Unclaimed property, MBTA meeting, and more
— State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg holds a special viewing of select items from the Unclaimed Property Division for members of the press, Room 227, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a Museum of Science event kicking off the second annual Massachusetts STEM Week, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, 11 a.m.
— MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to discuss system upgrades, extending the service life of single-level coaches, bus network redesign and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
— The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure reviews legislation that would update the state’s ‘right to repair’ law, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker meets privately including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones, 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.
Baker’s ambitious health-care plan: But can it pass?
Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday surprised more than a few people at the State House by unveiling an ambitious plan to rein in hospital and drug prices in Massachusetts, while also boosting spending on primary care and behavioral health, according to reports by Martha Bebinger at WBUR and Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe. The big question: Can it pass, assuming the full lobbying guns of the hospital and drug industries are brought to bear against the package on Beacon Hill?
Fyi: The Herald’s Hillary Chabot has an unusual complaint: Why did the governor dump this news on a Friday afternoon, usually a time reserved for burying stories, not promoting new initiatives? She says the administration botched the PR rollout of the plan.
Fall River mayoral hopeful and the mystery of her falling tax bill
Fall River’s newest mayoral candidate, who some view as a ballot plant to split the oppositional vote against embattled Mayor Jasiel Correia, is now facing questions about how the valuation of a home she bought and renovated –and the tax bill that went with it — had somehow decreased in recent years. Jo C. Goode at the Herald News reports Acting Mayor Cliff Ponte has ordered a review of the matter and also notes that Viveiro’s home was inspected and revaluated on the very day she announced her write-in candidacy.
Existential threat? Brockton says discrimination case could bankrupt city
They’ve done the math and the results are not good. The same lawyer who secured a $4 million employment discrimination judgment against the city of Brockton on behalf of a public works employee is preparing to represent some 40 other workers and could seek as much as $50 million in additional payouts — enough to bankrupt the community, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise.
The RMV audit price tag: Now $2 million
Do they do audits of audits? Anyway, the Herald’s Marky Markos reports that the price tag for the Baker administration’s outside audit of the embattled Registry of Motor Vehicles has now hit nearly $2 million, a figure at least one non-Democratic critic is calling “outrageous” and at a time when lawmakers and the governor are feuding over alleged missing RMV documents.
A plan for a plan: Warren now says she’ll release a plan on how to pay for ‘Medicare for All’
She has to do something. This is beginning to hurt her just as she’s reached front-runner status. From the NYT: “Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Sunday that she would release a plan to finance ‘Medicare for all’ in the coming weeks, bowing to critics who have pressed her to explain how she would pay for a single-payer health care system.”
Here’s a sample of the Medicare for All funding criticism, from an editorial at the Lowell Sun: “Just answer the question, Senator Warren.
The New England money battle
WBUR’s Wilder Fleming reports that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now back in favor with Massachusetts campaign donors, big time. But the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Bernie Sanders, fresh off his weekend AOC endorsement, remains fundraising king in New Hampshire.
Btw: Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, running for president as a Republican, also wants a piece of the Democratic action. At least in terms of their votes, as Rick Sobey reports at the Herald.
Lawmakers: It’s time for commuter rail justice in Lynn
Five state lawmakers — Brendan Crighton, Daniel Cahill, Peter Capano, Lori Ehrlich and Donald Wong – say it’s time for commuter-rail equity when it comes to higher fares paid by those boarding trains in working-class cities like Lynn, Revere, Chelsea, and Everett, compared to the lower fares paid by commuters on other rail lines. Check out the fare discrepancies. They’re pretty damn big.
Buddy Cianci as lovable rogue? Not after you read this story
She lived in fear till the day he died. After all, he used to regularly hit and verbally abuse her – and he was a politically powerful and vindictive man who never stopped scheming to get back at people who defied him. She’s none other than the ex-wife of Vincent ‘Buddy’ Cianci, the late mayor of Providence, and she’s now talking about her life with a man who many viewed for years as just a lovable rogue. No one’s laughing any more. The Globe’s Amanda Milkovits has the story.
‘The Liberation of Mitt Romney’
A piece by the Atlantic’s McKay Coppins is getting a lot of traction, via its top billing on the Drudge Report over the weekend, as he quotes Mitt Romney as saying he’s open to voting to oust President Trump from office. Mitt seems pretty agitated these days, that’s for sure. But Ashley Feinberg at Slate thinks she’s found something more interesting in the Atlantic piece: A hint of a possible secret Romney Twitter account.
The Globe’s Gal Tziperman Lotan had an excellent piece over the weekend on a big loophole – and we’re talking quite a big loophole – in state gun laws that allow people to legally order kits to assemble all types of guns, piece by piece, without any identifying serial numbers etc., thus their nickname ‘ghost guns.’
Court decision on lifting vaping ban expected today
The two sides made their cases on Friday for and against Gov. Charlie Baker’s controversial move to temporarily ban the sale of vaping-related products in Massachusetts, as Paul Singer reports at WGBH. And today Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins is expected to rule today on whether to lift the four-month ban, as Tanner Stening reports at MassLive. Meanwhile, from Christian Wade at the Salem News: “Medical pot users sign on to vaping ban lawsuit.”
Medical marijuana firm sues Cambridge over cannabis law
The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports on a lawsuit filed by a medical marijuana dispensary (‘Revolutionary Clinics’) that’s challenging a Cambridge ordinance that bars it from opening a pot retail shop for two years as the city tries to steer licenses towards “equity applicants,” i.e. mostly minority entrepreneurs who live in neighborhoods hard hit by the war on drugs.
Sorry, guys. These ladies are not going to fall in line and shut up on Beacon Hill
In an opinion piece, the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert writes about a trio of new female lawmakers on Beacon Hill – Maria Robinson, Tami Gouveia and Lindsay Sabados — determined not to “fall in line with the Democratic leadership and shut up,” in particular over a recent corporate-tax proposal tucked in the state’s supplemental budget and over other issues in general.
What do Gordon College and Boston Latin have in common? They’re a little richer this morning
The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports on a $75.5 million anonymous gift to Gordon College, a donation that may help the tiny religious school survive at a time when other small colleges are struggling to survive. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Adrian Walker reports that Airbnb cofounder Nathan Blecharczyk plans to announce today a $1 million donation to his high school alma mater, Boston Latin Academy.
Smith College votes to divest from fossil fuel companies
Speaking of school endowments, the Associated Press at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that Smith College’s board of trustees have voted to divest its funds of all fossil fuel investments within the next 15 years. This will likely put pressure on other colleges to divest as well, we assume.
Remains of WWII airman identified as Jamaica Plain resident
From Universal Hub: “The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports that the remains of an American serviceman in a plane shot down over Romania during World War II have been identified as U.S. Army Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph E. Finneran, 22, of Jamaica Plain.”
Fyi: He died during the bloody 1943 air raid against the Ploiesti oil fields, a mission that saw 660 U.S. crewmen perish in one of the costliest air operations of the war. Joseph E. Finneran, RIP.
Boston short-term rental firms: We’ve actually been ’boutique hotels’ all along
At least they’re now admitting they’re more than just mere Airbnb-like home owners renting rooms to low-budget tourists. From the Herald’s Erin Tiernan and Sean Philip Cotter: “Owners of nonresident Airbnb-style properties — facing a Dec. 1 deadline that could shut them down — are pushing the Zoning Board of Appeals to reclassify their buildings as ‘boutique hotels’ or ‘executive suites’ and are facing pushback from fed-up neighbors.”
Logue’s Legacy, Part II: Visionary, villain or both?
Courtney Humphries at the Globe has another review of Harvard professor Lizabeth Cohen’s new book, “Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age.” The debate over the long-ago Boston development czar’s legacy will probably never end, but Cohen sounds like she’s found a balance between those who once hailed Logue as an urban visionary and those who today view Logue (and his BRA/BPDA offspring) as an urban-renewal villain.
Students to retake MCAS test that included racially insensitive question
Remember the controversy over the Underground Railroad question on last year’s MCAS exam? Scores of students, and perhaps more, will be allowed to retake that portion of the test many viewed as racially insensitive and even traumatizing for some students. Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune has the details.
Lawmakers wrangle $3 million to help Cape towns hit by tornadoes
They didn’t qualify for federal disaster aid, but a handful of Cape communities hit by a trio of tornadoes in July could see as much as $3 million relief from the supplemental budget approved by lawmakers last week, Ethan Genter reports at the Cape Cod Times.
2019 Financial Experience Design Conference
FXD, a one-and-a-half-day conference, is a select gathering of more than 150 executives, experts, visionaries, and progressive thinkers from across the insurance, banking, wealth management, and fintech industries.
Revolutionize – Presented by Aging2.0 Boston & Age Friendly Foundation
The Boston Chapter of Aging 2.0, together with the Age Friendly Foundation, is pleased to announce “Revolutionize”. Join us on October 25, 2019 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston for our inaugural conference. Let’s revolutionize our approach to aging by promoting creative collaborations among the varied sectors engaged in aging services.
The Good Fight, ADL’s Forum on Confronting Anti-Semitism
Join the Boston community for an informative and hands-on day dedicating to combating anti-Semitism. This one-day forum will include presentations by leading experts on anti-Semitism and skill building workshops for adults, students, and families. Participants will leave with an actionable toolkit for confronting anti-Semitism.
WorldBoston 10th Annual Consuls Reception
The Consuls Reception convenes the 60-member local Consular Corps and some 200 leaders from business, government, academia, and the arts for a lively evening of networking, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks – all against the sparkling backdrop of Boston Harbor by night. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the former National Security Advisor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will provide remarks.
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