Happening Today

DeLeo at legislative staff seminar

House Speaker Robert DeLeo will make remarks at the second day of a seminar for legislative staff members, Suffolk University, 120 Tremont St., Boston, 9 a.m.

Seized animal law

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell with be joined by animal protection organizations, representatives from the district attorneys association and others to announce the passage of a bill that updates the law relating to posting a security for seized animals in cruelty cases, MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen, 10 a.m.

495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community

495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission holds a meeting focused on water resources, with Sen. Spilka and Rep. Hogan co-chairing the commission, 200 Friberg Parkway, Westborough, 9:30 a.m.

Pinnacle Awards

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce presents its annual Pinnacle Awards, with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, chamber president and CEO James Rooney and Deloitte partner Susan Esper scheduled to speak, Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave., 11:30 a.m.

Kennedy’s health centers tour

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III visits Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, part of his tour of Massachusetts community health centers to highlight benefits of the Affordable Care Act, 19 Tacoma St., Worcester, 11:30 a.m.

Today’s Stories

Setti’s coup

Newton Mayor Setti Warren has landed major endorsements from three former state Democratic Party leaders, suddenly making his yet-to-be-announced gubernatorial candidacy a very legitimate, and non-laughable, matter. According to Kevin Franck, Warren’s recently hired communications advisor, Steve Grossman, Phil Johnston and John Walsh will be sending out a letter today to Dems announcing their support for Warren.

“As former chairs of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, we have decided to support Newton Mayor Setti Warren as he looks at challenging Charlie Baker,” the trio write in their letter inviting people to meet with Warren next month. “Setti has the passion, commitment to progressive values, and track record of leadership that we need more than ever.”

Baker’s subtle re-election messages to Dems

Speaking of the governor’s race, the Globe’s Scott Lehigh was impressed with the substance and tone of Gov. Baker’s State of the Commonwealth speech earlier this week. But he also spotted two underlying political messages from Baker to Dems: “Part One: You’re not going to get away with labeling me a do-nothing governor. … Part Two: I’ve staked out the center here, so if you run against me, you’ll have to veer significantly left.”

Boston Globe

No sanctuary state, thank you

After you read through the part about how Gov. Charlie Baker thinks Congressional Republicans will find a replacement for ObamaCare, the Globe’s Travis Andersen also notes how the governor will not be declaring Massachusetts a “sanctuary state,” but he believes cities and towns “should be allowed to make their own decisions” regarding their sanctuary status.

Boston Globe

And, yes, they really are making plans to use City Hall as a shelter

Mayor Walsh’s vow to welcome illegal immigrants to City Hall isn’t just rhetoric. The Globe’s Meghan Irons reports how city officials are making actual plans for using City Hall as an emergency shelter if President Trump indeed goes after immigrants, right down to discussing “sleeping arrangements, restroom facilities, and security.”

Not to be outdone, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone is vowing to let an immigrant – just one – stay in his own home if Trump truly launches an anti-immigrant crack-down against sanctuary cities. But to be clear: He won’t be turning Somerville City Hall into a shelter, reports Laurel Sweet at the Herald.

Far and wide, communities wrestle with sanctuary question

Big-city mayors may be getting all the headlines, but communities of all sizes across the Commonwealth are wrestling with how to handle the potential fallout from President Trump’s promised crackdown on sanctuary communities: 

In Worcester, a councilor wants the city to clarify its status, saying the mayor’s current position seems to indicate it is a sanctuary community without actually declaring itself one.

In Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno sought to make clear his city is not among those promising sanctuary after some news reports said it was. 

In Holyoke, Mayor Alex Morse reiterated that his city will not cooperate with federal immigration officials.  

– And citizens in Greater Barrington are working on a petition to ask town meeting to give that town sanctuary status. 

Walsh’s re-election godsend

Speaking of Donald Trump, the new Republican president is turning into a re-election godsend for Mayor Marty Walsh, who can now ignore mayoral rival Tito Jackson and focus instead on punching away at Trump, writes the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld. “And it’s working. Walsh is trumping Jackson with Trump.”

Boston Herald

Baker’s go-through-the-motions veto threat

Gov. Charlie Baker has now openly said he’ll veto the controversial pay-raise bill that was finally passed yesterday after the Senate gave its approval. But SHNS’s Matt Murphy at WBUR raises an interesting question: How much pressure will Baker exert to overcome the apparent veto-proof vote in both the Senate and House? Judging by the tone of Baker’s statement last night, not much. It starts off with how the administration is “deeply thankful for our collaborative relationship with the Legislature” and, well, you get the picture. The Herald’s Howie Carr is railing against Baker on the issue.

But here’s our question: Did Baker know about the pay-raise bill before it was publicly popped? Considering how legislative leaders brilliantly planned and orchestrated the surprise votes (and maneuvered around all sorts of constitutional and parliamentary obstacles), they surely had an inkling the governor would likely veto it, thus the drive for veto-proof majorities. We’re just tossing out a not-so-far-fetched conspiracy theory here. Nothing more. 


And the roll call please …

MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius presents the Senate roll call of who voted for and against the controversial pay raise bill yesterday. He posted the House roll call earlier this week.


Department of Public Safety could get shuffled into oblivion

Here’s an interesting story on Gov. Baker’s reorganization of the executive branch, and it’s somewhat of a surprise, via SHNS’s Colin Young at WWLP: “Along with a $40.5 billion spending plan, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday filed legislation shaking up state government’s organization chart, eliminating the Department of Public Safety, and creating a new office to take over some of its functions.” Poof! Gone. Where did this idea come from?


Return to RomneyCare (or something like that)

Three very interesting health-care stories this morning as the Baker administration struggles with the impending demise of ObamaCare and skyrocketing Medicaid costs that are busting the state budget. WGBH’s Mike Deehantakes a look at where the Baker administration – and the state — is headed post-ObamaCare, i.e. a ‘Return to Romneycare,’ as the WGBH put in its headline. Meanwhile, Martha Bebinger at WBUR has an excellent explainer piece about the Affordable Care Act, the explosive growth in Medicaid and how Baker’s cap on health care prices is creating a ‘hybrid’ system between a free and regulated market. Last not but not least, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett looks at how some experts aren’t so sure small businesses are to blame for the alleged flow of people from private insurance to Medicaid rolls. If true, it means the administration is going after the wrong people to pay for the bulging Medicaid budget. 

RIP, Helen Woodman Harrington, longtime News Service editor

This one hits close to home for many of our SHNS friends and colleagues. From Craig Sandler and Michael Norton at State House News Service: “Helen Woodman Harrington, who epitomized the values of even-handedness and integrity the State House News Service still strives to uphold, died Monday at her beloved home in North Conway, N.H. She was 74. Woodman hired, trained and more importantly inspired more than a generation of reporters, who carried her lessons as they traveled far and wide in the business and beyond. The many reporters who were fortunate enough to work with her in Boston over the years formed an extended journalism family and complemented the love of her life, her late husband Bill Harrington, himself an accomplished reporter for WCVB-TV.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Walsh ‘rickrolls’ Howie

Mayor Walsh and Herald columnist Howie Carr butted heads yesterday during a 30-minute Twitter Q&A. Let’s just say Walsh got the better of it via a “rickroll” prank he pulled on Howie. The Herald’s Owen Boss explains.

Boston Herald

The caretaker did it: Drug dealers operated out of Shrivers’ Cape home

After a two-month investigation, police have arrested two men who apparently were using the Kennedy-tied Shriver family home in Hyannisport as a fentanyl-distribution den, according to the Cape Cod Times. reports both in the Globe and Herald. The Shriver family was not aware of the dealings in the home, police say. From the Boston Globe: “The Shrivers ‘have clearly been victimized by a caretaker,’ (Barnstable Deputy Police Chief Sean) Balcom wrote in an e-mail to the Globe. ‘They had no idea what was going on there and were not present at any time during the investigation,’ he said.”

Cape Cod Times

Explaining the budget ‘disconnects’

Amid the blizzard of budget stories this week, we somehow missed this one by CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl, who lets Gov. Baker tick off and explain the three main reasons, as he sees them, for the state’s budgetary gyrations of late: past overreliance on one-time revenue sources, soft sales tax revenues, and rising Medicaid spending. Check it out. It’s a good piece.


Calls to legal aid offices have spiked since you-know-who won

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Legal aid offices in Massachusetts have seen an uptick in calls since President Donald Trump’s election, according to advocates and judicial officials. They predict that the need for legal aid will only increase if Trump follows through on his proposals to crack down on illegal immigration and if the federal government cuts off or reduces benefits for poor people.”


Wasn’t Seth Moulton supposed to get punished, not promoted?

Despite his grumbling, stalling and maneuvering when it came time to re-elect Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker – actions that were theoretically supposed to cost him after she prevailed – U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has managed to snag three new leadership posts in the House, as the Globe’s Annie Linskey reports.

Boston Globe

Trump appoints Cherly LaFleur temporary acting chair at FERC

She may be a Massachusetts native and Obama administration appointee, but Cheryl LaFleur, a former attorney at Boston’s Ropes and Gray and top executive at National Grid, has been tapped as acting chair of the powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – at least until Trump fills vacancies on the board, reports Mary Serreze at MassLive. Her current terms as a FERC member runs through 2019.


Bill targets cap on wrongful conviction awards

State Sen. Patricia Jehlen has filed legislation that would eliminate the state’s cap on compensation for people wrongly convicted of major crimes, according to a story by Jennifer McKim of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, as reported at WGBH. 


Coming soon to Bridgewater: Flying pods for shoppers?

TransitX, a Boston startup working on an alternative transportation system, has set its sights on Bridgewater as a perfect test locale for its system of rail-mounted, passenger-carrying pods, Tom Relihan of the Brockton Enterprise reports. The company envisions 1.25 miles of track connecting Bridgewater State University to a shopping area as a way of demonstrating the system’s proficiency at bypassing traffic congestion. Check out the design sketch. They look like space capsules. 


Springfield hopes its Union Station fares better than Worcester’s

Officials in Springfield announced the first three business tenants for the soon-to-reopen Union Station, as it wraps up a $94 million renovation, Jim Kinney of MassLive reports. It remains to be seen, however, if the Springfield experiment will fare better than a sister project in Worcester, where another Union Station has been bleeding red ink since it reopened. 


Opioid-related amnesia cases puzzle medical community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a cluster of amnesia cases in Bay State hospitals that may be tied to the roiling opioid epidemic, Deborah Becker of WBUR reports. State health officials say the root cause of the cases may be hard to identify since many of the patients were exposed to numerous toxins though their drug use. 


Sunday public affairs TV

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus is: Homelessness, with guests Richard Ring, president of Family Aid Boston, and Thomas Brigham, director of Mass Alliance for Housing.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Keith Motley talks about President Trump and education issues, plus the latest developments at the Boston campus; Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer discusses how his company works to keep email safe for some of the top companies in the world; the Globe’s Shirley Leung weighs in on some of the top business stories of the week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m., Jay Calnan, founder and CEO of J. Calnan and Associates, talks about his construction management firm and the philanthropy he started.

On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Newton Mayor Setti Warren, a probable Democratic gubernatorial candidate, talks with anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: What Women Want.

DC Dialogue, NECN, 12:30 p.m. Jim Brett of the New England Council talks with political analyst Scott Spradling about President Trump’s first week in office, while Eric Schultz, CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, discusses the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Today’s Headlines


City steps up production of affordable homes on vacant lots – Dorchester Reporter

Safr, ride-chairing program for women, debuts in Boston – Boston Business Journal

What are the logistics of using City Hall as a refuge for immigrants? – Boston Globe

Boston sex offenders too easy to lose – Boston Herald

Curtatone: I’m willing to take an asylum-seeker into my home – Boston Herald


Citizens may bring petition for Town Meeting vote on protecting immigrants – Berkshire Eagle

Taunton is not happy with Fall River chamber’’s name change – Taunton Gazette

Health officials report mysterious cluster of amnesia in Mass. drug users – WBUR

New Bedford City Council salutes Henry Bousquet at final meeting – Standard-Times

College apartments sprouting up in Lowell – Lowell Sun

Baker moves to collect tax on internet sales – CommonWealth Magazine

Baker to veto big pay raises for legislative leaders; Beacon Hill yawns – WGBH

New bill would end payment cap for wrongful conviction in Mass. – WGBH

Drug dealers used Cape home of Kennedy relatives, police say – Boston Globe

Grieving mom calls out grandstanding pols – Boston Herald

Mayor Morse vows Holyoke will defy President Trump on sanctuary city order – MassLive

Amid anti-Trump protests, state senator would ban state police from helping US immigration authorities – MassLive

Councilor seeks clarification on Worcester’s sanctuary city status – Telegram & Gazette

Quincy city council faces open meeting law complaint – Patriot Ledger

Bill would allow Dennis to tax medical marijuana – Cape Cod Times


Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer also registered to vote in two states – Washington Post

Trump team walks back plan to pay for border wall with import tax – Politico

Trump’s suggested import tax would mean Americans pay for the wall – NPR

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.