Happening Today

Baker at NGA seminar

Gov. Charlie Baker participates today in the National Governors Association seminar for new governors, Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, Chantilly, VA.

South Shore Climate Change

Organizers are hosting a South Shore climate change symposium exploring the potential impact on rising sea levels on the region, hosted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, North and South Rivers Watershed Association, state Office of Coastal Zone Management, Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program, Massasoit Community College, Mass Audubon South Shore Sanctuaries, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, South Shore Conservation Commission Network and surrounding towns, Cushing Memorial Hall, 673 Main St., Norwell, 9 a.m.

Environment Massachusetts report

Environment Massachusetts releases its latest report on utility company and fossil fuel influences on solar policy – “Blocking the Sun” – and kicks off a student lobby day for renewable energy, 10:15 a.m.

Gaming Commission

Massachusetts Gaming Commission members visit the MGM Springfield construction site prior to their 1 p.m. meeting at the MassMutual Center, parking in lot adjacent to 73 State St., via State Street, Springfield, 10: 30 a.m.

Walsh with Nova Scotia premier

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joins Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage at a press event to mark the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, Massachusetts General Hospital, Russell Museum of Medial History and Innovation, 2 North Grove Street, Boston, 12 p.m.

UMass Boston groundbreaking

Education Secretary James Peyser, UMass President Martin Meehan, UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley, and UMass Building Authority Chairman Philip Johnston break ground on a $120 million residence hall, Clark Athletic Center, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 3 p.m.

Serious Fun II

In its second night of political comedy in five years, MassINC will highlight the wit of Massachusetts politicians at its Serious Fun II event, including Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey, and former Govs. William Weld and Michael Dukakis, Revere Hotel, Space 57, 200 Stuart St., Boston, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Stan wants to dip into rainy day fund to pay for pot regs

Though it’s not unheard of to tap into the state’s reserve funds for non-budget emergencies, Gov. Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deb Goldberg are apparently cool to Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s idea of dipping into the rainy day fund to pay for pot regulations, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. It may or may not be a good idea, but at least Stan’s dealing with a reality: The state is going to need dough to pay for regulation of legalized marijuana. The money is going to have to come from somewhere.

Boston Globe

Peace in our time: Rosenberg, DeLeo agree on how to streamline bill flow

Considering how the two often fight over control and flow of legislation on Beacon Hill, this legislative deal between Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo is a little bigger than it looks, as explained by Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Rosenberg agreed to retain the existing joint legislative committees, which are dominated by House members. DeLeo, meanwhile, made two concessions to the Senate. He agreed to move up by seven weeks the date by which bills must be released from the committees and accepted a rule requiring the bills to return to their originating body for initial action. The changes, if approved by the full House and Senate, mean the existing committee structure, which favors the House, will remain in place. But senators in most cases should now get a chance to push for a vote in the Senate on any bills they propose.”

OK, maybe it’s not that big of a deal, as some Republicans note. But it should streamline things on Beacon Hill next legislative session.  


Warren urged to do something not in her nature: Backtrack

Elizabeth Warren is catching flak from activists. Interesting. From the Globe’s Felice Freyer: “Advocates for addiction treatment in Massachusetts on Wednesday launched a campaign to persuade Senator Elizabeth Warren to reverse her opposition to a bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act, saying the state needs money for addiction treatment that the legislation could provide.” But Warren is already on record saying the bill has been hopelessly compromised by cozy give-backs to the pharmaceutical industry. It’s hard to see her rationalizing away those concerns.

Boston Globe

‘The Forrest Gump of the financial crisis’

And leave it to Elizabeth Warren to come up with the best and most memorable denunciation of Donald Trump’s selection of former Goldman Sachs honcho Steven Mnuchin as the next Treasury secretary: “Steve Mnuchin is the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis — he managed to participate in all the worst practices on Wall Street,” Warren said in a statement, as reported by Politico’s Ben White. But here’s our question: Didn’t Forrest Gump effectively succeed at everything he did, despite himself? Just wondering.


Profile in Courage: Hamphshire College prez scrambles for cover to undo flag decision

Hampshire College president Jonathan Lash unilaterally decided not to fly the U.S. flag following an anti-Trump flag-burning incident on campus. Now he’s asking everyone but the campus janitors what to do about the flag, now that its removal has proven so unpopular nationwide, under the guise of letting everyone on campus “have a voice” on how they “interpret the flag,” reports Diane Lederman at MassLive. In other words: Lash is seeking cover to undo his own disastrous decision.


Scott Brown’s dream job could go to … Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, vice presidential candidate and Tea Party darling, has emerged as a strong contender for head of the Veterans Administration, a post former Sen. Scott Brown dearly wants, the Hill is reporting. The Herald’s Matt Stout reports the local Tea Party members are not wild about Brown getting the VA post under Donald Trump. Apparently he wasn’t ideologically pure enough.

The Hill

The Hamptons Chamber of Commerce thanks you: Pension paid private equity firms $1.5B over five years

Yet more evidence we chose the wrong profession. From the Globe’s Beth Healey: “The Massachusetts state pension fund paid $1.5 billion to more than 100 private equity firms over the past five years — including a $1 billion share of its profits — according to data it publicly disclosed for the first time. In exchange for the generous compensation, the pension fund reaped bigger gains from private equity than from any other investment it made.” That’s a lot of homes on the Hamptons and Nantucket, that’s all we know.

Boston Globe

Big Papi co-founds private equity venture. No mention of state pension deal

Maybe there’s hope yet for us launching a second career, if David Ortiz is any example. From BostInno’s Dylan Martin: “Big Papi is entering the world of private equity, with the goal of protecting baseball’s future. After ending his baseball career with the Boston Red Sox in October, David Ortiz revealed on Wednesday that he and a few other big-name former baseball players are starting a private equity fund called Dugout Ventures, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ortiz is an investor in the firm, along with Nolan Ryan, Barry Larkin, Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter.” 


Wishful thinking: Maybe Pelosi won’t go after Lynch and Moulton?

As expected, Nancy Pelosi won re-election as House Minority leader, despite opposition from the likes of Reps. Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton and other chamber rebels. The Herald’s Brian Dowling quotes former congressional staffers as saying it’s unlikely Pelosi will seek retribution, i.e. stripping foes of committee assignments, due to the need for party loyalty. Well, maybe she’ll be magnanimous for a short while. But there will be retribution of some kind, based on Pelosi’s past record of dishing out revenge.

Boston Herald

Scary thought: Bill would change when Halloween is celebrated

You may have already heard the big news: There’s a move afoot on Beacon Hill to change the date of Halloween from Oct. 31 to the last Saturday of the month, largely to avoid parents having to rush home from work to prepare for the little ones’ trick-or-treating. But what you may not know is that preliminary reader polls at Patch and other web sites show overwhelming opposition to changing the date of Halloween. Lawmakers: You have been warned.


The state GOP’s never-ending leadership fight

The state Republican Party is starting to resemble that old Star Trek episode in which two aliens, with practically indiscernible differences to outsiders looking in, fight on and on and on until they’re expelled into deep space by Capt. Kirk. Politico’s Lauren Dezenski explains, without the Star Trek analogy.


City Hall union case may hinge on Teamsters appeal

The judge overseeing the extortion case against two Boston City Hall operatives gave their attorneys until mid-January to file motions to dismiss the charges, citing a soon-to-be decided appeal in an unrelated Teamsters extortion case, Brian Dowling of the Herald reports. That unrelated case deals with the now defunct Teamsters Local 82, whose cast of characters practically took over the city’s convention centers before the feds finally nailed them – or seemingly nailed them.

Boston Herald

Soda tax, redux?

Rep. Kay Khan plans to refile a bill to slap a sales tax on soda and other surgery drinks once the new year rolls around, Carey Goldberg of WBUR reports. Although soda taxes have seen increasing support in some places, the idea has been a bust to date in the Bay State, failing to win legislative backing even when it had the strong support of former Gov. Deval Patrick.


Quincy taps former prosecutor for drug czar role

Quincy has hired a former prosecutor whose brother died of a heroin overdose in 2004 to fill the newly created role overseeing the city’s anti-drug efforts, Patrick Ronan of the Patriot Ledger reports. Laura Martin, who worked as an assistant DA in Norfolk County and also founded the Quincy Anti-Drug Coalition, was the only person considered for the job, Mayor Thomas Koch said.

Patriot Ledger

Marion really wants to keep a secret

Someone is donating $25,000 a year to help fund the Sippican elementary school in Marion — and the town is ready to do legal battle to protect that benefactor’s identity, Michael DeCicco reports in the Standard-Times. Selectmen authorized a challenge to a public records request filed in February by Plymouth attorney Peter Winters. Winters, whose wife is a member of the Marion School Committee, says he won’t necessarily reveal the donor’s identity, but wants to make sure there are no obvious conflicts being created.

Standard Times

Background checks for Worcester bench plaques?

Worcester may soon require that donors who want to dedicate park benches, trees or other monuments, with their the names inscribed on them, first run through a background check conducted by the police chief, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. The city is currently holding off on installing newly donated fixtures while it can work out a policy.


Today’s Headlines


‘Boston Winter’ wonderland to open on renovated City Hall Plaza – Boston Globe

Boston is set to lower its speed limit in Jan. – Boston Globe

Teamster case could impact City Hall pol’s extortion trial – Boston Herald

Chinatown break highlights age-old issue – Boston Herald


Springfield Mayor, Hampshire College President delay talks on American flag controversy – MassLive

Background checks may be needed for names put on Worcester park benches – Telegram & Gazette

Mayor, police chief skeptical of sanctuary city proposal – Salem News

Quincy hires former prosecutor to lead anti-drug efforts – Patriot Ledger

Supreme Court knocks down Aquinnah land dispute – Cape Cod Times

Great Barrington police department earns state accreditation: First in Berkshires – Berkshire Eagle

Middlesex DA launches pilot to get drug defendants into addiction treatment – WBUR

After soda tax proposals pass elsewhere, issue to be raised again in Mass. – WBUR

Worcester’s $27M solar project nearing completion – Worcester Business Journal

Foreseeing judgements against city, Brockton legal department asks for additional funds – Brockton Enterprise

Middlesex sheriff testifies in D.C. on importance of health insurance for inmates returning to society – Lowell Sun

Marion in legal battle to protect ID of benefactor – Standard-Times

Groups upset about user fees for New Bedford parks – Standard-Times


Ivanka Trump, climate czar? – Politico

President-elect’s picks would form the wealthiest administration in modern history – Washington Post

Ethics office said it advised Trump to divest holdings – New York Times

Pelosi overcomes challenge to win re-election as house Democratic leader – NPR

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