10 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of Veterans' Services Cheryl Lussier Poppe for the 2022 Massachusetts Veterans Day Ceremony in Memorial Hall at the State House.
10:30 a.m. | Senate President Karen Spilka is among the guests at Holliston's Veterans Day ceremonies.
10:30 a.m. | Boston chapter of Veterans for Peace gathers for a peace vigil and a bell-ringing to commemorate the end of World War I at Faneuil Hall.
1 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker attends the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument on Washington Street in Boston.
12 p.m. | U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton hosts his annual Veterans Town Hall in Marblehead.
As election week comes to a close, one gets the sense that things are about to start moving pretty fast.
Maura Healey spent her second day as governor-elect visiting the Berkshires where The Berkshire Eagle’s Meg Britton-Mehlisch reports that she told leaders from the region, including members of the State House delegation, “It’s important that we talk.”
The trip three hours west was meant to symbolize Healey’s commitment to parts of the state that often feel neglected or forgotten by Boston and shows how she’s internalized one of the strategies that helped make Gov. Charlie Baker so popular over his eight years in office – showing up.
In her first national TV interview on CNN, Healey told Jake Tapper and Dana Bash that Baker’s advice to her on Wednesday when the two met privately at the State House was “to really get out around the state.”
“It’s really about making sure people across this state know that whether they voted for me or not I will listen to them, I will understand them and I will meet them where they are…,” Healey said.
That’s not to say she can ignore her relationships on Beacon Hill. Though she already knows and has worked with the top Democrats in the Legislature, Healey has yet to sit down with House Speaker Ron Mariano or Senate President Karen Spilka since her victory Tuesday night, which was something Baker did with the occupants of those offices immediately after his 2014 win.
Even though they’re all Democrats and Mariano was an early endorser, Healey will learn quickly if she doesn’t already know that keeping those relationships will require work.
As she did on the campaign trail, Healey told CNN, “I’ve also proposed tax reform and that will be my first act day one as governor.”
“Oh, that’s good to know,” Mariano quipped to SHNS’s Sam Drysdale Thursday when informed of Healey’s top priority.
Mariano, himself, has already committed to returning to the idea of tax reform in the new session after it was carved out of the late-session economic development bill, but to assume the Democrats will be on the same page would be a leap.
“As far as I know every tax cut has to begin in the House of Representatives. I look forward to hearing from her,” Mariano said.
— Economic development bill signed, sealed and delivered
Before the start of a long weekend for some, Gov. Charlie Baker put pen to paper and signed a $3.76 billion economic development bill sent to his desk just before the elections. Though Baker vetoed just $1.1 million in spending, State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski reports that the governor also excised a section that would have capped how much remaining ARPA money could be used to finance the plan. The result is that more federal relief dollars could be drained to finance the bill’s many initiatives, which would leave the next governor and Legislation about $1.8 billion in unrestricted state surplus dollars to spend next year. Lisinski has more details on the bill and the governor’s actions.
— Baker picks one last fight over abortion
One of those actions Gov. Charlie Baker took on the spending bill was to veto $1 million that had been earmarked by the Legislature to fund a public awareness campaign targeting “crisis pregnancy centers.” Theses centers have become a target for reproductive rights advocates after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling because many do not actually offer abortion services or employ licensed medical professionals who can provide the health care women might think they are accessing. CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg reports that the move by Baker has angered women’s health advocates. While Baker’s approved $16.5 million to support reproductive health clinics, he said the list of “legitimate” abortion clinics required to be published by the vetoed section is already available from the state. Crisis pregnancy centers have come under fire from Bay State Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov.-elect Maura Healey, making it possible that the Legislature could revisit the funding in the new year when Healey takes office.
— Healey to move fast on finding new MBTA general manager
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak made sure that Gov.-elect Maura Healey would not have to have a difficult conversation with him when he announced he would step down on Jan. 3. But with improving the reliability of the T and putting it on sound financial footing one of the most pressing issues facing the new governor, Healey said she’s not going to risk a period of limbo. The Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports that Healey said she would name a new general manager for the MBTA before Poftak leaves, suggesting she may already have a few potential candidates in mind.
— WBUR’s Steve Brown has more on the Republican fallout after Tuesday’s losses
— GOP insiders reflect on losses and need for change at the top
Talk is intensifying among MassGOP insiders about the need for new leadership after Tuesday’s Republican wash-out across the state. The Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports that members of the state committee have spent the days since the election discussing how the party needs to change and whether Chairman Jim Lyons is the man to lead them forward after a disastrous strategy for 2022. As I reported yesterday, party vice chairman Jay Fleitman has already declared his intentions to run for chairman in January, but Cawley also floats recently defeated Congressional candidate and former senator Dean Tran and Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who lost his seat after 25 years, as possible Lyons replacements. Lyons has not said whether he’ll seek another term.
— House staff set to see pay increased as part of 2016 Equal Pay Act
House leaders unveiled a plan yesterday that would see staff at the State House receive raises of at least 8 percent across the board as Speaker Ron Mariano said the branch is moving forward with a plan to reform its employee compensation and classification system. The changes, according to Mariano, have been in the works for years and are designed to come into long-term compliance with the Equal Pay Act of 2016, but it also comes just months after Senate staffers attempted to unionize and similar efforts on the House side of the building were underway. State House News Service’s Sam Drysdale has more on the pay changes and their cost, which brought many lawmakers back to Beacon Hill Thursday for a rare recess caucus.
— Bay State lawmakers set to lose leadership roles in Congress
With national Republicans appearing to have done enough to flip the U.S. House, Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune delves into what it means for the Bay State’s all-Democratic delegation. Several lawmakers would give up key committee chairmanships, including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who currently leads the House Ways and Means Committee, and U.S. Rep. James McGovern, who will likely have to turn in his Rules Committee gavel.
— Message sent: Western Mass. voters back carbon tax question
Voters in two state legislative districts have voiced their support for a statewide tax on carbon emissions, backing a nonbinding referendum on what many see as a key tool to battle climate change. Bella Levavi of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the question, which urges lawmakers to pursue carbon tax legislation, passed with 56 percent support in the 1st Franklin District and 70 percent in the 1st Hampshire District.
— Arroyo given back council leadership positions
Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who lost his bid to become Suffolk district attorney after allegations of past sexual misconduct as a youth surfaced in the closing weeks of the campaign, has been reinstated to the committees he was kicked off at the height of the controversy. GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith reports that City Council President Ed Flynn quietly restored Arroyo’s chairmanship of the Government Operations Committee. Of course, Arroyo was also chair of the city’ redistricting committee at the time he was disciplined, and that process has since concluded.
— Holyoke councilor’s school visit violated bail, prosecutors say
Prosecutors in Rhode Island say Holyoke City Councilor Wilmer Puello-Mota violated conditions of his bail on child pornography charges when he attended a Halloween party at a local school late last month, Jim Kinney and Dennis Hohenberger of MassLive report. Puello-Mota, who remains on the council after a judge blocked efforts to oust him, has since been banned from all city schools.
— Boston to refund millions in marijuana ‘impact’ fees
The city of Boston plans to return nearly $3 million worth of community impact fees collected by cannabis dispensaries over the last two years, the Globe’s Dan Adams reports. A slew of communities have stopped collecting the 3 percent fee after seeing no major impacts from pot shops and state lawmakers recently toughened regulations on the fees but Boston would be the first to send the cash back.
The Talk Shows
Talking Politics, GBH 2, 7 p.m.: GBH political reporter Adam Reilly talks with GBH Political Editor Peter Kadiz and Axios Boston writer Steph Solis about the Democrat sweep in Massachusetts and what one-party rule will look like on Beacon Hill. The show will also touch on reports that U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins is under investigation for multiple potential ethics violations.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller discusses the election results and previews partisan relations in Congress with U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, of Westford.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: Attorney General-elect Andrea Campbell is the guest with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu. Wu’s interview will be followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.
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