Happening Today

10 a.m.| Revenue Committee holds virtual hearing on 58 bills dealing with property taxes, including exemptions and abatements.  A pair of Rep. Williams bills (H 3094, H 3095) speak specifically to PILOT payments by casinos.

1:15 p.m. | Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee co-chairs Rep. Roy and Sen. Barrett, Sen. Lovely, and Reps. Vitolo and Tucker join Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen other representatives from Crowley Maritime, Avangrid, and Vineyard Wind to visit the site of a future offshore wind marshalling site proposed in Salem Harbor…..Salem Wharf, 10 Blaney St., Salem

Today’s Stories

Good morning! It’s Friday, and news outlets statewide are standing by, ready to bring you up to a foot and a half of self-promotion…

Ok, M-Listers! What five-letter word comes to mind when you hear the noun “lobbyist?” This being a high-caliber audience, we think most of you will get it in the three guesses that grants one the right to post a bragging screenshot on twitter. But let’s just find out – it’s time for Lobbyist Wordle

M – Medical care, Med-tech and Marijuana, along with wind power projects and a panoply of other interests, drove receipts for the top grosser on the 2021 lobbyist-earnings list, Smith Costello & Crawford. The firm pulled in $4,598,866.67 last year, according to year-end lobbying reports recently filed with the Secretary of State. That’s up from $4.3 million in 2020. No word on what they did with the 67 cents.

OO’Neill and Partners LLC, which Once commanded the top spot, came in second for 2021, collecting $3,239,196. They held at #2, though their income dropped almost $200,000. Medicine was a decent earner for O’Neill, but their base is eclectic, including $64k from activists seeking have Election Day made a legal paid day off, and $53k from gas-grill makers out to stop anti-natural gas regulation.

N – No One is excluded from going through the lobbyist income and spending reports, and if you’ve gotten this far into this dopey exercise, we surmise you’re the kind of person who might find it enthralling. Give it a go! We’ve set the bar low with our  first foray into this Wordle nonsense too, so all enhanced versions of are welcome at @massterlist on twitter.

E – That’s Enough clues for you. If you haven’t gotten the solution by now, well, all we can say is, see you next


House avoids roll call vote on same-day voter registration; expands voting for inmates

After an epic debate of a type seldom seen nowadays in an increasingly opaque and insular House, representatives changed an amendment to authorize same-day voter registration into an amendment to STUDY same-day registration. That allowed them to avoid going firmly on record either in support of what voting-right activists call an expansion of inclusion, or in support of House leadership, who dropped the provision when they put the bill before members. Some called that an incumbent-protection ploy, but opponents warned same-day would be a costly and administratively burdensome endeavor for town clerks. Speaker Mariano’s team lamented that the reforms that were approved yesterday are being overlooked: permanent mail-in voting, and an expansion of both early voting and late registration – citizens would be a able to register just 10 days before elections under the bill passed last night. That VOTES Act ultimately passed 124-34, with mostly Republicans in opposition. The vote, more likely than not, will lead to a conference committee between the House and Senate where the debate over same-day registration will play out again, only this time in private. The Senate passed version in October does have same-day voter registration.  Stephanie Ebbert and Matt Stout covered the day’s top State House story for the Globe; Matt Murphy for the State House News Service; Erin Tiernan for the Herald.

No-on-MT’ers want full disclosure

Tiernan also handles an item of major note yesterday for State House types – opponents of the 4 percent surtax on income above $1 million have filed a complaint asking the Supreme Judicial Court to order voter-education material focused on the ballot question to make clear its passage would not guarantee the marginal revenue generated thereby would be directed to improvements in transportation and education.

Boston Herald

Baker Breaks: What the governor’s tax cuts mean for families and seniors

Most major outlets had a breakdown of the tax relief the governor is proposing for working families and seniors in his fiscal 2023 budget package, and rightly so. They may not survive, but they’re an agenda-setter for the process this year.  We’ll go with the nice treatment WBUR gave the tax proposals.


The Romney route: Is former governor the key to Child Tax Credit revival?

Grace Segers of The New Republic sees a path to permanently extending the hugely popular federal Child Tax Credit and lifting millions of kids out of poverty process–and it runs directly through U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney convincing enough Republicans to get on board to overcome a filibuster.

The New Republic

SJC orders review of Harmony Montgomery case

“Chief Justice Kimberly Budd pledged in a letter to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu that the high court would take steps regarding the ‘heartbreaking situation involving Harmony Montgomery.’ Budd’s letter was provided by Sununu’s office Thursday.”

Boston Herald

Settled: State pays $425K to end case against former judge

The Massachusetts Trial Court will pay $425,000 to settle a claim from a licensed social worker that former District Court Judge Thomas Estes sexually harassed her and coerced her into a relationship, Brian Steele of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports. Estes was removed from the bench in 2019 and a federal lawsuit remains pending.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Recovering: student, staff cases in schools falling fast

As fast as they rocketed upward as omicron hit, positive COVID-19 reports from schools are plummeting downward – yup, 21,000+ is still a lot.  Does it feel like our standard for “good news” might be dropping? 

Boston Globe

…. and signs worldwide point to endemic. Just ask Denmark!

Actually, there IS a lot of good news among the trauma and depression that come with almost-Year-Three of this crisis.  The Globe’s COVID-news roundup includes an item that the economy rebounded and grew at an annual clip of 5.7 percent; Denmark declared the nation no longer has a public health emergency even as COVID-positives reached new highs; and everywhere you looked, or the Globe looked, there are signs of improvement.

Boston Globe

Wait, not good news from the T too? Okay, it’s the End Times.

This isn’t completely earth-shattering, but it’s heartening: the MBTA board voted to take a chunk of its federal COVID relief assistance and spend $500 million on safety improvements, equipment upgrades and other investments.  Chris Liskinski of the State House News Service followed the action (Paywall).

State House News Service

Anti-mandate solidarity: BPPA votes condemnation of order, and judge orders stay

As the public-safety unions in Boston continue their pitched battle against the mandate orders from their new boss, Mayor Michelle Wu, a court has temporarily stopped the mandate.  Reports from Danny McDonald of the Globe and Sean Phillip Cotter

It’s not “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” – or is it?

Taking a step back from the spot news on to-mandate-or-not, the Globe’s McDonald puts the public-safety vax-mandate battle in perspective – the perspective of a new mayor learning what she’s up against, and the unions testing her willingness to go toe to toe.  Look up “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” youngsters – gave Pres. Clinton fits out of the box when his presidency started.

Boston Globe

Captive Audience – DOC trying body cams for prison guards

The AP reports the pilot program at Souza-Barankowski is designed to keep correction staff accountable in the wake of a uprising that lead to allegations of prison abuse several years ago.

Associated Press

While You Were Out…

Like so many restaurateurs and small business people, Frank Mazzone of the State House Cafe simply could not make a go of it, particularly in his very odd situation where, obviously, people couldn’t even walk into his building — and still can’t. But do not fear! Frank has repaired to the Quick Stop Shop on the first floor of One Ashburton, and trusty lieutenant Rico is still working the counter. And do not lose hope! Frank’s cook Dave will still work at the State House Cafe, and basically everybody’s just waiting for February or March or whenever the heck it is that they can welcome you back again. Remember when it opens, it will be open for the public — not just for the select few.

Sunday Talkers: Healey Vs. Healey

This debate will end in a tie.  The guest on Keller on Large on WBZ-TV this Sunday at 8:30 am. is Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Maura Healey.  Then, at 11 a.m. on Channel 5, “On the Record” with Harding and Wu will feature … Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Maura Healey.  See, she’s going to hop in the Prius in Brighton, grab a bite and dash down to Needham. Just kidding.

Random (?) Factoid of the Day

There has never been a female House Ways and Means chairperson.

Grow up: City councilor wants North Adams to ditch ‘antiquated’ curfew

North Adams City Councilor Ashley Shade says it’s past time for the city to scrub a local ordinance banning people under 16 years of age from being on city streets after 10 p.m., a rule she says is unnecessary and possibly discriminatory, Greta Jochem of the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Reprieve granted: Judge delays Correia prison reporting date again

Why can’t we get lawyers like that?  Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia has at least a couple more weeks of freedom to savor before reporting to federal prison in New Hampshire after a judge granted his request for a delay over coronavirus concerns. Jo C. Goode of the Herald-News reports Correia could still win the right to stay out of jail until his appeals are heard as well. 

Herald News

Today’s Headlines


Union fight with Wu over COVID-19 vaccination is dominating her early tenure – Boston Globe

Following Charles Lieber’s Conviction, ‘Shock’ and Sadness Lingers Among His Harvard Colleagues – The Crimson


President Laurie Leshin to leave WPI for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Telegram & Gazette

Baker seeks to make ‘revenge porn’ a crime – Salem News


McConnell warns Biden not to ‘outsource’ Supreme Court pick to ‘radical left’ – The Hill

Despite omicron hurdles, strong economic recovery appears on track – Washington Post

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