Happening Today

Immigrant driver’s licenses, Governor’s Council, and more

— The Committee on Transportation holds a hearing on legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants residing in the state to acquire driver’s licenses, Hearing Room B-1, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds three meetings today, the first on the nomination of Thomas Hoye, currently the mayor of Taunton, to serve as Bristol County register of probate; the second to vote on Allison Cole’s nomination as clerk magistrate of the Housing Court’s Northeast Division and potentially Joseph McCarthy Jr. as clerk magistrate of the Westborough District Court; and the third to review the nomination of William White Jr. to a seat on the Superior Court, Council Chamber, 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are scheduled to join an advocacy group to raise awareness of brain aneurysms and associated research by declaring September as ‘Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month’ for the third consecutive year, Great Hall, State House, 11 a.m.

— The Education Committee holds a public hearing on bills related to access to out of school programs, seizure management plans in schools, mandatory recess time in elementary schools, school starting times and schedules, and testing requirements for veterans who wish to become educators, Room A-1, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan and former housing secretaries Ranch Kimball, Dan O’Connell, Greg Bialecki and Jay Ash hold a press conference on the administration’s Housing Choice legislation, Room 360, 3 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.

Today’s Stories

Rollins rebuffed: Judge refuse to drop charges against Straight Pride counter-protesters

It’s not just the cops. It’s the judges too. The Globe’s Gal Tziperman Lotan and John Ellement report that Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard J. Sinnott yesterday “again and again” refused to drop some of the charges, as recommended by Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, against the left-wing counter-protesters who clashed with police at this past weekend’s right-wing Straight Pride Parade in Boston.

Meanwhile, the Herald is reporting that another judge, Thomas Horgan, also “ordered three men accused of assaulting police at the same parade to ‘Stay out of Boston’ or risk 90 days in jail.” In other words, it’s now judges, not just cops, openly opposing Rollins’s reformist no-prosecute ways. 

To the Herald’s Howie Carr, the ‘Stay out of Boston’ command was music to his ears. But U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is calling for an independent investigation of police action at the parade and describing the judges’ rulings as “overreach,” reports the Herald’s Jules Crittenden. The ACLU is looking into allegations of police misconduct at the parades, reports by Zoe Mathews at WGBH. And counter-protesters have other supporters, to the tune of $24K, reports Douglas Hook at MassLive.

Senator: Take off those masks

SHNS’s Colin Young reports that state Sen. Dean Tran, a Fitchburg Republican, wants to ban protesters, like those who clashed with police at the Straight Pride Parade over the weekend, from wearing bandanas, masks or other items to shield their identities at “public events and demonstrations,” saying they pose a “danger to public safety and our police officers.”

We’d be curious to see how such legislation might be written to avert Wally the Green Monster and Pat Patriot getting unmasked at “public events.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Reports: Bryon Hefner considering plea deal in sexual assault case

The Herald’s Mary Markos and MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg report that Bryon Hefner, the estranged husband of former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, is considering pleading guilty to the sexual assault charges, a week before his trial is set to begin Sept. 11.

Mintz Levin and ML Strategies: Not high on pot lobbying

As CommonWealth magazine noted last week, Smith, Costello & Crawford has emerged as the new lobbying king of Beacon Hill, thanks largely to its growing marijuana-related work. But its rise to the top is also partially the result of ML Strategies and its corporate parent, the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, shying away from marijuana-related work until there’s “clearer guidelines at the federal level,” reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth.


Warren unveils $3T climate plan on eve of CNN event

Nice timing. From the NYT: “Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts released an ambitious new climate change plan on Tuesday, embracing goals laid out by a former presidential rival and calling for $3 trillion in spending over a decade to combat human-driven global warming. Ms. Warren made her announcement on the eve of a CNN town-hall-style event on global warming, which 10 top Democrats in the 2020 field are scheduled to attend on Wednesday.”


Worse than the Boston Calling case?

The Globe’s Tim Logan and Milton Valencia take a look at John Lynch, the “unflashy, nuts-and-bolts bureaucrat” now at the center of the zoning bribery scandal at City Hall. The Globe’s Adrian Walker thinks the bribery case is more serious, and potentially more dangerous to Mayor Marty Walsh, than the Boston Calling case, precisely because of the “blatant, old-school corruption” charges involved. “This is a throwback to the bad old days of Boston city government, when greasing the skids was just the cost of doing business.”

Pemberton’s campaign recharged by Kennedy talk

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that U.S. Senate candidate Steve Pemberton isn’t backing down from his fight to unseat Ed Markey, amid talk that U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III may throw his hat into the Dem primary ring. If anything, Pemberton’s long-shot campaign has gotten a boost from all the Kennedy talk, Battenfeld writes.

Boston Herald

MassLive.com flexes its digital muscles

They’re now kicking sand in Boston.com’s face. From Ed Kubosiak at MassLive: “MassLive’s statewide growth strategy continues to show impressive results with the site topping six million unique visitors in June and topping competitor Boston.com in digital audience for the first time in July, according to the most recent data for Massachusetts and New England digital media properties from independent media analytics company comScore.”

Granted, Boston.com, owned by the Boston Globe, is a mere shell of its old self. And the Globe’s own visitor count is double that of MassLive. But still …


A weaker Hurricane Dorian may still sideswipe Nantucket

After pummeling the Bahamas, the now downgraded Hurricane Dorian is headed toward the southeastern United States and is expected to slowly move up the coast later this week, bringing with it strong (though diminished) winds and tides just south of Nantucket. WGBH and the Globe have the details.

‘Mike Duhawkis’ reclaims his perch at the State House

There’s now photographic proof that ‘Mike Duhawkis’ has boldly reclaimed his position at the State House, via Grumpygrumpyowl (and Grumpygrumpyow via Universal Hub). They’re pretty amazing photos. Check ‘em out.

All for one, one for all: Former economic secretaries endorse Baker’s housing bill

Four former state economic secretaries plan to endorse Gov. Charlie Baker’s housing legislation at a press conference today (see our Happening Today section above). But Ranch Kimball, Dan O’Connell, Greg Bialecki and Jay Ash, economic czars under the Romney, Patrick and Baker administrations, sort of beat the governor to the PR punch with an opinion piece at the BBJ, where they say addressing the housing crisis is key to the state’s economic future.


Hampshire welcomes freshman class that almost wasn’t

He should get extra credit for honesty. Hampshire College President Edward Wingenbach yesterday welcomed to campus a new freshman class that almost wasn’t — and he didn’t sugarcoat the dire financial situation the school still faces, Jacquelyn Voghen and Dusty Christensen report at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Wingebach bluntly told students: “We’re going to make it, or we’re not.”


Saying farewell to Master Sgt. Luis DeLeon-Figueroa

Elizabeth Roman at MassLive reports on the sad funeral services for Master Sgt. Luis DeLeon-Figueroa, the long-time Chicopee resident who was recently killed in Afghanistan. His young daughter, Angie DeLeon, brought tears to the eyes of even battled-hardened military personnel, Roman writes. Lot of photos accompany the story.


Lawmakers seek early medical intervention to help opioid babies

Christian Wade at the Newburyport News reports state lawmakers are seeking to expand programs and services offered by the state Department of Developmental Services to children diagnosed with opioid-related illnesses tied to their mothers’ use of drugs while pregnant.

Newburyport News

In New Bedford, a mayoral candidate has second thoughts too late

He’s running–reluctantly. Looks like New Bedford City Councilor Brian Gomes will see his name appear on the ballot for the mayor’s office, even though he asked to be dropped from the race, Kiernan Dunlop reports at the Standard-Times. Gomes missed the city’s deadline to withdraw from the race and is now asking state officials to intervene after deciding a mayoral run wasn’t worth the hassle. 

South Coast Today

The Weymouth compressor station decision: Delayed again

Just fyi for those keeping close tabs on this one. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski(pay wall): “A key state agency’s decision on a controversial natural gas compressor station proposal in Weymouth will not come this week as anticipated following an agreement to delay the review process once again.”

As focus returns to district, Moulton gets earful on tariff impacts

With his presidential dreams on long-term hold, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is returning his focus to his district north of Boston and finding that some Salem businesses, including a high-end cheese shop and custom-bike maker, are starting to feel the pinch from President Trump’s trade war with China, Ethan Forman reports at the Salem News.

Salem News

Millbury’s heavily redacted separation agreement to get second look

Not so fast, Millbury. The state’s supervisor of public records is ordering officials in the central Massachusetts town to submit an unredacted copy of the separation agreement reached with its former town manager to help determine if public information is being withheld, Susan Spencer reports at the Telegram. The paper has filed several complaints about the redactions and wants more information on an investigation into the former manager. 


Model UN Professional Development Workshop @ Democracy Center

Whether you’re an experienced MUN Advisor or brand new to Model UN, you’ll walk away from this workshop with time-saving tools, tactics, and strategies to help your students succeed in Model United Nations.

Best Delegate Model United Nations

Policy Breakfast Highlighting Fail First Reform in Massachusetts

Join us for a breakfast to learn about fail first policies impacting patients in Massachusetts. Delayed treatment can mean disease progression. That’s why “fail first” reform for patients with arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s and colitis, and other chronic diseases is so critical.

The Arthritis Foundation, CSRO, and the Mass Medical Society

Stone Social Impact Forum

Innovative education leader Geoffrey Canada, president and founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, is the inaugural speaker for the Stone Social Impact Forum, a new signature series highlighting civic change agents who advance social change and innovatively address areas of inequality in our society.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

The Somerville Surge

Join NAIOP for a deep dive into the transformative projects underway in Somerville, including Assembly Row, Boynton Yards, Union Square and more.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Ayanna Pressley calls for independent investigation into cops, protesters – Boston Herald

Elevator worker dies inside TripAdvisor’s Needham HQ – WBUR


Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno ‘miffed’ as seniors plan rally for lower-cost meals, transportation at Raymond Jordan center – MassLive

Greenfield Mayor vetoes safe city ordinance – Greenfield Recorder


NRA slams Wal-Mart’s ‘shameful’ change to gun policies – The Hill

Pentagon to divert money for 127 military projects to fund border wall – New York Times

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