While Tom Brady’s long-awaited return to Foxborough is due tonight, it doesn’t sound like sports betting is high on Senate President Karen Spilka’s list of priorities for the fall legislation rush.
In an interview with the State House News Service Thursday outlining the Senate’s fall agenda, Spilka pointed out that the possibility of Senate action to allow sports betting depends on the “bandwidth” available.
The Ashland Democrat said there are five issues the Senate wants to address over the next six weeks before formal legislative work pauses again, this time until the New Year: state government spending on funding the American Rescue Plan Act, a budget, to close the books Fiscal 2021, Election Reforms, Mental and Behavioral Health Equality, and Reshaping District Political Boundaries.
When asked whether sports betting laws would be introduced this fall, Spilka said the Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means “is looking into”.
“We have to redistribute, we have to close the books and make an extra budget, we have to make a more permanent VOTES bill, our temporary (precautions) end in December,” she said. “Some of these will depend on the bandwidth and its level.”
But in Connecticut …
Personal sports bets began Thursday in Connecticut, giving New Englanders another way to place legal bets. The activity has now been approved in every state bordering Massachusetts except Vermont.
The House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill this summer, but as noted above, the Senate has consistently shown less interest – if not total opposition – in the idea and is having the draft house reviewed by its Ways and Means Committee.
When the House of Representatives passed its sports betting law almost unanimously in July, MP Jerald Parisella, D-Beverly pointed out neighboring states that offer and benefit from the activity, while illegal gambling here still attracts weather.
“We are surrounded,” said Parisella, chair of the Economic Development Committee.
The shape of the congressional and legislative districts for the 2022 elections remains a complete mystery.
With six weeks left for formal meetings this year, the window of time for the ten-year redistribution debate is narrowing. There is still no timeframe from Redistricting Committee Chairs Rep. Michael Moran and Senator Will Brownsberger when residents, voters and lawmakers will take a look at the proposed district boundaries.
The proposed changes are sure to draw some voters and lawmakers to new counties, while creating new opportunities for black candidates to increase their number in the state legislature.
Moran suggested Friday that the drafts for the House and Senate districts are likely to be unveiled soon to help House candidates meet the one-year residency requirements for the district ahead of the November 8, 2022 elections.
Get off the track
Believe it or not, seeing an MBTA train derail is far more common than seeing a candidate – Suffolk County’s DA Rachael Rollins – for the U.S. attorney on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But last week there was a rare opportunity to see both.
The T continues to be a headache for drivers and Governor Charlie Baker who faced a jog who fell to his death in a closed MBTA staircase in recent weeks; an elevator disorder that caused injuries at Back Bay Station; and then the derailment of the Red Line on Tuesday when a train scraped the platform and damaged the tracks of Broadway Station without injury.
“The MBTA is safe, but it’s old,” Baker said, defending a system already affected by passenger numbers that have been slow to return during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At least one of these statements is undeniably true, but it remains to be seen how much the transit system continues to hold management and political accountability as Baker contemplates a third term and talks about the issues that preoccupied the early days of his first term in 2015.
Oh yeah. Transport infrastructure. Another topic that Spilka showed little enthusiasm for last week.
The Senate President completely overturned the idea of increasing taxes or fees in order to generate more money for the MBTA.
“So I’m not sure if more money is needed. I haven’t heard from a single person,” she said, and decided to overlook what groups like TransitMatters and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation have been saying and writing for weeks.
Spilka cited the upcoming 2022 “millionaires tax” vote and the $ 16 billion bond approval signed by Baker in January as resources the T could develop.
The Republicans in Washington could not completely throw Rollins’ nomination as a US attorney off the rails.
The judiciary committee of the Senate on Thursday 11.11. Promotion of candidates for US attorney positions is usually pro forma for the Justice Committee, but not in the Rollins case. According to Senator Dick Durbin, she is only the fourth candidate since 1975 to make no progress with a vote.
Republicans have taken up Rollins’ policy of prosecuting 15 minor nonviolent crimes such as trespassing and drug possession.
It’s not a hard and fast rule, but Rollins says it has been effective in stopping people with addictions and mental health problems, many of them black and brown, from draining through the criminal justice system, increasing the likelihood of reoffending.
US sensors Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have chosen Rollins with their colleagues and remain confident that their confirmation will now require two votes instead of one majority in the entire Senate.
They said it …
“I tell my kids I was in BC – before the cell phone. We’re still here to communicate to local businesses that need security related communications. You don’t want to rely on cell phones. “ – William Quimby, who owns property at 395 Brimstone Lane, Framingham, including a communications tower. Quimby sells the property with the tower and all for $ 755,000.
“Nobody supports this business coming to town, but I honestly say I don’t support it. My personal opinion is that this is just a waste of time. “ – Lawney Tinio, board member of Mendon Select, comments on a proposal to open an adult entertainment club on Milford Street (Route 16).
This week’s Political Notebook contributors include Deputy Multimedia Director Dan O’Brien and the State House News Service.