9 a.m. | SJC hears three cases on the final day of its October sitting
11 a.m. | Rep. Josh Cutler and Sen. Jason Lewis celebrate a new law mandating insurance coverage of PANS/PANDAS outside the State House
5:30 p.m. | Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll goes trick-or-treating as part of the city’s “Mayor’s Night Out” event
6 p.m. | Boston Athletic Association holds a first of its kind Opening Celebration ahead of the 125th Boston Marathon
7:02 p.m. | Rays host the Sox in game two of the ALDS
Programming Note: MASSterList will not publish on Monday, Oct. 11. Good luck to those of you running the Marathon! We’ll be back in your inbox bright and early Tuesday morning.
Happy Friday. I’m Matt Murphy, here with you for one more day. The forecast calls for 70 degrees and sunshine. And the activity level on Beacon Hill to close the week suggests plenty of people will have the time to take advantage.
But when the Legislature returns to work on Tuesday, there will be just over five weeks until the mid-session recess and it will be crunch time for leaders managing the calendar and a full agenda, at the top of which is redistricting.
Assistant House Majority Leader Michael Moran suggested last Friday that next week could be the week the first draft maps are released for public comment. The Drawing Democracy Coalition – a group of voting rights advocates pushing for greater minority representation – has already put forward proposed state House and Senate maps, and on Thursday released a Congressional district map for lawmakers to consider.
Two big changes jump out.
The first is that the DDC proposes to unite Fall River and New Bedford within U.S. Rep. William Keating’s Ninth Congressional District. Ten years ago, New Bedford was moved from the Fourth Congressional District to the Ninth, and instead of being split between the Fourth and the Second districts, Fall River was divided between the Fourth and the Ninth. Barney Frank cited the shift as one of the reasons he decided to retire.
The other big change would see U.S. Rep. Richard Neal’s First Congressional District in western Massachusetts extend along the border with Vermont and New Hampshire, eating into territory currently covered by McGovern.
The eastward expansion is of necessity due to the fact that western Massachusetts, and in particular the Berkshires, lost population over the last decade while the state grew overall. This trend will play out at the state level as well where members of the Berkshire delegation say they expect to see their number of House seats shrink from four to three.
Moran has said he doesn’t think it will be necessary to force any incumbents to run against each other in 2022, and in the Berkshires that will be easier if Sen. Adam Hinds decides to pull the trigger on a run for lieutenant governor and Rep. Paul Mark, of Peru, runs for the Senate seat instead of reelection.
But even if incumbents don’t have to worry about running against a colleague, it doesn’t mean their political reality couldn’t change overnight. Just ask Sen. Barry Finegold.
The Boston Globe’s Emma Platoff has a deep dive into the dynamics at play in Lawrence, and the effort to give someone from the city a better chance at winning a Senate seat by grouping the heavily Hispanic city with Methuen, instead of Andover, where Finegold calls home.
Pardon Him, Governor
Patriots safety Devin McCourty is no stranger to lobbying on Beacon Hill. During the Legislature’s school funding reform debates, the captain was a frequent presence in the marble halls advocating for more resources. But now he’s recruited 26 of his fellow players and coaches, including the Hooded One himself, to a new cause: the commutation of the felony murder sentence of William Allen, of Brockton, who has spent 27 years in prison after taking part in a robbery during which his accomplice stabbed and killed a man. The Boston Globe’s Nicole Yang reports that Patriots players and staff sent two letters to Baker urging him to accept the recommendation of the Advisory Board of Pardons that Allen’s sentence be commuted. If he took their advice, it would be a first for the Republican, who has yet to issue any pardons or commutations.
MBTA Board: Better Late Than Never
Transportation advocates had been getting antsy as the weeks went by and Gov. Baker had still not named his appointees to the new board that will oversee the MBTA. With a spate of bad headlines in recent weeks for the T, oversight was needed now more than ever, critics said. Baker answered those calls Thursday, naming five to the board that will be chaired by Betsy Taylor, six-year veteran of the state Department of Transportation Board of Directors. CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg has more on the appointees, and the State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski captures some of the reaction.
State Police Lawyer Up
They sued and lost in Suffolk Superior Court trying to get a judge to block Gov. Charlie Baker from forcing them to get vaccinated. Now a group of “hundreds” of State Police troopers continuing to resist vaccination have hired William Gens, of the Boston firm Gens, Stanton and Florek, to advise them of their “legal rights and remedies,” reports the Boston Herald’s Joe Dwinell.
Wu’s Got Friends in Out-of-State Places
Yesterday, we shared some reporting by GBH on the September fundraising of Boston mayoral candidates Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George that showed Wu outraising and outspending her opponent. Now comes this reporting from the Boston Globe’s Elizabeth Koh on where some of Wu’s money is coming from, particularly the out-of-state zip codes that dot her campaign finance reports. Koh writes that out-of-state donors from Puerto Rico to Hawaii have chipped in for Wu, accounting for 20 percent of her fundraising compared to 5 percent for George. The question is will people mind.
Double duty: Whelan will keep seat in State House as he runs for Sheriff
Rep. Timothy Whelan says he’ll run for the soon-to-be-vacant position of Barnstable County Sheriff, but plans to keep his seat in the House while he campaigns, Gregory Bryant and Zhihan Yang of the Cape Cod Times report. The Republican, a former Mass. State Trooper, is the first declared candidate seeking to follow retiring Sheriff James Cummings, who has held the post for 24 years.
Tear it down: Springfield council wants courthouse rebuilt from the ground up
It needs more than a makeover. The Springfield City Council has voted unanimously in support of a resolution that calls on state officials to raze and rebuild the Roderick Ireland Courthouse, which was evacuated in August after a widespread mold problem was discovered, MassLive’s Peter Goonan reports.
‘Utterly false:’ Everett mayor sues local paper over election-season stories
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria has filed a libel suit against the Everett Leader-Herald and its publisher, calling a story that ran before the city’s mayoral preliminary alleging that DeMaria had extorted $96,000 from the city clerk a “complete fabrication.” The Herald’s Rick Sobey reports DeMaria, who emerged as the top vote-getter in the September election, is seeking unspecified damages.
Straight man: Fall River’s Coogan promises above-board pot shop process
No more ‘wild west.’ Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan says his city will revamp its process for issuing licenses for cannabis shops, creating a formal application and review board process for the first time, Jo C. Goode of the Herald News reports.
Hold the staples: Senator’s bill would change how take-out bags are sealed
Paper clips? Tape? Mike Deehan of GBH blows the lid off a bill being considered on Beacon Hill that would ban the use of staples to secure bags of takeout from restaurants across the state. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Sal DiDomenico, says the staples are dangerous; restaurant industry lobbyists call the proposed rule “”unnecessary and extreme.”
Online and On TV
If you have time this weekend, Senate President Karen Spilka will be appearing on WCVB’s “On the Record” on Sunday morning when, who knows, maybe she’ll tip her hand on what’s next for the Senate this fall. And if you have more time, maybe while jogging or running the Marathon, you can listen to former Gov. Deval Patrick give a TedxBerkshires talk on his hopes and fears for American democracy.
Right wingers lose another Boston legal battle: Court upholds DA’s decision not to prosecute protesters at one of their marches – Universal Hub
Rental car shortage plagues Logan Airport ahead of busy Marathon weekend – Boston Globe
Glass shortage hitting Attleboro area restaurants and bars – Sun Chronicle
State Ethics Commission finds Milford officials likely violated conflict of interest law – MetroWest Daily News
Trump tells 4 former aides to defy Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena – Politico
Biden to restore 3 national monuments cut by Trump – Associated Press
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