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Mass appeal | ‘Who's your daddy?’ | All-male team

Carmen's Union
Happening Today
SJC hearings, cabinet meeting, new bus service

-- The Supreme Judicial Court will hear three first-degree murder appeals today, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

-- Attorney General Maura Healey makes an appearance on Boston Herald Radio's ‘Morning Meeting’ show, 70 Fargo St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

-- Gov. Charlie Baker holds a cabinet meeting, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attending, 10 a.m.

-- State marijuana regulators from the Cannabis Control Commission hold a public hearing on proposed draft regulations, West Tisbury Public Library, 1042 State Road, West Tisbury, 10:30 a.m.

-- Massachusetts Association for Community Action holds a briefing on its legislative and budget priorities, including fuel assistance, earl education and care, housing and homelessness and expansion of the earned income tax credit, Nurses Hall, 10:30 a.m.

-- Department of Developmental Services swears in commissioner Jane Ryder, who was promoted to the permanent commissioner job last month, with Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders attending, Room 360, 2 p.m.

-- Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Sen. Karen Spilka, Reps. Chris Walsh and Carmine Gentile and others to announce new Greyhound bus service at Framingham Intermodal Center Station, 417 Waverly St, Framingham, 3:15 a.m.

Today's Stories
Breaking news: U.S. Senate and House pass budget bill to re-open federal government

An early-morning breaking story from the NYT: “The House gave final approval early Friday to a far-reaching budget deal that will reopen the federal government and boost spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, hours after a one-man blockade by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky delayed the votes and forced the government to close. House Democrats, after threatening to bring the bill down because it did nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants, gave Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin the votes he did not have in his own party and ensured passage.”

Pot activists push back against Baker’s ‘Who's your daddy?’ objections

Gov. Charlie Baker, joined by Mayor Marty Walsh, continued to express concerns yesterday about the pace and scope of proposed pot regulations that would allow a greater variety of businesses to participate in the state’s budding marijuana industry, and the duo are urging a delay in the debut of certain recreational pot firms, reports the Globe’s Dan Adams, the Herald’s Dan Atkinson and SHNS’s Andy Metzger and Colin Young at the Salem News.

But pot activists and the Cannabis Control Commission’s chairman were pushing back against the political pressure, which started earlier this week with a letter from the Baker administration to the commission outlining its concerns. Defenders of the proposed rules say a wider variety of pot businesses, such as marijuana cafes and home-delivery firms, are needed to ensure that people of color and other communities participate in the pot industry. “That letter (from the Baker administration) was a reminder of who's your daddy, OK? 'We are your daddy, we control your money...' that's what that letter was about," said Horace Small, executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods and a member of the state Cannabis Advisory Board, reports SHNS. "Sometimes adolescents have to talk back to their parents and I think this is what we're trying to do today." 

Fyi: In an editorial, the Herald is backing the governor and mayor, saying “simpler is better” when it comes to the regulations.

Salem and Worcester are getting into swing of pot things

Here are some communities that are welcoming (sort of) new pot establishments. First, after a marathon and contentious debate, the Salem City Council voted yesterday to allow recreational marijuana shops to locate both in the city’s downtown and highway business districts, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. Meanwhile, for those who just can’t wait until July when recreational pot shops are slated to open, Bill Shaner of Worcester Magazine reports that the city’s bar-friendly Canal District will become home to a members-only social club specifically set up to allow indoor pot smoking. Members will pay a $50 monthly fee at the club, which plans to open its doors this weekend.

Female business leaders express ‘deep concern’ over Baker’s all-male education team

The outcry over the latest appointment of another male to a top education post isn’t dying down. From Max Stendahl at the BBJ: “More than 100 female leaders in the state, including university administrators and senior employees at private companies such as Dell/EMC, have signed a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker expressing ‘deep concern’ over a lack of gender and racial diversity among the state’s top education officials. The letter was addressed to Baker on Monday, one week after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to recommend Jeff Riley as its next commissioner. Riley, who has led a turnaround of Lawrence’s troubled public school system in recent years, was selected over two women of color.”

Says Eos Foundation founder Andrea Silbert of Baker: “He’s in an echo chamber. … If he has a meeting with his education cabinet, there’s not a woman in the room.”

Mass appeal: MassMutual plans $300M expansion in Boston and Springfield

Enticed by $46 million in tax credits and a strong state economy, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., the state’s largest private company by revenue, announced yesterday it will invest up to $300 million in the state with an expansion to Boston’s Seaport District and major upgrades to its Springfield headquarters, adding more than 2,000 jobs in the process, according to reports by the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock, the Globe’s Tim Logan and MassLive’s Jim Kinney.

Considering that MassMutual chief executive Roger Crandall was only a few years ago bemoaning how difficult it was to do business in Massachusetts, MassMutual’s move was a surprise to some observers, but Crandall obviously had a change of mind, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. That change of mind was partly the result of lucrative tax breaks dangled before his company, as the Globe’s Jon Chesto explains.

Baker: A separate ‘Amazon bill’ might be needed to lure the tech giant to Boston

Speaking of keeping and/or attracting major corporations to Massachusetts: After MassMutual’s major expansion announcement yesterday, Gov. Charlie Baker was talking about yet another business opportunity for the state, saying it may take a separate piece of legislation to lure Amazon to Boston, separate from a planned economic-development package for the rest of the state, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. “They’re really completely different animals,” Baker said of possible Amazon incentives and general economic development.

Drug kingpin among those busted in major fentanyl crackdown

From Antonio Planas at the Herald: “Federal agents and Boston police have seized more than 33 pounds of fentanyl — enough of the deadly synthetic opioid to theoretically kill every man, woman and child in Massachusetts — funneled in by Mexico’s vicious Sinaloa cartel. A lengthy wiretap operation by a joint task force including Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Boston police resulted in an early-morning sweep of the drugs and 37 suspects, including alleged kingpin Robert Contreras, 42, of Roxbury.”

Boston Herald
Dream on: New transportation task force will look at everything – except how to pay for it

After all, it is an election year. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Gov. Charlie Baker’s new commission on the future of transportation will try to envision how people will be moving around the region 10 to 20 years from now, but it won’t be looking at how to pay for the infrastructure needed to accomplish that. Steven Kadish, the chairman of the commission, said the group will not look at specific transportation projects and it will not look at revenues.” He said the debate over revenues will be put off until long after the November election.

JetBlue contract workers call off strike

This is somewhat of a surprise. From Katie Johnston and Margeaux Sippell at the Globe: “Contract workers at Logan Airport abruptly called off their strike Thursday after two days, but picked up support from local officials who vowed to assist their efforts to unionize. The workers, who provide services for JetBlue Airways and other carriers, met with state legislators, Boston city councilors, and Governor Charlie Baker’s staff on Thursday, the union said, and the officials pledged to put pressure on the two companies that employ them, ReadyJet and Flight Services & Systems, as well as JetBlue and the Massachusetts Port Authority, to allow the workers to organize a union.”

Boston Globe
‘Longfellow Bridge: WTF?’

It’s no longer ‘WTF?’ for Gov. Charlie Baker, who announced yesterday that the long-awaited reopening of the Longfellow Bridge, after undergoing extensive repairs since 2013, will occur in May, reports Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine. At a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event yesterday, Baker recounted that he once asked of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, "Longfellow Bridge: WTF?" The governor said she told him the historic bridge needed to be rebuilt using historic methods, as SHNS’s Andy Metzger reports (pay wall).

Report: Boston no longer has the worst income inequality in the nation

Well, at least this is progress: The Brookings Institute reports that Boston’s highest income households made 15 times more money than the lowest income households in 2016, down from 18 times more money in 2014, thus dropping Boston from having the worst income inequality in the U.S. to the seventh worst. WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey has the details.

Health Connector sees insurance enrollment increase

This is definitely progress. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Despite higher prices, more people enrolled in Massachusetts Health Connector insurance plans this year than last year. According to Health Connector officials, 252,700 people purchased coverage, compared with 246,800 last year. Open enrollment ended Jan. 23.”

Mass For Energy
Republican Rep. Orrall eyes run for state treasurer

From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at South Coast Today: “State Rep. Keiko Orrall, a Lakeville Republican and one of two Massachusetts members of the Republican National Committee, has been seriously exploring a statewide campaign for treasurer, according to two House Republicans. … ‘She told me she’s considering it, but nothing final,’ Assistant Minority Leader Brad Hill told the News Service.”

As Murphy notes, Republicans have yet to roll out formal candidates for treasurer, auditor and secretary of state, though two GOP candidates are vying to run against Attorney General Maura Healey and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, obviously, are also running.

South Coast Today
Arlington mom to take on Rep. Garballey

Another contested election in the nornalmly contested-challenged Massachusetts. From Wicked Local: “Arlington resident Lori Lennon has announced her candidacy for State Representative for the 23rd Middlesex District, representing parts of Arlington and Medford. The seat is currently held by Rep. Sean Garballey, who has held the seat for almost 10 years. Lennon, mom to an 8-year-old daughter and the Director of Communications for the College of Science at Northeastern University, said in a press release she is ready to lead the district with a new voice and fresh perspective.”

Wicked Local
Timing of primary, early voting has local clerks worried about costs

The state primary may be eight months away, but city and town clerks are already fretting about the costs associated with the election and plans to again allow early voting as many as five days beforehand, Christian Wade reports in the Gloucester Times.  Local clerks say they’ll take a double hit because of the timing of the primary on the day after Labor Day weekend. 

Gloucester Times
Rosenberg shows no signs of leaving: ‘I love being here’

As state senators yesterday unanimously voted to remove the word ‘acting’ from Senate President Harriette L. Chandler’s title, former state Senate President Stan Rosenberg signaled he’ll be content, for now, being just another rank-and-file legislator, the Herald’s Chris Cassidy and Matt Stout report. “I love being here,” Rosenberg told the Herald. Fyi: He also spent much of his day dodging questions about whether he might run for the Senate presidency next year, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

Boston Herald
Baker releases $160M supplemental budget

From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Governor Charlie Baker released a $160 million supplemental state budget Thursday to fund services ranging from shelter beds for homeless families to prisons to reimbursing cities and towns for the costs of early voting.” Miller has plenty more on what the legislation would fund.

Boston Globe
Herald gets a third bidder ahead of next week’s bankruptcy auction

It’s official: Digital First Media, the hedge fund-backed owner of the Lowell Sun and Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, has put in a bid for the bankrupt Boston Herald, less than a week before next Tuesday’s planned auction of the newspaper, reports the Herald’s Brian Dowling, who, in a separate story, also reports that Herald reporters are being barred from auction proceedings.

‘Long Road to Justice’

The Herald’s Bob McGovern takes a looks at a new exhibit, ‘Long Road to Justice,’ now on display at the Edward William Brooke courthouse and why it’s important for everyone to understand the state legal system’s “long, complicated past with race and equality.”

Boston Herald
Supervisor of Records orders release of diversity data on state employees

The state’s Supervisor of Records yesterday ruled that the public has a right to know the racial and ethnic demographics of all of those working in state government, but Governor Charlie Baker’s administration and Comptroller Thomas Stack remained hesitant to comply with the decision due to privacy and security concerns, reports Andrew Ryan at the Globe, which has been battling state officials to release the data.

Boston Globe
Warren, Markey and Neal: EPA needs to insist on GE’s final clean-up of Housatonic

In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal are pushing hard for General Electric to finish cleaning up the polluted parts of the Housatonic River and cart the toxic waste out of the state, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. 

Lowell treatment center closing doors for good

The Lowell Treatment Center, which had been under fire from both state and federal regulators, plans to close its doors for good on Friday, eliminating 41 treatment beds at a time when they are already in short supply in the area, Rick Sobey reports in the Lowell Sun. 

Lowell Sun
Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Marisa DeFranco, an immigration lawyer who discusses the immigration debate now raging in Washington.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal talk about the future of the Wynn casino in Everett, the volatile week on Wall Street, Jeff Immelt’s new job and Dunkin’s new cups.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Will Aubuchon talks about what he’s doing to upgrade and modernize his family’s 110 year old hardware store chain and how Aubuchon Hardware competes with the big-box rivals.  

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Yvonne Spicer, the newly elected mayor of Framingham, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

This is New England, NBC 10 Boston, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this weeks’ main topic: The 2018 Winter Olympics and local athletes participating in the games.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. This week’s topic: Date Night Ideas, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and why Marvel’s Black Panther is a date-night movie.

SHNF Save the Date
Today's Headlines

Gov. Baker says Longfellow bridge to fully reopen in May - WBUR

Third bid’s in for Herald - Boston Herald


Number of signups on state Health Connector holds steady - Boston Globe

Can the MetroWest miracle sustain itself? - WGBH

Pittsfield school committee renames Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day - Berkshire Eagle

Taunton awarded $2 million in lawsuit against former insurance agent - Taunton Gazette


Kelly knew before abuse reports that Porter would be denied security clearance - Politico

House passes budget deal; shutdown ends - New York Times

MASSPA Free Trial Month
Beacon Hill Town Square

To view more events or post an event listing on Beacon Hill Town Square, please visit

Feb 12, 6:30 p.m.
Rally - Run by Concerned Citizens for Newton
Hosted by: Christians and Jews United for Israel
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Feb. 15, 9 a.m.
Harvard National Model United Nations Conference in Boston
Hosted by: Harvard University
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Mar. 2, 7:30 a.m.
Mass. Marijuana Summit II: New regs, federal threat, financial hurdles
Hosted by: State House News Forum
A dynamic and controversial industry is only months from launching in Massachusetts. The regulations are complex and the barriers to entry formidable. How can we make sense of the arrival of recreational marijuana, an industry that may soon exceed $1 billion annually? More Information
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Press Secretary - new!, Conservation Law Foundation

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Marketing and Community Affairs Manager, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

District Aide & Veterans Liaison, Congressman Seth Moulton

Finance Director, Democrats for Education Reform - Massachusetts Independent Expenditure PAC

Public Policy Analyst, Harvard University

Legislative Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts

Communications Strategist, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Director of Membership and Development, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

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  • Wide ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government
  • Rich array of sources, both conventional and niche
  • Beacon Hill's most comprehensive Calendar of upcoming political, policy and advocacy events
  • Check our Job Board identifying Beacon Hill's best new positions available in government, politics and public policy