Zoning reform amendments
Senators who wish to amend the major zoning reform bill must do so by 5 p.m.
Harvard Business School dedication
Gov. Charlie Baker attends the dedication of the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center at the Harvard Business School with former former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, former Australia prime minister Kevin Rudd, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Harvard University president Drew Faust and Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, 11 a.m.
MBTA Fiscal Control Board
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to review fare increases and other items on the agenda, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3830, 12 p.m.
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts will hold its annual Drumhead Election and change-of-command ceremony during its June Day activities, Boston Common, 1:15 p.m.
The dog that didn’t bark at the state Democratic convention
State Democrats had a grand old time slamming Donald Trump at their annual party convention over the weekend, led by Massachusetts Senator Liz Warren, who called the presumed GOP presidential nominee a “fraudster-in-chief” and lobbed other choice insults at The Donald, according to a CBS Boston/AP report. The attendees lapped it all up. But the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan noticed something else at the convention: The lack of criticism of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker – and with the popular Baker up for re-election in two years. Ah, the curious case of the silent Democratic guard dogs.
What budget magic trick is Baker planning?
So how do you plug a $311 million revenue shortfall without layoffs, emergency cuts or the use of reserves to balance the state budget? Beats us. We have no clue. But the Baker administration swears it can accomplish this remarkable budgetary feat, as state officials grapple with news that state tax receipts are far below projections with just a month left in the fiscal year, reports Michael P. Norton and Matt Murphy of State House News Service at Wicked Local. “The overall below-benchmark amount remains in a range that we can manage through,” Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore said in a statement. If she finds a way to make a third of a billion dollars go poof, Lepore shall have a new nickname here: “Houdini.” If not, it’ll be: “Bullwinkle.”
Lowell miffed by UMass purchase
City officials in Lowell are miffed that UMass Lowell purchased a large residential apartment complex without consulting the city, a move that will leave a $321,000 hole in the city’s budget as the complex comes off the property tax roles, Grant Welker of the Lowell Sun reports. UMass purchased the Perkins Park project for $61.5 million, saying it would convert the property to student housing.
Criminal immigrants among us, courtesy of the US government
Talk about a hot-button issue in an election year dominated by debate over immigration: Many criminal immigrants who were supposed to be deported by U.S. officials were instead quietly released across the region and country – with many them then going on to commit other serious crimes, according to a big weekend report by the Globe’s Maria Sacchetti.
The story’s main graf: “A Globe review of 323 criminals released in New England from 2008 to 2012 found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses, including rape, attempted murder, and child molestation — a rate that is markedly higher than Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have suggested to Congress in the past.”
Needless to say, the Drudge Report didn’t waste time linking to the story, with the headline: ‘Feds Secretly Releasing Violent Criminal Aliens En Masse.’ But you know what? The Drudge headline is accurate, unfortunately. To get the data, the Globe had to sue the federal government. The Globe also has a searchable database of the names and locations of released criminals. All in all, it’s a very impressive – and damning — report by the newspaper.
Dems vetting rules should Liz get tapped as VP running mate
Not that Hillary Clinton listens to us, but MASSterList continues to believe that picking Elizabeth Warren as Hillary’s vice presidential running mate would be a colossal blunder that would only harm Clinton’s efforts to attract centrist voters in November. But it’s also now obvious that the Bernie Sanders insurgency on Clinton’s left is doing far more damage to Hillary than anticipated. So Clinton may yet have to shore up her left flank with a VP pick appealing to left-wingers. And Senate Democrats are now seriously eyeing the possibility of Warren getting tapped as Clinton’s VP – and they think they’ve found a way to limit the damage of her departing the U.S. Senate, Matt Viser of the Globe reported over the weekend. Hint: It would limit the time a temporary senator, appointed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, could serve in the Senate. It appears to be a legally legit move.
So where is Bernie getting all that dough?
The LA Times has a terrific story – and interactive map – about where exactly Bernie Sanders is getting all his money to keep his presidential campaign alive. Of the $209 million given to the Vermont senator’s campaign, about one out of every four dollars came from those not in the workforce, who include the unemployed or retired, via very small individual donations, the Times reports. Other Sanders donors tend to live in the most liberal parts of countries, such as New England and California, and in areas with high numbers of college graduates, the Times reports.
A MASSterList reader who alerted us to this story adds in a note: “My hypothesis is that a Hilary chart looks 100% inverted (eg 28.6% of her donations would come from 1 percenters.).” We haven’t verified his hypothesis, but it has the ring of truth to it.
GE’s Jeffrey Immelt: ‘We will produce for the U.S. in the U.S.’
Here’s some interesting news, if it applies to General Electric manufacturing operations in Lynn and elsewhere across the state: GE chief executive Jeff Immelt, who is moving his company’s headquarters to Boston, is sounding the alarm about anti-globalization and saying companies need to react, writes Robert Samuelson at RealClearPolitics. “Globalization is being attacked as never before,” Immelt is quoted as saying. “This is not just true for the U.S., but everywhere. … We are having a raucous [American] presidential election, one where every candidate is protectionist.” And Immelt added: “With globalization, it is time for a bold pivot. … We will localize [production]. … We will produce for the U.S. in the U.S., but our exports may decline.”
Complying with court’s emissions ruling is easier said than done on Beacon Hill
The Supreme Judicial Court may have ordered the state to take more drastic steps to cut carbon emissions, but saying cuts are needed is one thing. Actually developing a workable plan on Beacon Hill is another, reports Christian Wade in the Newburyport Daily News. Among other things, a proposed carbon tax on transportation and other industry sectors is meeting stiff resistance, Wade reports.
Colleges look to train workforce for the fight against opioids
New programs are being created at community and state colleges aimed at developing the workforce needed to help the state address the opioid crisis, Scott O’Connell of the Telegram reports. The moves come as many treatment providers say they lack access to an adequate supply of trained counselors to help addicts through the recovery process.
Report: Casinos to emerge as a major lobbying force
If Massachusetts follows the pattern in other states, the owners of the state’s three resort casinos will soon represent a major lobbying force on Beacon Hill, Sean Murphy of the Globe reports. The first target of the lobbying efforts may be the tax rates set in the state’s gaming law, which call for 25 percent of gross gambling revenue to go to state coffers, especially now that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has has received a discounted rate of 17 percent.
Note: A certain author of MASSterList used to cover the new riverboat gambling industry in Illinois in the early 1990s. Within only a few years of its start, the Illinois gaming industry became the No. 1 campaign donor to lawmakers in that state, beating out all other business sectors, including those representing the state medical society, trial lawyers, road contractors, etc. So, yes, there’s a very clear pattern of casinos gaining enormous clout once they’re up and running.
Martha’s Vineyard Tribe gets Justice Department backing
Speaking of gambling, the U.S. Justice Department has sided with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, saying that a judge made a mistake when he permanently halted work on a bingo hall on Martha’s Vineyard, Sean Driscoll of the Cape Cod Times reports.
Setting stage on probation fee debate
Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune focuses in on the issue of probation fees, which the state Senate’s budget proposal would make optional at the discretion of judges. Legal advocates say the fees are added hurdles to rebuilding lives after criminal convictions.
Rental tax proposal creates a Cape divide
Property owners, rental agents and summer visitors are among those taking sides in a debate over whether Cape Cod towns should be allowed to assess a tax on private homes rented to vacationers, Lorelei Stevens of the Cape Cod Times reports. A bill to clear the way for the tax has been favorably reported by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue.
Monday’s MASSterList Review of Book Reviews
Commander in Chief: FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943, by Nigel Hamilton, a senior fellow at the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s McCormack Graduate School, reviewed by David M. Shribman in the Boston Globe. The wartime alliance between the United States and Great Britain – and between the two nations’ leaders, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill – is often portrayed as abject lesson in cooperation between two equals. But it was not an equal relationship – nor was it always cooperative, as FDR adroitly exerted his nation’s vision and strength over Britain and Churchill throughout World War II, the main theme of Hamilton’s book, Shribman writes. As Shribam concludes: “In the end, Roosevelt coaxed the British rather than cajoled them, and persuaded rather than pummeled Churchill. … The tactic of what Hamilton called ‘extreme hospitality’ worked extremely well with British military officials. The prime minister would take more time. But the president would prevail and so, in time, would the Allies.”
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