House police-reform bill, Health Policy Commission, and more
— U.S. Rep. Bill Keating joins the New England Council for its ‘Capitol Hill Report’ to provide an update on efforts to enact additional pandemic relief and economic stimulus measures, 10 a.m.
— The Massachusetts House meets in a formal session to consider its version of the Senate’s police reform bill, 11 a.m.
— Health Policy Commission board meets to review updated data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care spending and costs, 12 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey participates in an ‘Ask the AG’ segment on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m.
— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins the Massachusetts Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and the Boston Teachers Union for a virtual discussion on safely reopening schools, 5 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.
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The coronavirus numbers: 17 new deaths, 8,231 total deaths, 165 new cases
CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
No evictions tsunami this summer: Baker extends moratorium until Oct. 17
Amid warnings of a potential ‘evictions tsunami’ this summer, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday officially extended the current pandemic moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until October 17. The original moratorium was due to expire on August 18. WBUR’s Laney Ruckstuhl has the details.
Punt till fall? Prospects look bleak for state budget by end of month
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday filed a $5.5 billion interim state budget for August, strongly signaling the state won’t have a full-year budget in place by the end of July and through most of the summer, for that matter. MassLive’s Steph Solis and SHNS’s Michael Norton and Matt Murphy (pay wall) have more on what sure looks like a new-normal month-to-month budget cycle on Beacon Hill, courtesy of the pandemic. Much depends on whether Congress approves extra relief funds for states. See post immediately below.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that if the legislative session indeed stretches into August and beyond, Baker will gain veto power under legislative rules. But rules are meant to be broken, especially on Beacon Hill, and they’re already talking of officially extending the session and thus negating such parliamentary rules.
Warren’s big-bucks relief plan
In a New York Times opinion piece, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlines what she thinks needs to be in the next coronavirus relief bill – and it’s a long list. Separately, from the Globe’s Larry Edelman: “Congress: Please don’t force the states to fend for themselves.”
State unveils 19-page protocols plan on how to handle students who even remotely look sick
Does Bill Belichick walk around the sidelines with a 19-page laminated game plan? Not that we’ve seen. But teachers and principals might be walking around schools with 19-page game plans on how to deal with sick students (and teachers, staffers and parents etc.) when, and if, schools reopen this fall. The Herald’s Alexi Cohan and the Globe’s Naomi Martin have more on the extensive guideline protocols issued by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Speaking of school reopening plans, from Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth magazine: ‘Fear and trepidation as teachers contemplate returning to class.” And from SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “Walsh favors ‘blended’ approach to reopening schools.”
Looks like Harvard’s international freshmen will indeed be barred from campus
File under: Pyrrhic victory? A week after ICE backed off a rule that would have kicked international students out of the country if they attended a college offering only online courses, Harvard yesterday announced that incoming international freshmen won’t be on campus this fall because, well, they can’t get into the country, reports CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt.
In other college-doom news, from the BBJ’s Hilary Burns (pay wall): “NYU professor says six Mass. colleges likely to ‘perish.’” The list looks pretty far-fetched.
Police chiefs blast ‘knee-jerk’ cop-reform proposals on Beacon Hill
Dozens of police chiefs from around the state rallied in Framingham yesterday to blast “knee-jerk” proposals for police reforms in Massachusetts, reports Lauren Young at MetroWest Daily News. From Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson: “Who’s writing all this stuff, I don’t know. It’s like they took a bunch of garbage and threw it in one bill.”
Meanwhile, ex-prosecutors Simon Cataldo and Kim West at CommonWealth magazine have their own problems with the House bill expected to be voted on today on Beacon Hill.
Municipal leaders push police reforms, but Walsh warns of ‘slippery slope’ on immunity rollback
Many police chiefs oppose various cop-reform proposals, but some of their civilian bosses have other ideas. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that 18 municipal leaders – including the mayors of Framingham, Salem and Somerville – are pushing for greater police reforms.
But the Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter reports that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is opposing the state Senate’s move to cut qualified immunity protections for police officers, saying it’s “a slippery slope” towards trouble.
Bad timing: Shrewsbury police chief tests positive on same day he’s sworn in
Speaking of police honchos, the Telegram’s Elaine Thompson reports that Shrewsbury Police Chief Kevin E. Anderson tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, the same day that he was sworn in to head the department. He informed the Telegram about his test results Tuesday morning.
Walsh to feds: Keep your anti-protest goons out of Boston
From a report at WCVB: “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Tuesday announced that he had signed on to a letter with other big-city mayors to oppose the federal government’s use of unidentified officers to detain protesters in Oregon and President Donald Trump’s plans to send agents to other cities, too.” Universal Hub has more.
Kennedy’s distant Standard Oil connection
Responding to rival U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s challenge, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and his wife yesterday released their tax returns showing the couple made $349,281 in total yearly income in recent years, reports the Globe’s Victoria McGrane.
But what caught our eye is the more than $100K a year in investment income they reported and this line from the Globe: “Much of their investment income came from trusts associated with Kennedy’s mother, whose great-grandfather was one of the original trustees of Standard Oil,” as in the old J.D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil dating back four generations.
Healey rejects Brookline’s ban on oil and natural-gas hookups in new buildings
Attorney General Maura Healey made clear she sympathized with liberal activists in Brookline trying to ban oil and natural-gas hookups in new or significantly restored buildings in town. But Healey nevertheless rejected Brookline’s recent fossil-fuel restriction, saying state laws preempt the town’s new bylaw. The Globe’s David Abeland CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl have more.
Cut short: Ex-Harvard employee sues university over cancelled anti-circumcision play
Breaking news from Universal Hub’s indefatigable Adam Gaffin: “A now former Harvard employee who rented the university’s Sanders Theatre for a play about what he considers the evils of Jewish circumcision is suing the school and the Harvard Crimson for everything from civil-rights violations to libel because of the way a Harvard official stopped the performance.”
Vice President Pence to attend $25,000-per-ticket fundraiser on Nantucket
Geoff Spillane at the Cape Cod Times reports that Vice President Mike Pence will be attending a Trump-Pence re-election fundraiser on Nantucket this Saturday, hoping to raise big bucks from big shots on the resort island.
Report: Chinese suspects tried to hack into Mass. biotech firm researching vaccine
The NYT reports that the U.S. Justice Department is accusing two hackers in China of targeting American companies working on coronavirus vaccines – and the pair tried to hack an unidentified Massachusetts biotech firm researching a vaccine as early as Jan. 27.
House bill aims to commit Mass. to telehealth
Here’s one bill that may – repeat: may – win passage before the end of the scheduled legislative session. From SHNS’s Katie Lannan and Matt Murphy: “New House telehealth legislation aims to incorporate lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic into the state’s health care system, according to Majority Leader Ron Mariano, who said he expects representatives to vote on the bill this week.”
Pressley rival ‘horrified and absolutely terrified’ after video attack
From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “A Black Republican who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley says she’s fled her Randolph home in fear for her life after a Boston activist’s video went viral questioning the woman’s Blackness and making crude references to her sex with her white husband. ‘This is racism to the ultimate level. … Racism is racism no matter where it comes from,’ Rayla Campbell, the Randolph Republican, told the Herald on Tuesday.”
As he holds Vineyard Wind hostage, Bernhardt says he’s really, truly in favor of offshore wind
U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt blew into Boston yesterday, vowing to stitch together a compromise Vineyard Wind plan “that works” for both fishermen and pro-wind farm types – and so his department’s moratorium on building the offshore facility will stay in place until at least December (and after the November election). Bruce Mohl has more on Bernhardt’s absolutely-nothing-accomplished visit to Boston.
Ultimate insult? In Tennessee senate race, ‘Massachusetts Manny’ isn’t a compliment
Ouch. A Republican candidate for the senate in Tennessee has released an ad that slams his primary opponent as “Massachusetts Manny” because he was once a member of the board of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub reports.
Millionaire’s club: Candidates in 4th District pass $1M in fundraising mark
A million here, a million ther. It really does add up. George Rhodes at the Sun-Chronicle digs into the latest campaign finance reports from candidates seeking to fill Joe Kennedy’s 4th Congressional district seat and finds two — Alan Khazei and Jake Auchincloss –have crossed the $1 million mark and three more fell just shy of that level.
Give it back: Moulton challenger calls out Epstein-connected donations
One of the Democrats challenging U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton says the congressman should divest himself of $78,000 worth of contributions to his campaign and his PACs from a hedge fund manager whose name has appeared in court documents connected to the case against Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell. Ethan Forman at the Salem News has the details.
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.
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.
Report to celebrate Metro Boston communities for clean transportation leadership
Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center is releasing the 2020 edition of Renewable Communities, a report highlighting cities and towns that are leading the way to 100% renewable energy. The report will include case studies of projects to increase mass transit ridership, reduce reliance on private vehicles, and promote electric cars in Somerville, Belmont, and Chelsea.
Report to celebrate movement for fossil-fuel-free buildings
Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center is releasing the 2020 edition of Renewable Communities, a report highlighting cities and towns that are leading the way to 100% renewable energy. The report will include case studies of policies to encourage the construction of highly efficient and fossil-fuel-free buildings in Boston and Brookline.
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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