Happening Today

Health Connector, NAACP convention, and more

Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority meets, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 9:05 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, NAACP National Chairman Leon Russell, NAACP National President Derrick Johnson, NAACP Convention Planning Chairman Michael Turner, NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha Sullivan and others hold a press conference to formally welcome the NAACP’s convention to Boston next year, Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, Roxbury, 11 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Police Commissioner William Gross and Licensing Board chair Kathleen Joyce hold a press conference to discuss a new report ‘Best Practices in Public Safety for Nightclubs & other Licensed Premises,’ BPD HQ, Media Room, 1 Schroeder Plaza, 3:15 p.m.

— MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 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

Supplement Budget Bill Held Hostage: It’s over!

Beacon Hill lawmakers late last night approved a compromise bill on how to spend the state’s more than $1 billion surplus from last fiscal year, ending a more than five-month impasse and averting a potential legal showdown with Comptroller Andrew Maylor, according to reports by SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and the Globe’s Matt Stout and Victoria McGrane.

Some details of the compromise: 1.) It doesn’t include a controversial corporate tax provision sought by the House. 2.) It spends considerably less of the surplus money than originally planned. 3.) It puts more money in the state’s emergency “rainy day” fund and 4.) It reduces a planned MBTA allocation of $50 million to $32 million.

Debate heats up over TCI plan that practically nobody understands

A new MassINC poll shows strong support in Massachusetts and other northeastern states for the so-called Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), reports Bejamin Kail at MassLive. But CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl writes that the poll results actually indicate that the vast majority of those surveyed have no clue what TCI entails, since the poll didn’t explicityly point out it would likely lead to higher prices for motorists at the gas pumps.

Meanwhile, Mohl reports separately that Gov. Charlie Baker was talking up TCI yesterday. The Herald’s Mary Markos reports that critics are talking down the proposal, saying it’s nothing more than a ‘hidden tax’ on gas.

Shocking: Rivera objects to paying lawyers $44K per day for work on gas-explosion settlement

MassLive’s Jackson Cote and the Globe’s John Ellement and Danny McDonald report that Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera is urging a judge to reject a $143 million settlement with Columbia Gas over last year’s natural-gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley. The reason: The $23.5 million payout to lawyers. This line in Cote’s piece, attributed to the city, caught our attention: “The fees would amount to around $44,000 a day paid to each attorney if they worked every day starting when the disaster occurred.”

Just what Patrick needs: A discrimination suit back home, a ballot ‘oops’ in Michigan

As former Gov. Deval Patrick tries to get traction on the presidential trail across the country, he may get dragged back to Massachusetts to be deposed in a “gender discrimination and retaliation (suit) filed by three women he appointed as judges,” reports the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert.  

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that Patrick’s campaign is scrambling to get him on the Michigan Dem primary ballot – all because of a missed call by the Patrick campaign, as the Globe’s James Pindell reports. ‘Oops’ indeed.

Report: Warren’s wealth-tax numbers just don’t add up

The Hill reports on a new Penn-Wharton Budget Model study that says U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth-tax proposals would raise about $1 trillion less than what Warren’s campaign claims. Hey, a trillion here, a trillion there, and … what’s the big deal?

The Hill

Galvin says Humason’s Senate resignation letter ‘worthless’

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said Wednesday that a resignation letter filed by state Sen. Don Humason, R-Westfield, is ‘a worthless piece of paper’ and cannot be used to call a special election.”

Humason’s response? “Persnickety.” Look it up (as we had to). Anyway, it all ties back to when a special election would be held and who would benefit most – Dems or Republicans.


‘Here they go’: Other towns now eyeing natural-gas bans similar to Brookline’s move

As the Globe’s Jon Chesto puts it, ‘here they go,’ as in other towns and cities now looking to duplicate Brookline’s ban on new natural-gas hookups. Among the potential copy cats: Cambridge, Newton, Lexington, Arlington, etc.

As we’ve previously noted, such bans are obviously good intentioned from a climate-change standpoint. But they’re on a collision course with attempts to solve the state’s housing crisis – and such bans just so happen to conveniently fit with many municipalities’ desired goal of limiting new housing in general. CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger wrote the other day about yet another clash of priorities on the climate/housing front.

Boston Globe

Eversource pledges carbon neutrality by 2030

Speaking of climate-change matters, this is interesting. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Eversource Energy, the largest energy delivery company in New England, has announced plans to make its corporate emissions carbon neutral by 2030, asserting it would become the first investor-owned utility in the nation to achieve that status.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Healey’s office undeterred by ExxonMobil ruling in New York

The Washington Post sifts through a court ruling against the state of New York in its climate-change fraud case against ExxonMobil – and tentatively concludes a similar suit by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey may fare better because of subtle legal differences. Healey’s office says it’s not daunted at all by the New York ruling, the Post reports.

Washington Post

Derailment warning: Congress targets Springfield railcar plant

The Globe’s Danny McDonald and Adam Vaccaro report that a provision within a U.S. House bill passed earlier this week would prohibit the “use of federal transit dollars to procure buses and railcars from Chinese state-owned or state-controlled enterprises,” such as, oh, CRRC Corp., owner of the Springfield plant that’s currently making new subways cars for the T.

Boston Globe

Northern Avenue Bridge: A future car-free pathway to and from Seaport?

Definitely check out the design sketches accompanying stories by Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell and the Globe’s Tim Logan regarding preliminary plans for a future car-free Northern Avenue Bridge in Boston. All the design proposals look pretty sharp.

Boston councilors pass tougher anti-ICE measures

The AP’s Philip Marcelo at NBC Boston reports that the Boston City Council has voted to amend the city’s ‘Trust Act’ (aka sanctuary city) to make it tougher for city police to cooperate with federal officials on immigration matters.

The feds obviously aren’t happy with this and similar measures around the state and country. Via the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo: “ICE: Sanctuary cities partly to blame for drop in arrests of dangerous illegal immigrants.”

NBC Boston

‘Bostonians of the Year’: Andrew Lelling and Rachael Rollins, take a bow

As the Globe’s Neil Swidey notes, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling and Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins may not agree much on legal matters. But they do share some things in common, including being selected as the Globe’s “Bostonians of the Year.”

Boston Globe

The Tsarnaev hearing: Did the marathon bomber get a fair trial in Boston?

WGBH’s Phillip Martin and WBUR’s Ally Jarmanning report on today’s scheduled federal court hearing on whether the 26-year-old Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, got a fair trial in Boston and whether he deserves the death penalty.

Newsflash: Springfield cops and State Police at center of controversies again

There must be some sort of competition between Springfield Police and State Police over who can stay in the news the most for all the wrong reasons. Patrick Johnson at MassLive reports that a city police officer and a school administrator are now facing charges tied to an alleged assault on a middle-school student earlier this year. Meanwhile, the FBI and Springfield Police are butting heads in a separate high-profile case dating back to 2016. Stephanie Barry at MassLive has that report.

Still, the State Police are giving Springfield Police a run for their headline-grabbing money, via Aviva Luttrell at MassLive: “Former Mass. State Police troopers Paul Wosny, Michael Wilmot arraigned on charges of taking weapons from state police armory.”

State Rep. Honan gets a primary challenger

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Rep. Kevin Honan, a Boston Democrat who co-chairs the Housing Committee, is on track to face his first primary opponent in a decade. Jordan Meehan, a 28-year-old Allston resident who works at the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and is a member of the climate advocacy group 350 Mass, on Wednesday announced his plans to run against Honan in next year’s primary.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

One person, no vote? Salem election result heads to court

He’s not satisfied. Jerry Ryan, who lost his bid for a Ward 6 City Council seat in Salem by a single vote, is asking a court to throw out the results of last month’s election after a recount failed to change the result, Dustin Luca reports at the Salem News. The suit claims a Ryan voter was turned away from the polls just as they closed and that a ballot went missing between Election Day and the recount. 

Salem News

Great Barrington wants a final say in horse-racing decision

They want a say. Town meeting voters in Great Barrington all but unanimously backed a resolution calling for the community to have the right to vote on whether live thoroughbred horse racing will return to the local fairgrounds, Heather Bellow reports at the Berkshire Eagle. Attention will now turn to the State House.  

Berkshire Eagle

Troubling times: Two campuses wrestle with anti-Semitic graffiti

For the third time this semester, hateful graffiti that includes swastikas has been spotted at Wheaton College in Norton, even after the school beefed up security and held several events in response to earlier incidents, David Linton reports at the Sun Chronicle.  Meanwhile, Worcester State University officials say two incidents of swastika graffiti were reported on that campus between Friday and Monday, Susan Spencer reports at the Telegram. 

Think/Write/Speak: Activism in Action

Join the Bostonian Society and nomadic arts incubator Brown Art Ink for a workshop on raising your voice for local issues.

Brown Art Ink

Swampscott, Marblehead & Nahant RTC Holiday Party

Please join us for our annual Swampscott, Marblehead & Nahant Republican Town Committees holiday party with special guest Governor Charlie Baker.

Swampscott Republican Town Committee

Donuts with DA Rachael Rollins

Join us for JALSA’s “Donate what you can” Channukah event– Donuts with the DA– Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins! Anyone can attend for any donation! Date, time and location will be sent upon receipt of donation.

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Today’s Headlines


Boston approves fee on real estate transactions – CommonWealth Magazine

Boston has dramatically reworked the design for a new Northern Avenue bridge – Boston Globe


Taunton city councilor Sanders wants incoming Mayor O’Connell to expedite job-appointment info – Taunton Gazette

Andover teachers union: Workplace investigation illegal – Eagle-Tribune

Gomes brings five gang-related motions to New Bedford City Council – Standard-Times


Democrats jostle for prized impeachment manager gig – Politico

Harvey Weinstein and His Accusers Reach Tentative $25 Million Deal – New York Times

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