Walsh at New England Council
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is scheduled to speak at a New England Council breakfast, Bank of America, 225 Franklin St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.
Legislative staff seminar
A two-day seminar for new and returning legislative staffers will kick off with remarks from Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Suffolk University Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., 9 a.m.
State Retirement Board
Massachusetts State Retirement Board meets with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg as chair, One Winter St. – 8th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
Workforce development briefing
Sen. Ken Donnelly, Rep. Joseph Wagner and the Workforce Solutions Group host a briefing on jobs and workforce development policy, Room 222, 11 a.m.
Baker and Walsh on 2017 issues
Gov. Charles Baker and Mayor Martin Walsh talk with WBZ NewsRadio’s Joe Mathieu about the outlook for 2017 and important issues ahead, Seaport World Trade Center – Amphitheatre, mezzanine level, 2nd floor, 200 Seaport Blvd., 11 a.m.
Civil Legal Aid walk
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants will lead hundreds of attorneys on the Equal Justice Coalition’s annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid, meeting at Great Hall, 11:30 a.m.
Fight for $15 protest
Fight for $15, a group pushing for a higher minimum wage, has organized a protest of Andy Puzder’s nomination as Donald Trump’s labor secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, JFK Building, 15 Sudbury Street, 1 p.m.
Members of property service workers union 32BJ SEIU hold a rally to protest President Trump’s executive orders affecting immigration, Irish Potato Famine Memorial, in front of Walgreens – corner Washington and School streets, Boston, 3:30 p.m.
Sen. James Eldridge, Rep. Sheila Harrington, Rep. Byron Rushing and Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU of Massachusetts are scheduled to speak at Boston Bar Association’s 2017 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Legislative Forecast. Free to Bar Association members, $100 for others, 16 Beacon St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.
Equal Pay presentation
Massachusetts Coalition for Equal Pay hosts a presentation to discuss and answer questions on rights for job seekers and employees under the state’s new pay equity law, Simmons College, School of Management Building, Room M501, 300 The Fenway, 6:30 p.m.
Call them what you will, but Baker’s budget includes lots of new revenues
Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed $40.5 billion budget, representing a 4.3 percent increase in total spending, relies heavily on hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues via taxes, assessments, levies and whatever else you want to call them. The biggie, as the Globe rightly focuses on: An annual fee of $2,000 per employee on companies that offer substandard health insurance coverage, raising a total of $300 million. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive points out other new revenue sources, such as applying the sales tax to more online retailers and requiring credit card companies to provide 1099 tax forms to any consumer who earns more than $600 from credit and debit card transactions. As usual, State House News Service (pay wall) has much, much more on the governor’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget, including how it’s built around the presumption that the federal Affordable Care Act will indeed by repealed by Congress.
Baker’s probably futile pay-raise veto
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday signaled he’s ready to veto the controversial pay-raise bill that was easily passed yesterday by the House and is poised to be approved today by the Senate. But it looks like, for now, that the legislation will pass with veto-proof majorities, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips and the Herald’s Matt Stout and Brian Dowling. Phillips also found a rather fascinating fail-safe measure tucked in the bill: “Opponents learned Wednesday that lawmakers have figured out how to insulate themselves from a potential 2018 ballot repeal effort: Their pay hike package includes raises for judges, and the state Constitution bars any ballot referendum aimed at judicial salaries.”
As we noted yesterday, legislative leaders really thought this one through. … BTW: The Globe’s editorial board is calling the legislative action the “Great Pay Heist of 2017” and is urging Baker to veto the measure, even if it would be a largely symbolic act. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more on House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s defense of the legislation and, more intriguingly, the complete House roll-call vote on the pay-raise bill.
Sanctuary cities showdown
Mayor Walsh came out swinging yesterday in reaction to President Trump’s move to punish cities that protect illegal immigrants, vowing to shelter people at City Hall if necessary, reports the Globe’s Meghan Irons and Cristela Guerra and the Herald’s Chris Cassidy and Dan Atkinson. “If people want to live here, they’ll live here. They can use my office. They can use any office in this building,’’ Walsh vowed. Meanwhile, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone is also standing firm against Trump’s moves, the Globe reports. Needless to say, the Herald’s Howie Carr rips into Walsh et gang.
Boston Magazine’s Spencer Beull has more on how Trump’s action could hit other cities, such as Cambridge and Springfield.
Last but least, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren trpically blasted out one of the better lines of the day (via Globe): “Why not just declare January 25 as the Trump Administration’s First Anti-Immigrant Day?”
Is the SJC the last best hope against Trump tyranny?
The Bay State’s best insulation against Trump policies may be the Supreme Judicial Court, which has historically sided with liberally interpreting individual freedoms, law professor Daniel Medwed writes for WGBH. But that legacy could be at risk, with Gov. Baker likely in position to appoint two more new justices soon, he says.
Boston council eyes residency crackdowns
While Mayor Walsh encourages illegal immigrants to flee to City Hall, it seems others might have to get dragged into the city. The Boston City Council is mulling a crack-down on residency requirements in both the city’s schools and on its police and fire departments, Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub reports. The council will ask the legislature to extend the pre-hiring residency requirement for the BPD and BFD from one to three years and it also scheduled a hearing on the issue of suburbanites working in the school system.
Galvin decries Trump’s voter-fraud charges as ‘outrageous lies’
On yet another Trump front yesterday, Secretary of State William Galvin, the top election official in Massachusetts, was livid yesterday over President Trump’s latest completely unsubstantiated assertion of massive voter fraud, largely caused by illegal immigrants, in the November election, reports Allison Manning at WBUR. “This is clearly a case where we have to call it,” Galvin said in an “irate” call to WBUR. “The emperor has no clothes. He has no facts and no clothes. And these outrageous lies — whatever he wants to do — either put up or shut up.” The president also appears to have no shame on this and other issues, but we won’t get into that. We’ll let Yvonne Abraham do so.
Hughes wins GOP chair fight, but party divisions remain
State GOP chair Kirsten Hughes last night easily fended off conservative activist Steve Aylward to win re-election as head of the state Republican Party. But Matt McDonald at New Boston Post reports that’s not the end of the party infighting: “The race revealed and possibly widened fault lines in the state’s Republican Party. Hughes represents the Baker wing of the party, which was slow to support President Donald Trump, is generally fiscally conservative, and either doesn’t emphasize social issues or comes down on the liberal side of them.”
‘Results, not rallies’
Charlie Baker was just being Charlie Baker when the wonky Republican governor took a pass at participating in this past weekend’s Boston Women’s March, writes the Globe’s Joan Vennochi, adding Baker was simply doing the job he’s paid to do in Massachusetts and should be judged on that basis alone. She’s right, of course. The idea that he was expected, and would have been welcomed at, a largely Democratic-backed rally is simply ludicrous.
There he goes again: Weld now says he’d work with Trump ‘from the safety of the private sector’
Former Gov. Bill Weld, running as the vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, spent the better part of last year ripping into Donald Trump. But now that Trump’s president, well, the former governor sad he’ll continue to call out Trump for anything outrageous he may say or do. “On the other hand, if I could be helpful to the administration in delivering economic forward motion, I’d be happy to do that from the safety of the private sector,” reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall). We guess that’s an important distinction to a man who once said Trump’s immigration plan reminded him of Kristallnacht.
As goes Amherst, so goes UMass on ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’
Amherst Town Meeting last spring voted to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Now UMass-Amherst students are pushing for their own campus Indigenous Peoples’ Day, reports Diane Lederman at MassLive. No town-gown divisions in Amherst, that’s for sure.
Strange fight: Warren and Markey approve three Trump cabinet nominees
As Boston Magazine’s Kyle Scott Clauss notes, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have recently vowed to fight, fight, fight Donald Trump’s cabinet picks and other moves by the administration, but then turned around and approved, combined, three of Trump’s cabinet nominees earlier this week. He has their explanations.
Supersize me: ‘Big Mac ATM’ coming to Boston
The mad food scientists at McDonald’s have come with two new versions of the venerable calorie-colossus Big Mac (a one-burger Big Mac, as opposed to two burgers, and a super-sized Big Mac) – and they’re spreading the word by “setting up a customized digital Big Mac ATM in Boston that’ll be spitting out free burgers to passersby” next Tuesday in Kenmore Square, reports Alex Weaver at BostInno. Our clogged heart arteries can’t wait.
Filings place mayor in early Boston Calling meetings
New court filings place Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in early meetings with the Boston Calling organizers, who prosecutors allege were strong-armed into hiring union labor, Jack Encarnacao and Laurel J. Sweet of the Herald report. Walsh dismissed the filings as containing “no new information.” hBut mayoral challenger Tito Jackson pounced on the report, calling on Walsh to “speak plainly and come clean” and making it clear he plans to make the case an issue in the campaign, Andrew Ryan and Mark Arsenault of the Globe report.
Senate Republicans hone in on Great Barrington nonprofit
A Great Barrington-based nonprofit finds itself (and its federal funding) in the crosshairs of Congressional Republicans after it appeared in the “Wastebook” now being compiled by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Eoin Higgins of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Greenagers, which uses federal grants to train youth in outdoor conservancy, is called out for using an EPA grant to develop a localized version of the video game ‘Minecraft,’ though the group says that’s not what happened at all.
Anti-moped group on Martha’s Vineyard revs up
A group formed last summer to pressure state lawmakers to outlaw or restrict moped rentals on Martha’s Vineyard is now setting its sights on the local permitting process to rid the island of the two-wheel menaces , Ethan Genter of the Cape Cod Times reports. The Mopeds Are Dangerous Action Committee told Oak Bluffs selectmen that rental companies have repeatedly violated local laws and should have their licenses revoked as a result.
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