Baker’s people help fill out GOP slate; Galvin keeps Chandler Jones video private; City Sports brand revival

 

Today: Rethinking the medicine cabinet

 

Gov. Baker plans to help launch the MyOldMeds Massachusetts campaign, which will highlight state resources for returning unused medications and provide substance abuse treatment options. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President and CEO Steve Ubl and Massachusetts Police Chief Association President William Brooks plan to attend. At the Grand Staircase, 11:30 am.

 

Gov. Baker also is scheduled to be in studio on “NightSide with Dan Rea,” WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 pm.

 

Electrical workers plan to protest National Grid’s “continued push to outsource key work to contractors that could negatively impact public safety” with a standout at the State House. Boston Gas Local 12003 USW authorized leadership to call a strike against National Grid and its contract expires Feb. 28. Massachusetts Jobs with Justice will join the group. It will be held outside the State House, 12 pm.

 

State employees fill out GOP slate

As Gov. Baker pushes his slate of moderates for GOP state committee seats, about 20 of them are state employees, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. “The state employees running for Republican State Committee include some well-known members of Baker’s administration: Dominick Ianno, chief of staff for the Office of Administration and Finance; David D’Arcangelo, director of the Office on Disability; Ryan Chamberland, director of Baker’s Western Massachusetts office; Laura Rigas, communications director for the Office of Education; and Peter Lorenz, communications director for the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs,” reports Schoenberg. Under state law, state employees are not allowed to raise money for political causes, which some say should be one of the primarily roles of state committee members. http://bit.ly/1QxE5H7

 

Baker on ‘secret’ donations

“We follow all the rules, Frank, and as you know we follow all the rules.”

—Gov. Baker, in response to a question by Globe reporter Frank Phillips on disclosing the source of donations Baker has solicited for GOP state committee races. More here via the State House News Service: http://bit.ly/1Qx5glE

 

 

Baker promises MBTA OT crackdown

Gov. Baker reacted to revelations of loose overtime practices at the MBTA, saying, “I do think a lot of it has to do with how things were done. And things aren’t going to be done like that going forward,” Baker said, according to Matt Stout’s story in the Boston Herald. The highest earner on the T payroll was signing off on his own overtime on the way to making $327,000 last year. Overtime this year is has been reduced, Stout reports. http://bit.ly/1PZdgyo

 

Joyce won’t seek reelection

Sen. Brian Joyce said yesterday he would not seek reelection on the same day that a state representative in his district announced his intentions to run for the seat. “I have worked hard for Milton and achieved results, while always trying to abide by the rules. I will continue to work hard for Milton and all of the district but will not seek re-election,” Joyce said in a statement. Joyce was the subject of a Boston Globe report in January that explored a controversial, 10-year arrangement he engaged in for dry cleaning. Last week Joyce’s law offices were raided by the FBI and IRS. More from Matt Murphy of the State House News Service. http://bit.ly/1R0SM6j

 

Bill would expand death benefit for state workers

Lawmakers are considering a bill to expand benefits for state and local government workers killed in the line of duty, reports Christian Wade, State House reporter for several North Shore dailies, including the Salem News. “Legislation filed by Rep. Jay Livingstone, D-Boston — and backed by lawmakers including Reps. Frank Moran and Marcos Devers, both Lawrence Democrats — offer the one-time $150,000 payment as a death benefit to the families of any state or local government worker,” Wade reports. Current law awards payment to police, firefighters and paramedics killed in the line of duty. http://bit.ly/1TFlcbX

 

City Sports brand revival

Two New Jersey brothers who run a soccer retail company have bought the City Sports brand and plan to start operating an e-commerce site within weeks and open a brick-and-mortar store by the end of the year, the Globe’s Jon Chesto reports. http://bit.ly/1QxB5KY

 

Baker still undecided 

Less than a week before the March 1 state primary, Gov. Charlie Baker says he still hasn’t decided who will get his vote for the GOP Presidential nomination, Gintautas Dumcius of MassLive reports. Baker did say it’s “unlikely” he’ll vote for frontrunner Donald Trump.  http://bit.ly/1S0KAI2

Diehl backs Trump 

Trump did get his first endorsement from an elected Republican in the Bay State on Tuesday, with State Rep. Geoff Diehl of Whitman— a lead crusader in the effort to repeal automatic increases in the state’s gas tax—saying he’d back the real estate mogul, Garrett Quinn of Boston Magazine reports.http://bit.ly/1p2lGwn

‘Rattlesnake Island’ gets a hearing 

State wildlife officials laid out the rationale behind their plan to create a colony of timber rattlesnakes on the largest island in the Quabbin Reservoir to a crowd of about 200 Tuesday, assuring residents there will be no danger to the public, Bob McGovern of the Herald reports. Officials said the snakes will have monitoring devices implanted and that the first snakes would be located to the island early in 2017. http://bit.ly/1mXbOCq

Galvin upholds decision to keep Jones video from public 

Secretary of State William Galvin says Foxboro police acted property when they withheld surveillance video that showed Patriots player Chandler Jones as he arrived at the town’s public safety complex to seek medical attention after apparently ingesting synthetic marijuana, Colman Herman of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Galvin cited the privacy exemptions in the state’s public records law as a valid reason to withhold the video, which both the Herald and New England Cable News had sought.  http://bit.ly/1TyEsXs

BPD keeps cellphone tracker use in the dark 

The Boston Police Department is refusing to shed light on its use of secret cellphone trackers and is adhering to a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI that shields the information even from judges who are being asked to grant search warrants, according to a piece by Shawn Musgrave of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting published by the Globe and other outlets. The practice that has drawn the ire of privacy advocates and civil liberties groups has forced other jurisdictions to reveal how they use the tools. http://bit.ly/1mXa9ws

Worcester may tie tax breaks to ‘living wage’

The Worcester City Council is considering amending its policy toward granting tax increment financing agreements to require that workers who receive jobs created on projects that receive the property tax breaks be paid at least $15 an hour, Steven H. Foskett Jr. of the Telegram reports. http://bit.ly/1PZlWVF

How ‘Spotlight’ changed the legislative process 

Rep. Antonio Cabral recalls in a CommonWealth Magazine piece how the reporting of the Boston Globe’s investigative team, highlighted in the Academy Award-nominated ‘Spotlight’ movie helped a bill adding priests and other clergy to the ranks of mandated reporters of child abuse—one that had languished in the past—move quickly through the legislature.  “[T]he Globe stories changed everything,” the New Bedford Democrat writes. http://bit.ly/1La7sTU

 

Tall order at the White House

It’s no question that many people when they meet Gov. Charlie Baker are often forced to look up – and that includes President Barack Obama. At a Tuesday event celebrating the passage of Race Amity Day, Baker, who’s back from his whirlwind trip to D.C. where he attended meetings with his fellow state executives and dined with the Obamas, shared this comical exchange he and First Lady Lauren Baker had while at the White House:

 

“We got upstairs and did the photo line and got our picture taken with the President and the First Lady and my wife was complaining as we line up for the picture about being so short relative to the President and First Lady and me. The president looked at her and said ‘you’re not short he’s just crazy tall,’ ” Baker said.

 

Baker stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, according to a Boston Globe item printed during the 2014 campaign, which is a full five inches above the Commander in Chief. —Antonio Caban, State House News Service