Legislative boot camp
The Academy for New Legislators holds a crash course in the responsibilities of a lawmaker for the newest members of the Legislature, UMass-Amherst, all day.
The 12th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, a daylong event, will feature addresses from professor and attorney Anita Hill, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, Morgan Stanley vice chair and senior client advisor Carla Harris, ‘CBS This Morning’ co-host Gayle King, ‘Shark Tank’ judge Kevin O’Leary and Annie Clark, and others, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, starting at 7:30 a.m.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Gaming Commission meets to plan the agendas for its upcoming meetings and possibly discuss other matters, 101 Federal St. – 12th floor, Boston 10:30 a.m.
The state Treasury holds its annual conference for potential investors and analysts interested in purchasing state bonds, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg and Gov. Charlie Baker addressing the conference, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston, starts at 8:30 a.m. and the governor speaks at 11 a.m.
Governor’s Council to certify congressional races
The Governor’s Council meets and will likely certify the results for the congressional races in the Nov. 8 election, Council Chamber, Room 360, 12 p.m.
Pearl Harbor anniversary
Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Urena and USS Constitution Commander Robert Gerosa mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at a commemorative service and wreath-laying aboard the USS Cassin Young in Charlestown Navy Yard, 198 3rd St., Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Drought task force
As a drought drags into December, the state’s Drought Management Task Force meets to assess conditions and to consider changing the state’s own drought classifications, Conference Room B, 2nd floor, 100 Cambridge St., Boston, 12:30 p.m.
K-9 Memorial dedication
The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, the State Police Association of Massachusetts Benevolent Fund and the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association dedicate a memorial to honor 43 deceased, retired and active dogs that have served officials and the public over the years, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, 1 State Road, Stow, 1 p.m.
Green Line extension
The MBTA will host a public meeting on the status of the Green Line Extension project, Somerville High School Auditorium, 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, 6 p.m.
Governor at the Pops
Gov. Baker joins the Boston Pops as an “Honorary Chair” of the 33rd Annual A Company Christmas at Pops gala and narrates T’was the Night before Christmas during the program, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, 8 p.m.
Pearl Harbor’s fading memories
Today is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the U.S. into World War II. The Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie has a nice piece on how the memories of Pearl Harbor are slowly, sadly fading away. Check out the Globe’s front page from Dec. 8, 1941. Can’t get any more dramatic than that. The Herald lets Robert Coles of Machias, Maine, then a 17-year-old sailor on the destroyer USS Bagley, tell his tale of what happened on that terrible day.
Meanwhile, the Cape Cod Times and the Telegram and the Gloucester Times also have moving pieces on the Pearl Harbor anniversary.
Baker swings the budget ax, DeLeo decries move as ‘premature’
Maybe the timing was triggered by the disappointing November revenue numbers that came out late last week. Maybe it was the disappointing revenue projections aired at a State House hearing earlier this week. Maybe the governor felt he had to signal bond investors and analysts gathering today in Boston that he could act decisively on the budget. No matter what the reasons for the timing, Gov. Charlie Baker – who, at the urging of Dem leaders, previously pulled back from making planned budget cuts – began chopping $93 million from the state budget yesterday to fill what the administration sees as a growing budget gap, report the Boston Globe’s Joshua Miller and Boston Herald’s Matt Stout. Democrats are not happy. “It seems that the administration is seeking to achieve policy objectives that have previously been rejected by the Legislature through its unilateral use of 9C cuts,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo, calling the cuts “premature.”
While the state cuts its budget, Boston is so awash in dough it’s slashing taxes
Beacon Hill leaders can only look on in envy. As property values soar and property tax revenues climb in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh, who faces re-election next year, announced yesterday new property tax breaks that will save struggling single-family homeowners about $300 a year, according to the Globe’s Meghan Irons and the Herald’s Jordan Graham. No complaints of “premature” cuts at City Hall, as far as we can tell.
Massachusetts employer confidence soars, thanks to a post-election reassessment of Trump
The state’s revenue outlook may be cloudy, but the state’s jobless rate is at a mere 3.3 percent and now local employer confidence is at its highest level in more than a year, thanks to the election of Donald Trump, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. Remember how people predicted market uncertainty and volatility if Trump won the presidency? It hasn’t happened. Employers are now liking what they’re seeing and hearing from Trump – when he’s not talking of slapping tariffs on firms and cancelling multibillion-dollar government contracts with companies like Boeing, etc., etc.
Trump’s Air Force One tirade has implications for GE
Speaking of bashing Boeing, President-Elect Donald Trump may have gone off on Twitter tirade against the planned purchase of new Boeing aircrafts to replace the Air Force One fleet, but Boston’s General Electric stands to lose as well if the order goes down in flames, David Harris of the Boston Business Journal reports. Although the exact financial implications aren’t clear—Trump’s claim that the total order could reach $4 billion was immediately called into doubt—each of the two new 747-8 planes on order is slated to be powered by four GE-built jet engines.
Healey consoles post-election Dems needing ‘cathartic’ relief
Attorney General Maura Healey last evening tried to “buck up the troops” and “assuage some fears” of hundreds of Democrats still psychologically reeling from the election of Donald Trump as president, the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan reports. “A lot of hurtful, terrible things were said and a lot of people were left feeling marginalized, disempowered, and disillusioned in its wake,” Healey said of the election. Said one Lincoln attendee at the Arlington event: “These conversations are a kind of cathartic necessity at this point in time and I think myself and a lot of people in my life are still feeling shell-shocked.”
Here’s one Dem who wasn’t shocked by Trump’s victory, though he was disappointed: State Sen. Eric Lesser, who writes in the Globe of the “economic and political alienation” of many voters, including many in his own western Massachusetts district. He has suggestions on how lawmakers can help those struggling outside the booming Greater Boston area.
It’s off to Texas she goes – maybe
As Maura Healey prepped to console voters in Arlington, U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade was standing by his order that the Massachusetts attorney general must appear in a Texas courtroom next week to testify in her battle with ExxonMobil over her probe of what oil companies have known about climate change, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at Wicked Local. But Healey is vowing to appeal what her office has called a “fishing expedition” into the origins of her climate-change investigation, the Herald reports. An appeal is expected to be filed today. No matter who’s right about her having to testify, it’s clear this case hasn’t exactly turned out the way Healey intended.
Martha Coakley named partner at Foley Hoag
Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, also the former Democratic gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidate, has been named a partner at Boston’s Foley Hoag LLP, a year and a half after joining the Boston law firm, reports the BBJ. The appointment is effective January 1.
Despite the defeat of Question 2, S&P warns of too many charter schools
Even though the Question 2 charter school referendum was soundly beaten by Massachusetts voters in November, a major credit rating agency is still warning that expansion of charter schools here poses a threat to city and town credit ratings, reports MassLive’s Shire Schoenberg: In particular, S&P Global Ratings is keeping an eye on cities like Boston, Holyoke and Springfield. The S&P report follows Moody’s pre-election warning about an overexpansion of charter schools in Massachusetts.
Finneran’s pension case heads to SJC
From the Herald’s Matt Stout: “Ex-Speaker Thomas M. Finneran’s fight to win back his pension has reached the state’s highest court, where justices tomorrow will hear arguments about whether the former pol’s lies on the stand should cost him his $33,000 in annual retirement checks.” At issue is lower court ruling and whether Finneran’s obstruction of justice charges were directly linked to his job as speaker, reports Stout.
Baker appoints new UMass trustees
MassLive’s Ginautas Dumcius provides a rundown on Gov. Baker’s appointments to the University of Massachusetts board of trustees. They include: Michael O’Brien, the former city manager of Worcester; Elizabeth Scheibel, former Northwestern District Attorney; Mary Burns, a managing partner at MLB Realty Trust LLC; Imari Paris Jeffries, an independent consultant for United South End Settlement Houses; and Charles Wu, a founding partner of Baynorth Capital LLC who teaches real estate at Harvard Business School. Baker also re-appointed Robert Manning, who served as chair from 2008 to 2010, and will become chair again on Dec. 12, 2016, Dumcius reports.
Larry Summers pushes ‘responsible nationalism’ over Davos-driven globalization
As a MASSterList reader points out, Harvard’s Larry Summers seemed to coin a new phrase earlier this summer in a piece for the Financial Times: ‘Responsible nationalism,’ which he basically defines as a globalization that still looks out for the interests of working people. Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency based partly on his populist bashing of trade agreements, Summers says in a NYT piece that it’s even more important to craft new national and international polices that, yes, promote global trade, but not at the expense of nations’ own citizens.
Meanwhile, Boston College’s Sandra Waddock is sounding roughly the same alarm at the BBJ: “The U.K.‘s vote for Brexit, the U.S. election of Donald and the rise of both right- and left-wing populism across Europe all point to a desire for change from the established order and a more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth.”
Privatizing Medicare: Where did this overreach idea come from?
MASSterList yesterday posted another item our Facebook page, this one on how Congressional Republicans may be engaging in overreach by pushing to privatize Medicare. Of all the issues to tackle right now, they pick the one most likely to blow up in their faces.
As it is, both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have pieces today on how Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, are gearing up for a major battle over Medicare. In normal times, this should be political goldmine for Democrats, but these aren’t normal times. So we’ll see how this plays out.
Springfield mayor shoots down police commission
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on Tuesday vetoed a City Council vote to establish a citizens police commission, striking down the order as soon as it hit his desk and setting up likely political and legal clashes in the process, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. The council appears to have enough votes to override the action, but Sarno and the city’s top lawyer say the move is invalid because Springfield has a strong mayor form of government.
Debate over Framingham’s form of government focuses on balance of power
Some Framingham residents are expressing concern that the community will hand too much power to a mayor as the town continues to move toward a possible change in its form of government, Jim Haddadin reports in the MetroWest Daily News. The town’s charter commission held the first public hearing on its 50-page proposal to remold government and having a strong mayor.
New Bedford workers to get back pay
The city of New Bedford will be forced to pay wages that union employees lost during a furlough ordered by the city’s mayor in 2009, after the Supreme Judicial Court upheld a ruling by the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board that found unilaterally reducing work hours constituted an unfair labor practice, Aimee Chiavaroli of the Standard-Times reports. Then-mayor Scott Lang ordered reduced hours at City Hall after the 2008 housing and financial collapse devastated the city’s budget.
Advocates push for minority pot licenses
Advocacy groups yesterday pressed the Boston City Council to take steps to ensure that minority neighborhoods can benefit from a future legal marijuana industry, Jack Encarnacao of the Herald reports. Advocates want the city to have set-aside licenses for minority neighborhoods where the arrest rate for marijuana possession are highest.
Trading start-up equity for image rights to Tom Brady
BostInno’s Olivia Vanni reports how the National Football League players union has formed a new venture group focused on sports-centric startups called The OneTeam Collective, with the Harvard Innovation Lab involved. So does that mean players will invest money in start-ups? Nope. They’ll trade their image rights for an equity stake in companies. In Tom’s case, that means a lot of equity.
Walsh proposes lower Boston property taxes – Boston Globe
Advocates pitch for pot shop licenses in Boston’s minority areas – Boston Herald
Citgo logo maker sees a landmark – Boston Herald
Gov. Baker to cut $98 million to close state budget gap – Boston Globe
Healey tries to buck up disappointed Democrats – Boston Globe
UMass law school gains full accreditation – Boston Globe
Maura Healey vows to fight Texas judge’s ‘abuse of discretion’ – Boston Herald
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno vetoes citizens police commission – MassLive
Worcester council to explore local options on recreational marijuana – Telegram & Gazette
Framingham School Committee settles whistleblower lawsuit – MetroWest Daily News
Balance of power key in Framingham charter debate – MetroWest Daily News
$44,000 spent on police probes – Gloucester Daily Times
Tragedy strikes Bridgewater State again as 7th student dies – Patriot Ledger
In Berkshires, another barrier to medical marijuana: Few doctors in county can prescribe it – Berkshire Eagle
UMass, union work out Labor Center deal – Hampshire Gazette
SJC decision means New Bedford must pay back wages for 2009 furlough – Standard-Times
Worcester foreclosure starts drop 25 percent – Worcester Business Journal
Trump takes credit for SoftBank’s $50 billion investment – Politico
Lobbying by Bob Dole led to Trump’s Taiwan call – New York Times
Carrier union leader on deal: Trump lied – Washington Post
Hospital industry warns of ‘crisis’ if health care law repealed – Washington Post
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