New tanning law takes effect
The law setting the minimum age at 18 for the use of or operation of tanning facilities takes effect today, 90 days after it was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.
SJC to hear cases
The Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments in a number of cases, including Ricardo Barbosa v. Commonwealth; Engie Gas & LNG v. Department of Public Utilities; Conservation Law Foundation v. Department of Public Utilities; Commonwealth v. Timothea Neary French; Commonwealth v. Frank DiBenedetto; Commonwealth v. Sean Ellis; Commonwealth v. Wayne Miranda; and Clifford George v. Jacquelyn George, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, second floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
Senate in session
The Senate will meet in a formal session with plans to take up a number of bills, including ones aimed at keeping siblings together in state custody (S 2257) and raw milk sales and agriculture promotion (S 2258), Senate Chamber, 11 a.m.
Healey at Northeastern graduation
Attorney General Maura Healey delivers the commencement speech at Northeastern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s graduation, Northeastern University Curry Student Center, rooms 442-448, 346 Huntington Ave., Boston, 7 p.m.
Will Trump hurt the Massachusetts GOP ticket?
As Gov. Charlie Baker declared once again that he won’t be voting for Donald Trump and probably won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton either in November, what caught our eye in a report by MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius were the governor’s remarks after a reporter noted the election must be an odd situation for him. “Sure, it’s odd,” Baker said. “And it’s disappointing. But as I said, there are a lot of really good people running for office here in Massachusetts and that’s where I’m going to focus my time.”
But will a lot of really good people, who we assume are all Republicans in the governor’s mind, get swamped by a huge anti-Trump turnout in Massachusetts (it’s still a blue state, after all)? How will pro-Trump people, who are not exactly happy with the governor these days, react to establishment-backed state GOP candidates? There’s a possibility that Trump forces will surprise Massachusetts once again, as they did in the March presidential primary and the recent GOP delegate caucuses. But right now it’s hard to see how Trump leading the ticket helps “down ballot” Republicans in a general election.
Warren plans to ‘fight my heart out’ to stop Trump – just not yet
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren may think she’s fighting the good fight by blasting out a series of anti-Trump Tweets, declaring she will “fight my heart out” to stop a man who has “built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia.” But talk is cheap, as they say, and angry Tweets are cheaper than cheap.
What can Warren do beyond recycling previous anti-Trump insults? Well, she could start by finally getting off the political fence and endorsing Hillary Clinton, who is almost mathematically guaranteed to be her party’s presidential nominee.
In an column headlined “Endorse, Warren, endorse,” the Globe’s Joan Vennochi uses Warren’s own Patrick Henry-like words about how the coming anti-Trump battle will “test the character for all of us,” to wit: “Warren’s political character is on the line as much as anyone’s — maybe more.” And Joan rightly notes how a Warren endorsement of Clinton would send a powerful message to Democrats (read: Bernie Sanders progressives) to get their act together before it’s too late.
In other Trump Upheaval matters:
— The Globe’s editorial board also appears to be channeling Patrick Henry: “Now’s the time for backers of the #NeverTrump movement — from Mitt Romney to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse — to prove that their vows never to support Donald Trump were more than a bluff.” OK, fine. But the general election is not going to be decided by establishment Republicans who couldn’t even sway events in their own party. The general election is going to be decided by independents, undecided voters and the disgruntled in general.
— The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins has smart advice for Hillary: win back working-class voters, court alienated whites in the Democratic Party, shore up the union vote, address immigration, and act like a grown-up compared to Trump.
Kasich won’t be raising big bucks in Boston today
John Kasich, who pulled out of the GOP presidential race after Donald Trump’s huge victory in Indiana on Tuesday, was scheduled to hold a fundraiser today in Boston, with tickets for the general reception at Boston Harbor Hotel going for $2,700 and for the co-chair dinner at $5,400. But now … John, we hardly knew thee.
Was Grand Prix headed for financial crash?
State officials say Grand Prix of Boston may have already been in a financial tailspin before the event ran out of gas last week, Joe Battenfeld of the Herald reports. Organizers put a hold on a nearly $100,000 rent check, apparently to prevent it from bouncing. Meanwhile, Mayor Marty Walsh left the door open a crack to restarting talks about holding the race, but parties on both sides see little hope those talks with get the event back on track.
Purchase of land could defuse Islamic cemetery controversy
Selectmen in Dudley are proposing the town purchase 55 acres of land where the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester has proposed a controversial plan to open a Muslim cemetery, Debbie LaPlaca of the Telegram reports. The town has a right to match any offer on the property as it has received tax relief through the state’s Chapter 61A agriculture land program.
A lonely voice for natural gas pipelines
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton was the lone voice for increasing the state’s natural gas pipeline capacity at a Senate hearing yesterday, reports the Republican’s Mary Serreze in a report appearing in the BBJ. Beaton reiterated the Baker administration’s position that the state needs more natural gas, hydropower and assorted renewable energy sources.
But Sen. Marc Pacheco, chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, said he wasn’t interested in more incentives for the fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts and he wants to “quadruple down” on energy efficiency and renewable programs.
Ultimately, the federal government has final say on natural gas pipeline projects, not governors nor state senators. But it was still an interesting exchange that may signal where this spring’s energy bill debate is headed.
Gobi gets challenge from familiar foe
Sen. Anne Gobi will face a challenge from a familiar source in November, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. Republican James Ehrhard of Sturbridge—who lost in the GOP primary race to fill the seat in 2014—announced he would challenge Gobi, a Democrat from Spencer.
State fumbles Real ID implementation
Massachusetts is halfway through a one-year extension granted by federal officials to implement the Real ID Act of 2005 but the legislature has yet to act to move implementation forward, Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune reports. The act requires more documentation to receive state drivers’ licenses and has seen pushback from immigrant advocates and civil rights groups.
Audit: Dead pensioners receiving checks from retirement board
The Massachusetts State Retirement Board paid $687,000 to deceased pensioners, an audit released by Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump has found, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. Bump’s office said the retirement board has since corrected the problem and recovered more than $600,000 worth of incorrect payments.
Candidates spend big to become Town Clerk
The two candidates for the office of Town Clerk in Sandwich have spent a combined $11,000 ahead of Thursday’s town election, George Brennan of the Cape Cod Times reports. Incumbent Taylor White has raised more than $8,000—more than all other candidates on the town election ballot combined. The prize in the election is a job that pays $77,000.
‘Man expected to survive after pig attack’
The initial reaction after a quick read of the headline was: “What the …?” Followed by a smug urbanite chuckle. Then you read just how serious the incident was in Townsend, as MassLive’s Lindsay Corcoran reported yesterday: “After being attacked by a pig on his family farm Tuesday evening, a Townsend man is expected to survive his injuries, police say. The 50-year-old man was left with life-threatening injuries following being attacked by a boar around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday … Just an hour and a half before the man was injured, the same boar attacked a 38-year-old woman. She suffered lacerations and was treated and released from a hospital in Leominster.”
According to the Globe, the couple, Jose and Shannon Hernandez, are doing better and have requested that their potbellied pig, named Boss, be euthanized.
Baker, Warren and other pols will be busy on campuses this month
At last count, Gov. Charlie Baker will be giving six college commencement speeches this spring, including an address at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where his son is graduating, reports State House News Service’s Sam Doran in Wicked Local.
But other pols – from Elizabeth Warren to John Kerry to Marty Walsh – will be hitting local campuses too. Here’s a small sampling of the events:
— Northeastern University – School of Criminology & Criminal Justice: Attorney General Maura Healey, today at 7 p.m.
— Nichols College: Gov. Charlie Baker, this Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
— Worcester State University: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.
— Bridgewater State University – Ricciardi College of Business, Bartlett College of Science & Mathematics, College of Education and Allied Studies: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m.
— MassBay Community College: Sen. Karen Spilka, Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m., Auditorium, Wellesley Hills campus
— Bunker Hill Community College: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. Keep reading.
There are plenty more pol and non-pol speakers hitting the commencement circuit.
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