9 a.m. | Supreme Judicial Court sits to hear oral arguments in five cases on the calendar, including the City of Boston's appeal of a ruling that enjoined the city from enforcing Mayor Wu's COVID-19 vaccination mandate against employees represented by three unions.
9:30 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey swears in members of her new Cabinet followed by the administration's first Cabinet meeting at 10 a.m.
11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz host a press conference to announce plans for a new Boston Centers for Youth and Families center in the North End.
12 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey holds a press conference in her office to announce the signing of an executive order creating the Cabinet-level position of climate chief, to be filled by Melissa Hoffer.
Gov. Maura Healey holds her first Cabinet meeting this morning as she gets down to business after a day and night of celebration.
Healey took the oath of office yesterday and delivered her inaugural address before the House and Senate before a rock-ous celebration at the TD Garden last night where pop-folk musician Brandi Carlile entertained the crowd.
The event was put on by Bryan Rafanelli, an event planner and finance co-chair for Healey’s campaign, and the parquet festivities were paid for through donations to the Healey Driscoll Inaugural Committee, which raked in nearly $1.8 million from a host of developers, unions, clean energy companies, lobbyists, pharma and others since its creation on Dec. 18. The committee last night filed paperwork with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance reporting 154 donations, including 53 from donors who maxed out at $25,000 contribution limit set by Healey.
Unlike candidates for office, committees set up to pay for inaugurations can raise unlimited funds from corporate donors, lobbyists and other interests that might otherwise be restricted in how much they give The committee does not have to report how that money gets spent, and more could still be raised. The report only covers fundraising through December. Healey, like her predecessors, put a limit on how much she would raise from any one donor.
Donors included some companies who have been sued by Healey or entered into settlements with the Attorney General’s office during her eight years there, including CVS, Comcast and Santander. GrubHub, which was sued by Healey during the pandemic for charging restaurants illegally high fees to deliver food, donated $10,000.
Dempsey Associates, a lobbying firm led by former House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey, maxed out at $25,000, while other lobbying firms like Kearney, Donovan & McGee, Rasky Partners, Serlin Haley, and Tremont Strategies Group all gave generously.
Other max donors to the inauguration included Arbella Insurance, 1199 SEIU MA PAC, Suffolk Construction, Beer Distributors of Massachusetts, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the Kraft Group, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
— Healey officially takes over as governor
Gov. Healey’s inaugural address was full of nods to her family history, the history she is making as the first woman and openly gay elected governor of Massachusetts and her optimism for what can be achieved over the next four years to make Massachusetts a more affordable and attractive place to live for generations to come.
While Healey did spend a good deal of time appealing to people’s sense of common good and purpose, the speech was far from devoid of specifics. Here’s a few takeaways and highlights of what to expect moving forward.
- Healey will sign an executive order today to create the Cabinet-level position of climate chief to coordinate across government toward emission reduction goals, and said she would file legislation within her first 100 days to create a secretary of housing.
- The governor has directed Secretary of Administration and Finance Matt Gorzkowicz to identify state-owned land and facilities that can be turned into rental housing or homes within a year.
- Healey’s first budget will include funding to hire 1,000 new MBTA operations employees within a year to address workforce shortages at the agency.
- Her first budget will also propose the creation and funding of a program called MassReconnect to make community college free to anyone over 25 without a degree.
— SJC sides with DiMasi over Galvin in lobbying case
The Supreme Judicial Court sided with former House speaker Sal DiMasi in a precedent-setting case that explains why the state, based on current law, cannot bar anyone convicted of a federal crime from registering as a lobbyist. DiMasi, who served time after being convicted on federal corruption charges, fought Secretary of State William Galvin to register as a lobbyist and won in the lower courts. The SJC, however, took up an appeal to make a statement on the law for the future, even though the statute of limitations has run out on DiMasi. The justices found that state law is clear that lobbyist registration can only be denied for 10 years after a conviction on state felony charges, not federal, even if it appears the federal charges would also violate state ethics or other laws.
— Clark blasts GOP over speaker melodrama
As the Kevin McCarthy saga drags on in Congress, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark has found herself right in the middle. The new minority whip is helping to hold Democrats together as they watch Republicans flail around trying to unite behind a speaker for the House. “Unable to organize, unable to govern, unable to lead,” Clark said of the Republicans. The Globe’s Shannon Larson has more from the Revere Democrat.
— Green Line crash could have been prevented
The National Transportation Safety Board blamed “a loss of situational awareness” from the driver of a trolley for the July 2021 Green Line collision. But in its final report on the crash, the feds also said the accident could have been prevented had the state installed safety technology sooner on trains that automatically apply the brakes when trains get too close to one another. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has more from the NTSB.
— The needs beyond the I-495 belt
Now that the work of governing has begun for Healey, MassLive’s Chris Van Buskirk has a look at what lawmakers from central and western Massachusetts are looking for from an administration led by two women from Cambridge and Salem. And it’s not that different from everywhere else – money and housing.
— Making sure electric drivers have a place to charge
With the state’s climate pans reliant on putting tens of thousands of electric vehicles on the road in the coming years, the Globe’s Sabrina Shankman and Hiawatha Bray report that the Department of Public Utilities has approved a $400 million plan to expand EV charging infrastructure through a surcharge on ratepayers electric bills.
— What now? Cape officials plot next steps after funding setback
Planners and elected officials on Cape Cod say they are disappointed but not defeated by news that a plan to replace the two bridges spanning the canal did not receive federal funding in the most recent round of infrastructure cash distribution. The Cape Cod Times’ Rachael Devaney reports attention is now turning to the billions of federal infrastructure funds yet to be allocated and to accelerating design and planning to have the project shovel-ready as soon as possible.
— Nantucket schools warn parents after vape pens cause damage
Repairs to the bathrooms and sewer system at Nantucket High School have cost the district roughly $100,000 over the past year due to what officials are calling a spate of vandalism, and they’ve seen enough. School officials convened a meeting with parents to warn them that stepped-up enforcement is coming. The Nantucket Current’s David Creed reports that part of the problem stems from hundreds of vape pens being flushed and becoming stuck in sewer pumps, which has led to bathroom closures and a growing repair bill.
— Hot commodity: Liquor license up for grabs in Amherst
For the first time in recent memory, a package store liquor license is up for grabs in Amherst and Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the town is preparing for a lengthy and detailed review process to award the golden ticket.
— Grant saves Worcester ambassador program, prevents layoffs
A $350,000 grant from the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will prevent the shutdown of the Main Street South Ambassador program in Worcester, the Worcester Business Journal reports. The program’s two full-time employees had been warned last month they could be laid off if additional funding didn’t materialize.
The Talk Shows
Talking Politics, GBH 2, 7 p.m.: GBH political reporter Adam Reilly talks with a GBH State House reporter Katie Lannan about Charlie Baker’s “lone walk” out of the State House, and Maura Healey’s inauguration as governor, as well as Healey’s promise not to claim an exemption from public records laws as governor.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller talks with Senate President Karen Spika about Gov. Maura Healey, her 2023 agenda and women in politics.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: Senate President Karen Spilka is the guest with hosts Ed Harding and NewsCenter 5 Political reporter Sharman Sacchetti. Spilka’s interview will be followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.
How big will the Gen Z ‘problem’ be in Boston? Here’s what the data says – Boston Business Journal
Boston Police putting out ‘dire’ call for other Massachusetts cops to transfer to the Hub – Boston Herald
Group protests fatal shooting of 20-year-old knife-wielding man during confrontation with Cambridge police – The Boston Globe
MBTA, Chinese company at odds over quality of Springfield-built subway cars – MassLive
Northampton mulls capping number of marijuana dispensaries at 12 – Daily Hampshire Gazette
Berkshire County residents call their recent electric bills ‘horrifically expensive.’ If you were shocked by your bill, you’re not alone – The Berkshire Eagle
Dems bask in the speaker schadenfreude – Politico
Biden Will Mark Jan. 6 With Presidential Medals for Election Officials – The New York Times
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