STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - MORNING EDITION - FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

MASS. OFFERING POTENTIAL SITES TO HOUSE MIGRANT CHILDREN CROSSING THE BORDER

Gov. Deval Patrick has offered to house up to 1,000 children from Central America in a temporary shelter at either the Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne or Westover Air Base in Chicopee as they await immigration processing, the governor announced Friday morning during an emotional press conference in which he invoked patriotism and faith as reasons he decided to respond to the "humanitarian crisis" presented by minors flooding across the country's southwestern border. Patrick held a press conference in the State House Friday morning explaining that the Obama administration would now vet each site. The federal government asked Massachusetts whether it could provide shelter for up to 1,000 children for a expected period of up to four months after more than 50,000 children in recent months have flooded across the U.S.-Mexico border crowding shelters. Patrick, who was on the verge of tears at one point as he quoted from scripture, said the average stay of a child would likely be 35 days, and while in the shelter they would be provided with food, bed, medical screening and education paid for by the federal government. Patrick was joined at the press conference by faith leaders, including Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley. "We believe that you're doing the right thing," said Rev. John Borders of Morning Star Baptist Church in Boston.


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Treasurer Steven Grossman said he cancelled events in Worcester to attend the event. While some state officials, including a number of Republican lawmakers, have expressed their concerns over Massachusetts volunteering to shelter these unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally, Patrick said, "This isn't a political decision." If Massachusetts is selected, the federal government would maintain full control of the facility while it is being used as a shelter and the children are processed for deportation, reunion with family living in the United States, or, in some cases, asylum, the governor said. - M. Murphy/SHNS

>>> For video of Patrick's remarks, go to: http://www.statehousenews.com/video/14-07-18gov/

For video of remarks from religious leaders, go to: http://www.statehousenews.com/video/14-07-18immigrants

For video of Patrick's Q&A with press, go to: http://www.statehousenews.com/video/14-07-18gov_QA <<<

JURY IN PROBATION ASKS ABOUT "MAIL" ASPECT OF FRAUD CHARGE

At the start of the third day of deliberations in the trial of former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien and two former deputies, jurors asked whether they could "assume" that the word "mail" in documents refers to the U.S. Postal Service. The three are facing charges for allegedly rigging the hiring system in the probation department. The question, along with a question about who could have been the object of the alleged fraud, suggests the 12 jurors are discussing the eight mail fraud charges that O'Brien, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III are facing. Young said that jurors may not "assume" anything about the substantive facts, and said that they could issue a guilty verdict on mail fraud if the U.S.P.S. or a commercial carrier is used. There have been no questions specifically about the bribery that O'Brien allegedly engaged in by giving probation jobs to Rep. Robert DeLeo to pass out to members of the House. Deliberations are scheduled to end two hours early on Friday, at 3 p.m. to accommodate jurors, Judge William Young said. - A. Metzger/SHNS

OCPF: SIZE OF LEGISLATIVE FIELD ABOUT AVERAGE

There are about 15 percent fewer candidates for state legislative seats this year than the modern high, which occurred in 2010, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. The 369 candidates running for office this year is just a hair above average. In its summer newsletter, OCPF broke down the office-seekers into 294 running for the 160 state representative seats and 75 seeking election to the 40 Senate seats. Among the candidates 233 are Democrats, 107 are Republicans and 29 are unenrolled, according to OCPF. In 2010 there were 433 candidates for the 200 legislative seats, and $16.9 million in spending on those races. This year also features contests for constitutional offices, including governor, attorney general and treasurer, which have no incumbents. - A. Metzger/SHNS