Happening Today

Today | Department of Revenue is due to report state tax collections for the month of November.

10 a.m. | .A special commission tasked with examining the civil service law virtually convenes its ninth meeting.

11 a.m. | House holds an informal session and Senate meets without a calendar where lawmakers are expected to take final votes on a nearly $4 billion spending package using American Rescue Plan Act funds and surplus tax revenue.

11:30 a.m. | Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is the keynote speaker at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual business meeting.

4:30 p.m. | Candidate for governor Danielle Allen participates in panel discussion with Carmen Yulín Cruz, the former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The event is hosted by Mount Holyoke College.

Today’s Stories

With Rollins confirmation on the move, here’s what happens next

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins was in the spotlight on Thursday when the U.S. Senate voted to proceed with her confirmation for U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. Assuming she clears that hurdle, the big local question becomes who will take over her post in Suffolk County.

The process is relatively simple: Rollins will suggest a handful of people to take her old job, Gov. Charlie Baker can interview them, or anyone else he chooses, and then pick a successor to serve until the term ends in 2022. Whoever that person is will have large sway and influence over legal matters in the county, and potentially a leg up when it comes time to run on their own.

Now back to what played out in the U.S. Senate yesterday. Rollins’ nomination advanced from committee to the full Senate on a partisan 50-47 vote, though the branch still needs to take a vote to confirm her as U.S. Attorney. The extra step was required because the Judiciary Committee deadlocked 11-11 on whether to recommend her to the full Senate.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, has led the effort to stall and block her nomination. In a floor speech Thursday, Cotton called her “one of the most dangerous, pro-crime, anti-cop U.S. nominees in American History,” reports State House News Service’s Matt Murphy and Sam Doran.

Calling Rollins one of the “most dangerous” nominees in this country’s history may be a bit of a stretch, but her list of 15 low-level, non-violent crimes that her office by default declines to prosecute has stirred quite a bit of controversy both here in the state and nationally.

It was one of the main sticking points that Cotton talked on the floor. Rollins’ supporters, including U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, were quick to her defense.

Boston Globe’s Andrea Estes and Travis Andersen reports that Warren said Rollins has “implemented some innovative policies” that have improved administration of justice and reduced crime. “Rollins has demonstrated that progressive policies can be effective in cutting serious crimes, which seems to frustrate her opponents,” Warren said.

Markey called opposition to Rollins’ nomination “a deeply partisan ploy” and described her as “qualified, respected, and effective.”

ARPA bill nearing finish line

A package spending billions in federal aid dollars is almost to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk. State House News Service’s Chris Lisisnki reports that the House quickly approved a compromise version on Thursday with the Senate expected to follow suit today. After the Senate approves the bill, final votes will be taken in each chamber and the bill will be off to the governor.

Boston Business Journal’s Greg Ryan reports that legislation is nearly $200 million more than the original House and Senate versions.

‘Tempted:’ Lelling said to be weighing gubernatorial run

Former U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is said to be “seriously considering” a run for governor now that the state’s most popular Republican has decided not to seek re-election, Erin Tiernan of the Herald reports. Lelling would join Geoff Diehl in the race for the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell stopped short of ruling out a run for the Democratic nomination, saying only that he loves the job he currently has, Linda Roy of the Standard-Times reports.

Three well liked Republicans in New England have passed on major elections

As Boston Globe’s James Pindell writes, the 2022 midterm elections is shaping up to turn out great for Republicans. But with that in mind, why did three prominent conservatives in New England take a pass on major elections? 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, and Gov. Charlie Baker all have something in common and we’ll let Pindell explain: “Let’s not overlook the most obvious reason here. All three basically offered some version of the same points: they didn’t see themselves going through an intense campaign next year, or they didn’t actually want to do the job if they got elected, particularly in the Senate.”

Boston Globe

Not this time: Voter ID law won’t be on ‘22 ballot

Not here, not now. The office of Secretary of State Bill Galvin says a group pushing for a GOP-backed voter ID law to appear on the 2022 ballot missed Wednesday’s deadline to produce 80,000 signatures in support, meaning the proposal won’t make the cut for next year, Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune reports.


Judge rules against certain test used on prisoners’ mail for drugs

It was a scathing rebuttal. WBUR’s Deborah Becker reports that a Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Correction’s use of certain methods to test prisoners’ mail for drugs. Prisoners and attorneys, Becker reports, have argued that the test — the Nark II Test — is inaccurate while DOC officials say illegal drugs are a security concern.


‘Game changer:’ Neal ready to fight for East-West rail amid infrastructure rollout

He doesn’t want this opportunity to pass. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he will go to bat for construction of an East-West rail link in the state as the feds prepare to dole out more than $1 trillion in infrastructure funding. Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth reports connecting Boston with Springfield and Pittsfield has long been a pet project of Neal, though the Baker administration has questioned whether the cost — as much as $4.6 billion, according to projections — can be justified.


Mariano signs onto pledge to ban conversion therapy

House Speaker Ronald Mariano took a pledge. MassLive’s Alsion Kuznitz reports that the Quincy Democrat signed onto a pledge denouncing conversion therapy as part of Global Equality Caucus’ new campaign “Ban Conversion Therapy Now!” As of yesterday, 36 lawmakers in the state have also signed onto the pledge.


‘Money grab:’ Another lawsuit targets pot shop impact fees

They’re stacking up. A Cape Ann cannabis firm has filed suit against the city of Gloucester, saying that a half-million dollars worth of community impact fees it has paid are illegal and amount to a sanctioned ‘money grab.’ Amanda Beland and Tiziana Dearing of WBUR report the action comes as another suit against Haverhill’s levying of the fees winds its way through the courts.


GBH debuts new weekly politics show

There’s a new show coming to the timeslot once held by GBH’s “Beat The Press.” The program, “Talking Politics,” will be hosted by GBH reporter Adam Reilly and cover local politics with a focus on the 2022 Massachusetts gubernatorial race. The first episode airs tonight at 7 p.m. and will dive into Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to not seek a third term, reports the State House News Service.

State House News Service

Sunday Public Affairs: Lydia Edwards, Jim Rooney, and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston Globe’s James Pindell discussing Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to not seek re-election and the 2022 governor’s race.

This Week in Business, NECN, Sunday, 10 a.m. This week’s guests: Boston Children’s Hospital CEO Kevin Churchwell, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Rooney, and Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung on Omicron, Gov. Baker’s decision, and more. 

On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m. Guest: Boston City Councilor and Senate candidate Lydia Edwards talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu followed by a roundtable discussion with political analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV, Ch. 5 Sunday 12 p.m., This week’s topic: A look at the history embedded in homes across the state from a stop on the underground railroad, to the home of one of the voices of the Harlem Renaissance. Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, chief of environment, energy and open spaces, that oversees the Boston Landmarks Commission, discusses the history of Shirley-Eustis Place in Roxbury.

Today’s Headlines


Families want answers on fired Boston high school administrator – WGBH

Departing City Councilor Matt O’Malley steps over to steam plant owner Vicinity – Boston Globe


Season of giving? Worcester and Springfield named the least charitable cities in America by LendingTree – MassLive

Judge to examine 2 ballots in Framingham’s Steiner-Feeney race. Here’s what it means. – MetroWest Daily News


Emphasizing Tests, Biden Vows to Fight Omicron With ‘Science and Speed’ – New York Times

More Democratic senators are willing to weigh changes to Supreme Court – Washington Post

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