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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Department of Environmental Protection Public Hearing, MassDEP Boston Headquarters, One Winter Street, Boston

11:00am Special Commission on Correctional Funding, Essex County House of Corrections, 20 Manning Avenue, Public Training Room, Middleton, MA 01949

11:00am Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Public Hearing

6:00pm Campaign Kickoff for State Rep. Candidate Tom Keyes with Rep. Marc Lombardo

Must-Reads

Baker Ally To Advise Bloomberg Prez Campaign » State House News Service Will Keyser, a former aide to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and a Baker confidant, will be a senior advisor to Bloomberg's campaign in Massachusetts, while Jordan Overstreet, a Missouri native and vete…

A caller told Julia Mejia she’s a criminal ‘pushing for a fight.’ Then she released the voicemail message he left. » Boston.com “Let me tell you something you bigot, you fascist, you criminal,” the man said. “Apples don’t fall far from the tree. Your mother was a criminal too who came over here illegally. You have no r…

Nonprofits fret over future of Mass. charitable deduction » Boston Business Journal The deduction offers a powerful financial incentive to give to charity, said Jim Klocke, chief executive of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. It also creates an annual prompt for people to think of…

Carbon Pricing a Cornerstone of Senate Climate Package » State House News Service The Massachusetts Senate next week plans to take up a far-reaching package of climate bills whose major components include an electric MBTA bus fleet by 2040, carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportat…

Recycling programs need a reboot — and some financial help from online retailers » Boston Globe For years, communities in Massachusetts paid almost nothing for their curbside recycling programs, because the materials found a valuable market in China. But China’s government recently prohibited …

Baker Defends State's Use Of Minority Contractors, Says It Has Improved During His Tenure » WGBH Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday he believes he has expanded the state’s contracting with minority and women-owned business during his tenure, despite a WGBH News series showing the value of state c…

Joe Kennedy III Is an Insider, Not an Insurgent » The Nation Kennedy’s campaign to oust a progressive senator is an establishment takeover.…

‘I don’t have the luxury of being cynical’: Pressley reflects on a year gone by, and the challenges ahead » Dorchester Reporter “I came in in a historic election, joined a class full of historic firsts, and am serving in the most diverse and representative class in the history of Congress. We did all of that in the midst of …

Chang-Diaz Questions Baker’s Edu Funding Claim » State House News Service Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Democrat who filed one of the bills on which the Student Opportunity Act was based, said Baker's budget does not fully fund "both the letter and spirit of the Student Opportun…

Trump’s Doral Resort Spikes Its Room Rates Ahead Of His RNC Visit » HUFFPOST The doubling of rates may have increased taxpayer costs for housing Secret Service and other staff who traveled there ahead of the president’s trip.…

Deval Patrick’s Righteous Anger » The Atlantic The former Massachusetts governor is practicing the kind of politics many voters say they want. How come it’s not working?…

Alan Dershowitz: Why I’m Defending Trump » New York Times As to my 1998 statement that “you don’t need a technical crime,” it was made during the Clinton impeachment when there was no debate over whether a crime is required, since Mr. Clinton was charg…

The number of Californians represented by unions grows as national labor organizing stagnates » Los Angeles Times The growth has been enabled by a labor-friendly Legislature enacting measures to crack down on wage theft and retaliation against union organizers. New laws require retail and construction companies t…

“Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies,” Schiff reminded senators. “He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own FBI Director…That makes him dangerous to us, to our country.”

Representative Adam Schiff

Explaining the case against President Trump in the third day of the Senate's impeachment trial.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Warren pledges to reverse travel ban on day one » Boston Globe “On the first day of my administration, I will lift the Muslim ban and I believe that sends a message all across the country,” Warren said during a video conference with The Boston Globe editorial…

Warren To Bloomberg: 'Let Reporters Do Their Jobs' » WBUR The House is in recess, the Senate is locked in an impeachment trial and the Democratic 2020 contenders are getting heated as the first primary contests near.…

Latest New Hampshire poll finds Sanders with strong lead over crowded field » Boston Globe A new poll of likely voters in the New Hampshire Democratic primary found Senator Bernie Sanders with a strong lead over the rest of the crowded Democratic field as the race for the critical early pri…

Howie Carr: We’ve all had just about enough of this Schiff » Boston Herald Whatever happened to the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution — you know, the one prohibiting infliction of “cruel and unusual punishment” on prisoners?…

Backfire: Sandernistas say Clinton, Warren attacks are fueling a Bernie surge » Boston Herald Bernie Sanders loyalists claim the mudslinging attacks of sexism, unlikability and ineffectiveness from fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren and 2016 rival Hillary Clinton have actually boosted the Ver…

NH Primary Source: State Sen. David Watters becomes Deval Patrick’s first major NH endorsement » WBUR FORMER BOOKER SUPPORTER BACKS PATRICK. State David Watters of Dover on Friday became the first major New Hampshire endorsement for former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.…

Senate holds trial while Democratic candidates grab headlines » Boston Herald No question that the “Pomp and Circumstance” style procession by the House managers hand-carrying the articles of impeachment to the Senate chamber will be a memorable part of the overall impeachm…

Trump to hold New Hampshire rally on Feb. 10 » Boston Herald Trump’s re-election campaign announced a rally at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester, N.H. — the same venue he packed with supporters in August.…

About those ‘Women for Trump’ » Boston Globe “It would make me so excited to vote for a woman for president,” said Alice from Michigan. “I do think I will see one in my lifetime, and, as the mother of a daughter, it would especially thrill…

The Senate’s choice: Integrity or servility » Boston Globe Some votes are easy to take but difficult to justify if an elected official cares about integrity, reputation, or legacy. Others are hard to cast but can be defended with integrity intact and head hel…

Bernie Sanders expands lead among NH women » Boston Herald If the New Hampshire Democratic POTUS primary were a sitcom, the name might be ‘Everybody Loves Bernie.’…

‘The evidence is pretty compelling,’ says US Rep. Richard Neal on impeachment; senior Democrat says voters will have final say » The Republican As House Democrats continued Thursday making their case in the impeachment trial of Republican President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal acknowledged that it will be voters who render the final v…

Business

Beyond restaurants: Jon Cronin scores victories at City Hall, State House in new ventures » Boston Globe Cronin Group built its reputation around a restaurant empire, and then residential development in South Boston. But Jon Cronin’s eponymous Boston company just scored a pair of victories that have li…

Chiofaro says his $1B tower is a resiliency catalyst. Critics call it a missed opportunity. » Boston Business Journal Don Chiofaro’s pitch to put a skyscraper at the site of the Boston Harbor Garage has long been among the more controversial proposals in the city, and it didn't take long after Chiofaro filed plans …

Animal rights groups to protest petting zoo at DCU » Worcester Telegram The owner of a traveling zoo headed here, whose elephant died during the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield last fall, defended his record amid growing scrutiny from animal rights groups.…

Beyond restaurants: Jon Cronin scores victories at City Hall, State House in new ventures » Boston Globe Cronin Group built its reputation around a restaurant empire, and then residential development in South Boston. But Jon Cronin’s eponymous Boston company just scored a pair of victories that have li…

Cannabis

Licensing burdens undermine vision of diverse industry, entrepreneurs tell cannabis panel » Boston Globe Massachusetts leaders said they wanted locals, minorities, and small businesses in the legal marijuana industry — but more than a year after cannabis stores started opening, frustrations at an overw…

Marijuana entrepreneurs decry slow approval process: 'We are not just numbers' » Boston Business Journal At a hearing on Thursday, small cannabis businesses said they're running out of money as they go through what they describe as an onerous state process, rife with delays.…

Priority-status pot entrepreneurs feeling frustrated » Commonwealth Magazine Vent about municipalities, licensing process, lack of money…

Lawmakers advance bill regulating host community agreements for marijuana firms » Boston Business Journal Massachusetts lawmakers on Friday advanced a bill that would put stricter requirements on so-called host community agreements — the contracts between marijuana businesses and municipalities that hav…

Education

UPDATED: Framingham assistant superintendent of schools arrested in Hudson » The Metro West Daily News Inna Kantor London, who oversees human resources for the school district, was arrested after an altercation with police that involved an autistic boy at the Walmart store in Hudson.…

Report Urges State To Take More Holistic View Of School Performance » WBUR A new report is urging the state to broaden how it evaluates school performance. As it currently stands, state officials examine factors that are mostly academic and include a combination of things li…

Pioneer School Committee votes to recommend state close Warwick Community School » The Recorder After nearly a year of back and forth discussion around the fate of Warwick Community School, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee voted Thursday to recommend the state commiss…

As expected, new ed funding helps Gateway Cities » Commonwealth Magazine MASSACHUSETTS’S POOREST CITIES will receive the most new money under the first year of implementation of a new education funding formula, but even wealthy communities will see their funding increase…

Environment

Senate climate bills would push state to adopt carbon pricing » Boston Globe Massachusetts officials would be required to pursue new taxes, fees, or other options to help drive down carbon emissions from cars and homes within 10 years, under sweeping legislation state Senate l…

EDITORIAL: Positive steps toward net-zero emissions » Newburyport News You’ll be hearing a lot in the coming months and years about the state’s goals toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.…

North Attleboro gets $81,000 'brownfield' grant » The Sun Chronicle The state awarded an $81,000 grant to the town Thursday to do an environmental evaluation of the former Webster Mill on Broadway Street.…

Mass. Senate introduces climate change bills calling for net-neutral emissions by 2050 with 5-year targets » The Republican The Massachusetts Senate unveiled a three-bill package that sets a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 100 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, instead of the state’s current target of cutting emission…

Senate President Karen Spilka: 'We Don't Have The Luxury Of Waiting' To Take Action On Climate Change » WGBH Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka speaks to WGBH Radio's Joe Mathieu about climate, transportation and housing on Jan. 23, 2020.…

Senate to vote on sweeping climate change bill » Commonwealth Magazine ‘The planet’s survival is at stake,’ says Spilka…

Mass. Allocates The Last Of Natural Resource Damages Funds For Housatonic River » New England Public Radio Massachusetts has allocated the last of a pot of money designated to compensate for the damage to the environment caused by General Electric's Pittsfield plant.…

Jack Clarke: The rising price of carbon pollution » Berkshire Eagle On Gov. Charlie Baker's desk are three options for reducing emissions from cars and trucks, the largest source of heat-trapping carbon pollution in America.…

Federal

Group presses for investigation of Trahan's funds » The Eagle Tribune A watchdog group says U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan "knowingly and willfully violated federal law" by loaning money to her campaign ahead of the 2018 election.…

Gaming

Tribe makes its casino case in appeals court » Martha's Vineyard Times The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is asking an appeals court judge to overturn a lower court ruling that is standing in the way of its Island gambling facility.…

Hearing on Great Barrington home-rule petition on horseracing set for Jan. 27 in Boston » the Berkshire edge Great Barrington — A hearing has been scheduled in Boston on the so-called home-rule petition on horseracing passed by Great Barrington residents at a special town meeting last month.…

Health Care

Children’s Hospital ethicist questioned handling of Justina Pelletier’s case, documents show » Boston Globe Globe Local Newton SPORTS Red Sox Patriots Celtics Bruins High Schools TV & Radio BUSINESS Technology OPINION Editorials Letters Ideas POLITICS NATION WORLD LIFESTYLE Food & Dining Comics Crossword Tr…

Mass. Nurses Association: Dozens could lose jobs at Natick's Leonard Morse Hospital » The Metro West Daily News One day after MetroWest Medical Center announced plans to change services at Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is crying foul.…

Obamacare architect questions Mass. efforts to rein in health care costs » Boston Business Journal Despite Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and the state Senate’s proposals to bring down the price of health care, health care expert Jonathan Gruber says the Bay State will have a hard time containi…

Housing

Dedham Sees Largest Drop In Homeownership In All Of MetroWest » Brookline Patch Significantly less people own homes in Dedham compared to the start of the millenium. Dedham's homeownership numbers dropped from 80 percent in 2000 to 70 percent today, according to data released by …

Housing activists push for return of rent control » The Bay State Banner Nearly 26 years after a ballot initiative banned rent control statewide, voters may soon have a chance to reconsider.…

Human Services

Program opens cultural doors to low-income families » Gazette Net A new program in which more than 200,000 families can receive discounted or free admission to cultural attractions across Massachusetts launched Friday at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.…

Immigration

Criticism intensifies over detention, rejection of Iranian Northeastern student » Boston Globe As criticism intensified over the barring of an Iranian student bound for Northeastern University, an immigration official said the decision stemmed from concerns about the student’s anti-American i…

Lawmakers seek answers on deported Iranian student » Commonwealth Magazine SEVERAL MEMBERS of the Massachusetts congressional delegation wrote letters to federal immigration officials on Thursday seeking answers on why Iranian student Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi w…

Unaccompanied Minors Are Moving To Connecticut In Record Numbers » New England Public Radio For several long hours, Francisco, then 15, sat on the bank of the Rio Grande River in Mexico trying to work up the courage to cross it. On the other side of the river was the United States, and the p…

Labor

Massachusetts commits $469K to boost women, minority workforce through Tech Foundry in Springfield, Boston’s Hack.Diversity » The Republican The STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — workforce in Massachusetts is growing and highly paid. But it’s also 76% white. Only 26% of information technology jobs are held by women.…

Harvard professors offer sweeping plan to overhaul US labor laws » Boston Globe American workers have had the right to unionize since 1935, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in his first term as president and the Great Depression was ravaging the economy.…

Local Government

As City Hall aide awaits sentencing for bribery, city looks for reforms » Boston Globe As a former City Hall aide awaits sentencing in federal court Friday for taking a bribe from a developer, city officials said they expect to soon propose reforms to the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal t…

Walsh preps ZBA reform as Boston ex-zoning official to be sentenced for bribes » Boston Herald As a longtime Boston zoning official prepares to head into court for his Friday sentencing, Mayor Martin Walsh is readying Zoning Board of Appeal reforms aimed at restoring public trust in the ZBA fol…

Winthrop Officials Announce Beginning of Census Work » Winthrop Transcript Chief Terence M. Delehanty, Town Manager Austin Faison and Town Clerk Carla Vitale would like to announce that U.S. Census workers have started collecting data for the 2020 U.S. Census…

State grant means new sidewalks for Billerica » Lowell Sun Earlier this month the state awarded Billerica a $200,000 grant to design and construct new concrete sidewalks along Boston Road.…

Pittsfield Hazard Plan Gets Federal Approval » WAMC The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Pittsfield, Massachusetts’ Hazard Mitigation Plan.…

Former city official sentenced to 40 months in bribery case » Boston Business Journal A federal judge sentenced former city official John M. Lynch to 40 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to a bribery charge and a charge of filing a false tax return.…

Politics

Governor Baker Says His "Word Choice was Terrible" Regarding Rep. Pressley’s Comments on Race » WGBH Governor Charlie Baker sought on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio Thursday to clarify comments he made at Monday’s Martin Luther King breakfast that many construed as disrespectful to Rep. Ayanna Pressl…

Bill would let R.I. lawmakers hide behind tinted windows » Boston Globe Rhode Island doesn’t allow most motorists to have tinted car windows. But this week a state lawmaker proposed letting legislators get tinted windshields to shield them from unhappy residents.…

MacDonald Ends Bid for State Senate » Cape Cod Online Bourne Selectman Jared MacDonald has announced that he is pulling out of the race for the vacant Plymouth/Barnstable State Senate seat.…

Public Health

Baker: Risk level very low for mysterious, deadly coronavirus in Mass. » WHDH Gov. Charlie Baker is trying to calm fears and reassure the public as the deadly coronavirus forces China to lock down the large city of Wuhan where the virus began.…

Public Safety

Whistleblower Kempthorne counters DA Harrington's claim on records release » Berkshire Eagle When Jeanne Kempthorne released public documents about a politically fraught investigation, she said she acted in defiance of Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington, who initially had instructe…

State Finance

Gov. Baker offers a prudent, comprehensive spending plan » Lowell Sun With transportation and education deemed the top funding priorities on Beacon Hill, it’s no surprise that Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget devotes sizable sums to address those nee…

State Government

Our View: Scratching away at your money » The Eagle Tribune We are of two minds regarding the proposal by Gov. Charlie Baker to allow gamblers to pay for their lottery numbers and scratch tickets with debit cards.…

OCPF Director Search Panel Now Fully Stocked » State House News Service The dean of the Boston College Law School will join the commission that will choose the next Office of Campaign and Political Finance director after Gov. Charlie Baker filled a long-vacant position, c…

Transportation

Uber, Lyft Rip Baker Plan to Jack Up Fees » State House News Service Gov. Charlie Baker won praise from Democratic lawmakers for targeting ride-hailing companies as a source for new MBTA funding, but the idea riled the services themselves.…

Straus: House ready to move on $18 billion transportation bond » Wicked Local The House’s top Democrat on the Transportation Committee said Thursday he’s ready to move on Gov. Charlie Baker’s $18 billion borrowing bill to finance infrastructure improvements over the next …

Governor Charlie Baker to attend ribbon cutting at Springfield’s Union Station » News 22 WWLP.com Governor Charlie Baker will be in western Massachusetts to participate in a ribbon cutting for Platform C at Union Station in Springfield.…

MBTA adding more features to new Red, Orange Line trains » Boston Globe The agency now wants to upgrade the digital displays coming on the 404 new cars, increasing the size of the screens to 24 inches and doubling the number of displays in the cars. Each New Red Line car …

Pollack: Removing Orange Line cars from service 'was the responsible thing' » WCVB Gov. Charlie Baker this week laid out plans to fix and better fund the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, announcements that follow a frustrating year for riders of the MBTA's trains.…

Berkshire Lawmakers Want More Transportation Talk From Baker » WAMC Berkshire lawmakers are reacting to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday.…

Baker Holds Local Road Repair Program at $200 Mil » State House News Service The Baker administration is again proposing $200 million in annual local road repair funds, despite repeated calls from municipal officials for a larger allocation and a multi-year plan to help meet p…

T needs to move fast on electric buses » Commonwealth Magazine RESIDENTS OF THE BOSTON AREA feel the pain of transportation problems daily. Congestion is crippling the region and policy-makers are struggling to implement short-term solutions to improve public tra…

Utilities

Baker Budget Ups Fines for Gas Utility Violations » State House News Service The Baker administration is looking to sharply increase the fines it can assess on companies that do work on or near natural gas pipelines and to make utilities establish a timeline for replacing leak…

Social Media Spotlight

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB4237 - An Act establishing a sick leave bank for Shannon Ondras, an employee of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth

HB3676 - An Act authorizing the town of Burlington to grant additional alcoholic beverage licenses

SB143 - An Act authorizing the town of Webster to grant an additional license for the sale of all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises

HB3680 - An Act amending the charter of the town of Yarmouth

Most read bills of the week:

HB2 - An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2021

SB1925 - An Act to encourage the deployment of heat pumps

SB2477 - An Act setting next-generation climate policy

SB1923 - An Act to advance electric vehicle adoption

SB2476 - An Act to accelerate the transition of cars, trucks and buses to carbon-free power

SB2478 - An Act relative to Energy Savings Efficiency (Energy SAVE)

HB4134 - An Act to improve health care by investing in VALUE

SB1986 - An Act relative to energy savings efficiency (Energy SAVE)

HB4246 - An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2019 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects

HB2837 - An Act to increase recycling in the Commonwealth

House Actions This Week: 90

Senate Actions This Week: 26


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