Education-funding bill, DiMasi lobbying hearing, and more
— Attorneys for former House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Secretary of State William Galvin’s office present their cases to a hearing officer over DiMasi’s appeal of Galvin’s denial of his application to register as a lobbyist, One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, conference room, 10 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Attorney General Maura Healey, state Sen. William Brownsberger and Rep. Antonio Cabral are scheduled to speak at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition’s 15th annual ‘Our Shared Table’ Thanksgiving lunch, Great Hall, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker plans to sign legislation calling for $1.5 billion in new K-12 education spending over the next seven years, English High School, 144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain, 12:30 p.m.
— Merit Rating Board Preliminary Screening Committee meets to begin considering candidates for the board’s permanent director position, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 1:30 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh signs ordinance establishing regulations of the cannabis industry in Boston, Boston City Hall, 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.
Baker will sign historic school-funding bill
By our count, it’s two down, one to go, in terms of Gov. Charlie Baker taking action on major legislation approved earlier this month by lawmakers. As expected, he signed the hands-free/distracted driving bill yesterday, as Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive. And today the governor plans to sign the $1.5 billion school-funding bill, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports (pay wall) .
The third major piece of legislation still sitting on Baker’s desk: The ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products. But it looks like the city of Boston is trying to beat the state to the punch on that one. See post below.
Boston bans mint and menthol tobacco products from corner stores
Boston isn’t waiting for the governor to make up his mind on the flavored-tobacco ban passed by legislators. From the Herald’s Alexi Cohan: “Mint and menthol nicotine and tobacco products will no longer be sold in convenience stores in Boston after the Board of Public Health approved regulations proposed by Mayor Martin Walsh at a Monday night meeting. … Mint and menthol cigarettes will only be sold in verified tobacco retailers, according to the BPHC.”
Only tobacco shops (we assume) can sell mint and menthol products? We assume convenience store owners are not happy about this.
In New Hampshire, it’s now a foursome
Too bad they don’t have a playoffs system in New Hampshire. From the Globe’s James Pindell: “A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters shows a tight, four-way contest, with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on top but statistically tied with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former vice president Joe Biden.”
Before the release of the Suffolk/Globe poll, the NYT was asking: “Did New Hampshire Fall Out of Love With Bernie Sanders?” Answer, based on the new S/G poll: Sort of.
The 1 percenter: Half of New Hampshire voters won’t even consider Patrick
Well, you can say this about Deval Patrick’s presidential prospects in New Hampshire: There’s nowhere to go but up. The former Massachusetts governor registered at only 1 percent in the new Suffolk/Globe poll of Democratic voters in the Granite State – and about half of those surveyed won’t even consider him, reports the Globe’s Christna Prignano. Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Matt Stout: “In N.H., it’s Deval Patrick vs. time.” And from Politico’s Stephanie Murray and Maggie Severans: “Deval Patrick’s eensy weensy campaign.”
But here’s some good news for Patrick: He’d make a terrific running mate for Michael Bloomberg, writes the Herald’s Jaclyn Cashman, calling a Bloomberg-Patrick ticket a “dream team.”
The other 1 percenter: Bill Weld, the lonely face of Trump resistance
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi takes a look at another former Massachusetts governor and 1-percenter in the presidential polls, i.e. Bill Weld, who’s the “most serious face of establishment Republican resistance to President Trump,” which isn’t saying much, as Joan notes.
Newsflash: It’s the ‘WooSox’
The team currently known as the Pawtucket Red Sox will officially be known as the Worcester Red Sox – but it’s nickname will indeed be the ‘WooSox,’ reports Stephen Foskett Jr. at the Telegram. But what’s up with the smiley-face logo/mascot? The proper choice was so obvious. Do we have to spell out everything to this team?
As for the roads not taken, Katie McInerney at Boston.com has the full list of the 218 names the team says it considered, some of which could appear on special promotional nights. Actually, we kind of like ‘Beaneaters.’
DeLeo floats idea to pay the bills amid budget impasse
We’ll see if this works. Nothing else has. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Unable to agree with the Senate on a larger bill, House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday told the Baker administration and state comptroller that the House would be willing to pass a close-out budget bill that pays any outstanding bills from last year, but includes no discretionary spending, in order to break the stalemate with the Senate.”
City on a Hill Charter School to close New Bedford campus and lay off staff at Roxbury sites
This is a blow to the charter-school industry across the state, not just in Boston and New Bedford. From James Vaznis at the Globe: “Once a shining star in the Boston charter school world, City on a Hill is facing a massive financial crisis, prompting trustees on Monday to enact a series of dramatic budget cuts: They will soon lay off 23 teachers, administrators, and other staffers at their New Bedford school and two Roxbury schools and will close the New Bedford campus in June. The plan, announced after a trustees meeting Monday morning, immediately sparked outrage.”
Overdose deaths decline slightly over first nine months of 2019
The good news: Opioid-related overdose deaths were down about 6 percent statewide in the first nine months of 2019. The bad news: The fentanyl presence is “at an all-time high’” and there were still 1,460 confirmed opioid-related overdose fatalities in Massachusetts. Think about: 1,460 deaths. The number is just mind-boggling. Tanner Stenig at MassLive and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) have more.
Cumbies vs Packies: Liquor stores sue to keep beer-wine question off the ballot
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that package store owners have filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Judicial Court seeking to kill a proposed ballot question, backed by Cumberland Farms, that would make it easier for food stores to sell beer and wine in Massachusetts.
DiMasi: I want my lobbyist license
He’s back — again. From Steph Solis at MassLive: “Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvator F. DiMasi, who was convicted in 2011 for steering state contracts to a private company for personal gain, is expected to make the case for being allowed to register as a lobbyist Tuesday. Attorneys representing DiMasi and the Lobbyist Division are expected to make arguments Tuesday morning over the commonwealth’s denial of DiMasi’s application to become a lobbyist earlier this year.”
The lawmaker on the bus: Rep. Sabadosa holds rolling office hours
Does she realize she might be virtue signaling? State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa holds office hours once a month on the Route 44 bus of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. Greta Jochem at the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Sabadosa, a Northampton Democrat, believes asking constituents to come to her for office hours isn’t really doing her job.
Here’s the scoop: N.Y. senator wants tougher warning laws after abrupt Friendly’s closures
We had no idea there were so many Friendly’s ice-cream shops in New York. Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is proposing to fix the “gaping holes” in federal layoff-warning laws, after this past spring’s abrupt closure of 23 Friendly’s shops in five states, saying employees were treated shabbily by the Massachusetts-based company.
Auditing firm hands over RMV records to lawmakers – but not the media
From Abigail Feldman at the Globe: “The auditing firm hired by Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to investigate the Registry of Motor Vehicles on Monday gave state lawmakers records from interviews of current and former state employees, after initially refusing to do so without legal action. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack announced the handover Monday night during an airing of WGBH’s Greater Boston news series.”
Earlier in the day, Attorney General Maura Healey was pressing for the release of the records, reports WGBH’s Zoe Matthews.
Framingham developer drops TIF bid, citing latest mayor-council clash
They don’t want to be a political football. A development team hoping to convert an old industrial building in Framingham into apartments says it will drop its request for a tax break, saying the city council seemed to oppose the deal because the city’s mayor supports it. Jeannette Hinkle at the MetroWest Daily News has the details.
State: Michelle Carter text-suicide conviction is not a First Amendment issue
From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “The state is pushing back on Michelle Carter’s pleas to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying there’s no First Amendment issue to resolve — though a legal expert says the court might give it a second look as another similar prosecution moves forward.”
The other “similar prosecution” is, of course, the case against ex-BC student Inyoung You, also accused of urging her boyfriend to commit suicide. It appears some Berkshire lawmakers support the state’s legal argument that suicide coercion is not a constitutional right, as Carolyn Komatsoulis reports at the Berkshire Eagle.
Moody’s gives thumbs up to new college disclosure law
The BBJ’ Hilary Burns is reporting that Moody’s, the credit rating agency, thinks the state’s new college-finances disclosure law could actually be a net positive for higher education. But it warns how well the law works ultimately depends on how it’s implemented – and, we presume, enforced.
Atlantic and NPR veteran tapped as WBUR’s new GM
Right from WBUR itself, via Callum Borhcers: “Veteran news executive Margaret Low will be the next chief executive and general manager of WBUR, leading one of the nation’s preeminent public media outlets amid a series of shakeups.Low, 61, joins WBUR from The Atlantic, where for the past five years she has served as senior vice president and head of the magazine’s live events division.”
CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt has more on the Belmont native’s appointment to top post at the station.
Healey to play bigger role in AG elections nationwide
From SHNS’s Michael Norton: “Attorney General Maura Healey will serve as the co-chair for the Democratic Attorneys General Association next year as the group looks to protect its incumbents and flip Republican-held seats. Healey will be working with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, marking the first time two women have led the association.”
New tallies, same results: No changes after Pittsfield and Salem recounts
A day-long recount of ballots in Pittsfield confirmed the re-election of Mayor Linda Tyer, but challenger Melissa Mazzeo — who lost two votes in the hand count process — is suggesting legal challenges to the results are still possible because of what her camp calls “irregularities” around access to the ballots, Amanda Drane at the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Meanwhile, vote-counters in Salem have to be feeling pretty good about themselves after a recount confirmed the victory–by a single vote–of Ward 6 City Council candidate Megan Riccardi, Dustin Lucareports in the Salem News.
Blacks In Government Future Leaders in America’s Government Youth Summit
The theme of the FLAG Youth Summit is: “Your Benchmark for Achieving Excellence” Topics covered will include: Establishing and benchmarking goals for achieving Personal, Academic, and Professional Success.
New England Energy Summit
New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) in collaboration with The Dupont Group will host the New England Energy Summit, a half-day event that will bring together industry leaders, end users and policymakers to address emerging issues and engage in impactful discussion.
Author Talk and Book Signing with Richard A. Johnson: The Pats
Author talk and book signing with Richard A. Johnson, co-author of The Pats: An Illustrated History of the New England Patriots.
A Conversation with Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams, New York Times bestselling author, nonprofit CEO, former Georgia House Democratic Leader and 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, discusses her distinguished career and continuing work on voting rights and social issues.
Discussion: Building Urgency and Political Will
There are many policy solutions that could have impact, but their viability is challenged by the lack of urgency and broad political will that is needed to get municipal leaders to lead on a crisis that their constituents may not currently feel. How do we sound the alarm and build the support needed to meet our housing challenges head-on?
Can We Bridge the Political Divide? Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop
Please join us for an intensive workshop that will bring together Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning citizens for a day of structured conversations, with a focus on listening and reflecting rather than debating and persuading.
The Constitution: Changes and Challenges in US History
Akhil Amar, professor of law and political science at Yale University, and Eric Foner, professor emeritus of history at Columbia University and author of The Second Founding: How Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, discuss constitutional changes and challenges throughout our nation’s history.
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