Happening Today

Kennedy meets the media

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy will be available for brief media interviews prior to speaking at a NAMI-Massachusetts event, Great Hall, State House, 10:45 a.m.

MBTA tour of Kenmore station

MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola and other T officials will tour the newly renovated Kenmore Station, a portion of which was recently painted with actual paint from Fenway Park’s Green Monster, Kenmore Station, 500 Commonwealth Avenue at 1 Brookline Avenue, 1 p.m.

Lynn economic development

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, Housing and Economic Secretary Jay Ash, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and others hold a press conference regarding economic development in Lynn, Lynn Museum, 590 Washington Street, Lynn, 2:30 p.m.

Gov. Baker is leaving the state

Gov. Charlie Baker holds a morning a cabinet meeting and then travels to Las Vegas to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual meeting.

Today’s Stories

Charter compromise bill passes Senate, but still faces rocky future

Some wondered whether a compromise charter school bill recently unveiled by leading senators had enough support to pass even the Senate. That conjecture was proven dead wrong on Thursday. In fact, the controversial legislation – which would increase the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts in exchange for significant funding increases for all public schools – easily passed the chamber on Thursday and is now headed to the House, where its future is not quite as rosy, reports Matt Murphy of the State House News Service.  (pay wall)

But most observers continue to believe that, no matter what happens on Beacon Hill, the issue of expanding charter schools in Massachusetts will ultimately be decided in a ballot-question showdown in November. So that raises the question: Why do some opponents of charter schools say they welcome a November showdown? 

As Garrett Quinn of Boston Magazine notes, a new poll shows overwhelming support in Boston for lifting the cap on the number of charter schools. Granted, the poll was sponsored by the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association. But a recent WBZ and UMass Amherst statewide poll found 51 percent of likely voters supporting a ballot question that would lift the cap on charter schools, while 23 percent oppose the proposal, Quinn notes. So why the confidence by some opponents that they can prevail in November? Maybe it’s all part of the game of political chicken. 

Campaign office says Baker can accept huge sums from outsiders

The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance has concluded that the Massachusetts Republican Party can give federally raised donations to Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign committee, in a decision some critics say is a blow to local control of campaign finances, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports. 

Boston Globe

First GE, now … Aetna?

Public records released in connection with General Electric’s relocation to Boston show the city and state may be after another prize from the Nutmeg State, Jessica Bartlett of the Boston Business Journal reports. Emails reference officials noting that Boston is likely one of several locations trying to entice insurance giant Aetna, a Fortune 500 company, to move its headquarters from Hartford. 


‘We’ve never been a big hit with socialists’

Back to the topic of GE, it was sort of refreshing to see General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt firing back at Bernie Sanders for recently saying companies like GE are tearing apart the “moral fabric of America.” Why? Because moralists who tend to see life in simplistic good-versus-evil terms need to be pushed back now and then when they make grossly over-simplified and unfair statements about who is and isn’t moral. From Immelt’s Washington Post op-ed: “GE has been in business for 124 years, and we’ve never been a big hit with socialists. We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches. We take risks, invest, innovate and produce in ways that today sustain 125,00 U.S. jobs.” And he notes that, yes, GE does pay taxes and it employs 1,000 people at an aviation plant in Rutland, Vermont, a facility Sanders has “never bothered” to visit, Immelt says. 

Washington Post

Meanwhile, Warren unloads on Republican senators …

While Immelt unloads on Bernie, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren unloads on right-wing Republican senators who she says have “laid the foundation for their presidential front-runners,” Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Writing in the Globe, she says Republicans have been obstructionists from day one of President Obama’s presidency, right up to the current fight over Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. “Show some courage and put that oath ahead of party politics. Do your job — and start by considering the president’s nomination to the Supreme Court.” 

Boston Globe

GE launches local media blitz

OK, one last GE item, from the Herald’s Matt Stout: “General Electric Co. isn’t done pitching itself as a good bet for Boston. The multinational behemoth — which is fending off criticism of the plum $145 million package of city and state perks it took to relocate its headquarters to the Hub — has launched a two-week radio blitz that lavishes praise on Boston and declares itself ready to begin a ‘world-changing digital industrial revolution.’” The ads are running on 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, and WBUR. 

Boston Herald

Gay rights group to Baker: Stop behaving like a Republican

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has disinvited Gov. Charlie Baker from a gala in which it planned to honor the Republican governor, saying it can’t and won’t honor Baker unless he cancels a weekend trip to a conservative Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas and embraces a state bill that would protect transgender people’s rights, the Globe’s Joshua Miller reports. Apparently, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat who objects to Baker’s refusal to take an immediate stand on the transgender bill, had some sort of role in Baker’s disinvite. Baker, who has won wide praise for his stands on gay and lesbian issues, dismissed the group’s move as “partisan politics.” 

Boston Globe

Globe launches a ‘reinvention initiative’

Dan Kennedy at Media Nation reports that Globe editor Brian McGrory has issued a challenge to his staff members to completely rethink how the Globe newsroom operates, amidst a continuing revenue decline hitting all newspapers. The Globe is also bringing in some outside consultants “who have thought long and hard about these issues and are deeply knowledgeable about what’s been tried at other news organizations and how it’s worked,” McGrory writes in a staff memo. 

Media Nation

Solar compromise bill sails through Senate

Either the solar compromise bill was really good – or lawmakers were really sick of hearing about solar issues. No matter what the reason (or combination of reasons), the state Senate yesterday overwhelming approved the compromise solar legislation, a day after the House overwhelmingly OK’d the same measure, as reported by State House News Service’s Matt Murphy in the Boston Business Journal. 


DeLeo pledges no new taxes

Speaker Robert DeLeo says the House version of the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget will contain no new taxes when it’s released next week, Peter Francis of the Eagle-Tribune reports. DeLeo addressed a business expo audience on Thursday and said the entire state would see ripple effects of the relocation of GE to South Boston. 


Lawmaker targets cash-out windfalls for state retirees

Rep. Colleen Garry plans to file legislation that would set a cap on how much unused time off the state will buy back from retirees, a move spurred by reports of blockbuster payouts to retiring public college chiefs, Christopher Scott of the Lowell Sun reports. Garry’s legislation may place a salary-based cap on how many unused days the state will buy back. 

Lowell Sun

New Bedford councilor suggests licensing panhandlers

New Bedford City Councilor Ian Abreu is proposing the city require all panhandlers to obtain a free license from the city, Kathleen McKiernan of the Standard-Times reports. Abreu said the proposal would enable the city to offer services to the individuals who seek the licenses and is just the latest effort by the city to address the issue of downtown panhandling. Officials briefly considered a law similar to the one Worcester adopted, but that law has since been struck down by courts after a challenge from the ACLU. 


State says Brewster can’t withhold video

The Supervisor of Public Records has rejected an argument from the town of Brewster, which said it didn’t have to release a video—which may show the town moderator criticizing voters after Town Meeting—because it was produced by a third-party vendor, reports K.C. Myers of the Cape Cod Times. The town is still declining to release the video, citing privacy concerns. In the reported disparaging comments, the moderator allegedly calls one of the voters an alcoholic.  

Cape Cod Times

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4. Guests Darnell Williams of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and Marcela Garcia of the Boston Globe, 8:30 a.m.

DC Dialogue, NECN, with Jim Brett of the New England Council, Rep. Niki Tsongas and HHS Regional Director Rachel Kaprielian, 10 a.m.

This Week in Business, NECN, with Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business, 12:30 p.m.

CEO Corner, NECN, with Feld Entertainment CEO Ken Feld, who company owns Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Monster Jam, 8:30 p.m.

On the Record, WCVB-TV, with guest Doug Rubin, head of Northwind Strategies and a Democratic advisor, 11 a.m.

Matter of Fact, WCVB-TV, with Fernando Espuelas, 11:30 a.m. CityLine, WCVB-TV, with host Karen Holmes Ward, 12 p.m.

Today’s Headlines


Mass. GOP settles issues raised with state Office of Campaign and Political Finance on salaries and office rent – MassLive

Massachusetts Senate says ‘no’ to Gov. Charlie Baker’s charter school proposal – MassLive

UMass Faculty Senate postpones hate speech resolution vote to address freedom of speech concerns – MassLive

Hours of debate as Massachusetts Senate weighs controversial charter school bill – MassLive

Boston launches new program to address lead water contamination dangers – Boston Globe

AG Maura Healey targets human trafficking – Boston Herald

Should Brian Joyce resign? Mum’s the word from his colleagues – Boston Globe

‘Nobody likes being around poor people,’ Steve Wynn reportedly says – Boston Globe

Warren, Brown: Treasury should probe Panama Papers scandal for U.S. links – Politico


New Bedford city councilor proposes licensing all panhandlers – South Coast Today

Garry looks to deflate ‘golden parachutes’ for retiring state workers – – Lowell Sun

Governor approves bigger Plymouth County DA’s office in downtown Brockton – The Enterprise

GateHouse Media, others want to block ad-blocking web browser from ex-Mozilla CEO – Boston Business Journal

Will Aetna follow General Electric’s footsteps? Competition to court Connecticut company heats up – Boston Business Journal

MBTA Official Says Service Cuts Still An Option – WGBH

Massachusetts State Police Are Cracking Down on Distracted Driving – Boston Magazine

And when we get behind closed doors … – CommonWealth Magazine

New grants to help expand addiction treatment – Salem News

State says Brewster officials must release video – Cape Cod Times

MBTA board wary of Bourne commuter rail – Cape Cod Times

Quincy spent $12,500 on canceled special election – Patriot Ledger

Mass. House Speaker pledges no new taxes – Eagle Tribune

Gov. Baker touts budget reforms, economic development to Blackstone Valley chamber – Worcester Telegram

Worcester school budget forecast includes staff cuts, increased class sizes – Worcester Telegram

Charter school poll shows support for ballot measure – Boston Globe

Regulators: GOP can use federal funds to aid Baker – Boston Globe

Another tower for Boston! This one comes from 1991 – Boston Globe

Peace organization files ethics complaint against state senators – Boston Globe

Democrats hit Baker on N.C. travel stance – Boston Globe

Democrats hit Baker on N.C. travel stance – Boston Globe

Police to crack down on texting while driving – Boston Globe

Senate Republicans, do your job – Boston Globe


Donald Trump needs to win N.Y. — and win big – Boston Globe

Americans overwhelmingly view Trump negatively, poll finds – Boston Globe

Capuano: Clinton, Sanders – not Warren – will unite party – Boston Herald

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