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Today on Beacon Hill

9:30am Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Public Hearing, McCormack Building, 21st Floor, One Ashburton Place, Boston

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

Must-Reads

Debunking the Trump-backed conspiracy theory on Ukraine election meddling » CNN In fact, in a classified briefing this fall, US intelligence officials told senators that Russia engaged in a years-long campaign to push these theories, shifting the blame away from Moscow and onto U…

Ballot committees rush against deadline » The Eagle Tribune Backers of proposals to change how the state elects its leaders, overhaul a law requiring car manufacturers to share data with repair shops, and allow more food stores to sell beer and wine are among …

State Ethics Commission: Galvin Benefited Politically From Signs, Voting Booklet » WBUR The commission found the benefits to Galvin from the inclusion of his name on the signs and the free publicity in the information booklet were unwarranted and there was reasonable cause to believe Gal…

A rise in dangerousness hearings, which can hold a defendant 180 days before trial, could limit presumption of innocence » The Republican Van Dyke acknowledged that dangerousness hearings play an important role in the courts. But he feels that the petitions can strip away at a defendant’s presumption of innocence and says he’s seen …

Bloomberg builds an all-star political team — and he might not even run » Washington Post Bloomberg has retained more than two dozen of the party’s leading operatives and data strategists, some of whom played prominent roles in Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns.…

Could Donald Jr. or Lara Trump Run for Office in New York, and Win? » New York Times A poll showed Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, would win a primary for a Long Island congressional seat by more than 30 points.…

The United States Is Starting to Look Like Ukraine » New York Times But if the congressional testimonies ... make anything clear, it’s that the president’s highest crime isn’t what he tried to do to, or with, Ukraine. It’s that he’s attempting to turn the Un…

Job loss predictions over rising minimum wages haven't come true » Axios Eighteen states rang in 2019 with minimum wage increases — some that will ultimately rise as high as $15 an hour — and so far, opponents' dire predictions of job losses have not come true.…

Coal Knew, Too » HUFFPOST A newly unearthed journal from 1966 shows the coal industry, like the oil industry, was long aware of the threat of climate change.…

“I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections,”

Senator Bernie Sanders

Criticizing Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg for his late entry into the 2020 presidential race and his aggressive advertising campaign.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

White House review turns up e-mails showing extensive effort to justify Trump’s decision to block Ukraine military aid » Boston Globe A confidential White House review of President Trump’s decision to place a hold on military aid to Ukraine has turned up hundreds of documents that reveal extensive efforts to generate an after-the-…

Warren’s fib on son’s private school part of a pattern » Boston Herald While Democrats assail the president’s character and accuse him of lying, among other “high crimes and misdemeanors,” without evidence, they conveniently ignore the times they play footsie with …

Deval Patrick at Boston church: ‘Character of the country’ on the line in 2020 » Boston Herald Presidential candidate Deval Patrick, coming off a rough first week on the campaign trail after entering the Democratic primary in the 11th hour, delivered a spirited speech in a Boston Baptist church…

Elizabeth Warren taps Ayanna Pressley as one of three campaign co-chairs » Boston Herald Elizabeth Warren has tapped U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley as one of her presidential campaign co-chairs, introducing an all-female trio of surrogates — two of them minorities — that pundits say could …

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders slam potential Bloomberg candidacy » Boston Herald Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears poised to swoop into the presidential race with a more than $30 million ad dump, an expensive play being derided by some of his top Democratic riva…

Deval Patrick isn’t feeling much Democratic love » Boston Herald Give Deval a chance, Democrats.…

How the Democratic candidates name-drop places to appeal to voters » Washington Post Boone, Iowa. Homestead, Fla. Denmark, S.C.…

Michael Bloomberg Joins 2020 Democratic Field for President » New York Times Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Sunday that he would run for president in 2020, bringing his enormous wealth and eclectic political biography into the tumultuous Democratic primary and seeking to wi…

Business

Harvard, MIT, and GE to collaborate on unique biotech center » Boston Business Journal The $50 million first-of-its-kind center will explore regenerative therapies in a cross-sector environment.…

Grocery-carrying robots took to the Boston streets this month. Do we need them? » Boston.com The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season. But how many people are ready to ditch their second car to buy a two-wheeled rover that can follow them ar…

Cannabis

Brookline Votes Against Restrictions For NETA, Other Pot Shops » WGBH Brookline Town Meeting members voted on Thursday against a proposal that would have constrained business for marijuana retailers, including a proposal that would have required the shops to be appointm…

Crimes

Former Medford police chief knew of major payroll scandal, but didn’t seek outside probe » Boston Globe Weeks after news broke last year of a payroll fraud scandal within the State Police force, longtime Medford Police Chief Leo A. Sacco Jr. learned that about a quarter of the officers in his own depart…

Education

Why we’re ready to strike » Commonwealth Magazine Harvard has learned nothing about how to handle harassment…

At MIT, a new name (Shell Auditorium) for an old standby (54-100) fuels outrage » Boston Globe At MIT, a new name (Shell Auditorium) for an old standby (54-100) fuels outrage…

Hampshire College retains accreditation following key review » The Republican The New England Commission of Higher Education has voted to continue the accreditation of Hampshire College, which has been working to regain its footing in tough financial times.…

Environment

Climate Change town hall held at UMass Dartmouth » Dartmouth Week The rise of 60-70 million climate-exasperated migrants around the world; No country being on track to reach their Paris agreement goals; Potential warming of 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the cent…

Massachusetts economy could take a hit if neighbors bail out of regional gas plan » Boston Herald Massachusetts economy could take a hit if neighbors bail out of regional gas plan…

East Boston mothers sound alarm about air pollution from Logan Airport » Boston Herald Julia Burrell and her two young children were enjoying a day at the park near their East Boston home when their noses started to burn.…

4 ways people can improve their environmental awareness and fight climated change » The Metro West Daily News To help educate the public about the importance of the environment, the Framingham Public Library Homework Center hosted its first Environmental Awareness Fair on Sunday afternoon.…

Federal

Representative Stephen Lynch fails in bid for powerful House committee chairmanship » Boston Globe Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch lost his bid to become the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee to New York Representative Carolyn Maloney, who becomes the first woman to head …

Health Care

Consortium plans to build cell manufacturing facility » Commonwealth Magazine Group includes Harvard, MIT, top hospitals, several firms…

Human Services

One judge’s tough approach to foster care: It’s only for the really extreme cases » Washington Post The courtroom looks more like a preschool than a command center for dismantling the city’s foster care system. A stuffed penguin perches above the judge’s bench. A bookcase is filled with children…

Labor

Boston’s Freedom Trail guides are staging their own rebellion » Boston Globe They are a familiar sight around Boston’s historic attractions: tour guides clad in tricorner hats and other Colonial-era garb, regaling visitors with tales of how a people broke free from an oppres…

Legislative

Mass. Lawmakers Heap Their Plates With Work Heading Into The Holiday » New England Public Radio Massachusetts lawmakers are home this week getting ready for Thanksgiving — and presumably getting some rest after some late nights last week.…

Local Government

How does an 81-foot-tall monument to the Pilgrims become invisible? » Boston Globe Here in the hometown of Thanksgiving, where tourists are so eager to gobble up anything Mayflower that they jostle for views of a boulder and leave souvenir shops wearing giant hats adorned with buckl…

Fall River assessor resigns after review of Cathy Ann Viveiros’ property values » The Herald News A week after Cathy Ann Viveiros resigned her position as city administrator under Mayor Jasiel Correia’s administration, city assessor Benjamin Mello followed suit in the wake of a review of Viveiro…

Politics

Frank Bellotti recalls the death of his friend John F. Kennedy » Boston Herald “In this moment of almost unbearable sorrow, all animosity and all ambition is gone. The world has stopped and fallen to its knees in common prayer.”…

VIPs gather as Davio’s opens in the Seaport » Boston Globe Local restaurateur Steve DiFillippo hosted about 700 guests in the Seaport on Saturday to mark the opening of his newest Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.…

Rockport activist challenging Moulton » Gloucester Times More than a few contradictions surround Nathaniel Mulcahy's campaign to represent the 6th Congressional District in the House, and the Rockport resident, climate activist and inventor says he wouldn't…

What Happens When Governors and Legislators Don't Get Along » Governing Why are some lawmakers calling each other ‘bastards’ and ‘bat shit crazy’? Because governors in a dozen states now face legislatures controlled by the other party. While some can reach comprom…

Why Governors Are the Only Candidates Voters Will Break Party Ranks to Support » Governing Unlike other federal and state offices, there’s still ‘wiggle room’ for ticket-splitting in contests for governor. Tuesday’s result in Kentucky means there will be a dozen governors whose part…

Public Health

Vape users, shop owners slam Charlie Baker’s ban » Boston Herald A steady stream of outraged vape smokers and shop owners slammed Gov. Charlie Baker’s vape ban before state health officials in the one and only public hearing on the controversial legislation, whic…

Searching for a killer: Inside the CDC’s scramble to solve a mysterious vaping disease » Washington Post Scientists were ecstatic. The test results were in. For the first time, the lab team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had direct evidence that a chemical compound, vitamin E acetate, …

Vaping is still safer than smoking. That message is getting dangerously muddled. » Vox Amid the many controversies about vaping’s health effects, there’s one thing public health experts agree on: E-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.…

Public Safety

Mass. State Police Tested Out Boston Dynamics’ Spot The Robot Dog. Civil Liberties Advocates Want To Know More » WBUR Cops have long had dogs, and robots, to help them do their jobs. And now, they have a robot dog.…

State Government

Galvin faulted for violating conflict of interest laws » The Salem News The state Ethics Commission has faulted Secretary of State Bill Galvin for benefiting politically from early voting signs bearing his name and a taxpayer-funded voter guide ahead of last year's electi…

Transportation

Pros and cons on the Spotlight report on congestion » Commonwealth Magazine Good at explaining causes; less thorough on solutions…

Chinese rail company in Massachusetts seeks more MBTA money as Trump ban looms » Boston Herald CRRC is fighting for more lucrative contracts; White House-backed funding ban before Congress…

Best to wear some galoshes if getting off the Red Line outbound at Central Square » Universal Hub Last week, state Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge, Somerville) got a promise from T officials to do something about the perpetual even-in-dry-weather puddle at the bottom of a set of stairs on the outb…

Ed Markey to Tesla: Turn Off Autopilot Before It Kills Someone » Boston Magazine He cited a video of the infamous Mass Pike snoozer.…

The 14 worst people on the Mass Pike, ranked » Boston Globe It’s hard to believe, but leave it to the Globe’s Spotlight team to uncover the unspeakable truth: Traffic is even worse than we thought.…

Baker intends to sign bill banning cell phone use while driving » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker plans to sign into law on Monday a bill that would ban drivers from using hand-held devices like cell phones, according to a copy of his schedule issued by his administration Su…

Mapping Boston Hot Spots, Block By Block » WBUR While you’re layering on sweaters and pulling out winter coats, many in the urban planning world are thinking about heat. That's because cities — with all their buildings and pavement — tend to …

Governor Charlie Baker says he doesn’t need to ride the T. He’s wrong » Boston Globe “I’m not a virtue signaler.” So said Governor Charlie Baker, batting back the notion that he should ride the MBTA from time to time.…

Utilities

Our View: Vote could be harbinger of energy shift » The Eagle Tribune Brookline Town Meeting voted 207-3 Wednesday night to ban oil and gas heating infrastructure in new construction and major renovations in town, putting a stake in the ground for green energy supporter…

Offering National Model, This New England Town Just Banned Natural Gas and Oil in New Home Construction » Common Dreams Setting a new standard for other communities in the United States and elsewhere to follow in this age of climate emergency, the suburban town of Brookline, Massachusetts this week passed a sweeping ne…

Brookline’s ban on oil and gas in new buildings could just be the start » Boston.com By an overwhelming margin Wednesday night, Brookline Town Meeting voted to ban oil and gas piping in future construction projects, becoming the first community in Massachusetts to pass such a measure.…

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The Week Ahead

Monday - 11/25

9:30am Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Public Hearing, McCormack Building, 21st Floor, One Ashburton Place, Boston

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

Tuesday - 11/26

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

Wednesday - 11/27

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

Thursday - 11/28

No Hearings Scheduled

Friday - 11/29

No Hearings Scheduled

Press Releases

Massachusetts Weekly Unemployment Claimant Data 06-10-21 » MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Senate Passes Post-Retirement Work Waiver Extension » Massachusetts Retirees

Tremont Strategies Group Welcomes New Additions To Government Affairs Team » Tremont Strategies Group

$4.6 Million Rapid Reemployment Grant Program Launches in Massachusetts » MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Reminder: Summer Road Safety » MassDOT

Upcoming Wellington Circle Study Virtual Public Meeting » MassDOT

MassDEP Assesses Penalty to Sira Naturals for Environmental Violations at its Milford Manufacturing Facility » MA Department of Environmental Protection

What a Week It’s Been » Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance

Led by Sen. Lewis, Fair Share Amendment Advances to the Ballot » Office of MA State Senator Jason Lewis

MMA urges House to protect local control of municipal reprecincting process » Massachusetts Municipal Association

New Measures to Boost Home Ownership, Wages, and Economic Equity in Boston » City of Boston

Boston Police Department Police Reform Policy Update » City of Boston

On the Anniversary of 1982 Nuclear Weapons Freeze Rally in Central Park, Senator Markey and Rep. McGovern Reintroduce Expansive Legislation to Halt Dangerous 21ST Century Global Nuclear Arms Race » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Reintroduces Legislation to Protect Dr. Anthony Fauci, Research Institute Heads From Politically Motivated Termination » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

AG Healey Sues Orthodontist for Illegally Charging MassHealth Patients for Missed or Cancelled Appointments » Office of MA Attorney General Maura Healey

Drawing Democracy Coalition Urges MA Senate to Pass Reprecincting Bill to Ensure Equitable Redistricting Process: » Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Drought Conditions Improve in Some Commonwealth Regions, Worsen in Others » Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency


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