Happening Today:

9 a.m. | Yes on 1 campaign holds a virtual media availability with coalition leaders to celebrate the passage of Question 1 amending the Constitution to impose a 4 percent surtax on annual household income in excess of $1 million.

10 a.m. | Cannabis Control Commission meets.

10 a.m. | The Greater Boston Food Bank holds its 17th annual Chain of Giving event. Gov. Charlie Baker, Gov.-elect Maura Healey, Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Wally the Green Monster all plan to attend.

10 a.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets.

12 p.m. | Lt. Gov.-elect and Salem mayor Kim Driscoll gives keynote speech at the 104th annual meeting luncheon of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

1 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez visit East Boston High School to talk with students and Head of School Phillip Brangiforte.

Gov. Charlie Baker was all smiles Wednesday as he welcomed Democrat Maura Healey to the office he will relinquish to her in less than two months, hosting the governor-elect and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll to begin planning the transition.

His party, however, was still dusting itself off and girding for the next fight over whether to stick with the plan or fire the skipper and begin a difficult rebuild with someone new in charge.

“We own frightfully little of the political landscape in our state, and our party in Massachusetts contributed nothing in the national struggle against the destruction being done by the left wing of the Democrats. To say our party in Massachusetts needs rebuilding is a gross understatement,” MassGOP Vice Chairman Jay Fleitman wrote in an email to his fellow state committee members, announcing his intention to run for party chair in January.

Fleitman’s and other emails shared with MASSterList show a party bruised by the results of Tuesday and unclear how to move forward.

“It is so sad that you would do this a little more than 12 hours after the polls closed. Speaks volumes about how clearly opportunistic you are,” responded Republican gubernatorial nominee Geoff Diehl’s campaign manager Amanda Orlando, accusing Fleitman of doing little to support the GOP ticket.

MassGOP Jim Lyons has not said whether he intends to seek another term as chair, but he has been a polarizing figure in the party. The former Andover lawmaker is seen as responsible for pushing away a popular incumbent governor and embracing the kind of no-apologies conservatism that has animated the MAGA movement in other parts of the country and was reflected in many of this year’s candidates and messaging. But it hasn’t worked here.

Fleitman said the chairperson’s personal political leanings should play “NO role in the conduct of the position,” calling for a Republican Party that is open to all brands of conservatism.

“We have to first quiet the divisions of the committee itself, otherwise we will remain in a political wilderness,” Fleitman wrote.

Neither Fleitman nor Lyons returned messages left by MASSterList to discuss the election and what’s next, but after Fleitman’s election in May Lyons called him “a tireless advocate for our core Republican principles,” who had helped spearhead the party’s anti-censorship awareness campaign.

Whether Lyons runs again or not, Fleitman is probably not the last person who will step up to seek the chairmanship.

Before he headlined a rally for Republicans last weekend, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told MASSterList the results of Tuesday’s election would help determine the direction the party moves next. “It’s really up to Republicans in the state to form the direction they want to go. If there’s no wins at all, those things take care of themselves,” Brown said.

Time will tell.

Baker declined again Wednesday to say who he voted for to become the next governor, but had a similar post-election take to Brown’s.

“The voters spoke. It’s what elections are for,” Baker said.

— Welcome to your new office, Gov.-elect Healey

There will be no burning of documents in the governor’s fireplace or stealing of keys from the computers. Gov. Charlie Baker and Gov.-elect Maura Healey sat down privately to begin planning for a smooth and friendly handoff of power come January. Healey announced that Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll would be leading the transition for the new administration, and their campaign rolled out a website – www.healeydriscolltransition.com – to learn more and submit resumes. Baker also said the incoming administration would be given space at the State House from which they can work, and will be invited to winter-weather briefings and budget planning meetings to bring them up to speed. The Globe’s Emma Platoff reflected on the cordiality of the meeting Tuesday between the incumbent Republican and incoming Democrat, which featured hugs, handshakes and well-wishes, which stands in contrast to what can be seen playing out in Washington and other parts of the country.

The Boston Globe

— State House News Service’s Sam Doran has more on what to expect from the transition, based on how other governor’s have approached the task and timeline. Though Healey is said to have not made any top staff or Cabinet decisions just yet, it would not be a surprise to see some names penciled in before Thanksgiving. It will also be interesting to watch who, if any, Baker administration officials might try to stay on.

— Question 1 backers claim close victory after long wait

It took a little longer than expected, but supporters of taxing the wealthy more to help pay for transportation and education were able to claim victory – albeit a narrow one – Wednesday. Question 1, which will add a 4 percent surtax on household income above $1 million, won the support of roughly 52 percent of voters, altering the state’s tax code after decades of failed attempts by advocates to change the state’s flat income tax. The Globe’s Jon Chesto has more on the outcome of a campaign that saw millions of dollars spent on both sides as business groups warned the tax could lead to Massachusetts becoming less competitive, while the Massachusetts Teachers Associations dug deep to spend on a reform they hold will pay back dividends to the state’s public schools.

The Boston Globe

— MassLive’s Will Katcher also went through the data to report out how the state’s 30 wealthiest communities voted on Question 1. And the results may surprise you.

— Voters say “yes” to driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants

An answer also arrived Wednesday on whether to keep a law that would allow immigrants to Massachusetts who are unable to prove their legal status to obtain a driver’s license. Voters said yes, making Massachusetts the 17th state in the country to adopt such a position toward licensing undocumented immigrants.


–Meanwhile, Question 3 regarding an expansion of alcohol licenses was defeated.

— Balance of power tips further toward Dems in Mass. House

As the dust settled from Tuesday, State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski reports that Democrats in the Legislation are poised to build on their supermajority in the House by three, or possibly four seats, while the 37-3 imbalance in the Senate in the Dems favor will remain status quo next session. It’s the largest majority since 2009, the year before the GOP made a resurgence during the Tea Party wave off 2010. The one outstanding race is in the First Middlesex District, a seat vacated by longtime Republican Sheila Harrington for a judicial appointment. But regardless of the outcome in the Groton-based district, the GOP’s position on Beacon Hill continues to erode.

State House News Service

— Western Mass. Politics & Insight’s Matt Szafranski has more on what went down in some of the competitive races out west.

— Can the Democrats on Beacon Hill play nice after election sweep?

With Democrats reclaiming the governor’s office and building on their control of the Legislature, CommonWealth Magazine’s Michael Jonas asks the one question on everyone’s mind: Can they get along? Just because everyone is a member of the same political party doesn’t mean they’re always willing to play nice. Just ask former Gov. Deval Patrick. “Proprietary,” is how Patrick’s lieutenant governor Tim Murray described to Jonas the branches of government at the State House.

CommonWealth Magazine

— Study: Dropping mask mandate led to COVID-19 surges

A new study finds that school districts that promptly lifted masking rules earlier this year saw higher COVID-19 case counts than those that continued to maintain policies even after the state gave schools permission to drop them, Craig LeMoult of GBH reports. The New England Journal of Medicine study compared case counts in districts that dropped masking rules as soon as the state gave the OK in February to those in Boston and Chelsea, which kept masking policies in place through the end of the last school year.

GBH News

— Deal reached to protect open space

While everyone else was monitoring turnout figures on Election Day, the six lawmakers who have been negotiating since July over a bill to ensure the protection of open space reached a deal on Tuesday. It was the last conference committee actively working on legislation for this session that hadn’t been able to find compromise. State House News Service’s Sam Doran reports that the final legislation includes a “no net loss” provision requiring protected open spaces to be replaced if their conservation restrictions are lifted, but also a narrow cash-in-lieu clause that would allow for payments to be used to purchase new and equal open space within three years.

State House News Service

— Heroux takes victory lap, pledges low-key approach to office 

Bristol County Sheriff-elect Paul Heroux met the media at his Attleboro home a day after ousting 25-year incumbent Thomas Hodgson and said his win showed voters were ready for a change. He said he plans to avoid generating splashy headlines even as he sets out to reform how the county prepares prisoners to return to society. Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle and the New Bedford Light’s Arthur Hirsch have all the details.  

The Sun Chronicle | New Bedford Light

— Water break: Weymouth prepares to take up building moratorium

Officials in Weymouth are preparing to take up a citizens’ petition that calls for an 18-month halt on construction of new buildings with three or more housing units to buy the South Shore town time to update its water usage plans, Jessica Trufant of the Patriot Ledger reports. Mayor Robert Hedlund is on record opposing the halt, saying it would damage the local economy and could put federal and state grant funds at risk.

The Patriot Ledger

— Two is enough: Agawam voters reject extending mayoral term

Agawam voters have turned back a bid to double the length of mayoral terms from two years to four, a move current Mayor William Sapelli argued could help expand the pool of potential candidates for the office. MassLive’s Aprell May Mundford reports Sapelli declined to campaign for the referendum to pass because he didn’t want it to appear that he was seeking to extend his own time in office.




Meta is laying off thousands, putting the company’s Kendall Square future in question – The Boston Globe

Man shot to death in broad daylight in Mattapan, marking 30th fatal shooting this year – Boston Herald


Hospitals postpone pediatric surgeries as capacity crunch escalates – The Boston Globe

As Worcester housing crisis grows, a recommendation for inclusionary zoning with affordability requirements – MassLive

Berkshires voters backed the proposed ‘millionaire’s tax’ with gusto – The Berkshire Eagle

Governor’s council winner decided after long wait: North Adams Democrat defeats Palmer Republican – MassLive


Sununu says he’s not considering 2024 presidential run ‘right now’ – The Hill

‘Stomach-churning’: How Fetterman survived a stroke — and more — to beat Oz – Politico

Midterm results could give Biden a political boost – The Washington Post

Vermont votes to protect abortion rights in state constitution – WBUR

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