Happening Today

State pension meeting

The state Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg serving as chair, holds a meeting of its investment committee with discussions planned on public markets portfolio performance, hedge funds and portfolio completion strategies performance and private equity, 84 State St., Boston, 9:30 a.m. 

Post-session interview

Two days after the end of this year’s legislative session, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is a guest on Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting,” 70 Fargo St., Boston, 10 a.m.

Antibiotic chickens

Representatives from consumer group MASSPIRG plan to show up at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken store with thousands of petition signatures protesting the chain’s use of chicken raised with antibiotics, KFC store – front plaza, 695 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, 11 a.m.

GOP senate debate

Barnstable Town Councilor James Crocker and retired Air Force officer Anthony Schiavi, the two Republican candidates for the hotly contested Cape and the Islands Senate seat, will participate in a debate moderated by Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe, Hyannis Golf Club, 1840 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Despite vacancies, T eyes layoffs amidst $110M deficit

Layoffs remain on the table at the MBTA, which is facing a $110 million operating deficit, even though more than 250 employees took buyout offers and despite vacancies in key upper-level positions, Nicole Dungca of the Globe reports. The T’s acting general manager, Brian Shortsleeve, said about half of the positions vacated by buyouts will be filled, meaning the T would need another 150 workers to leave to meet financial targets. Hiring continues meanwhile, with 500 new workers added to the T payroll since January.

Boston Globe

Report: Feds are now probing Grand Prix debacle

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is reporting that the feds have now widened their probe of City Hall’s strong-arm tactics on behalf of unions to include the now cancelled IndyCar race in Boston, in a move that brings added legal pressure on the aready beleaguered Walsh administration. John Casey, head of the Grand Prix organization that tried to organize the race event, said he’s cooperating with U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office and the U.S. Department of Labor, Battenfeld reports.

Sounds pretty serious. Still, we found this Casey quote interesting: “I reached out based on the issues that we had. They asked for my cooperation along the way and have made great strides.” So Casey reached out to the feds? Hmmm. Before or after he had heated words with City Hall officials about the collapse of the IndyCar event? Battenfeld also mentions Casey’s legal problems in Colorado, where a judge ruled that he committed fraud in a leasing company case.

Boston Herald

Meanwhile, parade organizers say city strong-armed them

Organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade claim in new court filings that city officials coerced and threatened them into including LGBT groups in their annual event, Bob McGovern and Dan Atkinson of the Herald report. The lawsuit stems from March and claims that the city violated the First Amendment rights of the South Boston Allied War Veterans and the new claims echo allegations against tactics used by city officials that led to recent extortion indictments at City Hall. Walsh denies the new charges, telling the Herald: “It’s completely not true. I don’t know what veterans are claiming that, but they should call me if there’s an issue.”

Boston Herald

Energy bill generates a lot of reactions

It will take days, if not weeks, to determine exactly what was in the renewable energy bill passed in the waning minutes of the legislative session on Sunday night. Still, Michael Norton of State House New Service reports that many industry and environmental groups have quickly reviewed the legislation and their reactions “run the gamut.” The general consensus of many (though not all): The bill is a major step forward in promoting renewable energy, particularly wind and hydro power. Gov. Charlie Baker said he’s just glad that lawmakers passed such a complicated and contentious bill, calling the effort a “real tribute to them.” But he withheld his specific views on the bill’s numerous provisions, saying “we’ve got to spend some time reviewing it.”

One group that hated the bill: The New England Power Generators Association, which said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” by the final legislation.

One group that really liked it: The Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which was thrilled that legislation didn’t mandate home energy inspections and scoring provisions.

And one group that backs the final bill, but with some minor regrets: The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, which urged Baker to sign the legislation even though it didn’t include increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard, prohibiting gas pipeline subsidies and creating oil heat energy efficiency programs.

SHNS (pay wall)

End of the session: ‘It’s sort of like ‘The Three Stooges’

House minority leader Bradley Jones Jr. cites the Three Stooges to describe Sunday night’s finale to this year’s legislative session on Beacon Hill, with so many varying clocks keeping track of when the midnight deadline would strike, the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan reports. We get the point: It was a little crazy at the State House on Sunday evening, prompting many to wonder why it always seems to come down to a mad rush each year to finish up a session. The Herald isn’t happy: “This is how mistakes get made. This is a way of doing business that ought to be unacceptable to taxpayers and voters who pay for a ‘full-time’ Legislature that works part-time and even then blows its own deadlines.”

Evans blasts lawmakers for not mandating fingerprinting of Uber drivers

William Evans, Boston’s commissioner of police, is furious that lawmakers on Sunday didn’t mandate that Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing drivers must be fingerprinted before they can transport passengers. “I don’t think you can put a price on making sure people driving the vehicles are as safe as possible,” Evans said, as reported by the Globe’s Michael Levenson. “I think it wasn’t much of an ask on fingerprints.” He added that background checks of drivers, as mandated by lawmakers, can help in screening out questionable drivers, but they’re not as good as fingerprints. “There’s no better gold standard than the fingerprint. … We’re looking for violent offenders who have sexual histories or violent histories. That’s all we want to weed out here.”

Boston Globe

Legislative leftovers: Lawmakers override Baker’s veto of Lyme disease coverage

After a legislative session ends in a burst of last-minute activity, like what happened this past weekend on Beacon Hill, it can take a while to sort out what did and didn’t pass. There’s usually a lot of legislative leftovers to sort through and examine. So following are some of this year’s leftover items from the recently concluded session, starting with this: The Legislature overturned Gov. Baker’s veto of legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for the long-term treatment of Lyme disease, even though the medical community backed Baker’s veto, reports Brian Benson at Wicked Local. The legislation requires coverage of long-term Lyme treatment “as prescribed by licensed physicians.”

Wicked Local

Legislative leftovers, Part II: New financial disclosure could impact fall elections

The House and the Senate over the weekend accepted Gov. Baker’s amendment on a financial disclosure bill that will now require identifying the major donors paying for political mass mailings, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Telegram. Baker had insisted that labor unions be included in the list of donors that needed to be disclosed – and lawmakers accepted the change that’s effective for the upcoming November elections. The law was originally aimed at the conservative-leaning Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which often sends out political mailers that are critical of Democratic candidates.

The Telegram

Legislative leftovers, Part III: Lawmakers ease restrictions on selling alcohol

Another leftover item that wasn’t immediately flagged: Lawmakers did indeed approve legislation that that would relax several state restrictions on selling alcohol, reports the Globe’s Dan Adams. They include allowing Nashoba Valley Winery and other farm wineries to sell alcohol at restaurants on their sites and allowing the sale of booze after noon on Memorial Day and on the Monday after Christmas if that holiday falls on a Sunday, Adams writes.

Boston Globe

Legislative leftovers, Part IV: All the bills that just faded away — including raising the smoking age, Duck Boat safety, etc.

Some of the bills that died a quiet death over the weekend on Beacon Hill have already been covered, such as legislation dealing with non-compete agreement restrictions, paid family leave and the state sales tax holiday. But MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg has a pretty comprehensive list of all the dearly departed bills that once caused such a raucous on Beacon Hill, only to pass into end-of-session oblivion: Raising the smoking age to 21, imposing new safety regulations on Duck Boats and other tourist vehicles, capping how much sick leave state employees can accumulate, banning use of hand-held cell phones in cars. It’s a long RIP list. The Globe’s Shirley Leung also has a good winners-and-losers list from the session.


Falling commodity prices are hammering towns’ recycling programs

Towns and cities are getting less for more when it comes to recycling, as the prices for scrap metal, paper and other recycled material plunge and put a financial strain on cities and towns that have spent a lot of time and money developing recycling programs, reports Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune. “When it costs more money to recycle something than to throw it away, that creates a big challenge for local governments,” said Michael Durfor, executive director of Northeast Resource Recovery Association. “The question is how long can many cities and towns afford to support that?”


Standing alone: The first and so far only mayor in the state to endorse marijuana legalization

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has announced his support for the state ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana, becoming the first of Massachusetts mayor to do so and putting him at odds with other mayors and elected officials around the state, MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg reports. “As I considered this question it became increasingly clear that I could no longer tolerate a system that results in disproportionate arrests of African-Americans and other minority groups and, frankly, has failed for decades to limit the availability of marijuana,” Morse said in a statement.


Massachusetts schools ranked tops

Bay State schools have been ranked tops in the country based on both school quality and school safety, Kyle Scott Claus of Boston Magazine reports. WalletHub ranked Massachusetts best in both categories based on test scores, student-pupil ratios and safety factors such as disciplinary rates. The state finished just ahead of New Jersey and Connecticut. Louisiana finished last.

Boston magazine

Carney makes last-ditch plea for horse racing funds

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will consider another request from Brockton Fairgrounds owner George Carney to use funds raised through the state’s new gaming law to help fund thoroughbred racing at the site this year, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. The new proposal seeks $1.4 million to be added to the purse account for what would be 15 days of live racing. Carney is racing the calendar and hopes to get the racing season going before fall, though the commission asked him to submit a formal written proposal before it decides at a future meeting not yet scheduled.


About that full nude photo of Melania Trump on the NY Post’s front cover

The Washington Post’s Travis Andrews, via Gatehouse Media, has a lead that’s hard to beat on a certain photo that appeared over the weekend in the Big Apple: “A brief history of potential first ladies who have had images of their naked bodies published on the front page of a newspaper during an election season: Melania Trump on Sunday’s New York Post. That’s it. The word ‘shocking’ is thrown around in politics more often than a Frisbee on a college campus, but Sunday’s New York Post cover arguably deserves the distinction.”

Gatehouse Media

Today’s Headlines


Despite vacancies and buyouts, the MBTA considers layoffs – Boston Globe

Rally held to protest Spotlight series – Boston Globe

Suit: City Hall strong-armed Southie parade – Boston Herald

GE unveils striking new headquarters for Fort Point – Boston Globe


Mass. lawmakers override veto on long-term antibiotics for Lyme – WBUR

Cab drivers say ride-hailing bill drives them out of business – Boston Globe

State Rep. candidate offers plan to block Ashland apartment complex – MetroWest Daily News

Override secures $150,000 for Braintree substance abuse program – Patriot Ledger

Field still not settled for Bradley’s house seat – Patriot Ledger

Ruling in separate case keeps Mashpee tribe’s casino hopes alive – Cape Cod Times

Berkshire legislators pleased with late-session votes – Berkshire Eagle

Activist remembers visiting girl in wheelchair with Hillary Clinton – Standard-Times

Mass. Gaming Commission considers new proposal for Brockton horse racing – Brockton Enterprise

Charter school opponents kick off TV blitz – Boston Globe

Massachusetts schools ranked best in the nation – Boston Magazine

Gov. Charlie Baker signs Massachusetts equal pay law – MassLive


Moulton takes Trump shots during school event – Salem News

Amid sacrifice debate, a look at how Trump avoided war – New York Times

In clash with Khans, Trump went too far, some strategists say – Washington Post

Swing state Democrats ask Bernie for help – Politico

Joe Biden officiates same-sex wedding for two White House staffers – BuzzFeed News

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