All Day | Gov. Charlie Baker is in Orlando for meetings of the Republican Governors Association.
9 a.m. | Mass Climate Action Network holds a "People's Hearing On A True Net-Zero Stretch Code" to call on Gov.-elect Maura Healey to amend the building code.
9 a.m. | Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets.
10 a.m. | Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Career Services hold a virtual New England job fair.
1 p.m. | Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management holds a virtual information hearing on the state's preparedness to manage and respond to wildfires.
6 p.m. | The program team working on the project to replace the Bourne and Sagamore bridges hosts a virtual public meeting to provide updates on the effort.
Gov. Charlie Baker, in a rare nationally televised interview aired Monday, said the Republican Party should view the results of last week’s election as a rejection of extremism and a message from voters that it’s time to “move on” from President Donald Trump and embrace a more inclusive message.
It’s the second time this month Baker has used his platform as the nation’s most popular governor to rail against the divisiveness of modern politics, the first coming the week before the election in a lecture at Harvard University.
The interview also gave a glimpse of the role the governor could play once he leaves office as he has said he intends to stay involved, but repeated he has no designs on running for president or higher office.
“One of the messages from the election, for Republicans generally, is we need to as a party to move past President Trump and to move on to an agenda that represents the voices of all those in the party and the people of the country,” Baker told CNN’s Jake Tapper, in a sit-down interview from his State House office recorded on Sunday.
The interview aired as Baker is in Orlando for post-election meetings with fellow Republican governors as part of a Republican Governors Association summit. It also came a day before Trump is expected to announce his 2024 campaign for president.
“I certainly think there’s significant influence from the former president (Trump) and I think that influence probably hurt the party and hurt the party’s chances on election day, not just here in Massachusetts and Maryland, but in many other of those battleground states,” Baker said.
As they did in Massachusetts, voters in Maryland elected a Democrat to succeed a moderate Republican and Trump-critic Larry Hogan, who like Baker has consistently been among the most popular governors with his electorate.
Baker said he viewed this year’s midterms as a rejection of extremism, at times faulting Democrats as well for not listening to their political opponents. He said both parties are losing voters, who are increasingly choosing to become unenrolled.
“Voters want collaborative elected officials. They don’t want extremes,” Baker said.
He also spoke at length about the harms of social media, which he described as “loud” and “noisy” but “not where most people live.”
At home in Massachusetts, Baker has had a falling out with his own party as well as it has embraced candidates on the extreme end of the political spectrum. Despite losses last Tuesday, MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons sent out an email Monday saying he was “committed to the recalibration of the Massachusetts Republican Party towards representing the working and middle classes and embracing a blue-collar approach that the present day demands.”
The Globe’s Matt Stout and State House News Service’s Colin A. Young have more on Baker’s interview with Tapper, including his lengthy exposition on David Bowie’s prescient warnings about the internet and his urging of young people to “Google Ziggy Stardust.” More from Tapper’s interview will air today.
…THE WHITE HOUSE today is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Senior advisor Mitch Landrieu said on a conference call Monday that $185 billion has gone out the door in year one, helping to fund 7,000 projects in 4,000 communities in all states, Washington, D.C. and the territories.
In Massachusetts, the White House said $3.4 billion in funding has been announced and directed here to support roads, bridges, high-speed internet and water infrastructure. That includes money for the redevelopment of the Salem port to support offshore wind, an expansion of clean buses in Boston, and the Logan International Airport bridge rehabilitation.
“The reality is we’re just at the beginning,” Landrieu said.
Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said the blame being placed on federal spending through the BIL for inflation is misguided. Deese said improving highway infrastructure, ports and high-speed internet will make it easier and cheaper to move goods and encourage entrepreneurship, driving down prices.
The law is expected to yield as much, if not more, investments nationally in year two, the officials said.
— Commonwealth Wind moving forward with a caveat
Avangrid met its deadline Monday to tell the state whether it intended to press forward with its offshore Commonwealth Wind project, telling regulators it sees a “path forward” but still wants conversations to continue about the pricing models agreed to in the contracts currently under review. The offshore wind developer has raised concerns about the viability of its project in light of recent inflation and global supply chain issues that have driven up costs, but the Department of Public Utilities and the utilities themselves rebuffed requests to reopen contract negotiations. Monday’s filing doesn’t seem to totally resolve the issues at hand, but the project remains alive for now. SHNS’s Colin A. Young and CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl have more.
— Anxiously waiting for their tax refund
Tax refund checks have begun arriving in people’s mailboxes and bank accounts, but MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports that some taxpayers are anxious about when they will get their slice of the $3 billion pie, and if they’ll get it at all. As of last Tuesday, officials told the outlet $1 billion in refunds had been sent, and the checks will continue to go out through Dec. 15. MassLive’s reader survey, however, found that many taxpayers believe somehow their checks will get lost in the mail just as holiday and heating expenses are starting to rise.
— In media news…
A big news day in the world of Boston media as The Boston Globe announced that it had found its next editor in chief, while a GBH and Boston political reporting stalwart revealed his plans to call it a career. Nancy Barnes, the chief news executive at NPR, will take over the reins of the Boston broadsheet in February after she was tapped by the Henrys to succeed outgoing editor Brian McGrory. Barnes has also led newsrooms in Houston and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, GBH News political editor Peter Kadzis intends to retire from full-time work in January after 50 years as a journalist, including a notable stint at the now defunct Boston Phoenix.
— Google data privacy settlement nets $9M for Mass.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office and Massachusetts will receive $9.3 million as part of a nationwide settlement with Google over data privacy and the company’s use of location tracking data. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that plans for the money are still being developed, but it is expected to go into the state’s general fund and to fund consumer protection programs. Under the settlement, Google must also revamp its practices and the way it discloses to users how their private data is being tracked and used.
— Voters want transparency. Will lawmakers listen?
Advocates for greater transparency on Beacon Hill and in the Legislature scored a number of resounding victories on the ballot last Tuesday. But the question is whether it will matter. The Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade reports on the non-binding referendums placed on ballots in at least 20 communities by a coalition called Act on Mass that call on lawmakers to take steps to open up state government, including making the votes taken by lawmakers in committee public. But these non-binding referendums have seldom led to much action at the State House, regardless of how popular they appear on the ballot.
— Lab building boom about bust?
The rate at which new lab space was being built or planned in Greater Boston almost became something of a running joke. A local business closed? It’ll probably become another lab. But the Globe’s Catherine Carlock reports that the lab building boom may be slowing down as inflation and high interests cause some developers to scale back and rethink their plans.
— Federal judge OKs $58 million Holyoke Soldiers Home settlement
Veterans who survived the 2020 coronavirus outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home and the families of the 84 who died during the crisis will receive $58 million under a settlement given final approval by a federal judge on Monday. MassLive’s Stephanie Barry reports families of those who died could see payments of up to $600,000 each.
— Resignation triggers special election for New Bedford City Council
New Bedford City Councilor Hugh Dunn has formally resigned his seat and the rest of the council is expected to schedule a special election for early 2023 to replace him, Anastasia Lennon of the New Bedford Light reports. Dunn, who was recently cleared of driving under the influence charges stemming from a 2021 late-night car crash, has cited the long commute from his day job at a Boston law firm as the reason for his departure.
— Cambridge looks to send reinforcements into war with rats
The Cambridge City Council is allocating another $500,000 to the city’s war on rats, with plans to buy hundreds more ‘smart boxes’ that electrocute the rodents and hiring a full-time “rat liaison” as soon as next month. Marc Levy of Cambridge Day has all the nasty details.
— UMass Memorial adds beds to alleviate ER congestion
Hoping to ease congestion in its emergency department, UMass Memorial Hospital has won approval from state officials to add 91 more patient beds, an increase of 11 percent, the Worcester Business Journal’s Timothy Doyle reports.
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