Happening Today

Committee hearings, qualified immunity commission, and more

10 a.m. | Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management hosts virtual listening session focused on metro Boston communities in the Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition Geographic Region 4ab.

10 a.m. | Lawmakers on the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus kick off a three-city Friday tour in Lowell, where they will visit the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub.

11 a.m. | Special Commission on Qualified Immunity meets virtually, with an agenda that includes discussion of the police reform law’s impacts on the qualified immunity doctrine and changes to qualified immunity in other jurisdictions.

1 p.m. | Reps. Dylan Fernandes and Marjorie Decker, Sen. Julian Cyr and the Massachusetts for Supervised Consumption Sites Coalition host a virtual briefing on bills that would create a pilot program to establish at least two supervised drug consumption sites in Massachusetts.

1 p.m. | Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Study Commission holds virtual meeting to hear a staff presentation on the history of the taxable wage base in Massachusetts. While state government itself has hosted livestreams of many government meetings during the pandemic, the public meeting notice for this meeting says it will be livestreamed on Sen. Patricia Jehlen’s Facebook page and then archived on the Legislature’s website.

Today’s Stories

Re-election rumor mill: another Baker fundraiser

There’s more stirrings in the Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito re-election rumor mill: the pair are heading down to the Cape next month for a fundraiser hosted by George Regan, reports Boston Globe’s Matt Stout. The guest list is pretty interesting. 

More from Stout: “Former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, auto mogul Herb Chambers, and UMass president Martin Meehan are all included among the co-chairs or hosts for the Aug. 20 event at Reagan’s Mashpee home, nestled next to the Willowbend Country Club.”

Boston Globe

The Healey front: Decision likely in the fall

More 2022 gubernatorial wonderings: Attorney General Maura Healey says she’ll make a decision about her political future by the fall as she debates whether or not to run for governor in 2022, reports State House News Service’s Matt Murphy.

State House News Service

Moving on up? Katherine Clark in line to be speaker contender

She’s following the Tip O’Neill playbook. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likely serving her final term, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is likely to be in the thick of any leadership race among congressional Democrats. Sarah Mucha of Axios reports Clark has accumulated a “pile of chits” from fellow lawmakers with her friendliness-first approach since arriving on Capitol Hill in 2013.


Stamp of Arroyo approval

The first endorsement from a Boston City Councilor in the city’s mayoral race is here and it comes with a bonus: a stamp of approval from the father. City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo and his father, Suffolk County Register of Probate Felix Arroyo endorsed Acting Mayor Kim Janey for a full term as mayor, reports GBH News’ Saraya Wintersmith.

More from Wintersmith: “The dynastic political blessing marks the first declaration of support from a councilor in this year’s mayor’s race … Up until now, councilors had refrained from backing a candidate, staying neutral so as not to alienate potential allies.”

GBH News

Is enough being done to limit evictions in Massachusetts?

As people stare down the expiration of the federal freeze on most evictions at the end of this month, Associated Press’ Steve LeBlanc takes a look at the status of eviction moratoriums in Massachusetts, what’s being done to help people, how courts are handling the situation, affordable housing, and whether or not evictions may lead to a surge in homelessness.

Associated Press

Mayors want to keep leading after a hellish pandemic

It’s not the storyline that we’ve seen across the nation where mayors find themselves burnout and exhausted after managing and guiding their cities through the pandemic. It’s somewhat the opposite in Massachusetts, as Boston Globe’s John Hilliard reports an extensive list of upcoming mayoral races, many featuring incumbents fending off challengers as they seek another term.

And, in case you were curious, here’s the report on mayoral exhaustion across the country from Politico’s Lisa Kashinsky.

Boston Globe

Reports: Expect more flooding and heat in Boston

More flooding and generally hotter weather. Great. Just what we want to hear. That’s according to two new reports that show Boston is among the largest cities at a high risk for flooding and impacts from heat as a result of climate change, reports Boston Business Journal’s Grant Welker.

More from Welker: “The ​​National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts Boston as among the coastal cities most susceptible to flooding simply from high tides because of rising sea levels, with at least a quadrupling of the number of days with flooding expected by 2050, according to the agency’s projections.”

Boston Business Journal

Peeling back the lid: Berkshire DA joins study of plea bargains

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington joined a Duke Law School project that aims to open the “black box” of plea negotiations, which divert some 95 percent of cases away from court and happen entirely out of public view, Amanda Burke of the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Tough task: Seekonk Democrat will try to unseat Howitt in 4th Bristol

He’s undaunted. Democrat David DeLuca says he’ll challenge longtime state Rep. Steven Howitt, a Republican, in November for the 4th Bristol District House seat that Howitt has held since 2011, Stephen Peterson of the Sun Chronicle reports. Look for a generational battle to unfold as the 21-year-old DeLuca takes on the 64-year-old incumbent.

Sun Chronicle

Fattman “celebrates” efforts to stall police reform bill

This an interesting — and dare we say odd — reason to hold a celebration: the one-year anniversary of a Republican senator’s efforts to stall the state’s police reform bill when it was still being debated even though it was eventually signed into law after months of closed-door negotiations. Telegram & Gazette’s Kim Ring reports that Sen. Ryan Fattman held a rally Wednesday un Millbury to commemorate the anniversary of his efforts to stall the bill. 

Baker eventually signed the bill on Dec. 31, 2020. More from Ring: “Fattman, during the rally at Calabria Restaurant, called the bill “disastrous” and said it needs to be ‘worked on and changed.’ Fattman said the legislation does not show support for police officers.” 

Telegram & Gazette

Possible preliminary in Fall River for mayoral race

It might happen. Five people have pulled nomination papers ahead of the July 21 deadline to take out the documents and the July 23 requirement to turn in signatures, reports Fall River Herald News’ Jo C. Goode. Just one more candidate needs nomination papers certified to create the minimum number of candidates to trigger a preliminary election.

Herald News

Worth the trip: Holyoke planners mull Dunkin’ atop Mount Tom

Will there be a hike-through lane? After nine public hearings, the Holyoke Planning Board now has two months to rule on a plan to open a Dunkin’ franchise on top of Mount Tom, a project that has drawn complaints from hikers and raised concerns about traffic, Dusty Christensen of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sunday public affairs TV: Sonia Chang-Díaz, Greater Boston Convention Bureau, and more

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. This week: WHOOP CEO Will Ahmed on the fitness tracking system that tells you when to take a break;  Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Martha Sheridan on why hotels were been hit hard during the pandemic and how they may turn around; and Boston Business Journal Editor Doug Banks on the future of work, the Delta variant, the new family child tax credit, building in Boston, and the Borat Billboard controversy.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guests: Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, a candidate for governor, joins hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu followed by a political roundtable discussion with Boston Globe Columnist Adrian Walker and Republican Political Analyst Andrew Goodrich.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: A week after Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, voices from the Haitian diaspora discuss the situation on the ground, mobilization efforts, and impacts back in Boston.

Today’s Headlines


In JP, Janey opens campaign office, looks ‘beyond election cycle’ – Dorchester Reporter

One Congress Government Center garage redevelopment in Boston takes shape – Boston Herald

District School Committee Clash in Springfield Formally Begins – Western Mass Politics & Inisghts


Cape Cod property owners could see huge flood insurance price hike with ‘Risk Rating 2.0’ – Cape Cod Times

Former Framingham health director Sam Wong takes job with state DPH – MetroWest Daily News

Dighton-Rehoboth school pol who linked vaccines to Holocaust won’t resign – Taunton Gazette


After a Steep Plunge in Virus Cases, Every State Is Seeing an Uptick – New York Times

Capital Gazette gunman found criminally responsible for killing five in Md. newsroom shooting – Washington Post

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