8:30 | Congressman Richard Neal is the featured guest at a Capitol Hill Report breakfast hosted by the New England Council. When Democrats held a majority in the U.S. House last term, Neal chaired the influential House Ways and Means Committee, but like the rest of the state's House delegation, he is now a member of the minority party with Republicans narrowly controlling the chamber. | Boston Harbor Hotel, Wharf Room, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston
9:30 | Gov. Healey Administers oaths and affirmations of office to Rep.-elect Kristin Kassner of Hamilton, who was confirmed by a party-line House vote on Wednesday as the new representative from the Second Essex District | Council Chamber
11:00 | Senate President Spilka and lawmakers from the MetroWest region attend the 13th annual legislative roundtable sponsored by the MetroWest Center for Independent Living and Easterseals Massachusetts.....One Clarks Hill Lane #200, Framingham
3:30 | Rep. Samantha Montaño participates in a virtual press conference with lawmakers from states around the country to discuss legislation to raise wages and phase out the subminimum wage for tipped restaurant workers. The event is organized by One Fair Wage. Montaño filed HD 2112 with Rep. Farley-Bouvier and Sen. Jehlen (SD 1296) to step the tipped wage up to come in line with the state minimum wage over a series of years.....RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The new governor gets props for taking a ride on the T less than a month into office. It took Charlie Baker almost five years in office to descend into the bowels of Park Street station. Gov. Healey and LG Driscoll took a short ride from Park Street to South Station yesterday, an act of symbolism but also a clear signal that she means business when it comes to the T.
So did Charlie.
All Healey needs is people and money, especially the people. She said she plans to fund the hiring of 1,000 T employees in her first year. It should be noted that the T remains six dispatchers short of a full complement of 32 after 6-plus months of recruitment and generous signing bonuses.
Where’s that can-do new generation of T workers? The Massachusetts workforce contains parallel universes — e.g., significant softening in tech but still tight supply of labor in more traditional and usually lower-paying occupations. So, 1,000 new workers in a year? That feels more like a moonshot than a Red Line trip to Alewife.
We provide a recap of Healey’s fairly action-packed couple of hours on and about the T.
As for today, the Department of Revenue will report January’s tax take. Healey’s housing working group meets. Rep. Kristin Kassner will finally be sworn in. And we can’t say what kind of headlines the cold will generate, only that it will do so — a different sort of harsh reality from the T, but still a challenge.
Breaking Down Healey’s Time on the T
There was a lot to unpack from the governor’s spin on the MBTA; these weren’t physical stops, but essentially mega-talking points as she moved to take on the issue from both a policy-management and a public-relations point of view.
T Stop #1: Gov. says she understands public’s anger, takes responsibility
Healey only rode the Red Line for four minutes, but spent a good deal of time making clear this is intended as a starting point for a reset. “I think as governor I’m ultimately responsible,” she told reporters, and said the public can expect more timely and open communication about problems. At the system’s control center, she did not give any update on the timeline on the most important question Beacon Hill has about the system: when will a new general manager be named.
Boston Globe | State House News Service
T Stop #2: Independent T team will look at CRRC contract and failures
The governor said she’s ordered the formation of an independent team at the T to look into the Orange and Red Line car contracts that were supposed to deliver 404 cars and have yielded only 90, and those coming years too late.
T Stop #3: Her administration will respond to federal safety report in a month
Healey told reporters even in the absence of a new general manager, the state’s new transportation secretary, Gina Fiandaca, along with current T management and future appointees, will be responding to the Federal Transit Administration’s harsh August report on systemic, severe safety problems.
Remembering Chris Condon
As word spread of the passing of Chris Condon, our colleague and a well-liked and highly regarded union organizer, legislative director and issues consultant, tributes contnued to spill across social media. His Facebook page is more eloquent than anything we could write here.
‘Totally corrupt’: Ex-rep has harsh words for panel’s decision to seat rival
A day after the House panel voted to accept a three-member panel’s recommendation to uphold Democrat Kristin Kassner’s one-vote victory in the November election, the Herald’s Matthew Medsger caught up with former state Rep. Lenny Mirra and got quite an earful from the Republican. Mirra called the decision “totally corrupt” and said the Legislature’s decision not to examine contested ballots amounted to an effort to “bury the evidence and make sure the public never knows about it.”
Vocational Ed shutting out students who need it most, suit says
Lawyers for Civil Rights and the Center of Law and Education filed a complaint yesterday asserting the state is denying educational opportunity to disadvantaged students, and students of color, by continuing to allow vocational schools to winnow out applicants based on grades or behavioral records. The complaint says those are the very students who most need the economic and life-path boost that voke-tech ed affords. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
Boston Globe | State House News Service
On climate change, other fronts, activists turning up the heat on Healey
Adam Reilly of WGBH reports that a month is long enough for some environmentalists to wait for Gov. Healey to move on from Gov. Bakers policies and get more green.
This has been going on since 1630, people.
The Senate Rules Committee yesterday put out its package of Joint Rules, a day after the House passed theirs. They disagree with some important House provisions, once again leaving open the question of whether the two branches will agree on any new procedural tenets or limp along again extending rules from 2019. The main item of contention is the Senate’s preference for greater transparency, with disclosure of roll call vote results in committee the highest-profile example. The Senate plans to retain the option for remote voting on floor votes, unlike the House.
Imagine the per-diem!
Writing out the founding year of Massachusetts in that headline got us wondering, so we checked: today’s the 143,339th day of the Commonwealth’s existence; the government was formed Aug. 23, 1630.
The Globe might be offside on the Marty-to-the-NHLPA story but still — so fun!
This is surely only a compelling piece for Massachusetts, but, well here we are. The Globe adds momentum to the suggestions that the principals behind our favorite local “bromance” of the teens, Marty Walsh and Charlie Baker, might soon both be playing leading roles in national sports organizations. Marty with labor, Charlie with management, natch.
Sheriff Heroux taps suicide-prevention expert to tackle campaign issue
Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux says he has hired an expert in suicides among the incarcerated to recommend changes to policies and facilities that would help address what Heroux said during the recent campaign was a too-high rate of inmate suicide under former Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. David Linton of the Sun-Chronicle has the details.
Crackdown? Inspectors descend on Littleton gun vendors
A phalanx of federal inspectors has descended this week on the Littleton mill that has become an 80-vendor gun market, a move that comes not long after one of those vendors was charged with illegally providing guns to a Boston gang member. The Globe’s Sarah Ryley reports the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent 29 inspectors to the facility, which has been called the largest single-location gathering of federally licensed gun dealers.
Mitt slept here: Ex-guv’s Belmont home now high-end Airbnb
The onetime Belmont home of former Massachusetts governor, 2012 presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator from Utah Mitt Romney is now a short-term rental where Joanna Tzouvelis of WickedLocal reports renters can live like a former governor for just $2,200 a night.
The tease for “Talking Politics” on Channel 2 (Friday, 7 p.m., Channel 2 and YouTube) is pretty great, so we’ll quote it: “How did we go from no gambling to Las Vegas on the Charles in just a few years? And why did the Legislature move relatively quickly on sports betting—when other, more pressing issues take years to advance if they advance at all?” Adam Reilly and his panelists dig into that—and how the upcoming Democratic demotion of the New Hampshire primary could reshape national politics and knock Massachusetts Democrats down a peg or two in the coming years.
“Basic Black” (Friday, 7:30 a.m., Channel 2, extra half-hour on Facebook) will discuss Black and Brown philanthropy in communities of color. Black and Indigenous donors of color are making bold steps to change the face of philanthropy, funding causes to assist non-profit organizations and empower communities of color and build racial equity. The show will discuss the history of donations in communities of color via churches, giving circles, etc. Plus, how to attract more BIPOC and younger donors of color. Donna Latson Gittens hosts a panel including Bithiah Carter, President and CEO, New England Blacks in Philanthropy; Aixa Beauchamp, Co-Founder, The Latino Equity Fund, The Boston Foundation; Danielle Kim, Director, Asian Community Fund, The Boston Foundation; and Natanja Craig Oquendo, Executive Director, The Boston Women’s Fund.
Keller At Large
Gov. Maura Healey is Jon’s guest on the “Keller@Large” segment on CBS News Boston (Sunday, 8:30, Channel 4). Topics include the MBTA, taxes, and housing. Full half hour interview will post on CBS News Boston.
On The Record
Congressman Jim McGovern is the guest on WCVB’s On The Record (Sunday, 11 a.m, Channel 5). Topics will include the controversy over committee assignments in the new Congress, and the upcoming State of The Union address by President Biden.
Harvard is shutting down project that studied social media misinformation
UMass Boston chancellor looks forward, and he very much likes what he is seeing
Woburn teachers union and School Committee make ‘significant progress,’ but no deal yet; school canceled for Friday
Springfield Rep. Orlando Ramos files bill to close utility company tax ‘loophole’
Anna Jaques nurses deliver petition demanding better pay
Democratic senators form caucus for gun violence prevention
Chris Sununu Says He’d Still Vote for ‘Effin Crazy’ Trump
Subscribe to MASSterList
Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.