Governor at MassEcon
Gov. Charlie Baker delivers remarks at MassEcon’s Eighth Annual Corporate Welcome Reception, Sanofi Genzyme Center Corporate Headquarters, 500 Kendal Street, Cambridge, 5:30 p.m.
MassHealth payment reform meeting
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services hosts a public meeting to discuss proposed MassHealth payment reform, One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, 9 a.m.
Is it a Trump-versus-Hillary showdown yet?
Not surprisingly, GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton scored huge victories yesterday in New York’s presidential primary races, reports the Globe’s Annie Linskey and Matt Viser. Though each candidate still has a rocky road ahead to winning their respective party nominations (less so for Hillary), it’s now becoming pretty evident that the two will likely – emphasis: likely – face off against each other in a New Yorker-versus-New Yorker (sort of) showdown in November. Of course, Republican leaders will do everything possible to stop Trump before the summer GOP convention. But if he rolls up a few more primary victories, it will only get harder for leaders to deny him the nomination. Especially after they review and assess the bookie odds showing he’s a stronger candidate than Ted Cruz.
Cruz bashing outbreak
GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz not only took it on the chin yesterday in the New York primary election, he was also getting pummeled outside the voting booths.
Reacting to Cruz’s self-pitying lament that he was making numerous “sacrifices” by running for president, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren accused Cruz of “whining” in series of Twitter blasts. “Are you kidding me, @TedCruz? We’re supposed to pity you because trying to be the leader of the free world is hard?! 2 words: Boo hoo,” wrote Warren, as reported by the Huffington Post.
In the Herald, Howie Carr was showing no mercy this morning toward Ted: “His problem was, New York values a chance to actually vote for the candidates. So the Empire State didn’t cancel its primary, or pick the delegates in smoke-filled back rooms, the way Ted Cruz prefers to have the fights fixed for him by his Republican-in-name-only (RINO) handlers.”
Last but not least, New York Rep. Peter King, a Republican, outdid Warren and Carr combined in the insult category. “I hate Ted Cruz, and I think I’ll take cyanide if he ever got the nomination,” King said yesterday, apparently joking, as reported by USA Today.
Isn’t it amazing how many people despise Ted Cruz? In the past, we’ve compared him to Frank Underwood, the non-stop conniving political protagonist of the popular House of Cards series. Closer to reality, perhaps Cruz is more like fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, as portrayed in Robert Caro’s classic multi-volume biography of the former president. But at least LBJ, who lived, breathed and ate politics even as an obsessed student-government fixer in college, accomplished major things in his life. Cruz? He ain’t no LBJ.
Critics launch counter-attack against ride-sharing bill
House-approved legislation that would restrict ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, at Logan Airport and the South Boston convention center is drawing criticism from some quarters, reports the Globe’s Nicole Dungca. “[Our customers] are taking the ride-sharing companies, and if you take that away, then our business will suffer,” said James Folk, director of transportation at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “We’re trying to get as many people here for economic stimulus and everything else, and if we lose that, we’re going to lose customers.”
Meanwhile, on the Globe’s op-ed pages, Richard Davey, former state secretary of transportation, and Christopher Dempsey, a former assistant secretary of transportation, say the House bill needs a lot of work. “The bill improves safety, but would perpetuate an outdated regulatory scheme, stifle competition, and discourage innovation.”
Barney: Baker’s fear of right-wing challenger is driving his transgender-bill stance
Gov. Charlie Baker’s fence-sitting tactic on the proposed transgender-rights bill now before lawmakers is being driven by political fears, says former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, according to a report by the Herald’s Bob McGovern. “I think he is inclined to be supportive on the merits, but he’s intimidated by the right wing in his party,” Frank said. “I think he’s worried about a primary challenge.”
Of course, roughly the same can be said of Democrat House leaders, who won’t hold a final vote on the transgender bill until early May, when lawmakers conveniently learn whether they have any opponents or not in the November election.
McGovern: Congress should vote on ‘remote control’ war against ISIS
Worried about a “remote control” escalation of US troops and advisers involved in the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern says that Congress needs to vote on authorizing the use of military force against the terrorist group, MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius reports. “Just when is the House going to debate and vote on an authorization for deploying U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria?” McGovern said on the floor of the U.S. House. “When is the House going to debate these escalations that add more firepower and put more U.S. troops close to the front lines?”
Firefighters union: Worcester airport staffing level is ‘beyond dangerous’
The Massport firefighters union is warning that staffing “circumstances are beyond dangerous” at the Massport-run Worcester Regional Airport, reports the Telegram’s Gerard F. Russell. In a recent letter sent to the Worcester fire chief, the attorney for Massport Firefighters Local S-2, IAFF, says staffing at the airport is down to only eight firefighters, some of whom have less than two years of experience. A Massport spokesman countered that the little-used airport is “very safe” and “meets or exceeds” federal safety regulations.
‘Millennials: The Fresh Challenge to the Political Status Quo’
This Monday, April 25, a panel will be held and led by Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell and Sen. Eric Lesser on the priorities of Millennials and why they are disenchanted with the political system. Dan Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, will round out the panel at ‘Millennials: The Fresh Challenge to the Political Status Quo,’ a MASSterList and State House News Service event sponsored by GateHouse Media. The event is set for 7:30 a.m., Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education center, 10 Winter Place, Boston. Au Bon Pain will provide a continental breakfast of danish, fruit and coffee. For free registration and more info here.
Sunday ‘blue laws’ are alive and well – when it comes to special Sabbath day wages
Massachusetts still has its share of Puritan-style blue laws on the books, including a rather new addition, write David G. Tuerck and Brittany Turner in the NewBostonPost: “One blue law of much more recent origin compels retail businesses utilizing at least seven workers to pay Sunday and holiday wages that are one-and-a-half what they pay on normal weekdays. No other state, except Rhode Island, mandates this sort of Sunday premium wage.”
Lawmakers ask for casino decision delay
Seven lawmakers have co-signed a letter asking the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to delay its decision on a casino license application from the city of Brockton until the Department of Revenue can study the impact of the Mashpee Wampanoag’s First Light gaming operation, George Brennan of the Cape Cod Times reports. The MGC was slated to begin deliberations on the application from Mass Gaming & Entertainment next week.
State commits $2 million more to Greenway Conservancy
The new budget for the Greenway Conservancy includes $2.1 million in funds and services from the Department of Transportation, Erin Smith of the Herald reports. Note: In 2012, the DOT had told the conservancy to wean itself off state funding within five years.
How high is too high to drive?
With the debate over marijuana legalization heating up, CommonWealth magazine’s Jack Sullivan takes a look at the conundrum facing law enforcement, which says it has no standard to determine when a driver is too high to be driving.
Mass. case before Supreme Court has government fraud implications
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a Massachusetts case that could “dramatically expand civil fraud cases against government contractors,” Tracy Jan of the Globe reports. The case stems from a 2009 incident in a Lawrence mental health clinic.
T parking fee probe expands
An inquiry into alleged missing fees from MBTA parking lots has expanded to include more T locations and is honing in on a single, terminated employee, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth magazine reports. The agency has turned the probe over to the Transit Police and expanded it to include three lots in all after a report from parking lot operator LAZ Parking was deemed inadequate, Mohl reports.
Correction — In a Monday item on drinking water problems in central Massachusetts, we misspelled the name of WGBH reporter Rupa Shenoy. Sorry about that, Rupa.
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