Happening Today

11 a.m. | House meets in an informal session and Senate meets without a calendar. Informal sessions are lightly attended by lawmakers.

11:30 a.m. | U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins is a guest on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.” Listen on 89.7 FM or on GBH website.

1 p.m. | Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets Committee holds a hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s nearly $5 billion bond bill to maintain, repair and modernize state buildings and assets, among other things.

2:00 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ronald Mariano, and other legislative leaders meet privately at the State House. A media availability follows.

Today’s Stories

Welcome back to Monday and another week that is shaping up to be a busy one on Beacon Hill.

A few things to mark down as you start the day: Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate meet privately later this afternoon with plans to speak to reporters afterwards. A hearing is scheduled for this afternoon on Baker’s $5 billion borrowing bill to maintain state buildings and other assets.

Now a quick pit stop on the campaign trail. Democratic candidate Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz wants people to know that there are quite a few things an administration can anticipate as far as COVID-19 is concerned.

In what seemed like subtle jabs at the Baker administration, Chang-Diaz said the state needs “to get better at looking down the road” to prepare for predictable surges of the virus and help out groups that are known to get hit the hardest like low-income communities of color. The gubernatorial hopeful said she would also support a statewide mask mandate in schools.

“It was known over this past holiday season that there was going to be a spike in omicron transmissions,” she told WBZ commentator Jon Keller Sunday morning. “It was totally predictable that there was going to be a … spike in demand for testing and for masks, and PPE. We could have done a lot better at getting prepared for that and not just waiting until these fires erupt, but get prepared for them before they turn into crises.”

Chang-Diaz launched her campaign by targeting “Beacon Hill insiders,” presumably people who are so entrenched in State House politics and power that they forget what the real world looks like. Is Attorney General Maura Healey one of these insiders in the eyes of Chang-Diaz?

The senator didn’t answer directly during her 10 minute interview on WBZ, instead saying “that is a question that voters are gonna have to assess over the course of this election.

I Want My Money Back….

Giving to a political candidate always carries risk. Maybe they’ll lose. Maybe they’ll disappoint. But what if they don’t run at all?

As Gov. Charlie Baker was considering his political future late last year, he returned to the fundraising circuit collecting checks just in case. But at the start of December, he shared that he had decided two terms were enough.

Now some of those donors who had hoped they were replenishing his coffers for another run are looking for a refund. Baker has begun to spend down his campaign account as he navigates his final year in office, and in January reported spending $120,199. After some staff travel expenses and payroll, the governor reported $70,925 in contribution refunds.

He also gave $15,000 to the Camp Harbor View Foundation, a summer camp for Boston teens.

Baker political advisor Jim Conroy confirmed that the bulk of the refunds were to donors who asked for their money back after Baker decided against seeking a third term. Conroy said the campaign sent out a solicitation advising donors that they could get a refund if they wished.

Still, Baker reported collecting $12,800 from 31 donors in January, leaving him with $624,262.

No resolutions between Boston and unions following weekend talks

Negotiations between public safety unions in Boston and Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandates stretched into the weekend but did not produce a resolution. Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports the city proposed a more flexible mandate that would be triggered during surges of the virus, but officials on both sides couldn’t come to an agreement.

WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann reports that Wu said the city is ready to enforce its COVID-19 vaccine requirement after the talks fell apart.

Former state Rep. Raymond Jordan dies at 78

Former state Rep. Raymond Jordan died over the weekend. He was 78. Western Mass Politics & Insight’s Matt Szafranski writes that Jordan was a titan of Springfield politics, having served as the vice-chair of the state Democratic party and becoming one the city’s most prominent Black political figures.

More from Szafranski: “Jordan was a key part of Mayor Domenic Sarno’s coalition—Jordan’s daughter, Denise, served as the mayor’s chief of staff for 11 years—ever since winning office in 2007. The exact number of votes he could guarantee waned as he pursued other endeavors. Still, Jordan could raise money for local candidates and connect statewide pols to Springfield’s Black precincts.”

Western Mass Politics & Insight

Situation at St. Vincent Hospital slow to cool down

A bad taste is lingering in the mouths of St. Vincent Hospital nurses even as employees get back to work after a nine-month strike. Boston Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports a group of nurses is looking to decertify the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the group that helped launched the strike.

Boston Globe

Waste water released into Lake Quinsigamond

The release of untreated wastewater into an area of Lake Quinsigamond has prompted officials in the area to advise people to stop recreational activities until further notice. Telegram & Gazette’s Kim Ring reports the discharge was the result of a failure at a local pumping station that flooded the facility and prevented pumps from operating.

Telegram & Gazette

This day in history: The T banks on merchandising madness

Eleven years ago today, leaders of the MBTA announced they had opened a new front in the search for ways to close what now looks like a quaint $126 million budget shortfall: Merchandising. Kyle Cheney of State House News Service reported the rollout of hats, T-shirts and mugs was part of a turn-over-every stone search for new revenue sources.

And it looks like there’s still plenty of great T merch available at the official store.

More than $13M heading towards electric vehicle charging stations

More than $13 million is now earmarked for the installation of over 300 electric vehicle fast-charging stations around the state. Associated Press’ Boston Bureau reports the state Department of Environmental Protection said grants have been awarded to 54 government and private entities.

Associated Press

Secret, for now: Judge orders Danvers High lawsuit sealed for 20 years

The truth always comes out eventually. In this case, it will take a bit longer. A judge has ordered portions of a lawsuit against Danvers High School filed by the parents of a murdered teacher to remain sealed for 20 years, citing details contained in documents about school security protocols. Julie Manganis of the Eagle-Tribune has the details.


Natick Capitol riot suspect seeks dismissal of charge

Lawyers for Natick Town Meeting member Sue Ianni, who faces several charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, are poised to file a motion seeking dismissal of all charges, Abby Patkin of the MetroWest Daily News reports. It will likely be late March before a judge rules on the motion.

MetroWest Daily News

Protest against Tufts Children’s closure held in Boston

A group of parents and staff made their way to Tufts Children’s Hospital over the weekend to protest plans to close the facility later this year. Boston Globe’s Andrew Brinker and Laura Crimaldi report about 100 people showed up with signs reading “Save Tufts Children’s” and “Pediatrics Over Profit.”

Boston Globe

Hatfield says pot impact fees to stay for now

The Hatfield Select Board denied a request to waive the 3 percent community impact fee being levied against a new cannabis-growing company, saying the community is not yet ready to follow the lead of Northampton and other cities and towns that have eliminated the fee after seeing no significant negative impacts from pot-related businesses, Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Today’s Headlines


Government properties among those fined for violating Boston’s snow removal ordinance – Boston Globe

Lawsuit against Eastern Standard Provisions claims waffle recipe was stolen – Boston Business Journal


Union blasts Beverly, Addison Gilbert Hospitals over nursing shortage – Eagle-Tribune

In less than a decade, nearly every state has outlawed ‘revenge porn.’ So why hasn’t Massachusetts? – Boston Globe


The race is on to build a casino in New York City – Politico

Climate change is altering the smell of snow – Washington Post

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