10 a.m. | MBTA Board of Directors meets.
10 a.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission has potential votes scheduled on seven sets of sports betting regulations, including a revised version of the license application process and requirements.
10 a.m. | Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School hosts a Zoom press briefing to discuss the newly released Fall 2022 Harvard Youth Poll, which analyzes political opinions and voting trends of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29.
11 a.m. | Democratic frontrunner for governor Maura Healey appears on GBH 89.7 with host Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to discuss her campaign and answer questions.
12:30 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker is the guest on GBH 89.7 for an hour-long segment of "Ask the Governor" with hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
1 p.m. | Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito delivers closed-press remarks at the National Housing Conference's National Advisory Council meeting.
4 p.m. | Fireside chat with former Gov. Jane Swift, former Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, and moderator Lauren Liss of Greenberg Traurig at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Lexington.
It’s always sad to see a strong bromance die, or at least lose its spark.
It’s not that Baker Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh are no longer friends. It’s just that these days they’re in different places in their lives. For instance, while Baker is fundraising for Rhode Island Republican Congressional hopeful Allan Fung, Walsh has touched down in the Ocean State to stump for Democrat Seth Magaziner.
They’ll always have General Electric.
But as Baker and Walsh have separated physically and politically, the relationship between City Hall and the State House has also been stretched thin. Case in point? The sniping Wednesday via letter over the deteriorating situation at Mass & Cass.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has been all over the newspapers in recent days suggesting the city needs the state to step up and help with the chronic homelessness and substance use in the area of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue. Wu wants to see more supportive housing developed and set up outside of Boston to relieve some of the pressure on the city.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders responded by letter on Wednesday, enumerating the $40 million in investments the state has made to help clear city streets of syringes and develop housing alternatives for those living on the streets, including 95 beds funded by the state at shelters like the Pine Street Inn, Victory Programs and Commonwealth Care Alliance.
Sudders called it “surprising” to hear Wu call for a partnership with the state after it was the city that “disbanded its regular coordinating meeting” in which the state participated, and she said City Hall is aware of the various funding streams in the pipeline to develop additional supportive housing both in Boston and outside the city in the coming few years.
“The administration has been and continues to be a very willing partner in this crisis, but at this point, more work must be done by the City of Boston, including leveraging the nearly $5M of the $18M anticipated in opioid settlement funds to build trust and help people receive the housing, care and support to find the pathway to recovery,” Sudders wrote.
Wu responded by saying that while she appreciates the support of the state in developing close to 200 units of supportive housing, there still exists a waitlist of 150 people who continue to arrive from outside Boston.
“No one is doing enough,” Wu said.
Baker has only two months left in office, while Wu has three more years. It will be worth watching if the next governor, likely Attorney General Maura Healey, will be able to develop any sort of relationship with Wu and City Hall close to what Baker had with Walsh.
— Campbell prompts station to add rare warning label to new ad
Republican candidate for secretary of state Rayla Campbell has been a lightening rod ever since she stepped on the stage at the MassGOP convention and claimed, without evidence, that public schools were teaching 5-year-olds how to perform sex acts. Since then, she has built her campaign around the unsupported idea that a left-leaning school system is pushing inappropriate material on young students. That has built up to this moment when WCVB has taken the unusual step of putting a disclaimer on Campbell’s first and only television ad that targets the availability of a controversial graphic novel “Gender Queer: a Memoir” at public libraries. The Globe’s Matt Stout talks with the station and media experts about the decision to add the warning label, and why Campbell has chosen this issue as she runs for an office that has no jurisdiction over schools or libraries.
— Baker recommends more pardons to remove life obstacles
Gov. Charlie Baker is not shying away from the politically fraught process of issuing pardons as he nears the end of his second term, recommending four more on Wednesday for individuals whose past convictions are hurting their ability to pursue careers in law enforcement or to seek citizenship. This is the second batch of pardons Baker has issued, following his decision for the first time in decades to commute the sentences of two convicted first-degree murders. The individuals recommended for pardons were unanimously backed by the Parole Board, for which Baker is currently in the process of seeking a new chair and solidifying the positions of its current members.
— “Hijab Day” protests lead to compromise on Boston’s council
Boston will mark the ongoing women’s rights protests in Iran with an official “Day of Woman, Life and Freedom.” But that agreement on the City Council came only after Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson backed off her initial proposal to establish a citywide “Hijab Day” to recognize women’s right to self-expression. GBH News’s Katie Lannan reports on how the idea – or at least its name – generated international backlash and led to the resolution reached Wednesday.
— Deep-blue Mass. confronts red-state immigration questions
With Gov. Ron DeSantis and House Speaker Ron Mariano each doing their part to thrust immigration into the statewide spotlight this election year, the Globe’s Samantha J. Gross looks at how a typically national debate is playing out locally and the state’s uneven history with public policy for immigrants, despite the state’s legacy and reputation as a liberal enclave. Mariano’s decision after years of review to call a vote on making licenses available for undocumented immigrants set the stage for the fight on Question 4, but also recalls the difficulty Gov. Deval Patrick faced in advancing his own immigration agenda through the Legislature. The Globe’s Mike Damiano and Ivy Scott also report on how the arrival of migrants on Martha’s Vineyard was unique in hits circumstance, but not isolated in Massachusetts as two South Shore communities deal with more unexpected arrivals.
— Baker aligned super PAC steps up for Amore
Gov. Charlie Baker’s support for Republican Anthony Amore has been unable so far to lift the security expert to within shouting distance of Democrat Diana DiZoglio in there race for governor, but CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports on how the super PAC started by Baker allies to support like-minded candidates is stepping up with dollars to try to help Amore close the gap. The Massachusetts Majority super PAC is spending $100,000 on digital advertising on Amore, its largest expenditure this cycle during which its support has largely been targeted on down ballot candidates for the Legislature or district attorney.
— Delegation seeks federal help with immigrant arrivals
The state’s Congressional delegation says federal funds available to help states like Massachusetts respond to the arrival of immigrants seeking refuge from their home country are often inaccessible to the groups that need it. WBUR’s Gabrielle Emanuel reports that members of the delegation wrote to the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking them to make improvements to their Emergency Food and Shelter Program as more and more immigrants arrive from places like Haiti and South America.
— Campus speech brings anti-Semitism concerns to Harvard
A speech at Harvard University by a young Palestinian activist and columnist for the The Nation Mohammed el-Kurd has drawn condemnation from some students and campus Jewish groups for giving a microphone to someone they say spreads antisemitism with his commentary. El-Kurd is well-known on the campus circuit and was hosted by Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee. The speech and the backlash to his appearance comes as many companies and celebrities with ties to Kanye West have been forced to respond publicly to antisemitic comments made by the musician and designer. Adidas cut ties Wednesday with West, and Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown reversed course and said he would leave West’s Donda Sports agency
— Worcester halts nationwide search for city manager
Worcester’s acting City Manager Eric Batista will be given the job permanently after a divided city council voted to end what had been a nationwide search, Sam Turken of GBH reports. Mayor Joseph Petty has been pushing for Batista to formally be given the job since he was installed on a temporary basis five months ago, saying a long and costly search was unnecessary.
— Pittsfield pauses body cam rollout at last minute
A pilot program to outfit Pittsfield cops with body cameras was put on hold at the last minute after the local police union raised concerns, Meg Britton-Mehlisch of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Police Chief Gary Traversa says a planned six-to-eight week pilot is indefinitely on hold while some councilors want to use any extra time to lay the groundwork for outfitting all officers with cameras.
— Automakers say they can’t obey state’s new right-to-repair law
Two major automakers are telling a federal court they have taken no steps to comply with the “right to repair” law approved by Massachusetts voters in 2020 because they can’t, with one saying it is “simply impossible” to follow the letter of the law. The Globe’s Hiawatha Bray has the details.
— Worcester council can’t agree on removing Columbus statue
A statue of Christopher Columbus outside Worcester’s Union Station will remain after the city council deadlocked on a proposal from one councilor to start a community discussion about whether it’s time to take the memorial down, the Telegram’s Cyrus Moulton reports.
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