world of change » Boston Globe On the day an angry mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Bertha Bailey was showing off pictures of a bear that had climbed the steps of her Charlton home this summer and taken a seat. “I wan…

Legislative

Roll Call checks on representatives’ independence from party » Lowell Sun Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the percentage of times local representatives voted with their party’s leadership in the 2020 legislative session.…

Local Government

Northampton City Council OKs new plastics regs for restaurants, retail businesses » Gazette Net The City Council approved an ordinance Thursday that will cut down on plastic use by restaurants and retail businesses.…

It’s the law: A doctor must serve on Plymouth Board of Health » Wicked Local On Jan. 11, Gov. Charlie Baker signed bill H.4797 authorizing a town charter change to require a “duly licensed” physician serve on the board in Plymouth.…

Taunton City Council can't agree on resolution condemning Capitol riot » Taunton Gazette A Taunton City Council resolution condemning the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was sent to the council-as-a-whole subcommittee Tuesday evening after it became clear it did not have enough support to be approved…

Home Rule Petition hearing on special election override set for Tuesday » Dorchester Reporter The Boston City Council will discuss a Home Rule Petition during a hearing next Tuesday at 3 p.m. that, if approved, could set aside a special election that would be triggered if Mayor Martin Walsh va…

Politics

Andrea Campbell rolls out Methadone Mile plan » Boston Herald Mayoral hopeful Andrea Campbell said the city needs to create a Methadone Mile czar and a more focused team to improve conditions in the troubled area known as Mass & Cass.…

Legal squabble over conflicts of interest shakes up Boston mayoral race » Boston Herald Boston mayoral hopefuls on the City Council are scrambling to figure out what to do after a council attorney wrote up a legal opinion saying that conflicts of interest prevent them from voting on whet…

OTR: Roundtable analysts reflect on Donald Trump's legacy in Massachusetts » WCVB One of our "On the Record" analysts believes two local politicians, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker, helped contribute to Trump losing the presidency.…

Judge denies request to hold Lawrence special election » The Eagle Tribune A Superior Court judge has ruled that in Lawrence, Kendrys Vasquez will remain the city's mayor until November - denying the request of two city residents to overturn the home rule petition signed int…

Public Health

Hampden County legislators call on state to increase vaccination sites as more people are added to eligibility lists » The Republican A group of 12 Hampden County state legislators is afraid there will not be enough vaccination sites in Hampden County to meet the needs of the state’s bulked-up Phase Two vaccine program which start…

A Different Kind Of Race: Boston Marathon Director Helps Organize Mass Vaccination Sites » WGBH Long-time Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray is running logistics for a different type of race these days. The 66-year-old marathoner is now running against the clock in the fight to end t…

Opinion: There are so many reasons why she got the vaccine » Boston Globe I received my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 16. People have asked me why would I get the vaccine, whether it is safe, and about side effects and other concerns. Simply put, I beli…

US officials express concern over possible shortage of COVID-19 vaccine » Boston Globe The United States needs to move faster to immunize the public against the coronavirus, but efforts to accelerate beyond President Biden’s goal of 100 million shots in 100 days may be hindered by the…

Officials push Charlie Baker for more vaccine sites in Massachusetts » Boston Herald The state is set to announce more sites for people to access vaccines as part of a larger rollout, a development that comes as lawmakers increase pressure on Gov. Charlie Baker to ramp up distribution…

Health experts weigh in as Massachusetts lifts coronavirus curfew Monday » Boston Herald As Massachusetts on Monday cancels the coronavirus curfew and allows businesses to stay open late, public health experts tell the Herald that peeling back some restrictions is OK right now while other…

Northampton to continue to offer vaccination site » Gazette Net The city will continue to offer its vaccination site for future phases of the state's COVID-19 vaccination rollout.“That's the plan of our health department,” Mayor David Narkewicz said.…

Massachusetts lagging behind most other states in COVID-19 vaccination rollout » Boston Globe Six weeks after the first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for emergency use, Massachusetts — celebrated as a national health care leader — ranks in the bottom half of US states in getting inject…

Mass. reports 3,750 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 67 new deaths Sunday » Boston Globe The state’s public health department reported 3,750 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, along with 67 new deaths.…

Spilka: Vaccine Anxiety Speaks to Messaging Needs » State House News Service Karen Spilka, an Ashland Democrat and president of the Massachusetts Senate, says she doesn't know when she will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. "I'm waiting my turn," Spilka, 68, told WCVB's "On the Re…

In Suffolk County, Black and Latino residents face stark disparities in vaccine access » Boston Globe Governor Baker has promised that hard-hit communities will have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. So why are there so few vaccination sites in neighborhoods and communities of color?…

OTR: Massachusetts Senate president says state's vaccine plan is creating confusion » WCVB Karen Spilka says clear communication and increased information are needed from the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker.…

Seniors Want COVID Vaccine Now; Petition with 300+ Signatures Sent To Gov. Baker » Framingham Source JoAnn Morse, 76, of Framingham has not been to a store since March 13, 2020. “My life revolves around phone calls to family and friends and a weekly outdoor church service where I remain inside my c…

As COVID-19 cases start to trend downward, Massachusetts is poised to ease some restrictions » The state’s health department reported 3,750 new cases and 67 new deaths due to the coronavirus Sunday, as a national public health expert said the country is seeing some drop-off in new infections.…

'I Said Yeah, I Want To Get That Shot': Pine Street Inn Shelter Residents Start Vaccinations, While Many Still Hesitant » WBUR Jeffrey Davis has spent the pandemic as a shelter guest at Boston's Pine Street Inn. By his estimate, he's been tested for the coronavirus a few dozen times. Each time, he says, he's come up negative.…

State asks vaccine recipients to attest to eligibility; officials stress part-time residents are included » Berkshire Eagle In a piecemeal national vaccine rollout, where states decide their own timelines and processes, Stephen Feingold feels caught in the middle.…

Baker resists calls from lawmakers, undertakers to lift funeral workers to top of vaccination list » Worcester Telegram Gov. Charlie Baker is resisting calls from undertakers and dozens of lawmakers, including many in Central Massachusetts, to follow the lead of 33 other states and bump funeral directors to the first p…

Moderna says Covid-19 vaccine is effective against new variants » Boston Business Journal However, the company said that the vaccine appears to produce significantly fewer antibodies against the strain first identified in South Africa, and it will begin tests on “an additional booster do…

Public Safety

More states eye allowing concealed carry of guns without a permit » Boston Globe Republican lawmakers in several more states want to loosen gun restrictions by allowing people to carry concealed firearms without having to get a permit, continuing a trend that gun control advocates…

A Litigious Legacy » The Eagle Tribune As police Chief Joseph Solomon prepares to retire later this month, he leaves behind a lengthy trail of legal actions.…

Adams Police Sgt. Dylan Hicks reflects on commanding National Guard company during inauguration » Berkshire Eagle Roughly 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard were deployed to Washington, D.C., for Wednesday's inauguration of President Joe Biden.…

State Government

Editorial: Review of Rollins incident should be thorough — and quick » Boston Globe Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins — and the public — would be best served by a prompt review of the complaint filed against her.…

Massachusetts National Guard Members Returned Home From DC On Saturday » CBS Boston Gov. Charlie Baker sent 500 members to Washington D.C. last week to provide security during President Joe Biden's inauguration.…

Taxation

How working from home due to COVID could be a double tax hit for some » ABC News For many workers, their offices are now located anywhere with an internet connection, even if that means being in a different state. That accessibility, however, may come with a price for some at tax …

What you need to know about the tax implications of government help » Boston Globe Since March, millions of individuals and small businesses have taken advantage of government programs to stay afloat during a pandemic that has badly damaged the economy and claimed the lives of more …

Transportation

T general manager receives $20,800 bonus » Commonwealth Magazine MBTA GENERAL MANAGER Steve Poftak, who receives a base salary of $324,800 a year, recently received a bonus of $20,800 for 2019.…

MBTA Reduces Commuter Rail And Ferry Services » WBUR As ridership continues to dip during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has begun its service reductions for both the Commuter Rail and ferry rides.…

Editorial: Keep the Trains and Buses Running » New York Times Public transit systems urgently need more public funding so they can continue to provide an important public service.…

MBTA pays out millions in overtime during coronavirus pandemic year » Boston Herald Riders may have disappeared amid the pandemic, but MBTA employees are still riding overtime that added up to $82 million last year — on par with prepandemic spending — that shows no signs of slowi…

Will Boston’s next mayor take the T to City Hall? » Boston Globe The road to Boston’s highest office might run north through the heart of the city, along some of its most popular bus lines.…

Progress made on Twin Cities Rail Trail project » Sentinel & Enterprise After 25 years of planning, construction of the Twins Cities Rail Trail finally began last year, with Phase 1 anticipated to be completed this fall.…

Utilities

Weymouth Compressor Operator Says It’s Starting Up Facility This Weekend » WBUR After two unplanned emergency shutdowns in September delayed the startup of a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and triggered a federal safety investigation, the company behind …

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The Week Ahead

Monday - 1/25

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

7:00pm Progressive Mass Annual Gala, Via webcast

Tuesday - 1/26

Birthdays: Rep. Antonio Cabral, Senator John Velis

10:00am Executive Office of Health & Human Services Public Hearing, Via Webex

Wednesday - 1/27

10:45am House Session, Informal Session

6:00pm The Path Forward hosted by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, Via Zoom

Governor's FY22 budget due

Thursday - 1/28

9:00am The Future of Cities Virtual Event and Panel Discussion hosted by the Boston Business Journal,

9:30am Mass. Gaming Commission Public Hearing, Via conference call

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

7:30pm The State of Race: The Housing Gap, presented by GBH, The Boston Globe, the NAACP, and WORLD Channel, Via Zoom

Friday - 1/29

10:00am Executive Office of Health & Human Services Public Hearing, Via Webex

10:00am Department of Correction Public Hearing, Via Zoom

5:00pm Close of Comment Period for Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Proposed Regulatory Changes, Submit via email to mary.e.morales@mass.gov

5:00pm Close of Comment Period for Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development Regulatory Repeal, Submit via email to Robert.McGovern@mass.gov

5:00pm Close of Comment Period for Department of Housing & Community Development Regulatory Changes, Submit via email to Chris.McClave@mass.gov


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