Happening Today:

9 a.m. | Suffolk University's Women & Incarceration Project holds a conference to discuss pathways to decarcerating women.

10 a.m. | UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy convenes 5th Biennial New England Women's Policy Conference to discuss climate and reproductive justice, economic security, long-term COVID-19 impacts, gun violence, and early care and education.

5 p.m. | The Prince and Princess of Wales host the Earthshot prize awards at MGM Music Hall Fenway on their third and final night in Boston. Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker, Gov.-elect Maura Healey, Attorney General-elect Andrea Campbell, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Treasurer Deb Goldberg are among the officials expected to attend the event, which includes a concert by Billie Eilish and others.

They say you can’t take your money with you when you go. But death and politics are two different things.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are both sitting on piles of cash, more so in the case of the latter. And with just a month left in office it’s possible that both will walk away, especially Polito, with a good chunk of change in the bank.

Baker had $261,397 in the bank at the end of October after slowly spending down his campaign account from the $731,662 he had to start the year. That’s not exactly an eye-popping balance, and people close to Baker suspect the governor will continue to drain that account through the end of the year as he hosts holiday and farewell gatherings for the staff and advisors who have helped him get through the last eight years.

Polito is a different story. The lieutenant governor started the year with $2.45 million in the bank, and was sitting on $2.2 million at the end of October. Though Polito followed Baker into what will be at least a temporary retirement from politics, that’s enough money to keep someone in the conversation for years to come.

That’s close to Marty Meehan money, who even after his switch from Congress to academia remained in the conversation for open U.S. Senate seats simply by virtue of the fact that he had stockpiled millions and had not given it away. Neither Baker nor Polito’s campaign finance reports for November were available yet through the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

If Polito does ever want to run for a state office again (maybe governor in four years?), her war chest would give her a good place to start and make her a better funded candidate than Geoff Diehl ever was.

Diehl raised about $1.47 million over the course of a campaign that started in late 2021, including $78,863 raised in November. He spent $190,741 over the past month, leaving his campaign with just $3,373 leftover after a losing effort.

But at least he beat Gov.-elect Maura Healey at one thing for once. Healey aides told MASSterList that the governor-elect raised $76,803 in November, an understandable slowdown given the fact that the election took place on Nov. 8 and her campaign had all the resources it needed to close the deal.

Healey is expected to report spending about $257,755 in November, which will leave her campaign with $948,593, according to aides, from which to start building toward the next cycle in four years.

— Biden and Sununu go head-to-head over FITN

Joe Biden got crushed in Iowa in 2020, and after the New Hampshire primary he was left for dead. Then came South Carolina and his political resurrection. So maybe it’s no surprise that Biden and the White House are pushing a plan that would catapult the Palmetto State to the pole position in the Democratic presidential nominating process, followed by primaries in New Hampshire and Nevada a week later, and then Georgia and Michigan. The calendar shakeup under consideration by the Democratic National Committee is meant to elevate states with more diverse electorates that are considered to be more reflective of the Democratic voting base, but any dramatic changes are expected to be challenged by those traditional early voting states. New Hampshire state law stipulates that its historic FITN primary shall be held a week before any other state’s primary. The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer and Tyler Pager report that New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and the state’s Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley have no intention of following the DNC’s directive.

The Washington Post

— MassGOP torn over what direction to move after 2022

MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons survived a challenge to his leadership two years ago by three votes. This time around, if he decides to run, Lyons could face at least three challengers as party insiders are going through a period of self-reflection following their drubbing at the polls last month. The Globe’s Samantha J. Gross and Emma Platoff have a good look at the state of the MassGOP and why some leaders – even conservatives – in the party believe it’s time for a change. CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg also reports on the growing field of potential candidates for party chair.

The Boston Globe | CommonWealth Magazine

— The Royals wrap their visit to the Hub

The Prince and Princess of Wales will wrap their three-day whirlwind tour of Greater Boston today with a star-studded concert and awards ceremony at MGM Music Hall Fenway.

The royal couple will also rendezvous with President Joe Biden this morning at the JFK Library. The president is in town for a DSCC fundraiser to benefit Georgie Sen. Raphael Warnock, and members of Railroad Workers United and the Boston chapter of Democratic Socialists of America are expected to picket the Dorchester meeting.

William and Kate spent time in Somerville and Chelsea yesterday learning about local efforts to fight climate change and support disadvantaged youth, and we learned they apparently have a soft spot for Pringles. The Globe’s Samantha J. Gross also reports that Gov.-elect Maura Healey and the Prince had plenty of time during Wednesday’s Celtics game to discuss the climate crisis, sporting culture in the U.S. versus Britain, and, of course, how Jason Tatum deserves to be MVP.

— Parting gift for Councilor Jubinville?

WRKO talker and Herald columnist Howie Carr tweeted yesterday that Gov. Baker could be getting ready to give Governor’s Councilor Robert Jubinville a new gig as clerk magistrate in the Framingham District Court. It wouldn’t be the first time Baker has poached from the council for a judicial appointment, but the last one went to Republican Jennie Caissie. Jubinville is a Milton Democrat and accomplished defense attorney. Keep an eye on this one.

— Baker returns student loan default bill

Gov. Baker on Thursday returned to the Legislature a bill that would prevent boards of registration from denying anyone a professional license based on their default on a student loan. While Baker said that while the Division of Occupational Licensure and Department of Public Health have no records of ever denying a license based on loan default, he supports the measure – mostly. The governor said his one concern is when it comes to licensing financial service providers, returning the bill to the Legislature with an amendment that would exempt the Division of Banks to allow them to continue to consider credit reports when assessing “an applicant’s fitness to provide consumer financial services to prospective borrowers.”

Baker’s amendment letter can be found here.

— Romney joins chorus of condemnation for Trump-Fuentes meeting

Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago dinner with Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes is drawing near universal condemnation from Congressional Republicans, who perhaps sense the moment is a safe one to speak out against the former president, according to Axios. This includes our former governor Mitt Romeny. Now a Utah senator, Romney told Axios that the dinner meeting with Fuentes and West, who are both known to espouse antisemitic views, was “disgusting.” “There’s no bottom to the degree which he’s willing to degrade himself and the country for that matter,” Romney said. 

Axios | New Boston Post

— Boston teachers open to teaching race in the classroom

CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg reports on a new survey of Boston teachers that found many believe elements of the current curriculum to be irrelevant to modern students and support teaching issues of race and racism in the classroom.

CommonWealth Magazine

— Bay State weed shops gain new competition in Rhode Island

As Rhode Island became the latest state with legal recreational cannabis sales, Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle checks in with Attleboro-area dispensaries and finds they’re taking the fresh competition just miles away in stride – for now. 

The Sun Chronicle

— Unions to Legislature: We’re watching you

After spending millions to convince voters to back a new surtax on millionaires, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and other groups want to make sure the Legislature spends those dollars how they intended, including investments in higher education. State House News Service’s Sam Drysdale has more on what unions are looking for from the next Legislature and a new Healey administration.

State House News Service

— Hunters take aim at state’s Sunday ban 

Some Bay State outdoorsmen say it’s past time for the state to end its no-hunting-on-Sunday law, saying dwindling open space is becoming crowded thanks to only one weekend day being available to pursue their pastime. The Telegram’s Veer Mudambi reports Massachusetts is one of just three states with such a ban, but the law has survived decades longer than many of its Blue Law counterparts. 

Telegram & Gazette

— Should Fall River pay for school that uses shock treatment?

The Fall River School Committee has again postponed deciding whether to pay for a local student to be educated at a Canton facility that has acknowledged using shock therapy, Jo C. Goode of the Herald News reports. The board has repeatedly balked at paying the $176,000 owed to the Judge Rotenberg Center in part because of concerns about the treatments used there.

The Herald News

— Fresh FEMA funds bring UMass Memorial COVID allowance to $31M

UMass Memorial Health received nearly $5 million in new COVID-19 relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover the costs of testing employees and setting up overflow facilities at the peak of the pandemic, the Worcester Business Journal’s Coley Lynch reports. All told, the Worcester hospital has received $31 million from the feds to cover added expenses driven by the virus. 

Worcester Business Journal

The Talk Shows


Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller sits down with Peter Cohan, professor of management at Babson College, to discuss the local “green economy,” recent tech industry job cuts, and the departure of General Electric from its Fort Point HQ.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the guest with hosts Janet Wu and NewsCenter 5 Political reporter Sharman Sacchetti. Wu’s interview will be followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.



Lower ridership is costing the MBTA: Fare revenue down 48% from 2019 – Boston Herald

MBTA Silver Line connection would boost development in Everett, city planner says – Boston Herald

Boston theaters still struggle from COVID shutdown, survey finds – GBH News


Westfield charter panel mulls public vote on changing mayor term to 4 years – MassLive

Mansfield town meeting postponed for lack of quorum – The Sun Chronicle

As long-time store closes, Rotmans collection of local memorabilia being auctioned – Worcester Business Journal


Freight rail strike averted, after frenzied negotiations – Politico

‘Zombie’ viruses are thawing in melting permafrost. But don’t panic — yet. – The Washington Post

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