8 a.m. | Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association's Safety and Violence Prevention Workgroup hosts a "Protecting Our Workers and Patients" summit.
10 a.m. | U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss hosts a forum on affordable housing moderated by New England regional administrator for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development Juana Matias at Bristol Community College.
12 p.m. | Accenture CEO Julie Sweet speaks at a Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
12 p.m. | New England-Canada Business Council hosts its U.S.- Canada Executive Energy Conference at the Seaport Hotel featuring a conversation between Hydro-Quebec CEO Sophie Brochu and former FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.
* Commonwealth Wind has until the end of the day to say whether they will move forward with its offshore wind projects under the contract terms they have already agreed to or ask state regulators to no longer consider those essential agreements.
The transition begins today.
Attorney General Maura Healey won a convincing victory over Republican Geoff Diehl on Tuesday and in January will become just the second Democratic governor of Massachusetts in the past 32 years.
More than that, she made history as the first woman and first openly gay governor to be elected in the state, and with Kim Driscoll will make up the first all-woman governor and lieutenant governor team in the country’s history.
Healey’s victory was the capstone on a good night for Democrats in Massachusetts, who have solidified control of state government by claiming all six Constitutional offices and appear to have built on supermajorities in the Legislature. In the night’s big upset, former state lawmaker and Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux also toppled long-time Republican sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who once offered to send inmates to the border to help President Donald Trump enforce immigration law.
Healey, in a speech to a packed Fairmont Copley Plaza ballroom, paid homage to the moment when she spoke directly to the young girls and LGBTQ youth that she said she met throughout the campaign.
“I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever and whoever you want to be and nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination,” Healey said.
The race was called by the Associated Press, much to the chagrin of the Diehl campaign and his supporters, mere minutes after the polls closed without so much as a single precinct reporting final vote tallies. But even as Diehl’s supporters like his campaign manager Amanda Orlando and GOP donor Rick Green took to the stage to blast the call as premature and irresponsible, few ever doubted its accuracy.
Diehl conceded shortly before 11 p.m., well after Healey had claimed victory and spoken to her supporters. He said he respected the decision of the voters, and hoped Healey would consider some of the issues he raised during his campaign, such as parental control over their child’s education.
Healey said she and Driscoll would meet with Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito today to begin the work of transitioning administrations. In a speech panned by cable news pundits on NECN as boring and lacking detail, Healey repeated her campaign pledges to cut taxes, fix roads and bridges and fight climate change while creating green energy jobs.
“Our job for day one will be to make our state more affordable,” Healey said.
Some ideas for how to make that happen have already been presented to Healey’s team. An advisory committee on economic development submitted a memo to the campaign at the end of October recommending initiatives to help the new administration hit the ground running, according to one member. The group includes past Cabinet secretaries and elected officials, including Dan O’Connell, Tim Murray, Steve Grossman, Rick Sullivan and George Ramirez.
Healey also pledged to be a governor for everyone, even those who didn’t vote for her. This led Chris Doughty, who lost to Diehl in the Republican primary, to challenge the governor-elect to follow Gov. Charlie Baker’s lead and bring Republicans into her Cabinet and administration.
While the tsunami in Massachusetts was decidedly blue, across the country the predicted “red wave” petered out with Democrats like U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan holding on and Democrat Seth Magaziner claiming victory in a closely watched Congressional race in Rhode Island where Baker helped fundraise for his GOP opponent Allan Fund.
But like control of Congress, the full sweep of this year’s midterms will not be known for some time. Supporters of Question 2 regarding dental insurance claimed victory, but the outcomes of questions concerning higher taxes for millionaires, liquor licenses and drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants were still to close to call.
— Statewide sweep for Democrats
For the first time since 2014, Democrats will be in control of all six Constitutional offices on Beacon Hill after Andrea Cambell (attorney general), William Galvin (secretary of state), Diana DiZoglio (auditor) and Deb Goldberg (treasurer) joined Healey and Driscoll in claiming victory. History has shown that one-party control can bring its own special challenges to the State House where legislative leaders can be particularly fierce in protecting their turf. How quickly Healey and co. can build working relationships with House and Senate leaders will be something to watch early on in the new year, with Healey promising to return immediately to tax reform.
- Maura Healey wins governor’s race, as women overcome long tradition of white male political dominance – The Boston Globe
— Ballot questions too close to call
Organizers behind the ballot question to force dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of premiums on care claimed victory last night, but on the most closely watched questions the outcome was still too close to call.
Supporters of raising money for education and transportation by adding a surtax on income over $1 million were clinging to a narrow lead as Election Day came to a close, as were backers of a law to allow immigrants unable to prove legal status to obtain driver’s licenses.
- Voters approve Question 2 in Mass., AP projects; questions on driver’s licenses, alcohol sales still undecided – The Boston Globe
— Bad night for MassGOP extends to Legislature, down-ballot races
Sen. Becca Rausch, the progressive Needham senator in perhaps the tightest and most closely watched state Senate contest on the ballot, held off her challenger Rep. Shawn Dooley and Republicans lost previously held seats on Cape Cod and the North Shore. While some races still hadn’t been called, the outcome could force another internal reckoning for the MassGOP and its Chairman Jim Lyons after another disappointing cycle.
- State Sen. John Velis declined to declare victory Tuesday night despite seeing leads in a handful of towns – MassLive
- Rita Mendes clenches victory in new majority-minority Brockton state rep district – Brockton Enterprise
- Blue sweep: Democrats win Cape and Islands District Attorney and Barnstable sheriff races – Cape Cod Times
— Unlocking the full magic of mushrooms (and other plants)
Three doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital have raised an initial $30 million in startup capital to finance their research to use plant-based compounds to treat disease in a modern medical world. Sensorium Therapeutics, headquartered in South Boston, is focused on maximizing the medicinal benefits of the leaves, berries and mushrooms that have been used for centuries to treat pain and produce other effects in the human body. Boston Business Journal’s Rowan Walrath has more on the scientists, their initial research and the funding that will make it happen.
— Let a tree grow old for climate change
Speaking of the healing nature of…nature, the Globe’s Dharna Noor writes that one of the most potent tools in the fight against climate change could be growing in our backyards. A new report published by Harvard University’s Harvard Forest, the Highstead Foundation and KKM Environmental Consulting asserts that New England’s forests hold untapped potential to be a major resource for carbon sequestration, if properly managed and maintained. The group estimates that trees are already absorbing 14 percent of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. But with the right steps- starting with the slowdown of deforestation for development – that amount could be boosted to 21 percent – the equivalent of 1.3 million households.
— Worcester says yes to Community Preservation Act
Worcester voters have approved adoption of the Community Preservation Act, agreeing to a 1.5 percent property tax surcharge to raise funds for affordable housing and open space protection. The affirmative vote came after a heated debate in the city about whether the timing was right amid soaring inflation and a glut of federal funds in city coffers. MassLive’s Kiernan Dunlop has the details.
— A costly flag raising for the city of Boston
After the Supreme Court intervened to allow Camp Constitution to fly a Christian flag above City Hall Plaza over the summer, Boston has agreed to pay $2.1 million in legal fees and other costs associated with what the court determined to be its unconstitutional denial of the group’s First Amendment rights. The camp raised the white flag with a red Christian cross in early August after Boston denied its application to raise the banner in conjunction with Constitution Day. Camp Constitution took the city to court, and won in front of the Supreme Court, represented by Liberty Counsel.
— On board: New Bedford voters say ‘yes’ to South Coast Rail
In the end, it wasn’t close. New Bedford voters have overwhelmingly approved joining the MBTA, a procedural step necessary to clear the way for SouthCoast Rail service to arrive in the area late next year, Grace Ferguson of the New Bedford Light reports. Voters in Fall River faced a similar referendum but results have yet to be released.
— Berkshires crypto exec ranks among top GOP donors in country
One of the country’s most generous Republican donors is Lenox cryptocurrency executive and restaurant owner Ryan Salame, who the Federal Elections Commission says sent more than $21 million to GOP candidates and political action committees. Larry Parnass of The Berkshire Eagle reports the donations made Salame the 11th most prolific GOP donor in the country.