Branches meet, Boston mayoral forum, Baker fundraiser, and more
11 a.m. | House meets in an informal session and Senate holds session without a calendar.
2 p.m. | Human Security Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host a webinar examining whether it is time for a United Nations peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan.
4 p.m. | Create the Vote Boston 2021 Coalition and WBUR hold a forum for Boston mayoral candidates focused on the city’s post-pandemic future and the role artists, arts, and cultural organizations can play in it.
5:15 p.m. | Public relations mogul George Regan holds a fundraiser for Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at his Mashpee residence with entertainment from musician James Montgomery.
The curious effect of fundraising
This evening, a handful of Massachusetts’ elite are gathering on the Cape to raise money for Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. It’s normal for politicians to raise money, obviously, but the caveat here is that it’s still unclear which one of the Republican duo, if either, will be jumping into the 2022 ring.
The fundraiser is important and shouldn’t be written off. It’s a signal to donors who have supported this administration that 2022 is still very much on their radar. But it’s also a way for Baker to keep his options open, and keep Polito in the game should he decide that two terms was enough.
Public relations mogul George Regan is hosting the affair at his Mashpee residence and invited former Boston Police Commission William Gross, auto magnate Herb Chambers, and Cape Cod Healthcare CEO Michael Lauf, among others.
Since resuming in-person fundraising activities, Baker has been steadily depositing cash into his campaign account this summer and had over $533,000 cash on hand at the end of July.
The public nature of this private event is also sure to prompt questions for attendees from a curious State House press corps about any hints Baker or Polito may have dropped after the cocktails started flowing.
So many questions: Healey clears way for 17 ballot initiatives in 2022
There will be fireworks. Attorney General Maura Healey has cleared the way for 17 potential ballot questions to be put before Bay State voters next year, setting up potential votes on whether to legalize fireworks, bring back happy hours, require picture IDs to vote, and much more, Mike Deehan of GBH reports. Another 14 potential questions were ruled out of line on constitutional grounds, including one that would have required hand-counting of ballots in all elections.
Hard at work or not engaging?
Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey has missed quite a few mayoral forums since announcing her run for the city’s top spot. Boston Globe’s Meghan E. Irons reports that Janey has no-showed 30 of roughly 60 public events since April 6. Her campaign says she is hard at work running a city while observers note she is missing out on engaging with likely voters.
Picking up the pace: Cannabis sales cross $2 billion milestone
That was quick. The Cannabis Control Commission says recreational marijuana revenues have passed the $2 billion mark since sales began in 2018, with the pace of sales accelerating this year as the number of dispensaries has steadily climbed. Melissa Hanson of MassLive and Colin A. Young of State House News Service have all the numbers.
Boncore taking off to biotechnology group
It’s nearly official. Sen. Joe Boncore plans to file a letter of resignation this week ahead of taking a job at the Massachusetts Biotechnology, reports State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski. The lobbying group announced the news Wednesday, saying Boncore is “best suited to take on this role” out of a pool of 150 candidates. And add another special election to the list. Legislative leaders will need to call one to fill Boncore’s Senate seat which covers Winthrop, Revere, and parts of Boston and Cambridge.
Hospital owners have paid over $3 million for police detail
Tenet Healthcare, the parent company in charge of Worcester’s St. Vincent Hospital, has shelled out more than $3 million to the city for police details outside the hospital since a nurses’ strike first began in March, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Dave Nordman. The math works out to about $18,000 a day and the hospital has noted that police presence during a strike is standard procedure.
COVID Numbers: 1,796 new cases
Massachusetts state health officials reported 1,796 new cases, 11 deaths, and a 2.57 percent positivity rate.
How do today’s numbers stack up against neighboring states?
– Vermont reported 123 new cases and a 2.5 percent positivity rate, according to their health department.
– New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services reported 372 new cases.
– Maine reported 236 new cases. Here’s their daily dashboard.
– Connecticut logged 712 new cases and a 2.97 percent positivity rate, according to health officials.
– Rhode Island reported 272 new cases and a 2.2 percent positivity rate. Here’s their daily dashboard.
‘Exhausting:’ North Adams Council denies claims of toxic environment as members depart
It’s bad, but not that bad. After two members of the North Adams City Council resigned in recent weeks, citing a ‘toxic’ environment, remaining members of the council say the pandemic has made the work ‘exhausting’ but are suggesting the real problem may have been the members who departed before their terms expired, Greta Jochem of the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Remains of Hurricane Ida left thousands without power
Thousands remained without power Thursday morning and flash flood warnings were still in effect in the Boston area until 9 a.m. as what’s left of Hurricane Ida lingered over the area, reports Boston Globe’s John R. Ellement and Brittany Bowker. The downpours started late Wednesday night, continued into Thursday morning, and should start letting up around 8 a.m.
UMass rakes in $50 million donation
University of Massachusetts is getting a ton of cash — $50 million to be exact. Robert J. and Donna Manning donated the record lump sum to increase access and opportunity across the system’s five campuses starting with a $15 million for the UMass Boston nursing program, reports MassLive’s Ray Kelly. Robert and Donna are first-generation college graduates and UMass alums.
Green light: Brookline clears way for Boston Marathon after delay
Saying the Boston Athletic Association has made significant promises to support the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Brookline Select Board has granted a special use permit for the Boston Marathon to use the town’s streets on Oct. 11, Abby Patkin of the MetroWest Daily News reports. The BAA says it will honor Indigenous runners , provide direct financial support for local communities’ celebrations that day and will publicly acknowledge before the start that the race route winds through Indigenous homelands.
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