Happening Today

UMass board, Governor’s Council, Locke wake

Centro Presente hosts an International Migrants Day panel discussion about the ‘migrant experience in the age of Trump,’ House Members’ Lounge, 11 a.m.

UMass Board of Trustees meets, with UMass-Boston professors Marlene Kim and Ken Reardon planning to present a petition outlining concerns of the faculty over programs and courses that UMass Amherst offers on its satellite campus in Newton, UMass Club, 32nd, floor, One Beacon St., Boston, 10 a.m.

 — Governor’s Council meets twice today, with a vote possible at the first meeting on the nomination of Springfield lawyer David Paradis as a Juvenile Court judge and with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairing the second meeting, Room 360 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Cardinal Seán O’Malley participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Cote Village, 820 Cummins Highway, Mattapan, 2:30 p.m.

— Visiting hours are held for former Senate Minority Leader David Locke, who died Dec. 12 at the age of 91, George F. Doherty and Sons Funeral Home, 477 Washington St. (Rte. 16), Wellesley, 4 p.m. to 7 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

Impeachment: It’s going to happen

All political eyes will be on Washington today, as the U.S. House is expected to vote on (and almost certainly pass – NYT) the articles of impeachment against President Trump. The Washington Post has a good breakdown on how the vote will go – and who’s most vulnerable for voting whichever way.

One thing is clear: The Massachusetts House delegation is unanimously for impeachment (Boston Globe). And just to make sure, there was no shortage of pro-impeachment rallies across Massachusetts yesterday – such as in western Massachusetts (Berkshire Eagle and the Gazette and MassLive), on the Cape (Cape Cod Times) and in Boston and Cambridge (Globe).

Meanwhile, Salem’s mayor responds to Trump’s assertion that he’s a victim of a political witch hunt, to wit: “Learn your history.” (CNN).

Ethics panel: There’s ‘substantial reason to believe’ Trahan violated campaign finance law

An eve-of-impeachment news dump? A day before the full U.S. House was expected to vote on the impeachment of President Trump, the chamber’s ethics committee yesterday announced it is conducting a further probe into U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan’s campaign-finance moves in the waning days before her 2018 election, saying there’s “substantial reason to believe” she violated campaigns laws. Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune and Andrea Estes and Matt Stout at the Globe have the details. 

Brockton businessman pays $10,000 over unlawful donations

Speaking of campaign-finance matters, Brockton business owner Roy Andrade has paid $10,000 to settle a case with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, which said Andrade illegally funneled his own money through his employees to two mayoral hopefuls, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise.  


TCI’s cost to motorists: Perhaps 5 to 17 cents per gallon of gas by 2022

We’ll let CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger get the ball rolling on this one: “Officials developing new regional approach to reducing tailpipe emissions on the East Coast are considering policies that would add between 5 cents and 17 cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline, generating over $1 billion in the first year spread among all the participating states.”

After public release of the very preliminary numbers, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu wasted no time pulling the Granite State out of Transportation and Climate Initiative that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker tentatively supports, with Sununu calling TCI’s carbon “fee” a flat-out “tax” and describing the program as a “financial boondoggle.” MassLive’s Tanner Stening has more on Sununu’s move. 

But SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports how Massachusetts could reap more than $500 million a year from the TCI fee/tax, money Baker is counting on to help pay for transportation improvements, among other things. And many climate activists say the benefits of TCI are well worth the price, as Nik DeCosta-Klipa reports at Boston.com.


Baker’s wild-thing TCI gamble

In a piece headlined “Baker’s walk on the wild side”” (cue Lou Reed), CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl writes that Gov. Charlie Baker’s “embrace of the transportation climate initiative is another step away from his shrinking Republican base and a tacit admission that the state needs more transit funding,” making him, we suppose, a true wild thing (cue The Troggs).

But the business community has Baker’s back. Well, mostly (cue the Globe’s Jon Chesto). Those who don’t have Baker’s back on TCI: Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Citizens for Limited Taxation and the National Federation for Independent Businesses, among others (cue the Herald’s Hillary Chabot). … Now you decide: Listen to Lou Reed or the Troggs? You can’t have both. You have other things to do this morning.

Walsh calls Pressley’s plan to decriminalize prostitution ‘dangerous’

From the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “A plan by U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley to decriminalize prostitution is taking heat from women’s advocates and Mayor Martin Walsh who are calling it a ‘dangerous’ proposal that undermines state and local anti-trafficking initiatives and ‘creates an open market for vulnerable people’s bodies.’”

In a Herald opinion piece, Joyce Ferriabough Bolling makes her view clear: “In no way does prostitution deserve to be decriminalized.

Boston Herald

Going after illegal weed in Massachusetts: The final showdown

The feds and local police are already tasked with cracking down on illegal marijuana operations in Massachusetts. But legislation on Beacon Hill asserts that’s not enough. So what’s needed? “A new multi-agency illicit marijuana task force.” Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and Colin Young have more.


Meanwhile, lawmakers seek ban on pot billboards

As legislators talk about cracking down on the illegal sale of pot in Massachusetts, other lawmakers say it’s time to crack down on billboards advertising the legal sale of pot in Massachusetts, reports Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune.

Eagle Tribune

After budget fight, he’s gone to Disney World!

He didn’t win MVP of a major sporting event. But Comptroller Andrew Maylor, after his showdown with lawmakers over the tardy state supplemental budget, apparently rewarded himself with a trip to Disney World, tweeting away about his new “furry friends” while his employees put the final touches on the ‘Statutory Basis Financial Report.’ He stopped tweeting once State House News Service started making inquiries about his whereabouts.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Brandeis University takes stand against ‘caste’ discrimination

Marilyn Schairer at WGBH reports that Brandeis University will now include “caste” in its anti-discrimination policies, a move aimed at alleged caste-system bias on campus tied to immigrants from India, specifically bias against those deemed “untouchables.”


Are the feds backing off plans for new Cape bridges? Lawmakers express concerns

SHNS’s Michael Norton reports that U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, in a letter to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday, are expressing concerns about recent statements that suggest the feds may not be fully behind plans to replace the Sagamore and Bourne bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal. Their bottom line: New bridges are needed. Period.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Targeting the swing set: Bay State group goes hunting for independents in NH

They’re on a mission–a very specific mission. David Bernstein at WGBH reports on The Welcome Party, a relatively new Bay State-based political group with the specific mission of convincing independent voters in New Hampshire to vote in the Democratic primary, which in turn should make them more likely to vote next November. 


Cash crunch: GE faces fallout from Boeing production halt

This is not going to help. The decision by Boeing to halt production of its 737 Max planes will reverberate all the way to GE’s balance sheet, where a cash-flow crunch that’s proven difficult to solve is likely to get much worse, Greg Ryan reports at the Boston Business Journal. One analyst says the move could cost GE, which helps make the 737 engines, as much as $2 billion worth of cash flow each quarter production remains halted. 

But there is some good news for those concerned about GE’s aviation plant in Lynn: The plant learned earlier this year that it had “won work on a military helicopter engine that could lead to decades’ worth of contracts.”


Is Boston really ready for the NAACP convention? Not really

The Globe’s Adrian Walker has his doubts whether Boston is organizationally and psychologically ready to host next year’s 2020 NAACP Convention, saying the city has to do more to show it’s tackling racial inequality. 

Boston Globe

Now for the big question: Who’s going to pay for the ‘forever chemicals’ testing?

The state last week announced new rules to regulate so-called “forever chemicals” (i.e. toxic polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS) seeping into drinking-water supplies across the state. But local municipalities have questions about what the new rules mean for them, namely: Costs. Gabrielle Emanuel at WGBH has more.

Report: More than 250,000 homes could be built on land around T stations

The Globe’s Tim Logan reports on new data by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership that shows as many as 253,000 housing units could be built on land surrounding T stations, easing both traffic gridlock and the housing crisis. But … but it’s easier said than done, of course.

In other housing-crisis news, from the Herald’s Erin Tiernan: “Boston urges passage of affordable-housing bill on Beacon Hill.” And from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “Committee quickly approves Boston housing bill.”

Boston Globe

Joe Biden plants HQ flag in Quincy

Joe Biden has planted his campaign flag on the home turf of Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick, two of his Dem presidential primary rivals, opening up new campaign office yesterday in Quincy, reports Benjamin Kail at MassLive.


Standoff redux: Springfield mayor, council at odds over refugees

He’s not backing down. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says he’ll defy a unanimous City Council resolution that the city opt-in to allowing refugees to be resettled there, Jim Kinney reports at MassLive. Sarno says the community already does its fair share for immigrants of all stripes and he’s worried about a further impact on city services.


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

The History and Collections of the MHS

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Medford 2020 – The Inauguration

MEDFORD 2020 is a celebration of community at the Historic Chevalier Theatre in Medford, Massachusetts.

Medford 2020 Inauguration Committee

Civic Practice Symposium: Reimagining Community Futures Through Arts & Philanthropy

How can creative people in place-based communities catalyze economic change, bridge divisions, and foster meaningful connections between people? How can philanthropic efforts be reoriented toward social weaving, toward participatory democracy, and toward the slow push in communities to integrate and reconnect—to build shared interests and shared purpose in heart and mind?

Adam Erickson

State of the City 2020

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s annual State of the City address will review the City’s progress and lay out his agenda for his next year in office.

Mayor’s Office of the City of Boston

A Political Discussion As We Enter 2020

Author, politician, raconteur, Larry DiCara., former Congressman Michael Harrington and Government Relations Strategist Peter Mazareas will lead an interactive discussion on what is going on with our democracy. Come on January 7 and let us reason together. We’ll try to find common ground and avoid the harsh tones of current political divisiveness.

Harvard Club of the North Shore

Today’s Headlines


Board rejects electronic billboard along Pike in Brighton – Universal Hub

Sox-Yankees London series had $62 million economic impact – Boston Business Journal


Recycling costs to skyrocket across Franklin County – Greenfield Recorder

Boston, Springfield rank among best in nation for starting a business – MassLive

State approves Eversource line through Sudbury, Hudson – MetroWest Daily News


Ways and Means sends USMCA to House floor – Politico

Foiled in 2016, ‘Never Trump’ Republicans launch new super PAC in effort to oust Trump in 2020 – Washington Post

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