Window Into The State House

‘Before the law hath sentenced him thereto …’
Amid all furor over detaining (or not detaining) criminal suspects and cons, Eli Sherman at Wicked Local takes a look at the history of the state’s bail system. It’s a good explainer piece that goes all the way back to 1641, when the oldest compilation of Massachusetts colonial law, The Body of Liberties, was first penned.
Something’s going on at Boston Public Library: Three put on leave, ongoing investigation, lot of no comments
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as the say. From the Herald’s Sean Philip Carter: “Three Boston Public Library facilities managers are on unpaid leave as BPL investigates their actions — but the library, only a few years removed from major controversy, is remaining a closed book on what happened.” The referenced major controversy had to do with the handling of the BPL’s special collections and artwork, including a 1504 engraving by Albrecht Durer and a 1634 Rembrandt etching that briefly disappeared.
Healey and Ocasio-Cortez ride to Pressley’s rescue
This is one of those endorsements that matter, pumping up staffers and perhaps influencing undecided voters in the waning weeks of a tightening race etc. From Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine: “Once thought of as kind of a long shot, Ayanna Pressley’s bid for long-term incumbent Michael Capuano’s seat in is looking pretty formidable right about now. Maura Healey, Massachusetts’ influential Attorney General, announced Monday morning that she is backing Pressley in the primary.”

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi says the endorsement is “another sign that the old-guard white male establishment that has controlled the Democratic power structure since forever is finally starting to crack.” The Herald’s Michael Graham agrees that the times are indeed a changin’ for Capuano.

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports that socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may soon be hitting the campaign trail for Pressley – and that may actually be good news for Capuano. He explains.


After lawmakers pass Airbnb bill, Baker mulls adding tax-exemption amendment
From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at WWLP: “Gov. Charlie Baker is considering returning the bill sent to him Monday by the Legislature taxing and regulating short-term housing rentals with an amendment to exempt from taxation owners that rent out their homes or apartments for less than two weeks a year, according sources familiar with ongoing talks.”

Meanwhile, Airbnb is not happy at all with a provision in the bill that calls for establishment of new host registries that the firm says raises serious privacy concerns, Kelly O’Brien reports at the BBJ. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more on yesterday’s legislative vote and the bill in general.



Compromise reached on clean-energy bill

From Matt Stout and Jon Chesto at the Globe: “Electricity suppliers would be required to accelerate how much renewable energy they buy over a decadelong period under a compromise bill unveiled by Massachusetts lawmakers Monday, one of several measures that could reach Governor Charlie Baker’s desk before the formal legislative session wraps up on Beacon Hill. … But (the compromise) also doesn’t include some closely watched provisions backed by environmentalists and approved by the Senate, most notably a measure that would eliminate state-imposed caps on net metering credits, which was stripped from the final version.”

SHNS’s Colin Young at CommonWealth magazine reports that the Sierra Club is unhappy with the bill’s “baby steps” on renewables.

Blandford’s four-member police force to town: Take these jobs and shove it
Citing cruisers that barely run, radios that don’t work and other safety concerns, the entire four-member police force in Blandford, population 1,200 in western Massachusetts, has resigned, leaving only a Facebook post on what residents can do in future emergencies. Ryan Trowbridge at Western Mass News and Jeanette DeForge at MassLive and Aimee Ortiz at the Globe have the details on the rather dramatic and drastic action. State Police are stepping in to provide coverage, the town says.
Is there a secret non-compete deal in the works?
SHNS’s Michael Norton reports on the somewhat cryptic remarks last week by Judiciary Committee Chairman Will Brownsberger that suggest a “fundamental agreement” may be in place for a compromise on non-compete employee agreements in MassachusettsWith only about 15 hours left in the session, we’ll soon see if it’s true. Stay tuned.
Lawmakers override Baker’s budget vetoes, taking special care on one line item in particular
Gov. Charlie Baker’s $50 million in budget vetoes are getting the late-session override treatment from lawmakers – and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl is intrigued by one line item in particular, for the Department of Fire Services, that’s stuffed with all sorts of home-district goodies worth millions of dollars.


With a GOP primary coming up, Baker is busy wooing voters in … Democratic Lawrence?
Maybe his campaign’s internal polling is showing he’s indeed trouncing conservative rival Scott Lively in the GOP primary. It better be accurate. Because the Eagle-Tribune’s Keith Eddings reports that Gov. Charlie Baker is spending a lot of time wooing Democratic voters in Lawrence, filming campaign commercials in the city and visiting there quite often since 2014.
Rep. DuBois borrows a tactic from Trump, accuses Enterprise of ‘FAKE news’ that turns out to be true
State Rep. Michelle DuBois, a Brockton Democrat, took to the Enterprise’s Facebook page to accuse the paper of running “fake news” for referring to a city employee, who’s involved in a hot-button racial controversy, as a “parking control officer.” The paper double checked and found that, yes, the employee really is a “parking control officer.” Not surprisingly, DuBois’s post has since disappeared from the site. Joe Pelletier at the Enterprise has the details.
Ah, the life of a Facebook community host – deleting vulgar posts, kicking out obnoxious members
Speaking of Facebook, Brian Lee at the Telegram takes a look at two community Facebook hosts (i.e. editors) who spend an awful lot of time dealing with angry and unruly members – and that’s with political discussions already banned on their sites.
Defying council, Greenfield mayor says he’s staying – and that’s that
Greenfield Mayor William Martin says he’s not going to resign in the wake of a city council vote of no confidence in his leadership, Dan Desrochers reports in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The council last week voted to ask for Martin’s resignation, saying he has engaged in bullying and intimidation and criticizing his decision to abruptly terminate the contract of the city’s finance director.