MBTA boarding change, Cannabis Commission and more
— The MBTA’s above-ground trolleys and buses will once again require all passengers to pay fares when they board through the front door, ending a months-long practice of people entering via the rear doors for pandemic safety reasons.
— The Cannabis Control Commission meets to discuss and possibly vote on updated regulations, 10 a.m.
— University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees reviews a previous recommendation by UMass President Marty Meehan to freeze tuition rates for undergrads at the university’s four campuses, 10:30 a.m.
— Pastors from twelve African Methodist Episcopal churches urge the House to pass police reform legislation that includes ‘fixing’ qualified immunity, State House Steps, 11 a.m.
— Supreme Judicial Court’s Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being meets virtually, with Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan among the participants, 3:30 p.m.
For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free
A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.
The coronavirus numbers: 12 new deaths, 8,213 total deaths, 218 new cases
MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
Crunch time: House unveils police bill as end of session looms large
It’s their turn. House leaders late on Sunday unveiled their own version of police reform legislation, a package that largely mirrors the Senate-passed bill but only rolls back qualified immunity for police in cases where officers or departments have been decertified by a newly created state agency, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). Under the proposal, a new seven-person Massachusetts Police Standards and Training Commission would set standards and certify police departments across the state.
SHNS’s Murphy reports lawmakers could start debate on the 123-page bill as early as Wednesday while Erin Tiernan at the Herald and Steph Solis of MassLive report the House legislation comes after lawmakers received 1,000 written comments — many of them urging lawmakers to keep qualified immunity intact.
Highest jobless rate in the nation: Is it really Baker’s fault?
SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and the Globe’s Larry Edelman report that the latest jobs numbers show Massachusetts with the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 17.4 percent, even though employers added back 83,000 jobs last month. Edelman draws a direct connection to the state’s high jobless rate and its aggressive move to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
And the Herald’s Howie Carr is blaming “Charlie Parker,” aka Gov. Charlie Baker, for the high number due to his slow reopening of the economy. At the risk of being accused by Howie of fomenting pandemic hysteria in order to dethrone President Trump, we would like to point out that Edelman, along with the Globe’s Shirley Leung, warned way back in April that Massachusetts would get hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, due largely to the high number of colleges and health-care companies here. And it certainly looks like they were right.
And will Curatone get blamed for Somerville’s unemployment rate?
Think Charlie Baker has been somewhat strict about reopening the economy? Somerville Mayor Joe Curatone is, for now, refusing to proceed to Phase 3 of reopening his city, citing fears of another surge. He’s thinking more like August sometime. Maybe. Emily Judem at WGBH has more.
They’re paying no attention to Baker at the M Street Beach
If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, the photo accompanying a story by the Globe’s Lucas Phillips and John Hilliard says it all in terms of people at Boston’s M Street Beach ignoring Gov. Charlie Baker’s repeated calls to wear protective masks.
By contrast, indoors at the state’s three casino, gamblers are largely in compliance with mask requirements, regulators report, according to Jim Kinney of MassLive.
For Kennedy, the Broadway show doesn’t go on
Theatre Talk Boston’s Kobi Kassal reports how some Broadway theater types were all set to host a fundraising benefit for U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Ed Markey – and then some progressive Twitter types found out and suddenly the curtain fell before it could be raised. And a Kennedy spokesperson is bellyaching about “cyber-bullying.” TTB item via Universal Hub.
Meanwhile, both candidates were in full-on campaign mode in recent days, with a special focus on the southeastern part of the state. Kennedy launched a three-day ‘jobs and justice’ tour of the region, George Rhodes at the Sun-Chronicle reports, while Markey’s campaign bus blitzed Fall River and New Bedford, where the senator touted his ability to bring home funds to improve the city’s marine terminal, according to Tim Dunn at the Standard-Times.
Is Karyn Polito the next Paul Cellucci?
CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg takes a look at whether Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is angling for a third term with Gov. Charlie Baker – or a first term as Gov. Politio. If she’s pursuing the latter, Polito may have a political roadmap to follow, courtesy of a fellow central Massachusetts Republican whose portrait hangs behind her desk. He too jumped from the Legislature to lieutenant governor and then … the rest is history.
Are Elizabeth Warren’s VP hopes dashed by Black Lives Matter?
The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports how some local minority activists and elected officials believe that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s chances of getting the VP-running-mate nod from Joe Biden now look slim, thanks to recent Black Lives Matter protests and pressure on Biden to pick a female of color.
For a counterpoint argument, look no further than this piece by the Globe’s Jess Bidgood, who reports that Warren has kept herself — and some of her policy initiatives — in the mix, despite the pressures to choose a woman of color. Meanwhile, Christian Paz of The Atlantic argues that Biden’s eventual VP choice could be in a position to be the country’s most powerful number two in history.
Friendly fire: Barney Frank says ‘no thanks’ to Warren as Treasury secretary
Meanwhile, former U.S. Rep. and financial reformer Barney Frank says putting Warren in charge of the Treasury, assuming Joe Biden doesn’t pick her as his VP running mate and assuming Biden wins this fall, would be a ‘mistake,’ because Wall Street types have nothing but disdain for her, Matt Egan at CNN reports. Frank’s choice for the job: Trump’s Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
Galvin: ‘These people don’t like me, that’s pretty obvious’
Millions of applications have indeed been sent out, or are in the process of being sent out, for the massive expansion of mail-in voting this fall. But there still seems to be some lingering bitterness between voting activists and Secretary of State Bill Galvin. “These people don’t like me, that’s pretty obvious,” Galvin tells the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld.
Payback time? Southwick slated for scrutiny after layoffs nix tax deal
Get it all back. The union representing workers laid off en masse last week at Southwick’s in Haverhill and local leaders are among those cheering on state officials, who say they’ll look to claw back $2.1 million worth of state tax credits the Brooks Brothers subsidiary received in exchange for creating the jobs in the first place. Local officials also say more needs to be done to find new jobs for impacted workers, Allison Corneau of the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Craft brewers and liquor wholesales strike distribution deal
One step closer towards world peace. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Craft brewers and the state’s beer wholesalers have reached a deal that would resolve a decade-long dispute over distribution rights centered around when a brewer can sever ties with their distributor, paving the way for the state’s smaller beer brands to free themselves from relationships that they feel are inhibiting their growth.”
John Lewis, civil rights icon, RIP
The NYT reports on the sad death of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, 80, a giant of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and beyond. Wicked Local and the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi have local reactions to the death of Lewis, who was once was tested for brain injuries at MGH “after an Alabama state trooper beat him in the head with a nightstick on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.”
Family of victims files $176M class-action suit against Holyoke Soldiers’ Home officials
Here’s our question: Will taxpayers be on the hook for this if the plaintiffs prevail? MassLive’s Stephanie Barry and WBUR’s Miriam Wasser report on the $176 million class-action lawsuit filed against officials tied to the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, where 76 veterans perished in the early months of the pandemic.
Dems urge Baker to extend evictions moratorium
From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “The pressure from Democrats on Gov. Charlie Baker to extend a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures into November intensified on Friday, with Attorney General Maura Healey calling such a step ‘critical,’ and a majority of the Committee on Housing urging the governor to keep the protections in place.” The Globe’s Tim Logan has more.
Cape lodging and rental industry: Pandemic? What pandemic?
OK, not everything is hunky-dory on the Cape these days. But it sure doesn’t look as economically dire as many had feared this past spring when the economy was locked down and tourism officials were bracing for the worst this summer.
WBUR’s Zeninjor Enwemeka reports on the remarkable July 4th weekend booking rate on the Cape. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on the huge surge in vacation-home rentals, as families look for easy and quick ways to get out of their normal year-round houses.
Ones to watch: Coronavirus cases tick up on summer islands
All of the Cape and Islands visitors are almost certainly bringing more coronavirus risks to the region. Case in point: Joshua Bolling at the Inquirer & Mirror reports Sunday saw Nantucket’s fifth confirmed case this week, while Ethan Genter at the Cape Cod Times reports the tiny island community of Gosnold saw its first confirmed case this week.
Walsh to Cassellius: Talk to the rebels
This is not exactly standing by her. The Globe’s Malcom Gay reports that Mayor Marty Walsh has told Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius to talk to rebellious high-school headmasters who are furious with her plans to overhaul struggling city high schools. The mayor says Cassellius needs the support of school leaders in order to successfully make changes.
Defunded details: Milford drops late-night drive-in patrols
This is one way of defunding the police. A years-long practice of having privately funded police details at the Milford Wendy’s drive-through is being dropped, at least temporarily, Alison Boma reports in the Telegram. The decision to release the restaurant from the detail requirement was made by the police chief after selectmen punted due to potential conflicts of interest.
The ADA at 30: “Let the Shameful Wall of Exclusion Come Down”
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute will join the George and Barbara Bush Foundation to convene a virtual event with key activists, advocates, and policymakers who helped make the Americans with Disabilities Act a reality for a bipartisan celebration of that landmark civil rights legislation –– and, equally important, focus on the challenges that will shape the future of the disability movement.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute, the George and Barbara Bush Foundation, National Organization on Disability, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, The Harkin Institute, and Higher Ground Productions
Individual Homelessness in a COVID-19 World Part II: Local Public Perspectives on Addressing Homelessness
Join the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance for a panel discussion about local responses to individual homelessness in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and the need for housing solutions to address this public health crisis.
Smart ways small business can manage and spend money
Ramon Ray hosts Rhonda Abrams to help your small business navigate tough times and plan a money management strategy for the long term.
Newton and Brookline in Support of Senator Ed Markey
Please Join Senator Ed Markey for a Virtual Event with Event Chairs Rep. Ruth Balser, Hannah Banks, Senator Cindy Creem, Martina Jackson and Rep. Kay Khan.
Virtual 2020 Race Ahead: Moving Forward Together
Join the Boston Business Journal for a virtual discussion on how we can affect real change in our community and move forward together.
Impact of COVID-19: What Area Colleges are Planning for the Fall
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges for each of us. But one enormous challenge we’re all adjusting to is the complete shift in the way we interact with one another. The North Shore Chamber takes social-distancing very seriously and will be abiding by the Governor’s instructions for Massachusetts to remain safe while reopening at this Special Breakfast.
For Real Estate: Why Constant Contact is the Smarter Choice for Online Marketing
In this free, one-hour webinar, you’ll get an overview of the tools that Constant Contact offers.
Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard (Day 2)
Join us for our Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard hosted by Amplify Latinx, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Gastón Institute, in collaboration with our partner organizations.
Hard-Hit Industries: Rebuilding Restaurants, Retail, and Travel & Hospitality
Pioneer Institute invites you to our Virtual Policy Briefing, “Hardest Hit Industries,” on Wednesday, July 29th at 3:00 PM featuring Mary Connaughton, the Institute’s Director of Government Transparency and Director of Finance and Administration.
Greater Milford Democratic Congressional Debate
The first debate between the Democratic candidates vying to replace Congressman Kennedy, featuring questions from you, the voters and broadcast live on Milford TV! (To protect the health and safety of the candidates and organizers, the event will be held remotely.)
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