12/05/2017 07:09 AM EDT

By Lauren Dezenski (ldezenski@politico.com; @LaurenDezenski) with Rebecca Morin (rmorin@politico.com; @RebeccaMorin_)


THE HARRIETTE CHANDLER ERA BEGINS - Emerging from Beacon Hill's version of a conclave, Massachusetts' state senators, after more than six hours yesterday, finally sprung from the musty fourth floor room scented by the lukewarm, hours-old boxes of Fiorina pizza with a new acting Senate President: Harriette Chandler of Worcester.

Chandler ascends as the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, after current Senate President Stan Rosenberg temporarily stepped down from leadership yesterday - a sign lawmakers were sticking with the chamber's established hierarchy rather than backing someone else eager to climb the ranks in leadership like state Senators Sal DiDomenico or Linda Dorcena Forry, who both emerged as potential replacements for Rosenberg.

THE DUAL INVESTIGATIONS - Rosenberg bowed to pressure when he sent a letter to leadership late Monday morning saying he'd relinquish his title as Senate President until the independent investigation into whether or not he violated any of the Senate's rules was complete. Rosenberg, who did not participate in yesterday's proceedings, will now work in the Senate as a rank-and-file member. Meanwhile, a criminal investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley is also underway. This investigation is particularly noteworthy because it could bring criminal charges against Hefner, which a Senate investigation could not do.

The Senate's investigation, now set in motion last night, will fall to the Senate's ethics committee to determine whether or not Rosenberg violated any Senate rules - specifically rule 10A, according to Chandler. The rule includes a ban on employing someone "who does not perform tasks which contribute to the work of the Senate."

HOW LONG'S THIS GONNA TAKE? - Because Senate leaders refuse to give a timeline for the investigation, there's no telling how long Chandler will serve as Senate President, though Chandler did commit to stepping down once the investigation has finished.

WHAT ABOUT STAFF? - Personnel-wise, it's not yet clear how Chandler will staff up in her new role as Senate President, or what this means for Rosenberg's current staff. All that's known is Rosenberg's staff is currently recused from all matters related to the investigation, according to the order filed by Tarr yesterday.

Have a tip, story, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for the Playbook? Get in touch: ldezenski@politico.com.

TODAY - Voters in the Worcester and Middlesex Senate district head to the polls to elect their new state senator to replace Sen. Jen Flanagan - Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the State House Christmas Tree lighting and open house beginning at 5 p.m. - Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton comes to Boston tonight where Big Sister Association of Greater Boston will present Clinton with its "Believe in Girls" award during its annual Big in Boston fundraising gala.

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DOMINATING THE NEWS CYCLE - "Worcester senator named acting Senate president," by State House News Service: "The Senate on Monday night elected Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler of Worcester to serve as acting president during an investigation they were prepared to initiate into alleged sexual misconduct by Sen. Stanley Rosenberg's husband Bryon Hefner and Hefner's possible influence on Senate business. Senators, after a full day of closed door deliberations, also said they welcomed an invitation by prosecutors to explore possible criminal wrongdoing and outlined the process they plan to use to conduct their own investigation into the situation centered around one of the state's most powerful Democrats."

- "Billerica jail still houses pre-trial detainees despite state vow to find other location," by Rick Sobey, Lowell Sun: "Five years later, pre-trial detainees are still housed off Treble Cove Road in Billerica, and a site has not been selected for a southern jail in Cambridge, Somerville, Malden or other municipality. Twelve of the county's 14 courts are located in the southern part of Middlesex County."

- "Rehab facilities ordered to enforce long-ignored law," by K.C. Myers, Cape Cod Times: "The state Bureau of Substance Abuse Services sent out letters to all state licensed and contracted providers requiring them to post a 'Know Your Rights' document in waiting rooms and other visible locations at the facilities. Failure to post the Know Your Rights document or follow the directives in it could result in loss of a state contract, it stated. The document tells patients 'if a provider completes an assessment and determines that this is not the right level of care for you, the provider must make a referral to the appropriate level of care and support you through the referral process.'"


- "Massachusetts SJC to hear arguments on Maura Healey's Exxon Mobil investigation," by Shira Schoenberg, Springfield Republican: "Healey has demanded extensive documents and testimony from Exxon Mobil to determine whether the oil company knew and lied to the public and investors about the impact of burning fossil fuels on climate change. The oil company challenged Healey's request."


- "Warren questions Conway's role in curbing opioid epidemic," by Rachel Roubein, The Hill: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is asking for clarification on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's role in combating the opioid epidemic. In a letter sent Monday to John Kelly, President Trump's chief of staff, Warren noted, in response to confusion on Conway's role last week, that 'according to a report by CBS news, the White House later stated that her role was 'not expanding and opioids has always been part of her policy portfolio,' after multiple news outlets reported that she would be the White House's 'drug czar.''"


- "Trump moves to block Romney from the Senate," by POLITICO's Alex Isenstadt: "Donald Trump is going all out to persuade seven-term Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to seek reelection - a push aimed in no small part at keeping the president's longtime nemesis, Mitt Romney, out of the Senate. Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch's seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire."

- "Guv candidates check in as Senate leadership struggle continues," by Andy Metzger, State House News Service: "The Senate 'may have to choose a new leader,' according to one Democrat seeking the governorship, while another said he agreed with Stan Rosenberg's intention to temporarily step aside from that role. While Senate Democrats met behind closed doors Monday to chart a course for future leadership of the chamber, gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez, Setti Warren and Bob Massie offered their takes on the scandal that has led to a leadership vacuum in the chamber."

WOOD WAR - Herald: "LEFT OUT IN THE COLD," "GRONK GOT OFF EASY" - Globe: "Rosenberg cedes power as investigation begins," "Tax bill alarms grad students," "CVS-Aetna plan's bold, unproven," "Justices let Trump's full travel ban take effect," "Taking fairness out with the rest of the trash," "Open-and-shut-your-mouth case against Gronkowski."

FEAT. A FAMILIAR #MAPOLI FACE - THE PLAYBOOK POWER LIST: 18 TO WATCH IN 2018: The final Playbook Power List of the year highlights 18 politicians, activists and operatives across the country who are poised to make waves in 2018. From the anti-Trump "Resistance" on the left to the far right Bannonite wing trying to remake the GOP, keep an eye on these people over the next 12 months. Click HERE to find out who made the list.


- "2 Former Boston Officials Plead Not Guilty to Amended Charges," by Caroline Connolly and Kaitlin Flanigan, NBC Boston: "Two former top aides of Boston's mayor accused of extorting a music festival on behalf of union labor earlier this year appeared in federal court to face amended charges on Monday morning."

- "14 area cities and towns pledge to push for new housing development," by Tim Logan, Boston Globe: "The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition - which includes leaders of inner-ring municipalities from Braintree to Brookline to Winthrop - on Tuesday are expected to unveil a new agreement to boost housing development in a bid to blunt rising rents and home prices that make Greater Boston one of the most expensive areas in the country in which to live. It's a recognition, they say, that housing costs are a regional problem, in need of a regional solution."

- "Worcester spent $10.7K on its pitch for Amazon HQ2," by Cyrus Moulton, Worcester Telegram: "The city of Worcester spent $10,782 on its application for Amazon's second headquarters, public records posted online show, with the majority of the money spent on a two-minute video. That sum was the most reported so far by any Massachusetts community submitting bids."

- "In wake of allegations, BSO says it received no reports of misconduct by James Levine while he was director," by Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle: "In the wake of James Levine's suspension by the Metropolitan Opera amid a sexual-misconduct scandal, Boston Symphony Orchestra management has emphasized it knew of no such behavior while Levine was at the helm of the BSO. Levine, 74, served as BSO music director from 2004 to 2011, and was a major presence at Tanglewood for portions of five summers - 2005 through 2009."

- "This ukulele player visited all 351 cities and towns in Mass to make this song, and it was worth it," by Dig Boston: " We got an email this morning from Noah Wisch, an Emerson College senior who is better known as BananaCactus Ukulele on YouTube, telling us about his rather nutty project of traveling to all 351 cities and towns to record one song. While the idea sounded odd, if not seemingly impossible since songs are short and that's a whole lot of municipalities, it turns out that Wisch executed dutifully. Hours later, we still have his Commonwealth tribute playing on repeat."

MAZEL! - to Natalie Boyse who just started as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Education in Washington D.C.. She was most recently the Deputy Finance Director at the MassGOP and is an alum of Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, POOLHOUSE in Richmond and Romney 2012.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to Greg Timilty of BlueFin Research Partners.

DID THE HOME TEAMS WIN? Yes and no! - The Bruins fell to the Predators 5-3 but the Celtics beat the Bucks 111-100.

NEW: POLITICO is accepting applications for its fifth session of the POLITICO Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative focused on newsroom diversity . The intensive program, which is designed for college students, will be held May 29 to June 9, 2018. It features hands-on training for up to 12 recent grads and university students interested in covering government and politics. Students also will have an opportunity to have their work published by POLITICO. All expenses are paid for the program, reflecting POLITICO's ongoing support of journalism education, newsroom diversity and recruitment of top-notch talent. Admissions are made on a rolling basis, so APPLY TODAY but no later than Jan. 15, 2018. https://www.politico.com/pji

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** A message from Atlantic Link: The Atlantic Link advantage: delivering a new, reliable source of clean energy directly to Massachusetts for a delivered price that remains fixed for 20 years. It's a reliable, cost-effective solution to help the Commonwealth meet its energy diversity and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Atlantic Link is a proposed 1,000 megawatt subsea cable, securely and reliably delivering onshore wind energy, supplemented by hydropower, directly to Plymouth, MA from Atlantic Canada. The subsea cable will connect to the grid using existing infrastructure that is currently tied to the Pilgrim Nuclear Station, which will close in 2019. Atlantic Link is the only clean energy project delivering to Massachusetts more than 200 jobs during construction. The only clean energy project delivering $2.5 million a year in tax revenue to the Town of Plymouth. Projected in-state capital investment of $260 million. And a commitment of $15 million to support low-income energy programs in the Commonwealth. http://politi.co/2hsN050 **

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