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Today on Beacon Hill

7:35am Congressman Jim McGovern and Representative Jack Lewis on GBH News' Morning Edition, 89.7 FM or gbhnews.org

11:00am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

11:30am House Session, Full Formal Session

Swearing-in and convening of 2020-2021 General Court

Must-Reads

OPINION: A new Legislature convenes and three pay hikes kick in. Only in Massachusetts » Boston Globe If Beacon Hill were a model of legislative excellence, such exorbitant compensation might be justifiable, but the opposite is true. Most Massachusetts legislators have no influence, and the handful wh…

OPINION: Ron Mariano, the new speaker, doesn’t seem to have much to say » Boston Globe Maybe Mariano will surprise us all. Perhaps under that unimpressive exterior beats the heart of a thought leader prepared to guide Massachusetts forward in the final act of his public service. Or mayb…

PA: Pennsylvania Republicans block seating of Democratic state senator, take control from lieutenant governor » Washington Post Republicans say they will not seat Sen.-elect Jim Brewster as a legal challenge to his victory is pending, although his win has been certified and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently sided with hi…

Trump supporters heckle Romney, chanting ‘traitor’ on a flight to D.C. » Washington Post Under dimmed cabin lights on a flight from Salt Lake City on Tuesday, a woman bellowed a rallying cry to a group of Trump supporters headed to D.C. to rally behind the president, urging them to tell f…

Where deadlines, rules, time are malleable » Commonwealth Magazine THE 2019-2020 legislative session was scheduled to end on Tuesday, but there was still work to be done at midnight so lawmakers kept extending the session into the wee hours of Wednesday morning and k…

NY: Senate Democrats Announce Committee Chairs » State of Politics Democrats have also created new committees, including one overseeing cities outside of New York City as the party holds multiple seats in upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for the fi…

NY: NYC lawmaker fined $15K for taking free trips, meals on taxpayers’ dime » New York Post State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) scored five stays in luxury accommodations at a resort in the Poconos and five swank Hudson River dinner cruises for himself and family members from the Margert…

FL: “Who’s in charge?” Desantis’ hands-off governing sows confusion in vaccine rollout » Tampa Bay Times The result has led to desperate seniors flooding health department websites and tying up phone lines, signing up for fake vaccine appointments and sleeping in their cars outside public health centers,…

Raskin family lays son to rest amid outpouring of support from Congress » Roll Call “Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind,” the Raskins wrote in the statement, describing his struggle w…

Editorial: MBTA service cuts are bad public policy » Boston Globe The MBTA is slated to receive somewhere between $250 million and $300 million from the latest round of federal stimulus funding. Yet, even with plenty of money pouring in, state transportation officia…

Ossoff declares victory with race still uncalled » The Hill Should his lead hold over Perdue, whose Senate term ended Sunday, Ossoff would be the youngest member of the upper chamber. Democrats would also control the Senate for the next two years following Rap…

Georgia Wins Would Empower Dems To Repeal Trump Rules » The Daily Poster Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can rescind recently passed Trump administration rules that weaken protections for workers, the environment and farmers. Will Democrats use that power?…

Legislature Agrees to $626 Mil Economic Stimulus Bill » State House News Service While the compromise bill scrapped a House-backed plan to have Massachusetts join other New England states in legalizing sports betting, it did include a version of Gov. Charlie Baker's long-stalled h…

Reflecting On U.S. Attorney's Legacy In Massachusetts As Biden Assembles New Administration » WGBH He's gone after the Massachusetts state police. It's one thing to investigate an agency like that — a very powerful agency — but it's something else to bring a few indictments and even secure some…

"Joe Biden became president-elect by winning 85% of U.S. counties with a Whole Foods and just 32% with a Cracker Barrel."

David Wasserman, Political Analyst at The Cook Political Report

Joe Biden's victory was the widest gap on record for this statistic.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Opinion: Trump’s behavior isn’t delusional. It’s criminal » Boston Globe Many would rather believe the president is slipping mentally than acknowledge that a criminal and con man has been occupying the White House.…

Warnock makes history with Senate win; 2nd race too close to call » Boston Globe Warnock, senior pastor of the church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached through the height of the Civil Rights movement until his assassination, made history with a surge in Black turnout.…

Explainer: How Warnock won 1 of Georgia’s 2 Senate runoffs » Boston Globe Two US Senate runoff elections that together will determine which party controls the legislative chamber for the next two years were held in Georgia on Tuesday.…

Pence said to have told Trump he lacks power to change election result » Boston Globe Vice President Mike Pence told President Donald Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election des…

Mayor Walsh again mum on rumors Biden may tap him for US labor secretary » Boston Globe Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday refused to directly address rumors that President-elect Joe Biden may nominate him for US labor secretary.…

Business

UI rate relief bill passes through second committee » News 22 WWLP.com With only hours to go in the two-year session, lawmakers took a second step Tuesday toward offering relief to businesses staring down a massive increase in unemployment taxes.…

Massachusetts lawmakers strike last-minute deal on economic development bill, shelving sports betting proposal » The Republican Massachusetts legislators reached a last-minute deal overnight on a nearly $627 million economic development bill that includes housing production incentives, small business grants and vocational scho…

Boston cybersecurity firm iboss lands $145m in funding, plans to add 200 jobs » Boston Globe The fast-growing Boston cybersecurity firm iboss has secured an additional $145 million in equity investments to keep its momentum going.…

Legislature Agrees to $626 Mil Economic Development Bill » State House News Service With many businesses on the brink after months of scraping by through the pandemic, the Legislature struck a late-night deal Wednesday to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy in an …

Education

Coronavirus vaccine: Northeastern becomes one of the first universities to administer shots » Boston Herald Northeastern University on Tuesday became one of the first universities in the country to administer the coronavirus vaccine, according to the school.…

State plans to go ahead with MCAS tests this year » Boston Globe Massachusetts education officials on Tuesday said they plan to push ahead with MCAS testing this school year, even as many public school students continue to take most or all of their classes at home …

Riley pushes lower-stakes MCAS test » Commonwealth Magazine THIS YEAR’S MCAS exams will be conducted this spring but will feature “significantly” reduced testing time for third through eighth graders and no schools will be newly named underperforming in …

Voc-tech schools thriving despite pandemic strictures » Commonwealth Magazine HANDS-ON EDUCATION plays a critical role at Massachusetts regional vocational-technical high schools, where students alternate weekly between academics and shop classes. Given that reality, you’d th…

State Officials Tell Schools MCAS Testing Will Proceed Despite Pandemic » WGBH The state will shorten standardized testing time for 3rd through 8th graders this year as a result of the pandemic but it will not cancel MCAS testing.…

Campuses step up to help with Covid-19 vaccine distribution » Boston Business Journal Northeastern University started administering Covid-19 vaccines Tuesday, making the school one of the first universities in the U.S. to do so, according to university officials.…

Cambridge School Officials Reverse Course, Plan For Wider Reopening By February » WBUR Even with COVID-19 cases high, Cambridge will plan to bring more students back into schools — and to avoid another pullback to remote teaching — starting in February.…

Environment

Editorial: Clean-air goals can’t overlook economic climate » Sentinel & Enterprise Massachusetts made another stride toward its goal of eliminating carbon-based emissions earlier this week with the Legislature’s passage of a comprehensive environmental bill that aims to curb the e…

Health Care

As COVID-19 cases surge, doctors are divided over changing vaccine dosages to reach more people » Boston Globe As hospitalizations and deaths from the pandemic soar, and frustrations mount over the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, public health experts remain divided on how best to inoculate as many American…

Gov. Baker touts COVID vaccine during Springfield visit » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito detailed the state’s plan to vaccinate residents against the coronavirus during a visit Tuesday to Baystate Medical Center.…

How Should You Choose Which COVID Vaccine To Take? » CBS Boston The general public will have access to Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines later this year. But given the opportunity to choose, is one better than the other?…

Telehealth a proven, necessary tool for healthcare workers amid COVID crisis (Editorial) » The Republican Around the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order that required insurers to cover “medically necessary” telehealth services and to reimburse providers at t…

As some Massachusetts health care workers decline coronavirus vaccine, others worry about the message it sends » Boston Herald Health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are first in line for the vaccine, but some are refusing to roll up their sleeves — a trend experts worry is sending a bad message.…

Baker: Fed Communication Key to Smooth Vaccine Distribution » State House News Service Massachusetts's COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts will go more smoothly, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday, if the federal government could give states a bit more of a heads-up about when additional…

Baker says 70,000 staff members at Mass. hospitals have received COVID-19 vaccine » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday that more than 70,000 “COVID-facing” staff members at Massachusetts hospitals have received the COVID-19 vaccine amid the ongoing distribution program that’s …

Boston MedFlight transporting coronavirus patients across New England due to lack of beds » Boston Herald Boston MedFlight has transported nearly 1,200 critically ill coronavirus patients since the pandemic began, and now they are taking those who need treatment to hospitals across New England as bed capa…

Immigration

Fear Of Deportation Prompts Undocumented Immigrants To Resist COVID-19 Vaccine » WGBH “We have been advising individuals and families that they absolutely must make themselves available for testing and vaccination and that these activities will not trigger immigration consequences, b…

Legislative

A Vega Chapter Closes in Boston As Another Opens in Holyoke » Western Mass Politics and Insight Come next week, for the first time in 11 years, Aaron Vega will not represent the Paper City in any elected capacity. Compared to some here, this is a relatively brief period in public life. However, …

Legislature passes jobs, transportation bills in chaotic close to session » Boston Globe The Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday morning passed long-awaited agreements on a $627 million economic stimulus bill and a multibillion-dollar transportation borrowing package, but only after be…

House, Senate Extend Hectic Sessions Into Wednesday » State House News Service With deals on major economic development and transportation bills not coming together until after midnight, the House and Senate extended their final day of sessions into the early hours of Wednesday,…

House, Senate finish by moving finish line » Commonwealth Magazine WITH SOME LEGISLATIVE sleight of hand, the House and Senate extended their sessions from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and succeeded in passing most of the major pieces of legislation still pen…

Newly elected Cape Cod officials ready to get to work » Cape Cod Times The Cape's latest class of freshman elected officials are being sworn in this week, and the focus across the board is getting the COVID-19 crisis under control.…

Local Government

Boston extends coronavirus suspension of gyms, movie theaters » Boston Herald Boston’s closure of gyms, museums and more will continue for another three weeks, Mayor Martin Walsh announced — as he said he could be “forced” into new restrictions by continued bad coronavi…

Somerville's Charter Review Committee Seeks Community Members » Brookline Patch The City of Somerville is seeking community members to serve on a Charter Review Committee and the deadline to apply has been extended to January 19.…

Protesters call for Chicopee City Councilor Lucjan Galecki to resign over sexual harassment comments » The Republican Protesters gathered in front of City Hall Tuesday to call for the resignation of a city councilor who said women wearing provocative clothing at “sketchy” nightclubs are at fault if they are sexua…

Open seat to be filled on Boston School Committee to be delayed, process to restart » Boston Herald A vacancy on the Boston School Committee set to be filled by Mayor Martin Walsh will now be delayed after his original selection withdrew their name from consideration, according to spokesman Nick Mar…

Politics

John Macdonald: Massachusetts Republicans have a leader » Lowell Sun Last Sunday, members of Massachusetts Republican State Committee voted to re-elect Jim Lyons as Chairman of the MA GOP for another two years. The race for chairman this year was contentious and viciou…

‘It just feels like the right time’: Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz will not seek reelection » Gazette Net After serving the city in appointed and elected roles for more than two decades, including the last nine in the corner office at City Hall, Mayor David Narkewicz announced Tuesday that he will not see…

A Q&A with Robert Carlock on ‘Mr. Mayor,’ Tina Fey, and Mass. humor » Boston Globe In politics, campaigning is often the easy part. It’s the governing that’s hard. That’s the hurdle faced by Ted Danson’s affable Neil Bremer in the new NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.” A retired bu…

Public Health

Vaccine distribution will even out as focus shifts from health care workers to first responders, Gov. Charlie Baker says » The Republican The state’s most recent data on COVID-19 vaccination efforts shows much of Massachusetts lagging behind Boston and its suburbs in terms of doses received compared to the local population.…

‘Be very vigilant’: Baker says highly infectious COVID-19 variant is likely already in Mass. » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday asked residents to redouble their efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus based on the assumption that a new, more contagious form of the virus has arrived i…

Mass. reports 4,178 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 63 new deaths » Boston Globe The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 4,178 Tuesday, while the seven-day average was 4,744. The new cases brought the state’s total to 379,633.…

Rhode Island, Massachusetts say limited supply is why fewer people have been vaccinated » Turn to 10 On Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker recognized health care workers in the Commonwealth eligible to get the first round of the coronavirus vaccine.…

Harvard disease expert calls more contagious coronavirus variant a ‘really big deal’ » Boston.com As a new coronavirus variant forces the United Kingdom into another lockdown, Harvard disease expert Marc Lipsitch says it’s time for officials in the United States to focus on the exceptionally con…

Public Safety

Shootings up, overall crime down as Boston exits 2020 » Boston Herald Shootings and killings were up in Boston last year, though crime on the whole dropped as a turbulent 2020 mixed around jumps in some types of criminal activity with reductions in others.…

May 1 melee at the Bristol Cty. Jail was not unique » Commonwealth Magazine AS MASSACHUSETTS Attorney General Maura Healey recently found, corrections officers at the Bristol County Jail on May 1 used excessive use of force to quell a nonviolent demonstration by non-criminal …

‘We’re Hopeful’: Firefighters’ Union Reacts To First Responder COVID Vaccine Plan » CBS Boston On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker and his team outlined the plan to vaccinate first responders against COVID-19 in Massachusetts. First responders are the next priority group in “Phase 1” of vacci…

Dozens Of Groups Urge Massachusetts Parole Board Reforms Amid Pandemic » WBUR After 17 years on parole in Massachusetts, Wayne Lane completed his parole in March of last year — at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While on parole, Lane, 59, bought a house and began worki…

Federal appeals court says Massachusetts citizens can secretly make audio recordings of on-duty police in public spaces » Boston Globe A Massachusetts ban on secret audio recordings of police in public areas was declared unconstitutional last month by a federal appeals court, reversing part of a 52-year-old state law that criminalize…

Walsh Vetoes Ordinance That Would Restrict Police Use Of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets » WBUR Boston city councilors plan to refile legislation that would restrict how and when police can use tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets after Mayor Marty Walsh vetoed the measure.…

State Government

SJC rejects challenge to Baker’s authority in pandemic » News 22 WWLP.com Gov. Charlie Baker’s extensive, executive order-fueled pandemic response is justifiable under state law and did not violate the constitutional rights of businesses and organizations affected by mand…

Massachusetts’ $8.2B state payroll, raises called a ‘sick’ trend during pandemic » Boston Herald In a year that ushered in staggering unemployment amid the economic collapse from the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s payroll ballooned more than $17 million to $8.2 billion in 2020, a Herald anal…

Howie Carr: 2020 was a fantastically prosperous year … for hacks » Boston Herald You always learn something new when the annual state payroll comes out and today we learn … Gerard Leone Jr., former district attorney of Middlesex County. Forgotten, but not gone — last year this…

2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll: Executive branch » Boston Herald Below is the first installment of the 2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll, featuring the executive branch. We will keep adding to this “Your Tax Dollars at Work” report this week.…

Transportation

Lawmakers send Baker $16.5 billion transportation bond » News 22 WWLP.com House and Senate Democrats forged a late-night compromise on a $16.5 billion transportation bond bill, salvaging consensus in the dying moments of the lawmaking session on a multi-year plan to pay for…

2020 MBTA employee payroll » Boston Herald Below is the 2020 MBTA employee payroll. This is part of the Herald’s “Your Tax Dollars at Work” report.…

MBTA will furlough some workers, including top executives » Boston Globe About one-sixth of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s workforce, including its general manager and other top executives, will be forced to take five furlough days in the coming months,…

Utilities

Noting 2018 Gas Explosions, Area Legislators Add Safety Provisions to Climate Change Bill » WHAV A major climate change bill approved Tuesday by the legislature contains significant provisions to address natural gas safety added by the Merrimack Valley delegation, including Sens. Barry Finegold, …

Governor Baker announces new funding for internet service to smaller communities in Massachusetts » News 22 WWLP.com Massachusetts is making it easier for job seekers during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has made it difficult to find jobs, especially if you live in a community with little to no internet acc…

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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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