Governor to address New England Council
Gov. Charlie Baker addresses business leaders at a New England Council breakfast, Seaport Hotel Plaza Ballroom, One Seaport Lane, 8-9 a.m.
First Responder recognition
Gov. Baker also attends the first responder recognition awards ceremony, Bentley University, 175 Forest St., Waltham, 9:45 a.m.
Senate debates zoning reform, fracking ban
The Senate is expected to debate the first rewrite of the state’s zoning laws in more than 40 years as well as debate legislation addressing recycling programs at state facilities and a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, Senate Chamber, 11 a.m.
Liz poised to endorse Hillary, ‘intrigued’ by VP talk
After it’s become abundantly and mathematically clear Hillary Clinton has enough delegates to secure the Democratic party’s presidential nomination, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s been straddling the political fence for months, is poised to at last endorse Clinton, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald are reporting. President Obama, who’s also expected to soon endorse Clinton, is apparently planning to meet with Hillary’s Democratic rival Bernie Sanders to appeal to the Vermont senator to make peace with Clinton. Who knows what Bernie will do? He’s still babbling about carrying on the cause, which these days looks remarkably like aiding and abetting Donald Trump, albeit unintentionally so.
Note: The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Annie Linskey report that “Warren also is intrigued by the possibility that she could be picked as Clinton’s vice president but is not sure that it makes sense for her, according to the two advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss her plans freely.”
Massachusetts isn’t ‘crazy:’ House OKs massive hydro, wind purchases
Before yesterday’s House vote on a major energy bill, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wondered aloud why buying huge amounts of hydroelectricity from Canada would be at all controversial in Massachusetts. “Vermont’s been doing it for 30 years. I’m always puzzled that we’re the only state that’s doing it,” said Shumlin, as reported by Andy Metzger at Springfield’s WWLP TV. “And I can tell you it’s been cheap. It’s been green. It’s been clean. And we as a result have one of the lowest emissions in the country, so Massachusetts is crazy not to be turning to good green clean hydropower.”
Well, the House proved yesterday that at least one chamber of the legislature isn’t crazy, with its overwhelming approval of an energy bill calling on utilities to solicit contracts for the purchase of 1,200 megawatts of hydropower and 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy spanning the next 15 to 20 years, reports SHNS (pay wall). The New England Power Generators Association and a few environmentalists aren’t happy. But this is an important first step toward diversifying the state’s energy mix – and the hope here is that the hydro requirement is dramatically increased over coming years.
Former Boston Phoenix reporter eyes Bernie Sanders’ senate seat (we think)
We can’t discount the possibility that this is all just a joke, but the Daily Beast is reporting that former Boston Phoenix reporter Al Giordano plans to run for Bernie Sanders’ senate seat in two years. A fellow lefty, Giordano, now a resident of Mexico City, isn’t happy with Bernie for a number of reasons, including dragging out the current primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, reports the Daily Beast in an article that comes via Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston magazine.
‘We’re going to get killed. We’re going to get killed.’
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt was hitting the panic button yesterday after Donald Trump’s series of nasty self-inflicted wounds earlier this week, with Hewitt urging the GOP to find a way to dump Trump as its nominee, Business Insider reports. “The worst 72 hours for the Republican Party since 2000 when the George W. Bush DUI was dropped,” he said of the drubbing Trump has taken over his remarks about a Latino judge. Of the general election, Hugh bemoaned: “We’re going to get killed. We’re going to get killed.”
One can almost envision Hewitt getting hauled away in a straightjacket babbling, “We’re going to get killed! We’re going to get killed!”
DeLeo doesn’t sound all that eager to tackle zoning reform this year
As the Senate prepares to debate a major zoning reform bill today aimed at spurring construction of much-needed new housing in Massachusetts, House Speaker Robert DeLeo seemed like he’s in no hurry to tackle the legislation. From a report by the State House News Service’s Colin A. Young and Matt Murphy: “House Speaker Robert DeLeo was non-committal when asked if the House plans to take the issue up before formal legislative sessions end next month. ‘I’d have to take a look at it,’ DeLeo said Monday. ‘I can tell you that with the word getting out that this bill was going to be taken up I heard form a number of folks, developers, builders and what not, that they’d like to talk to me and the members of the committee and other members of the House about the bill, so at this time I don’t know.’”
Baker may push to roll T pension fund into state’s main pension
As a way to cut state costs and improve investment returns, the Baker administration is eyeing ways to force the MBTA pension fund to move some or all of its assets into the larger state pension fund, the Globe’s Beth Healy reports. According to research set to be released today by the Pioneer Institute, the T pension fund would have $260 million in additional assets if it had been invested with the better performing Massachusetts state fund from 2005 through 2014, Healy reports.
John Kerry quietly puts Nantucket house on the block for $25M
Maybe Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry decided to cash in after seeing their Nantucket neighbor’s beachfront mansion go for a cool $26.5 million last year, as reported by Curbed Cape Cod. No matter what the reason, the Globe’s Annie Linskey is reporting the power couple have recently and quietly put their own Nantucket abode up for sale for about $25 million.
Baker to nominate Judge David Lowy for SJC
Governor Charlie Baker plans to nominate Essex Superior Court Judge David A. Lowy for one of the three seats soon to be open on the Supreme Judicial Court, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports, citing sources. Baker is expected to announce Lowy’s appointment and two others sometime early next week. Lowy, a Peabody native, served along with Baker in the Weld administration and has been on the bench since 1997. His wife, Virginia Buckingham, was Weld’s chief of staff and ran his US Senate race against Democrat John Kerry in 1996, Phillips reports.
Wynn calls Mass. entry costs ‘sky high’
Casino mogul Steve Wynn bemoaned the “sky high” costs of launching a business in Massachusetts, saying his company has already spent $250 million on its Everett resort even before construction has begun, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Wynn also said during an appearance before Boston College’s CEO Club—where he was introduced by former governor and Libertarian party VP hopeful William Weld—that appeals by Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone are not slowing down his project and that he expects work will begin in earnest next month.
Also from Wynn: ‘We’re going to be the damnedest best neighbor you ever had’
Catherine Carlock and Craig Douglas of the Boston Business Journal break down Wynn’s talk by subject matter, highlighting quotes on everything from what the casino will look like to his relationships with Boston politicians: “We made friends with everybody except (Somerville Mayor) Joe Curtatone. … But we’ll end up OK with him. He’ll get over it. Mayor Walsh and I are now on the best of terms, and that’s great. If we get this place built, and make a buck, we’re going to be the damnedest best neighbor you ever had.”
SJC hears challenge to marijuana question
The state’s highest court heard arguments from lawyers on both sides of the proposed ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana and now faces a time crunch to issue a ruling, Jack Sullivan of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Attorneys representing the campaign committee formed by Gov. Charlie Baker and others said the language Attorney General Maura Healey put forward for the ballot itself is misleading and leaves out key facts about the proposed legislation. Deadlines for submitting the final round of signatures to get the question on the ballot loom in early July.
UMass cuts coming, Meehan says
UMass President Marty Meehan says budgets at all five campuses will be cut as the university’s trustees delayed a vote on a potential tuition hike until after next year’s state budget is finalized, Kathleen McKiernan of the Herald reports. “There’s a lot of uncertainty given the revenue numbers,” Meehan said as protestors from UMass Boston picketed outside the trustees meeting.
How will cities pay for Green Line Extension?
A month after they pledged to kick in a combined $75 million to keep the Green Line Extension project on track, the cities of Somerville and Cambridge still don’t have solid plans in place for how they’d come up with the cash, Adam Vaccaro of Boston.com reports. Cambridge has a leg up, as it only needs to come up with $25 million and half of that has been pledged by the developer behind the North Point project.
Former Sen. William ‘Mo’ Cowan to head lobbying firm ML Strategies
William “Mo” Cowan, the former interim US senator and holder of top Patrick administration positions, has been promoted to CEO of powerhouse lobbying firm ML Strategies, reports Andy Metzger of State House News Service at Wicked Local. Steve Tocco, the president and CEO of ML Strategies since 1997, will take over as chairman, allowing Cowan to move up from his current job as chief operating officer. The firm says the baton passing has been has been in the works for years.
Judge presses for more info on possible prosecutorial misconduct
Hampden County Superior Court Judge Richard Carey is pressing prosecutors and defense attorneys to find a way to identify any undisclosed emails related to possible prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of documents seized from disgraced state crime lab chemist Sonja Farak, reports Shawn Musgrave of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting’s The Eye. Attorneys trying to overturn convictions that relied on Farak’s tainted drug testing are challenging whether they’ve been given all the emails to and from prosecutors handling the Farak documents.
About those looming shortages of manufacturing and college-educated workers
A few years back there was a Northeastern University report that said Massachusetts was soon going to experience a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers, as current baby-boomer workers retire in droves. Now the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is warning of a shortage of college-educated workers, as current baby-boomer workers retire in droves, Jim Kinney at MassLive reports. Both studies are probably right: The population of Massachusetts is aging and the state will be soon facing a number of labor force problems as a result. Not to mention that state government also will be soon facing a number of related fiscal problems tied to an aging population.
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