Structural racism in parole and probation commissions, Janey first 100 days address
10 a.m. | Commission on Structural Racism in the Massachusetts Parole Process hosts second virtual meeting with a presentation from Massachusetts Parole Board member Colette Santa on how individuals are appointed to the parole board. Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Andrew Peck also speaks.
11:30 a.m. | Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey makes a “First 100 Days Address” and plans to “share progress on her City agenda of reopening, recovery and renewal, as well as release the Kim Janey Mayoral Transition Report.”
1 p.m. | Commission on Structural Racism in the Massachusetts Probation Service hosts its first meeting virtually to discuss issues pertaining to probation service and topics for future analysis
It’s a cash game
By Matt Murphy for MassterList and State House News Service
State Sen. Diana DiZoglio may be the only declared candidate in the race to succeed Auditor Suzanne Bump, but the scramble to raise money is on, with two Democrats competing for cash over the past month since Bump announced her retirement.
DiZoglio, a Methuen Democrat, is expected to report raising over $75,000 in June, leaving her campaign with more than $250,000 in cash on hand, according to a political advisor.
Meanwhile, Transportation for Massachusetts Director Chris Dempsey is expected to top that haul, preparing to report raising more than $110,000 over the past month, according to an advisor.
Dempsey has yet to formally announce his intention to seek the seat, and this is the first campaign finance report the Brookline Democrat will file since opening an account on June 1 to explore a statewide run for auditor. He told supporters in an email Thursday morning to “stay tuned for more in the days and weeks ahead!”
“Not only did we reach our stretch goal of $100K, but we shattered it,” Dempsey wrote in the email, a copy of which was obtained by the News Service and MassterList
Dempsey collected $99,481 in contributions from 429 donors through Act Blue, for an average contribution of almost $232. He received another $10,000 in checks.
Where’s the money?
That’s the question several of the state’s Congressional delegation members are posing to Tenant Healthcare, which oversees St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. MassLive’s Michael Bonner reports that the hospital received $850 million in federal stimulus as about 700 nurses remain on strike.
Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern and Lori Trahan want an explanation as to how the hospital used that state and federal relief dollars. More from Bonner: “In the letter sent to Executive Chair and CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer, the congressional leaders from Massachusetts accused Tenet of using Cares Act money and other funding ‘to enrich its executives and shareholders rather than meet the needs of its health care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.’”
House rules: Keep those livestreams going
By Matt Murphy for MassterList and State House News Service
Live-streamed informal sessions? Virtual participation in bill hearings? The timely and easy-to-access posting online of roll call votes? All these pandemic reforms to the way the House operates should become permanent, according to a new report filed Thursday night by the House Committee on Rules.
The House rules will govern the way the branch operates for the 2021-2022 session and are important because they will determine public access to the legislative process as they take up important issues such as voting by mail and the fiscal 2022 budget. And the review creates an opportunity for new changes and adaptations during an era that has proven business can take place in the virtual world.
The committee also recommended that members be given a section-by-section summary of bills before being asked to vote on the floor, but continued to recommend against the disclosure of how all lawmakers vote on bills moving through committee.
The committee had been tasked in January to study the existing House standing and emergency rules “to ensure efficiency and transparency in the legislative process.”
The 24-page report was produced by Rules Committee Chairman William Galvin and Second Assistant Majority Leader Sarah Peake. It was due by July 1 and got filed with the House clerk shortly before 7 p.m.
The report recommended that informal House sessions continue to be livestreamed and that improvements made in the past year to the speed at which roll call votes get posted online continue. The committee also reported that the “vast majority” of chairs had positive experiences with remote bill hearings, and recommended that a “robust and flexible structure for hybrid hearings” be used moving forward.
Galvin and Peake said remote hearings successfully increased “ease and access” for constituents, including those who faced physical barriers to participation in the past.
The report, however, suggested that questions remain over whether committees will continue to allow for live, interactive testimony and participation by members and the public, whether live streaming will be a requirement or at the discretion of the chairs, and whether the Legislature’s website will continue to host the hearings.
So what’s next for the House?
House Speaker Ron Mariano postponed debate over House rules at the start of the session to allow for this study to take place, choosing instead to extend the existing pandemic rules under which the House had been operating.
Those temporary rules expire on July 15.
The Rule Committee recommended that the House debate new standing rules in July, but delay their implementation until a date in the future. That date would depend on conversations with the Senate over when to reopen the State House to employees and the public, Galvin and Peake said.
In the meantime, the committee recommended that the temporary emergency rules remain in place, and that they also be built into the standing rules with the option to activate remote voting protocols should there be a resurgence of COVID-19 resurge or another emergency necessitating their use.
The decision to delay consideration of new rules for the session also came amidst a pressure campaign from outside groups to improve transparency in the House.
Outside groups like Act on Mass saw few of their priorities, such as public committee votes or the reinstatement of term limits on the speaker, reflected in the report. There was, however, a lengthy discussion of the rise of “coalitions” and non-profit organizations that operate in the gray area of state lobbying and campaign finance laws.
Not over? Congress may wade into dispute over remote-work taxes
The Supreme Court has weighed in; is it Congress’ turn now? Erin Tiernan of the Boston Herald reports lawmakers from New Hampshire and Connecticut are working on legislation that would stop Massachusetts from slapping income taxes on remote workers who live in other states, a practice the country’s highest court left in place earlier this week.
Payments delayed: Mayoral hopeful Essaibi George, husband late on tax bills
The Globe’s Andrew Ryan dug into eight years’ worth of Boston tax payment records and found that City Councilor and mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi George and her husband have been late with tax payments repeatedly since 2014.
White: Termination involved gender and racial discrimination
The former Boston police commissioner, who was fired a lengthy back and forth with Acting Mayor Kim Janey, argues that his termination was improper because of gender and racial discriminations against him, reports GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith. That’s according to new court documents from White’s legal team filed Wednesday in federal court.
More from Wintersmith: “The filing added that the city’s investigation into White’s domestic violence allegations was ‘grossly negligent and biased’ and could not serve as a reliable basis for his termination given that the resulting report ‘was replete with false allegations,’ made by unidentified and unsworn alleged witnesses.” Janey declined to comment to GBH News.
A full rejection of Baker’s warning
The Senate rejected a Gov. Charlie Baker veto Thursday that would have removed language required union labor for the construction of a new Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, reports SHNS’s Colin A. Young. If you recall, Baker warned lawmakers that requiring union labor could exclude minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses. Democrats disagreed, saying the governor provided no clear examples of that.
It was really, really hot: Act II
Should we also make this a series? This past month was incredibly hot, reports WBUR’s Miriam Wasser, and your intuition is probably right because it was the warmest June on record in Boston’s history. Average temperature during June in Boston is 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but this year it was 74.4 degrees.
More from Wasser: “It was really hot in other parts of the state, too. Worcester experienced its second hottest June on record this year. The average temperature in June is 65.2 degrees, and this year it was 70 degrees. (The record is 70.4 degrees.)”
Delta variant poses risk to unvaccinated
Worcester Health Officials warned residents that the COVID-19 Delta Variant poses a serious risk to unvaccinated people and puts others in danger, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Steven H. Foskett Jr.
Denied: Fall River mayor won’t allow emergency council meeting
They missed the deadline and scrambled to figure out what happened. Fall River City Councilors spent a Tuesday meeting trying to decipher how they missed a 45-day deadline to act on the city’s fiscal 2022 budget, the Herald News’ Jo C. Goode reports. Mayor Paul Coogan went ahead and declared the budget adopted leading councilors to try and call an emergency, which Coogan declined.
Keep it real: Pittsfield teachers union halts contract talks over virtual academy
The academy may be virtual but the conflict is real. A union representing Pittsfield teachers say it will halt contract talks over the district’s decision to press forward with a $3 million plan to run a remote school for about 300 students starting this fall, Amanda Burke of the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Return to Normalcy Series: SJC Edition
See, we knew this series would stick around. In today’s update, the Supreme Judicial Court issues two orders easing pandemic-era restrictions on in-person court proceedings, rules for entering a courthouse, occupancy limits, distancing requirements, and lets courts more or less go about business in pre-pandemic fashion, reports Boston Globe’s Travis Anderson.
Let’ em talk: Weymouth mayor vetoes charter changes
Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund has vetoed a set of changes to the city’s charter that was headed to voters for final approval, saying he disagreed with a change that would have banned direct communications between elected officials and municipal workers, Jessica Trufant of the Patriot Ledger reports.
Sunday public affairs TV: Diana DiZoglio, Andrew Lelling, and more
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. American Camp Association Executive Director Michele Rowcliffe on going to camp during the COVID-19 pandemic; Boston Business Journal’s Doug Banks on the state’s ‘VaxMillions’ lottery, NCAA Rules, and the SCOTUS New Hampshire/Massachusetts tax ruling; and Level99 CEO Matt DuPlessie.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest is Sen. Diana DiZoglio, also a candidate for state auditor in 2022, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with Democratic Political Analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican Political Analyst former U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: why Independence Day takes on a different meaning following Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday with Nathaniel Sheidley of Revolutionary Spaces and Dr. John Stauffer of Harvard University.
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