Red Line update, ROE Act hearing, and more
— Gov. Charlie Baker and Pulitzer Prize winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin address the American Association of Airport Executives at its annual conference and exhibition, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston, with Baker speaking at 10:15 a.m. and Goodwin at 11 a.m.
— The Education Committee reviews 17 bills related to MCAS exams, English language learners and bilingual education, Room A-1, 10 a.m.
— Officials on the Department of Transportation Board and the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meet for an update on last week’s Red Line derailment, among other items to be heard, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.
— The Judiciary Committee reviews a number of bills, including the so-called ROE Act, which would eliminate the requirement of parental consent for anyone under 18 to access abortion and which would legalize abortions after 24 weeks in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities that have been determined by a doctor to make life after birth unsustainable, among other provisions, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders, including Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, are expected to meet in their semi-regular Monday sit-down, Governor’s Office, 2 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Braintree service restored on Red Line, but … expect continued delays
From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “Five days after a train derailed while approaching JFK-UMass station on the Red Line, the MBTA on Sunday said it has resumed seamless service to Quincy and Braintree stops but asked customers to build an extra 20 minutes into their planned travel times as they begin another work week.”
Meanwhile, Zoe Matthews reports at WGBH that Mayor Marty Walsh believes the T has reached the “point of urgency, on so many different levels.”
Abortion fight comes to Beacon Hill – with parental consent a key issue
The Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report that the battle over abortion arrives full force today on Beacon Hill, as pro- and anti-abortion forces square off over the so-called ROE Act, which would expand abortion rights in Massachusetts. Ebbert writes that “most concerning to legislators is the proposed elimination of an age restriction that requires anyone under 18 to have a parent’s consent or a judge’s order to get an abortion.”
Shocker or non-shocker? Baker and Chang-Diaz’s bills differ in education funding levels
Question of the day: To what extent is this news? CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas and the Boston Globe’s James Vaznis report on a new study that shows the huge dollar differences between the two leading proposals — one supported by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and the other by Democrat Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz – to boost education spending in Massachusetts. Specifically, the difference is $1 billion per year by 2026.
The actual dollar amounts may be news, to an extent, we suppose. But is it really news that bills by a moderate Republican and a progressive Democrat differ significantly in funding levels? We must have missed something when the two pieces of legislation were first introduced.
The Democratic presidential debates: Warren lands on the ‘kiddie table’
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren won’t have the chance to directly confront her two main rivals, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, in the upcoming Democratic presidential debates in Florida, after she was assigned to the first-night event that features Warren and mostly second- and third-tier candidates. The second-night debate, on the other hand, features Biden, Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris, among others.
The Herald’s Joe Battendfeld writes that Warren got the “kiddie table” while her main foes got the “varsity debate.” The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky writes that Warren is downplaying the debate setback, saying she’ll have plenty of other opportunities to take on Biden and Sanders. The Globe’s Christina Prignano has more on the debate lineups.
Btw: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton may not have made the debate cut, but he’s going to be in Miami anyway, reports Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald. The Lowell Sun’s Peter Lucas is ultimately blaming Fox News for Moulton’s debate exclusion. He explains.
Trump campaign sets sights on bringing down a rising Warren
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s improving poll numbers are drawing a lot of attention, including that of the campaign to re-elect Donald Trump, which Alex Isenstadt of Politico reports is gearing up to renew its attacks on the Bay State senator. A Trump pollster says Warren’s recent jump in the polls is “a cause for our campaign’s attention,” and the Republican National Committee and other groups are poised to fund additional opposition research.
For her part, Warren is downplaying her recent rise in the polls, emphasizing that “it’s way too early” to attach much importance to them, Bloomberg News reports.
Rockland sex scandal headed to federal court. Next stop: Hollywood?
Mary Whitfill at Wicked Local has a legal update on the Rockland sex scandal that truly rocked the town – and continues to rock the town – and that’s now headed to federal court next month. When you think about it, the saga, if adapted to the tube, could have sustained an entire season of Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler would have had a field day with it.
From ‘broken glass’ to ‘quality of life’ arrests …
Paul Tennant at the Eagle Tribune reports that Lawrence and state police made 80 arrests late last week, mostly for minor offenses like motor vehicle violations, as part of “a crackdown on quality of life issues” in Lawrence. Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald has more on what sure sounds like a variation of the old “broken glass” approach towards fighting crime.
Marty Walsh: Left lingering in the middle
The Globe’s Milton Valencia reports how the Boston city council, and much of the Democratic party for that matter, have lurched leftward in recent years, leaving Mayor Marty Walsh lingering somewhere near the middle and playing “catch-up in policy areas ranging from the environment to transportation and education.”
Jane Swift: Back in the public arena
Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine talks with former Gov. Jane Swift, who has returned to Boston as head of LearnLanuch, a non-profit ed-tech outfit that hopes to shape public policy on technology and education issues. Swift also shares her thoughts on Donald Trump. Hint: She’s with Bill Weld and Charlie Baker on this one.
About all that cash stashed by hospitals in offshore accounts …
Henry Schwan at Wicked Local reports that legislation sponsored by Sen. Michael Moore and Rep. Josh Cutler would open up the books on the reported $1 billion that Massachusetts hospitals have invested in offshore accounts. And the bill would also crack down on hospital CEO salaries, btw.
Meanwhile, Faulkner Hospital plans $250M expansion
This money is definitely being invested locally. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital is planning to build a $250 million addition, one that will add a new 98,000-square-foot, five-story inpatient building to the Jamaica Plain campus. The hospital, which is under the Partners HealthCare umbrella, announced on Friday that it had filed a letter of intent with city officials to construct the space.”
Evidence watch: Data show 131 rape kits have been destroyed in Mass. since 2000
Massachusetts law enforcement officials have destroyed 131 rape evidence kits since 2000, and at least 387 more sit untested in evidence rooms across the state, Melissa Hanson reports at MassLive, citing data collected through Freedom of Information Act requests. The omnibus criminal justice bill signed last year by Gov. Charlie Baker requires the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to begin tracking the evidence collection kits and also that they be preserved for at least 15 years.
Hey, why not double Baker’s proposal to raise the deeds excise tax?
Craig Altemose and Karen Chen write at CommonWealth magazine that housing advocates were disappointed that Gov. Charlie Baker didn’t earmark funds from a proposed 50 percent hike in the deeds excise tax towards affordable housing, opting instead to fund climate-change resiliency plans. But they say a compromise plan has been floated: Why not fund both causes by doubling the excise tax? Presto!
Administration adds 13 schools to early-college credit program
Anything to reduce the cost of higher education is welcome. SHNS’s Michael Norton: “High school students in 13 more Massachusetts cities and towns next fall will be able to start earning college credits at a rate that could enable them to enter higher education with a semester under their belt, for free. The Baker administration said Thursday that the special designations awarded to 13 more communities, and eight public colleges, will mean thousands more students will enroll in early college programs.”
Let the hype begin: Everett casino opening now only 7 days away and counting
We have the first batch of what we assume will be a week-long flood of stories about this coming Sunday’s grand opening of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett – with every explanation humanly possible on that $28 million Popeye sculpture in the casino. The AP’s Philip Marcelo at WBUR and Steph Solis at MassLive have today’s entrants.
Nice try: Local government changes fail to elicit hoped-for voter enthusiasm
Making history? More like history repeating itself. Officials in North Attleboro say they expect as few as 10 percent of the town’s registered voters to turn out Tuesday for the first-ever election of town council members after the town moved away from a select board form of government, Jim Hand reports at the Sun Chronicle. Nineteen candidates are seeking the nine council seats, but officials say there’s been little interest in candidate forums and few requests for absentee ballots.
Meanwhile, Jack Spillane writes in the Standard-Times that a change to that city’s charter last year — which bumped the two-year mayoral term to a full four years — has not generated the major candidate interest the move was meant to spur.
Dockside condo project harshly criticized … then approved
A proposal to build a new condo complex above a garage near the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been roundly criticized, with one Boston Planning & Development Agency member saying he was “dumbfounded” that the city would proceed with the project. But as the Globe’s Tim Logan reports: “If dissenting votes are rare at the BPDA, full rejection of projects that reach the board are almost unheard of. The project was approved, with little discussion from other board members, 3-1.”
Want to expand tech clusters around the state? Expand public transit service
With all the T’s recent woes, William Brah, executive director of the Venture Development Center at UMass Boston, explains at the BBJ just how important public transit is to developing and sustaining tech clusters in Massachusetts. Interesting factoid: Did you know that neighborhoods along the Red and Green lines received 72 percent of all venture deals in Massachusetts last year?
On Martha’s Vineyard, squatters find use for idled office trailers
How bad is the seasonal housing crisis on Martha’s Vineyard? Real bad. Police say several people set up temporary and illegal residence inside trailers that were intended to be used as temporary municipal offices during a fix of the now-stalled Oak Bluffs town hall, Brian Dowd reports at the Martha’s Vineyard Times. One of the alleged squatters reportedly told police he thought the trailers — which have sat vacant since voters pulled the funding from a town hall redo –were temporary shelters for the homeless.
Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan Launch Event
The event, co-sponsored by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Denise Garlick, will mark the release of the Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan, a two-year initiative to create a vision for fully integrating food and nutrition interventions into the state’s health care system.
31st Annual Charitable Golf Tournament Benefiting Heading Home
Join us for NAIOP’s 31st Anniversary Golf Tournament at The International! If you haven’t played there yet, it is a golfer’s paradise that features two award-winning 18-hole golf courses, including The Pines, designed by Robert Trent Jones.
Author Talk and Book Signing with Christine M. DeLucia
History professor and author Christine M. DeLucia will speak about her recent book, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.
Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop
For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.
Boston Unity Cup – Kick Off Party
Boston Unity Cup is a citywide World Cup style adult soccer tournament powered by the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh to bring together Boston’s diverse and immigrant communities around the shared passion for sport. Join us for a live viewing of the Women’s World Cup knockout round match (teams to be determined), meet the teams and event organizers, and learn more about the tournament weekend.
Suffrage Centennial Kick-Off Celebration
Kicking off a year of commemorations celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, enabling women to vote.
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