It’s marijuana time
The suddenly chummy House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg issued a one paragraph joint statement on Monday saying they weren’t going to delay the effective date of the voter-approved law legalizing recreational marijuana.
“The voters spoke in favor of legalized recreational marijuana on Nov. 8 and we fully intend to respect the will of the voters,” the two legislative leaders said in their statement. “While we analyze the provisions of the new law and its implementation we will not be passing legislation that changes the Dec. 15 effective date for possession, use, and home growing.”
There have been a lot of trial balloons in the press about delaying the law’s effective date. First came Secretary of State William Galvin, who said the results of the referendum question might not be certified by Thursday. Then there were stories about legislative leaders laying plans to delay some aspects of the law, particularly the growing provision. Rosenberg subsequently confirmed talks had been taking place about delaying some aspects of the law.
But ultimately DeLeo, an opponent of legalization, and Rosenberg, a supporter, decided against tinkering with the Thursday kickoff date. Doing so when the Legislature is in informal session is tricky, since the opposition of just one lawmaker can scuttle any proposal. But their respect for voters only goes so far; the lawmakers early next year are likely to change other aspects of the law, such as the start date for retail sales and the tax rate on pot.
A group of pastors dropped their federal suit against the state over the new transgender public accommodations law after officials made a change in the guidance over the law that more clearly exempts religious organizations in most instances. (State House News)
Gov. Charlie Baker wins support from North Shore newspapers for his budget cuts. An editorial in the Gloucester Times and its sister publication the Salem News calls the cuts painful but necessary. A Berkshire Eagle editorial takes the opposite position.
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera fires a “crazed rogue” police officer who criticized the department in the wake of gruesome decapitation. (Eagle-Tribune)
A jury in Barnstable Superior Court ordered the town of Falmouth to pay nearly $1 million to a homeowner whose oceanfront property lost more than 90 percent of its value because of strict regulations enacted by the Conservation Commission. (Cape Cod Times)
The state’s Supervisor of Public Records questioned Brockton officials’ cost estimate of more than $1,700 to provide Mayor Bill Carpenter’s official correspondence from his private Gmail account, saying the city cannot charge to segregate the emails because by law they are supposed to maintain public records in an accessible form. (The Enterprise)
The Globe profiles Joyce Linehan, policy adviser and confidante to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Boston’s licensing board says it plans to crack down on overcrowding and other violations at establishments with liquor licenses. (Boston Herald)
President-elect Donald Trump says he will nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, bypassing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and several others he had considered for the post. (New York Times) A Herald editorial says Tillerson would be a bad pick.
Charlie Pierce offers a dire portrait of the state of the republic in the wake of Trump’s election and revelations about Russian efforts to tip the results, calling it “the most stark challenge to a free people that has arisen in my lifetime.” (Esquire)
Trump and Jeff Sessions, his pick for attorney general, have developed a close, if incongruous, relationship over the years. (Boston Globe)
GOP leaders in the House and Senate said they support an inquiry into Russian meddling in the election even though Trump opposes such a probe. (New York Times)
Early voting proved to be popular statewide with 22 percent of votes cast prior to Election Day, led by the Metrowest region which had a number of towns approaching 40 percent. (MetroWest Daily News)
Babson College relied on a lot of hearsay evidence in quickly suspending two students in connection with their Trump celebration drive through the Wellesley College campus. (Boston Herald) “It looks like Babson jumped the gun,” writes Joan Vennochi. (Boston Globe)
The nomadic New Heights Charter School has finally settled into its permanent home in Brockton after opening its doors in Norwood, more than 20 miles away from the homes of most of its students. (The Enterprise)
Richard Stutman, the longtime president of the Boston Teachers Union, will retire in June. (Boston Globe)
Communities in the Berkshires are exploring needle exchanges and other measures to address the high incidence of hepatitis C. The rate in the Berkshires is twice the national average. (Berkshire Eagle)
About one in four people have pre-existing medical conditions that would have precluded them from getting health insurance coverage prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (U.S. News & World Report)
The MBTA plans to replace all of its Red Line cars. The numbers suggest the deal is a no-brainer, but Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack says the decision is a signal that a new T is pulling into the station. (CommonWealth)
In a Q&A, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone explains why the city is putting up $50 million to help fulfill a transportation commitment of the state. (CommonWealth)
Worcester is planning to spend $300,000 to buy 100 acres of land to protect city reservoirs in Holden and Princeton. (Telegram & Gazette)
Emissions of methane gas are on the rise across the globe and at levels not seen in more than 20 years. (Time)
Members of the state’s congressional delegation have requested a meeting with the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency after reports surfaced that the agency will change how it plans to revise the federal flood zone maps for the South Shore. (Patriot Ledger)
A federal judge in Texas cancelled Attorney General Maura Healey’s scheduled deposition there today in connection with her legal showdown with ExxonMobil and gave both sides until January 4 to submit briefs arguing why she should or should not be forced to appear there. (Boston Herald)
The Legislature should move to eliminate monthly fees charged to those on probation, says a Globe editorial. It comes in the wake of a report by a Easthampton policy and advocacy organization showing that the monthly charges are borne disproportionately by those in lower-income communities. (CommonWealth)
A federal judge granted a defense motion to separate the trials of a New Bedford seafood king known as The Codfather and a Bristol County deputy sheriff, both facing charges of smuggling cash out of the country to the Azores to avoid taxes. (Standard-Times)
Boston recorded its 42nd homicide of 2016 yesterday, a big jump from 2015 when there were 34 killings at the same point in the year. (Boston Herald)
MEDIAA New Jersey judge orders the Trentonian to stop publishing articles about a child abuse case. (NorthJersey.com)
A conservative think tank in Kansas is launching its own news service. (Lawrence Journal-World)