STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS -- MONDAY MORNING EDITION
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
SPEAKER'S PANEL SET TO REVEAL GUN RECOMMENDATIONS
The task force charged by House Speaker Robert DeLeo with developing recommendations to prevent gun violence is set to release its report later Monday afternoon at Northeastern University. The report was initially due to be released last week, but task force chairman Jack McDevitt postponed the event due to scheduling conflicts. A press conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Snell Library, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston. DeLeo in January 2013 said he would name a gun violence task force and the full panel was assembled by March 2013, led by Northeastern professor Jack McDevitt. In March, DeLeo said he would put no time constraint on the panel's work but estimated they would need four to five months to produce recommendations. In December, McDevitt said he hoped for unanimity among the task force members and said efforts to limit gun violence in Massachusetts should be judged against the success of other industrialized nations. McDevitt also said in December that broadly speaking, the report will cover school safety, mental health, and gun licensure where the task force will aim to "streamline our process and strengthen it." The group has met in private with advocates on both sides of the gun access debate, mental health practitioners and researchers, school officials and police chiefs from rural, suburban and urban areas.
PATRICK: MOST REPS WANT HENRIQUEZ TO RESIGN
More than two weeks after he first recommended that Rep. Carlos Henriquez give up his House seat following his conviction on assault and battery charges, Gov. Deval Patrick remains convinced that the Dorchester Democrat should resign. "There's no reason for me to think that at this point that an elected representative who's been convicted by a jury of a crime as serious as this should remain in the House and I think that's the consensus view of his colleagues," Patrick said during a television interview with Jon Keller of WBZ that aired on Sunday morning. Keller raised the issue, reminding Patrick that Henriquez attorney Stephanie Soriano-Mills recently suggested that the representative's case had not been tried before a jury of his peers because the jury was all-white. Patrick said he did not know all the details of the jury selection process in the Henriquez case, but noted that during his career as an attorney he had been involved in cases where the jury selection process had been tainted. Henriquez, who is appealing the jury's verdict, has appeared twice before the House Ethics Committee since his conviction. As annual House budget talks get underway at the State House, he is serving a six-month jail sentence in Billerica. - M. Norton/SHNS
ASSISTANT HOUSE GOP LEADER PETERSON WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION
Rep. George Peterson, the assistant minority leader, will not seek re-election this year, choosing to end a State House career stretching back nearly two decades and creating an opening in House Republican leadership. "Today, with a heavy heart, but a clear mind, I announce that I will not seek re-election for the office of State Representative," the Grafton Republican wrote in a Monday morning statement. "My decision to retire from the House of Representatives has been extremely difficult. However, this next chapter in my life will allow me to join my wife Diana in spending quality time with our children and grandchildren as we travel around the country." - A. Metzger/SHNS
DEAN IS LATEST TO TAG GROSSMAN AS "PROGRESSIVE"
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is backing Steven Grossman, the state treasurer, in his bid for the Massachusetts governorship this year. Grossman faces four competitors vying for the Democratic Party nomination. "Steve Grossman is a bold progressive leader. He shares an ambitious vision to fight income inequality and allow all working families opportunity and access to the American Dream," Dean said in a statement Sunday, ahead of a Monday morning conference call. Dean and Grossman are former chairs of the Democratic National Committee. Dean is the latest endorser to use the word "progressive" in touting Grossman's candidacy. During the call, Dean said he goes "back a long way with Steve," said Grossman had been a reliable leader on "progressive" politics, standing up for the minimum wage and earned sick time. "If there's any adjective or quality that defines Steve Grossman it's determination," said Dean. He said, "I would not call Steve Grossman flashy. I would just call him incredibly steady; incredibly smart." After Dean's endorsement, Grossman noted how complimentary Dean had been and said he hoped Dean would give his eulogy when the time comes. "Your philosophy and my philosophy are identical," said Grossman, who said Dean would be in Boston in April on his behalf. - A. Metzger/SHNS