The Codcast: Goldberg wants to keep her sight on pot
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg says when she talks to counterparts around the country, there is one aspect of her job that stops them in their tracks: Her office’s regulation of the state’s liquor industry.
Goldberg now has another mood-altering substance to oversee with the passage of the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Under the wording of the ballot question, the treasurer’s office will appoint a three-member Cannabis Control Commission that will form rules and regulations and report to the treasurer.Goldberg joined The Codcast to talk about her thoughts on ramping up oversight, which she said she’s been planning for since learning about the ballot question 15 months ago.
Some on Beacon Hill want to rewrite the retail marijuana law, including either limiting or eliminating the treasurer’s role in starting up and regulating the emerging industry. She testified before the Legislature’s new Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy on Monday to urge them to maintain her office as the point-agency on implementing the new law.
The office will be responsible for issuing licenses and collecting taxes, which Goldberg said are currently set too low at 3.75 percent above the state sales tax, pointing to Washington state’s tax of 37.5 percent on all marijuana products.
In The Codcast, she also talked about other responsibilities of her office. As treasurer, she regulates alcohol, marijuana, and the Lottery. But she doesn’t drink, smoke, or gamble. She does admit to one bad habit, however. We won’t spoil it for you.
Gov. Charlie Baker overrules his aides and takes ending weekend commuter rail service off the list of options for balancing the budget in the coming fiscal year. (State House News) The savings numbers on halting weekend commuter rail service never really added up. (CommonWealth) On proposed paratransit cutbacks, the T is pushing a number of alternatives to its original cost-cutting proposal. (State House News)
Municipalities press state lawmakers to change the voter-approved marijuana law to make it easier for cities and towns to ban pot shops. (State House News)
Ray Flynn and Mel King, who faced off in the 1983 race for mayor of Boston, are teaming up to work with the Walsh administration on an initiative to prevent youth violence. (Boston Herald)
It is official: The FBI is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia leading up to the election. (U.S. News & World Report) In a normal world, says a Herald editorial, FBI director James Comey’s congressional testimony yesterday would have put an end to the craziness about tapped phone lines being tweeted out by the country’s president, but we’re not in a normal world and so the Trump’s own Baghdad Bob, Sean Spicer, kept the craziness flowing.
Leaders in Boston are calling for supporters to mobilize to oppose the Trump budget’s elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which would devastate a host of programs very active in Boston, including City Year, Citizen Schools, and Jumpstart — along with the national AmeriCorps program. (Boston Globe)
The media should stop taking the bait on Trump’s crazy tweets and other antics, says former governor Bill Weld. In a pure bit of Weld-speak, he offered, “When someone drags a wiggly nightcrawler in front of you, don’t snap at it every time.” (Boston Herald)
The Trump administration issues a report listing communities that are refusing to cooperate with requests to detain illegal immigrants charged with crimes. (The Hill) Massachusetts communities don’t appear in the report, except for Northampton and Boston, who show up in a section highlighting communities that are limiting cooperation with federal authorities.
Trump’s crackdown on immigration leaves a social service agency in Worcester with no refugees to resettle, so it begins laying off staff. (Telegram & Gazette)
Former Deval Patrick budget chief Jay Gonzalez, now a Democratic candidate for governor, says he’ll file legislation to make clear that the governor’s office is subject to the state’s public records law if he is elected. (Boston Herald)
Former state senator Dan Wolf told Cohasset Democrats last night that he’s not sure he sees a path to victory next year for a Democratic challenger to Gov. Charlie Baker (though he has not closed to the door fully to being such a candidate). (Politico)
Massachusetts is both a place with great economic inequality and a state where low-income residents are, by several measures, better off than poor people in most states. (Boston Globe)
The Westport School Committee is mulling a budget increase to eliminate athletic fees for students, a change that could trigger a tax hike. (Standard-Times)
Some public and private elementary schools on Cape Cod are eliminating homework for younger students, assigning activities such as taking a walk or playing. (Cape Cod Times)
Two Catholic churches in Hanover and Norwell are eyeing a merger, the first such union since the Boston Archdiocese allowed collaborations in 2013, but the consolidation is not because of flagging attendance but rather overcrowding at both parishes revealing a need for a bigger building. (Patriot Ledger)
GOP leaders change their health care bill to try to attract some reluctant Republicans to get it across the finish line. (New York Times)
State officials have placed a quarantine on a Halifax kennel after a highly contagious virus killed two adult dogs and eight puppies. (The Enterprise)
A new report from the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board recommends a new management structure for the agency and a stand-alone board to monitor the transit authority beyond 2020. (CommonWealth)
The Trump administration bans all electronic devices larger than a smart phone from being carried on flights to the US from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Kuwait. The larger devices must be stores in checked baggage. (Time)
Climate change and the wild fluctuations in weather patterns are wreaking havoc on the maple syrup industry in the state. (Greater Boston)
Changes to the Criminal Offender Record Information, or CORI, system intended to make it easier for those coming out of the criminal justice system to land jobs have not led to higher employment rates, with ex-offenders in fact showing a drop in employment since 2010, according to a report being released today. (Boston Globe)
Boston police are asking a superior court judge to overturn an arbitrator’s ruling that reinstates a fired police officer — even though the arbitrator ruled that she did inappropriately harass two female civilian employees. (Boston Globe)
A jury question in the racketeering and murder trial of Barry Cadden, the former co-owner of New England Compounding Center who is charged with knowingly distributing tainted steroids that killed at least 64 people, could jeopardize 40 of the 96 counts against him. (MetroWest Daily News)
MEDIAFox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano is pulled from the station’s lineup amid the controversy over his apparent false claim that British intelligence wiretapped Trump Tower at the behest of the Obama administration. (Los Angeles Times)
Kevin Cullen in a tribute to the late New York columnist Jimmy Breslin captures the essence of the one-sided rivalry that Bostonians obsess over: “It’s not that Breslin disliked Boston. Like most New Yorkers, he just didn’t think about it that often.” (Boston Globe)