9:30 a.m. | Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change convenes a virtual hearing to discuss the Mass Save Program’s 2022-2024 three-year energy efficiency plan.
10 a.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to accept input on the application it received to run live harness horse racing at Plainridge Park Casino in 2022.
10 a.m. | Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus co-chairs Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Antonio Cabral participate in the next portion of their Gateway Cities Tour with stops in Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee.
11 a.m. | House meets in an informal session and Senate meets without a calendar.
2 p.m. | Speaker Ronald Mariano hosts the weekly leadership meeting with Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, President Karen Spilka, and other top lawmakers. Media availability follows.
Baker looking for more ‘appetite’ on environmental infrastructure
Gov. Charlie Baker wishes the Legislature had a little more of an appetite.
An appetite for environmental infrastructure in the two branches’ proposals to spend billions in federal aid dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act and surplus revenue from fiscal 2021. Baker, appearing on WCVB’s “On The Record” Sunday morning, said the area is an “enormous problem” and is a “must do.”
“It’s critical to the future of the commonwealth and it continues to be one of those things that I can’t seem to get anybody to focus on,” he said.
As of last week, two proposals are now in play.
The House passed a $3.82 billion spending package at the end of October which includes investments for environmental infrastructure and development. The House bill proposes spending $100 million for port infrastructure development to support the offshore wind industry and another $100 million for communities to “become climate resilient,” according to the speaker’s office
The Senate’s $3.66 billion spending package includes $125 million for environmental infrastructure grants, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The branch also included $100 million for port infrastructure investments focused on supporting offshore wind development.
Lawmakers in the Senate are expected to take up and pass their proposal this week ahead of the Legislature’s mid-session recess starting on Nov. 17. Asked Sunday if he expects a bill on his desk before Thanksgiving, Baker said “yes, I do.”
“I believe that both the Senate president and the House speaker have both committed to each other and to us that we’ll get this bill by the time the formal session ends, which is November 17,” Baker said.
Outlier: Pressley joins with The Squad to vote against bipartisan infrastructure bill
In the end, it was a protest vote. U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley was the only member of the Bay State Congressional delegation to vote against the $1T infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden over the weekend. Jim Puzzanghera of the Globe reports Pressley and five other progressives voted no on the bill because it did not come with a larger spending package attached, but apparently did so only after it became clear the legislation had enough support to pass.
So how much will the Bay State get? Chris Lisinski of State House News Service reports at least $12.58 billion could be headed this way, based on an estimate from the office of U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, including more than $6 billion for roads and bridges and $2.5 billion for public transportation.
Protestors face off at rally on Boston Common
A rally in Boston Common turned contentious Sunday afternoon as counter-protestors squared up with anti-maskers. Boston Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that two people were arrested following the commotion. The original rally, organized by Super Happy Fun America, was billed as “pro-freedom” gathering to rally against masks, vaccines, and pandemic-era mandates, Tiernan reports.
Boston Globe’s John Hilliard reports that people tore down barricades as they fought with each other. There was a heavy police presence in the area and many parts of the Common were blocked off.
Second thoughts: Vargas bows out of Senate race, will seek re-election instead
Never mind. Rep. Andy Vargas dropped plans to run for a state Senate seat, saying he will seek a fourth term in the House instead after changes in his personal life and the fact that the district he would have run to represent may be dissolved by redistricting, Mike LaBella of the Eagle-Tribune reports. Vargas had been eyeing the seat currently held by Diana DiZoglio, who is running for state auditor.
Among ARPA ideas, Mass Audubon executive proposes $1B for climate
Federal money could soon be flowing to communities with the state Legislature working through two proposals to spend Massachusetts’ allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding and fiscal 2021 surplus revenue. And there’s a lot of people pressing lawmakers to send money in myriad places. Boston Business Journal’s Steph Solis reports that among those with ideas on how to spend the money is Mass Audubon Executive Director David O’Neill, who proposes investing $1 billion into climate resiliency measures.
Cannabis experts see ‘no-brainer fixes’ with industry
There is unfinished business in Massachusetts’ cannabis industry as experts say there are still issues with the state’s system. Boston Globe’s Dan Adams reports that five years after legal cannabis use was approved in the state, experts in the field say lawmakers need to take another look at the industry’s laws.
More from Adams: “Still, legalization here is falling short of its potential in several ways, according to interviews with dozens of experts. Since rewriting the voter-approved ballot initiative in 2017, the Legislature has failed to update state laws governing local control and equity so they reflect the reality — and not just the idea — of legal cannabis.”
ACLU Massachusetts sues Boston over removal of tents at Mass and Cass
Boston’s move to remove tents at the Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard intersection has drawn a lawsuit from ACLU Massachusetts. WBUR’s Deborah Becker reports that the organization alleges city officials unlawfully removed encampments in the area without making sure people had proper housing options.
Area hospitals feel demand for monoclonal antibody treatment
People are coming from all over for a chance to receive monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID. Boston Herald’s Alexi Cohan reports that demand for the drug has increased over recent months as word spreads about its effects. Worcester’s UMass Memorial Center is now offering roughly 140 appoints a week, up from about 40 over the summer.
Remembering a hero: Aaron Feuerstein dies at 95
Aaron Feuerstein, who gained folk hero status in 1995 when he promised to continue paying his 1,400 workers after fire ravaged his family’s Polartec manufacturing facility in Lawrence, has died at the age of 95 following a fall at his home. The factory and its jobs are now gone — moved by new owners to less-expensive locales — but the legacy of Feuerstein’s generosity survives, the Globe’s Ross Kerber and Anissa Gardizy report.
New Bedford District Court officer suing Trial Court
Over the years, the racist and sexist slurs New Bedford District Court Officer Tracey Tavares said she endured led to what she says was a plan by a colleague to have her attacked at home. MassLive’s Douglas Hook reports that Tavares is now suing the Massachusetts Trial Court for the second time.
More from Hook: “She filed the first lawsuit in 2013. It resulted in a settlement with the Trial Court on Sept. 21, 2016 for $7,500. Of her complaints, both through her supervisors at the court and then through the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), Court Officer Edward “Eddie” Silva was named in almost all.”
Thanks, Norman: Winchendon American Legion scores $3.6M in auction of Rockwell
Not too bad. A donated Norman Rockwell painting put up for auction by the Winchendon American Legion post to help save it from closing fetched $3.6 million on Friday, less than the $6 million some had hoped it would bring but likely more than enough to secure the post’s financial future for the foreseeable future. Kim Ring of the Telegram has all the details.
Shots into arms in Worcester
The jabs are flowing in Worcester for kids 5 and older. Telegram & Gazette’s Allan Jung reports that the city held two clinic on Saturday where over 30 people were vaccinated. This comes after the federal government green lighted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 5 and older, and Jung reports that Worcester Public Schools will start offering the shot for students with parental consent.
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