Happening Today:

10 a.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing for public comment on the six standalone mobile betting license applications it received from Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.

11 a.m. | House and Senate meet in final sessions of the 192nd General Court.

12:30 p.m. | Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll join the Boys & Girls Club of Metro South in Taunton to give away school supplies and healthy food.

1:30 p.m. | Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds a special meeting to discuss a goal-setting process for an accountability system and the Student Opportunity Act.

1:30 p.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to consider the application of Penn Sports Interactive for a mobile sports betting license tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

3 p.m. | Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll help distribute produce and healthy prepared meals with the Family Table Collaborative in South Yarmouth.

5:30 p.m. | Inauguration ceremony is held for new Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux in the Durfee High School auditorium in Fall River.

The mystery headliner for Gov.-elect Maura Healey’s inaugural celebration has been revealed.

Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile will perform at the TD Garden on Thursday night alongside a number of local performers to help Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll kick off their new administration, the Healey inaugural committee announced this morning.

“As forces across this country try to sow division and anger, it fills me with hope to see women like them lead us forward with positivity and empathy. Their victories were decades in the making, and we know there is more work ahead – but now is the time to pause and celebrate this historic moment,” Carlile said in a statement.

A Washington state native, Carlile married her wife Catherine Shepherd in 2012 in Wareham.

Healey said she’s been a fan for a long time: “Brandi’s music spans genres and explores themes of women’s empowerment, LGBTQ+ history, and the joy of community. I can’t think of a more perfect musician to bring us together for this celebration.”

But before the state’s political class gets to celebrating new beginnings, there’s some unfinished business on Beacon Hill. Gov. Charlie Baker still has a couple days left in office, and at 2 p.m. he plans to make a speech from his office in what his team says will be a “thank you” to the people of Massachusetts.

Given Baker’s penchant for the emotional, his remarks are likely to be a reflection on the honor he has felt over the past eight years for the chance to serve. But this could also be a chance for him to make one last plea for a more collaborative approach to party politics before he takes on a more national role as head of the NCAA — one in which he’s being counted on to court Democrats and Republicans in Washington.

The past week’s headlines have been full of exit interviews with Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and retrospectives on their time in office. WBUR’s Steve Brown even shadowed Baker for a day. And the commentary has not all been flattering.

The House and Senate also both meet today in what will be the final sessions of the 192nd General Court before the newly elected and reelected lawmakers are sworn in on Wednesday to start the dance all over again.

As they await the governor’s action on a pedestrian and cyclist road safety bill (H 5103), it’s possible that lawmakers could reach a final compromise on a bill to criminalize “revenge porn” and to create new legal processes for dealing with teen sexting (H 4498 / S 3167), as well as legislation to regulate the sale of catalytic converters (H 5356 / S 3169).

Both issues have gotten a late-session push toward the finish line, with the former being a priority of Baker’s and one he has expressed regret about not getting done.

— The fight for $15 is over. What’s next?

Minimum wage workers got a raise on Jan. 1 to $15 an hour, the last in a series of bumps approved by the Legislature in 2018. But with the cost of everything from gas to groceries inflated, even that figure doesn’t go as far as people might have thought five years ago. Sen. Marc Pacheco once described to me the mechanics of hiking the minimum wage on Beacon Hill as a multi-year process, and that process is likely to start now. The Globe’s Dana Gerber and GBH’s Adam Reilly report that advocates fully expect legislation to be filed in the new session to go beyond $15. Supporters could pick a new number, or choose to fight for something like indexing to inflation that would take some of the politics out of the equation in future years, but also makes the business community skittish. A Healey spokeswoman told the Globe that the incoming governor “believes the state minimum wage should be adjusted over time to keep up with the cost of living” and might be receptive to something landing on her desk.

The Boston Globe | GBH News

— Tinkering with the millionaire’s tax

Secretary of State William Galvin says seniors deserve a carve-out from the new “millionaire’s tax” law should they trigger the surtax through the sale of their home as they move into retirement or look to downsize as they get older. But so-far Gov.-elect Maure Healey has been quiet on whether she’d support tinkering with the brand new law, just approved by voters in November. The Herald’s Matthew Medsger reports that Healey said Monday she would “certainly take a close look at it” should a carve-out land on her desk.

Boston Herald

— Clock ticks as Republicans fight outcomes in two House races

With the new legislative session about to begin Wednesday, two seats remain contested as the Republican candidates continue to fight their narrow losses in the courts. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that a Superior Court judge tossed Georgetown Rep. Lenny Mirra’s petition for an injunction to block House democrats from seating Kristin Kassner after she prevailed in a recount by one vote, but Mirra is appealing. Meanwhile, Townsend Republican Andrew Shepherd is accusing Groton officials of bungling a recount in his race against Democrat Margaret Scarsdale. But time is running out.

State House News Service

— Coyotes in their sights

The decision on Nahant to bring in federal sharpshooters to cull the coyote population on the isolated peninsula got the national treatment over the weekend with the New York Times’s Jenna Russell explaining how fear spread in the small North Shore town and why some residents are standing up for the coyotes.

The New York Times

— Campbell taking up the torch from Healey

What kind of attorney general will Andrea Campbell be? She could very easily pick up where Healey left off and work in tandem with the new administration and new governor, with whom she shares a close personal relationship. But the Globe’s Ivy Scott reports that both women know there will be times when they can work together and times when their work and strategies will diverge. And that’s OK.

The Boston Globe

— Calling Avangrid’s offshore wind bluff

Gov.-elect Maura Healey is inheriting quite a mess with respect to the state’s effort to develop offshore wind. State House News’s Colin A. Young reports that on Friday the Department of Public Utilities approved contracts for the Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind projects, despite developer Avangrid arguing from months that its Commonwealth Wind project was no longer viable at the prices negotiated in its initial bid and urging the state to tear up the agreement and resolicit proposals. The developer is now assessing its legal options, Young reports.

State House News Service

— Ransomware attack takes down Bristol CC network 

Bristol Community College says its computer networks were the target of a ransomware attack over the holidays that left students and staff without access to email and other services for at least a week, Stephen Peterson of the Sun Chronicle reports. The school says it noticed the attack on Dec. 23 and is working with a cybersecurity expert to restore services even as students return for winter session.

The Sun Chronicle

— Former Fall River mayor Sutter eyes comeback 

Former Fall River Mayor Sam Sutter says he’ll run to reclaim the office he held briefly in 2015 in November’s election. Sutter plans to argue that current Mayor Paul Coogan has not done enough to address rising crime rates, poorly performing city schools and the lack of affordable housing, Jo C. Goode of the Herald News reports. Sutter, who served as Bristol County district attorney for eight years, won the mayor’s office in a recall election in 2014, only to lose it less than a year later to then 23-year-old Jasiel Correia, who is currently serving time in a New Hampshire prison on federal corruption charges.

The Herald News

— McGovern’s legacy on hunger

Congressman Jim McGovern’s office sent out a press release Sunday celebrating a “string of major anti-hunger victories in the final days of the 117th Congress,” including passage of the Food Donation Improvement Act and the creation of a nationwide summer EBT program. The highlights followed this Globe story diving deep into McGovern’s career long fight against hunger and his efforts to advance the cause – even if it means buttonholing the president at a holiday party.

The Boston Globe

— Lynn fire chief warns landlords after illegal apartment discoveries  

Fire officials in Lynn are warning landlords about adhering to local zoning regulations after crews responding to emergency calls discovered multiple illegal apartments in recent weeks. The Item’s Anthony Cammalleri reports Fire Chief Joseph Zukas believes a lack of affordable housing options is driving the creation of dangerous, unpermitted basement apartments and other dangerous ad hoc arrangements.

The Daily Item

— Incoming, outgoing Berkshire DA’s spar over transition

Election Day has come and gone, but things apparently remain heated between incoming Berkshire County District Attorney Timothy Shugrue and outgoing DA Andrea Harrington. Meg Britton-Mehlisch and Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle report Shugrue alleges Harrington has not been as helpful as she could be as he prepares to take office on Wednesday, while Harrington says she has the email receipts to prove she’s been working closely with her successor, who defeated her in the Democratic primary in September.

The Berkshire Eagle



Number of housing units approved in Boston dropped in 2022 – Boston Herald

NHL initiative to support construction of recreational facility in Dorchester – The Boston Globe


New Year’s Eve Chinese Food Delivery Crisis Averted Thanks To Cape Air, Hy-Line – Nantucket Current

Mask measures return to Northampton schools – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cannabis company settles with OSHA over Holyoke employee death for $14K – MassLive

Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera says she won’t run again – Telegram & Gazette


GOP sounds alarm over struggles with Gen Z voters – The Hill

How the marijuana ‘green rush’ fell apart – The Washington Post

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