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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development Public Hearing, Via GoToMeetig

5:00pm Close of Comment Period for Cannabis Control Commission Regulatory Changes, Submit to commission@cccmass.com

Must-Reads

Political fallout continues as Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse combats allegations of ‘inappropriate behavior’ » Boston Herald The Sunrise Western Mass Coalition yanked its endorsement of Morse on Monday while saying the retraction was “by no means an endorsement” of the man he’s seeking to unseat, U.S. Rep. Richard Nea…

AG Healey Backs Mermell as Sept. 1 Primary Nears » State House News Service Attorney General Maura Healey on Thursday became the second statewide elected official to endorse Jesse Mermell's campaign for Congress, adding to the momentum behind Mermell's bid to emerge on top of…

Trump gives credence to false, racist Harris conspiracy » Boston Globe Speaking from the White House, Trump told reporters he had “heard” rumors that Harris, a Black woman and U.S.-born citizen whose parents were immigrants, does not meet the requirement to serve in …

Norfolk rep endorses suit against ‘King Baker’ over ‘slippery slope’ of government overreach during coronavirus pandemic » Boston Herald Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, said his comments are “not necessarily attacking the quarantine, the restrictions, or even the fines,” but rather the way the governor — or “King Baker” as the …

Massachusetts superintendent writes in open letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, education officials, ‘I believe we are working harder not smarter' » The Republican As schools get ready to finalize plans on how to teach students in the midst of a global pandemic, William Burkhead, the superintendent of the Scituate Public Schools, feels that superintendents and s…

Moulton challengers go on offensive in debate » The Eagle Tribune "So now we’re going to spend record amounts on defense spending at a time when we have urgent domestic needs," McQuilken said during the two-hour debate, which was livestreamed on North Andover’s …

Challenge to Mass. hydro-electricity connection yanked from ballot » Commonwealth Magazine THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT of Maine on Thursday yanked a referendum question off the November ballot that could have derailed a Massachusetts proposal to import hydro-electricity from Quebec using a p…

‘Do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done?’: A reporter’s blunt question to Trump goes unanswered » Washington Post “Mr. President, after three and a half years, do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” Dáte asked. Trump looked confused. “What?” he asked. “All the lying.…

The Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring » The Hill “This is somebody whose ethos is reminiscent of people who women have not wanted proactively in our lives,” she said. “He is reminiscent of the guy who you go, ‘What a pest, what a nuisance, g…

Religious group descending upon N.H. town for large event amid coronavirus fires back at officials » Boston Herald Torben Sondergaard of The Last Reformation on Thursday addressed the “lies” about the large tent revival gathering with 200 to 500 attendees in New Ipswich, N.H. — starting Friday and lasting th…

In N.Y.C.’s Spring Virus Surge, a Frightening Echo of 1918 Flu » New York Times In March and April, death rates rivaled those seen during the country’s deadliest pandemic, a new study finds. “What 1918 looked like is basically this.”…

NY: NYC promises a nurse in every school building amid reopening fears » Politico Mayor Bill de Blasio said every city school building will have a nurse when schools reopen, as he pushed back against calls from unions to delay the start of the school year.…

How the World’s Largest Garbage Dump Evolved Into a Green Oasis » New York Times The radical fix for a noxious landfill in Staten Island: Bury the trash, plant some grass and do nothing for 20 years.…

NJ: Majority of women surveyed say they’ve been sexually harassed working in New Jersey politics » Politico Pro NJ More than half the men and women who currently or used to work in New Jersey politics or in state or local government say they’ve experienced sexual harassment on the job, according to a survey rele…

Will Newsom make history? California governor could face pressure to select a Latino senator » The Sacramento Bee Some Latino Democrats believed to be candidates include California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Long Beach Mayor…

The QAnon Rot in the GOP » Politico Q is deeply corrosive of the qualities necessary to live in and govern a republic. It invites its adherents to suspend reason—how else to credit all the prophecies that haven’t come to pass?—and…

Poll: Mass. Voters Split Over Major Election Reform » State House News Service Massachusetts voters are split over whether to embrace a ballot question proposing a massive overhaul of the state's electoral system, with more than a quarter still undecided, while a clear majority …

“I know in my heart of hearts that once we start surrendering our basic liberties and allow one man to make law on his own without due process, testimony, debate, or any other safeguard that makes our democratic republic so special — it is a slippery slope,”

Rep. Shawn Dooley

Criticizing Governor Baker for bypassing the Legislature and not following proper government process to enact new laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Trump opposes US Postal Service funding that would help vote-by-mail » The Ledger President Donald Trump declared Thursday that he opposes additional funding for the U.S. Postal Service, acknowledging that his position would starve the agency of money Democrats say it needs to proc…

‘It doesn’t hurt that she’s making history’: Legislators, activists on Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris » Gazette Net Following the historic selection of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, as Joe Biden’s pick for vice president, area legislators and activists weighed in on Harris’ potential to energize the Democra…

House candidate exit puts spotlight on ranked-choice voting » Commonwealth Magazine THE CROWDED DEMOCRATIC primary field in the Fourth Congressional District got a little less crowded Thursday morning when one of the candidates, Dave Cavell, announced he was suspending his campaign.…

Opinion: Biden’s VP pick makes history, but not much sense » Boston Herald Prediction: Joe Biden is about to learn that “making history” and “winning elections” aren’t the same thing. Or make that “re-learn.”…

Opinion: Kamala Harris is ready. Black women are always ready. » Boston Globe Trump is intimidated by fierce, intelligent Black women. That's why he doesn't know how to undermine the California senator.…

‘Representation matters’: Kamala Harris isn’t just the first Black woman on a major ticket. She’s also the first Asian American » Boston Globe The initial headlines announcing Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president heralded her selection as the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. But soon, social media was bub…

Trump makes clear his opposition to more money to support mail voting » Boston Globe President Donald Trump stirred new questions Thursday about whether he would seek to hold up new money to the Postal Service to impede mail-in voting this fall in the midst of the pandemic.…

Editorial: Harris has the credibility to take the fight to Trump » Boston Globe As Joe Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris will do far more than make history — she'll prosecute the case against Trump.…

Opinion: If Biden is elected, be prepared to live in the new dystopian United States » Lowell Sun Joe Biden could not only be the most progressive president; he could also become the most effective.…

KEEPING UP WITH THE MILLERS: STEPHEN MILLER AND HIS WIFE, KATIE, FOUND LOVE IN A HATEFUL PLACE » Vanity Fair Trump’s favorite young power couple—after Jared and Ivanka and Don Jr. and Kimberly, that is—have carved out a special place in the administration for their rhetoric and ideology.…

Business

Private-pay childcare providers struggling » Commonwealth Magazine JENNIFER SIMPSON, who runs a family daycare in Southbridge, will have lost more than $33,000 in tuition money by the time she reopens August 31.…

HarborOne to lay off more than 40 as branch business slows » Boston Globe HarborOne Bank is trimming more than 40 jobs as it reacts to a big slowdown in branch transactions, in what marks the first round of layoffs in the institution’s history. The Brockton-based bank had…

Boston calls for end to ‘egregious violations’ of coronavirus rules in Allston-Brighton bars » Boston Herald “No dancing,” certainly no “adult dancers” and, for sure “no scorpion bowls.” That was the message Boston Licensing Board staff had for the many restaurants and bars in Allston-Brighton, w…

Education

State Reps urge commissioner for state-wide school re-opening guidance » Wicked Local Marshfield Group of state legislators this week, led by State Rep. Patrick Kearney, asked Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley for a statewide standard…

Legislative Watch: Paradoxes of the 2020-2021 School Year » Governing It’s never been more apparent that schools don’t just educate; they also buoy the stability and emotional health of communities. Since July, state legislatures have introduced numerous bills to ke…

Opinion: Lack of leadership on school reopenings » Commonwealth Magazine A WEEK AFTER school committees began making decisions for reopening schools, a day after the plans were originally due to the state, Gov. Charlie Baker released a map to help guide their decision-maki…

In forum with Rep. Pressley, students advise against in-class return » Dorchester Reporter Students voiced concerns about returning to classrooms inside school buildings last week during a Zoom forum moderated by US Rep. Ayanna Pressley. The “Students Speak” forum was held just two days…

Editorial: Listen to the data on school reopening » Boston Globe Whether and how to reopen is (or at least, should be) a fluid decision, responsive to changing conditions and an evolving understanding of COVID-19.…

Haverhill school tensions: Teachers stage COVID-19 death display; mayor eyes state data to support reopening » The Eagle Tribune The school reopening debate is getting tense, with teachers placing coffins and empty pairs of shoes outside City Hall as symbols of students and educators who could die of COVID-19 after returning to…

As Other Mass. Schools Reverse Course, BC Will Reopen as Planned » The Heights Boston College is moving forward with its plans to reopen for the fall semester, according to a letter sent to the BC community on Tuesday. The letter also detailed the testing process of students, fa…

Boston Public Schools Plans to Delay Start of Classes Until Sept. 21 » NBC Boston Meanwhile, Worcester, Salem, Brookline and Lawrence public school students learned Thursday they will start remotely; Boston's hasn't announced a decision on whether students will start the year in cl…

Opinions Clash Over Reopening Schools In Communities With Low Coronavirus Rates » CBS Boston A parents’ group called “Bring Kids Back Massachusetts” gathered on the steps of the State House to push for schools to open their doors to students in the fall. “With the safety measures the …

Schools in districts at high risk of coronavirus to welcome 8,600 special education students back to classrooms » Boston Herald Five school districts at high risk for the coronavirus are poised to welcome up to 8,600 special education students for in-person instruction this fall, concerning teachers and advocates as cases cont…

Smith Voc prepares for hybrid opening » Gazette Net Installing UV lights, increasing custodial staff, and setting up an “isolation trailer” in a portable office trailer.…

Environment

Fishermen And Scientists Join Forces To Track Effects Of Climate Change » WBUR Last October, lobstermen fishing off the coast of southern New England noticed the lobsters getting more active. That's fairly common, says Mark Sweitzer, a commercial fisherman out of Port Judith, Rh…

Representative Jones Serving On Climate Bill Conference Committee » North Reading Patch House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) is now serving on a six-member legislative conference committee that is reviewing two major climate change bills approved by the House and…

Federal

Galvin encourages residents to fill out U.S. Census » The Reminder You may have a census taker at your door within the next 10 weeks in Springfield and Chicopee if you have not yet filled out the U.S. Census online or mailed back the information.…

The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election » Vice Good thing nobody's predicting a huge surge in mail any time soon.…

Health Care

Brigham’s parent company was warned in 2014 about Nabel’s potential conflict of interest » Boston Globe Years before she became embroiled in a controversy about her position on the board of directors of Cambridge biotech Moderna, Brigham and Women’s Hospital president Elizabeth Nabel faced questions a…

MA company to produce 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine » News 22 WWLP.com Governor Charlie Baker has said the only way Massachusetts will move into the final phase of re-opening is if there’s a vaccine, well now we are one step closer to that actually happening.…

Housing

South Shore real estate brokers to pay up to $110,000 after discrimination allegations: Attorney General Healey » Boston Herald South Shore real estate brokers have agreed to pay up to $110,000 and attend fair housing training to resolve an investigation into allegations they discriminated against prospective tenants, Attorney…

Settling bias allegations with four apartment brokers, attorney general wins fines, mandatory training » Boston Globe Four South Shore apartment brokers will pay fines and face state-mandated training for discriminating against lower-income renters, Attorney General Maura Healey said Thursday.…

Immigration

Trump relaxes some visa rules » Commonwealth Magazine FOR FOREIGN CITIZENS who work in Massachusetts but found themselves stuck abroad due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, the State Department has offered a yellow light to come back.…

Judiciary

Lenk Delays Retirement, Keeps SJC at Full Strength » State House News Service Justice Barbara Lenk is pushing off her retirement from the state's highest court until late fall, nixing earlier plans to exit next Monday.…

Lenk pushes retirement to December as search for successor continues » Mass Lawyers Weekly Justice Barbara A. Lenk is pushing off her retirement from the Supreme Judicial Court until late fall, nixing earlier plans to step down on Aug. 17. Lenk recently notified Gov. Charlie Baker that she …

Labor

Remote Work Has Cushioned The Pandemic's Blow, But WBUR Poll Reveals Inequalities » WBUR When the whole work-from-home thing started, Kass Burrowes had concerns.…

963,000 workers seek US jobless aid as layoffs fall below 1 million for first time in 5 months » Boston Globe The number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment aid fell below 1 million last week for the first time since the pandemic intensified five months ago yet still remains at a high level. The vir…

Former Boston police union president held on child-rape charges » Boston Herald The former head of the Boston police union — who the DA said has “dishonored the badge” — is being held on $100,000 bail on “heinous” charges alleging he sexually abused a girl over five y…

Opinion: Salaries soar for hacks, not for dreaded private sector » Boston Herald These past few months, life in the Dreaded Private Sector has been positively Hobbesian — solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.…

Local Government

Boston City Council Hears Testimony About The City's Child Care Crisis » WBZ News Radio Members of the Boston City Council heard testimony Wednesday on the current child care crisis in the city.…

Politics

Local Officials Endorse Dan Ryan for Re-Election in the Second Suffolk » Chelsea Record Election Day in the race for the Second Suffolk district is coming quickly. Two prominent Chelsea City Councilors touted their long-standing working relationships with State Representative Dan Ryan by…

Julia Child, Ayanna Pressley and Gwen Ifill among influential women from Massachusetts » USA Today When it comes to American history, Massachusetts certainly had an early foot in the door. The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth in 1620; America’s witchcraft trials started in Salem in 1692; the “shot h…

With just weeks to go, Neal-Morse congressional race thrown into chaos and finger-pointing » Boston Globe For the past year, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has mounted an improbable congressional primary campaign against powerful Democratic incumbent Richard Neal, and the contest was poised to serve as a fascin…

Maura Healey endorses Jesse Mermell in crowded Fourth District primary » Boston Globe Attorney General Maura Healey, one of the state’s leading progressive stars, said Thursday she is backing Jesse Mermell in the congested Fourth Congressional District primary, just hours after Heale…

In Fourth District shake-up, Cavell drops out, super PACs emerge to back Mermell » Boston Globe Dave Cavell, a former Obama speechwriter running in the Fourth Congressional District, dropped out of the congested Democratic primary on Thursday and quickly endorsed Jesse Mermell, a similarly progr…

Second-guessing begins on Alex Morse allegations » Commonwealth Magazine Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is fighting for his political future, amid allegations that he had sex with students attending the university where he taught.…

State Representative Candidates Face Off in MassVote Online Forum » Chelse Record State Rep. Dan Ryan and Chelsea Councilor and state representative candidate Damali Vidot faced off in one of the first debates of this strange and unique election season – and yet another unique pi…

Meet the anti-Trump ‘gen z gop’ seeking a new course for the Republican party » Boston.com Four young Republicans with Massachusetts roots have created an organization that hopes to attract young voters and chart a more inclusive future for the GOP.…

Arnold, Howard debate; Nangle a no-show » Lowell Sun Affordable housing, COVID-19 and equity were repeated points of discussion during Thursday night’s debate for the 17th Middlesex District seat in the state House of Representatives.…

Alex Morse tries to turn allegations back on congressional opponent Richard Neal » Boston Herald Congressional hopeful Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is trying to turn the allegations of impropriety against him around on his opponent U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, accusing the Western Massachusetts congressma…

Markey: “You have to be able to say, ‘This is where we are going’” » Gazette Net U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is confident Democrats will win back not only the White House come November but also the Senate. And if re-elected, he says that justice should be the focus when creating solutions…

Alex Morse says US Rep. Richard Neal missed chance to end surprise medical bills; Neal said he’s working on a solution that won’t hurt doctors, hospitals » The Republican Challenger Alex Morse says he backs a bipartisan plan to stop surprise medical bills that incumbent U.S. Rep. Richard Neal killed in December at the behest of big-pocket corporate interests.…

Public Health

State Releases New Guidance On Youth, Amateur Sports » WBUR New state guidance set to take effect Monday outlines what youth and adult amateur sports activities will be allowed to take place — and with what safety precautions — during the current phase of …

How Vermont And New Hampshire Are Keeping Coronavirus At Bay » WBUR As Massachusetts fights to control upticks in the coronavirus, a few other New England states, like Vermont, are reporting steady COVID-19 positive case numbers.…

Parking capacity at Hull’s Nantasket Beach slashed further as town moves into coronavirus red zone » Boston Herald The parking capacity at Hull’s Nantasket Beach will be slashed further to address concerns of overcrowding amid the coronavirus pandemic as the town faces an elevated risk for the virus.…

Guidance Outlines Ground Rules for School, Adult Sports » State House News Service Football, competitive cheerleading, basketball, ice hockey and wrestling are among the activities assigned the highest risk level in new state guidance on youth and adult amateur sports, falling into …

Guidance clarifies allowable R.I. trips without quarantine » News 22 WWLP.com After Gov. Charlie Baker’s latest travel restrictions prompted questions about what was permissible for residents who live along the Rhode Island border, the state has published updated guidance tha…

Four new virus deaths reported in Attleboro area but cases down » The Sun Chronicle Coronavirus claimed four new victims in Attleboro over the past week, bringing the city’s death toll to 59 and the 10-community Sun Chronicle area’s total to at least 148.…

Parents of overdose victims ask state to lower flags in remembrance » Lowell Sun Louise Griffin knows too well what it’s like to lose a child to opioid addiction.…

Red communities jump to 11 under new Mass. virus tracking; Pittsfield still green » Berkshire Eagle Seven new communities have been added to the red category under the state's new color-coded municipal measurement of COVID-19 infection and spread levels.…

Baker puts 'high-risk' communities on notice » Newburyport News Gov. Charlie Baker is putting more than two dozen communities with rising COVID-19 infection rates on notice that they will be subject to beefed-up enforcement of the state’s reopening rules.…

Data indicate spread of COVID-19 accelerating » Commonwealth Magazine THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 in Massachusetts appears to be accelerating, with the number of communities considered moderate or high-risk jumping by 40 percent and the state as a whole moving into the moder…

‘We need more testing in Massachusetts’: Ashish Jha shares what he would do if he were Charlie Baker » Boston.com Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, says Massachusetts still has work to do when it comes to its testing capacity for the coronavirus, laying out the steps he’d take if …

Public Safety

Police reform debate stalls behind closed doors on Beacon Hill » Boston Herald Lawmakers are taking their time hashing out differences between House and Senate versions of a police reform bill that promises to shake up policing in Massachusetts.…

Hampshire County Sheriff Furloughs 77 Staff To Meet Mass. Budget Cuts » NEPM The Hampshire County Sheriff's Office in Northampton, Massachusetts, will furlough 77 staff members to comply with state budget cuts.…

FBI’s tally of how often police use force has plenty of holes » Boston Globe A new FBI database was supposed to provide answers on one of the most critical questions about the criminal justice system: how often do law enforcement officers use force in the line of duty?…

Mass. Bail Fund Responds To Criticism After Freeing A Man Arrested For Sexual Assault » WBUR The Massachusetts Bail Fund, which posts bail for people, says it will continue its work despite some high level criticism.…

ACLU sues Boston police for use of force, surveillance docs » Boston.com The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Boston Police Department for withholding records related to recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations and other policing issues.…

Transportation

MBTA Extends Commuter Rail Discount Through 2020 » WBUR Commuter rail passengers will be able to travel between Lynn and Boston at the same price as a subway ride through the end of 2020 under a pilot program extension the MBTA announced Thursday.…

Utilities

Maine Court Derails Transmission Project Ballot Question » NEPM A decision Thursday from Maine's high court means voters in that state will not decide at the Nov. 3 election whether to reverse a utilities commission decision to approve a 145-mile transmission proj…

Social Media Spotlight

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB3912 - An Act directing the Bristol County Retirement Board to grant creditable service to Christopher R. Carreiro

SB2787 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Charlotte Charest, employee of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court

HB4892 - An Act authorizing the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey a certain parcel of land to the city of Newton

HB4666 - An Act relative to the disability retirement of Ryan Moore and Donald Demiranda, police officers in the town of Falmouth

SB2870 - An Act relative to the Baker Hill Road District

Most read bills of the week:

SB2500 - An Act setting next-generation climate policy

HB4932 - An Act financing the general governmental infrastructure of the Commonwealth

SB2842 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

SB2786 - An Act relative to protecting our public higher education system during the COVID-19 pandemic

HB4933 - An Act creating a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth

SB2874 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

HB4912 - An Act creating a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving Commonwealth

HB4887 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

HB4905 - An Act making certain appropriations for fiscal year 2021 before final action on the General Appropriation Bill

SD3019 - An Act relative to the Commonwealth Housing, Economic, Education and Equity in Recovery and Reconstruction Fund

House Actions This Week: 15

Senate Actions This Week: 12


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