Attorney General Maura Healey and top public health officials will address firearm violence at a forum hosted by the Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham, 1 p.m.
The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies will hear from Gov. Baker and others about the governor’s proposed $918 million economic development plan, hearing room A-2, starting at 1 p.m. and Baker at 3 p.m.
Sox try again
After their season-opener game was postponed yesterday due to bad weather in Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians will give it another try today, 1:10 p.m.
Testing the frontrunners
So the Republican establishment has drawn another line in the sand, this time in Wisconsin, to try to stop GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who has blown past previous lines in the sand drawn by Mitt Romney and others. But you know what? This time Trump might actually fall short. Some polls show GOP candidate Ted Cruz with a slight lead in today’s Wisconsin race, helped partly by recent Trump blunders like his back-and-forth positions on abortion that have alienated just about everyone, as Boston Magazine’s Garrett Quinn reports. Meanwhile, Democrat Bernie Sanders is still making life miserable for Hillary Clinton. He’ll likely take Wisconsin today, following a recent string of primary victories that came after most observers had dismissed his candidacy as near dead.
Rosenberg endorses the ‘millionaire’s tax’
This isn’t exactly a shocker: A liberal president of the Massachusetts Senate pushing hard for a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to tax the wealthy at higher rates, as reported by State House New Service’s Colin A. Young in CommonWealth magazine. Still, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg’s declaration yesterday that people “can and should” support a constitutional amendment adding a 4 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million is a big deal, if only because it serves as a sort of a starting-gun blast for what should be a long, bitter debate in coming years over the state’s tax policies.
Somewhat surprisingly, General Electric chief Jeff Immelt — whose company is moving to Boston, partly because of Connecticut’s high business taxes – has a come-what-may attitude towards the proposed millionaire-tax question, according to a report by State House New Service’s Andy Metzger.
The chamber may look more progressive but …
If Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce chief James Rooney thought he would win political brownie points for backing some progressive causes, he ought to think again. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi gives brief praise to the chamber’s attempt to get more involved in social issues, like backing transgender rights. But the chamber and its leader aren’t budging on traditional issues like raising taxes for government services, she notes. “Maybe it’s good news that the Chamber, under Rooney, plans on getting braver about staking out political positions, and maybe it’s not. Activism in itself doesn’t represent change – not if it promotes the same old knee-jerk response to the same old taxing questions.”
Tribal groundbreaking could alter casino landscape
Brushing away legal threats, the Masphee Wampanoag tribe plans to break snowy ground on its Taunton First Light casino on Tuesday, a move that could have ripple effects across the state’s casino landscape, George Brennan of the Cape Cod Times reports. Tribal leaders say they can have the casino open for business by June of 2017, making it the first full-fledged resort casino operating in the state and putting pressure on the Mass. Gaming Commission, which is weighing whether to license a proposed gaming destination in Brockton.
Rosengren now a proponent of raising interest rates
For years after the 2008 financial crisis, Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, was one of those who cautioned against the Fed easing up on its aggressive policies to spur economic growth, fearing it might harm the fragile US economy. But that was then and this is now. Rosengren, a voting member of the Fed’s rate-setting panel, is today saying the economy is strong enough to withstand interest rate hikes, putting him at odds with his former ally on the interest-rate issue, Fed chair Janet Yellen, the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that Rosengren is shamelessly flip-flopping, it should be noted that Rosengren is known as a stats guy who looks at the economic data – and then makes up his mind. The US economy has dramatically improved and continues to improve, so it’s time to allow interest rates to rise, he’s concluded.
T gives thumbs up to Quincy development
The MBTA has approved a major mixed-use, transit-oriented development on a parking lot at the North Quincy station, WGBH’s Mike Deehan reports. The development – which includes a new parking garage and nearly 600 housing units – will bring in about $2.3 million a year for the T over the life of the 99-year lease.
GE to donate $50 million to schools, health centers
It may not silence the skeptics. But amid criticism that General Electric got a sweetheart incentive deal to move its headquarters to Boston, GE chief executive Jeff Immelt was in town yesterday to announce, among other things, that his company is donating $50 million to various causes. The donations over the next five years will go to Boston public schools, workforce training programs and local health care centers, the Boston Business Journal’s Greg Ryan reports.
Walsh backs move to $15 minimum wage
With backers of a $15 minimum wage setting their sights on the Bay State after legislative wins in California and New York, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh expressed support for the change, Joshua Miller of the Globe reports. Statewide leaders expressed more caution, with Gov. Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo suggesting letting impacts of increases now being phased in – taking the state minimum to $11 an hour next January – take hold before deciding whether to go further.
Lawmakers want to slow rattlesnake island’s progress
Sen. Eric Lesser, a Belchertown Democrat, is among the lawmakers asking the department of Energy and Environmental Affairs to slow its slither and wait until after a public hearing before deciding whether to move forward with plans to populate a Quabbin Reservoir island with rattlesnakes, O’Ryan Johnson of the Herald reports. A legislative hearing has been set for May 10 on the plan, which wouldn’t be put into motion until next spring anyway.
Where the solar projects sit and wait
Advocacy groups say more than 500 solar projects worth $617 million statewide are poised for construction but are stalled by state lawmakers’ inability to strike a deal on new solar incentives and net metering limits, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. The vast majority of the projects are located in the central part of the state, according to data released by Vote Solar and the Solar Energy Industries Association, which is hoping to pressure lawmakers into action.
Worcester risks losing affordable units
Affordability restrictions will expire on more than 2,600 housing units in the city of Worcester within four years and city officials are scrambling to extend those restrictions or find replacement housing, Nick Kotsopoulos of the Telegram reports. The city has convened local nonprofits, tenants, affordable housing advocates, the Worcester Housing Authority and state agencies to discuss the issue.
Gas pipeline company eyes Bill Cosby’s driveway
As if Bill Cosby is not facing enough troubles (like being accused by multiple women of sexually assaulting them), the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., i.e. Kinder Morgan, wants to use parts of Cosby’s property in Shelburne to access an existing utility right of way so it can complete survey work for its controversial project, Mary Serreze of MassLive reports. The pipeline company has also applied with regulators for the right to use Cosby’s property – which she reports is dotted with signs telling surveyors to stay out – as a launching point for work to horizontally drill beneath the nearby Deerfield River.
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