Criminal justice reform summit
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and director of the Center for Effective Justice & Right on Crime Marc Levin are featured speakers at the Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Policy Summit, Omni Parker House, 60 School St., Boston, 8:30 a.m.
Warren health facility tour
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren visits the Cambridge Health Alliance Malden Care Center for a tour of the facility and roundtable discussion with leaders in the health care community, CHA Malden Care Center, 195 Canal Street, Malden, 9 a.m.
UMass Law’s first commencement
In its first commencement since receiving full American Bar Association accreditation, the University of Massachusetts School of Law awards 49 law degrees, with Morris Dees, the founder and chief legal counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, delivering the address, Main Auditorium, Campus Center, UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Rd., Dartmouth, 10 a.m.
Congressman Rothfus at New England Council
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, a Pennsylvania Republican and member of the House Financial Services Committee, speaks to the New England Council, Bank of America, 225 Franklin St., 5th Floor, Boston, 10:15 a.m.
House committee on bonding
House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets holds an oversight hearing on higher education, Hearing Room B-1, 10:30 a.m.
MBTA control board
MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board meets and is scheduled to discuss commuter rail, the Green Line extension project, and Red Line/Orange Line Wellington Maintenance Facility improvements, Transportation Board Meeting Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, 12:15 p.m.
Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Omni Hotels & Resorts owner and chairman Robert Rowling celebrate the announcement of the city’s newest hotel in South Boston, Summer and D streets, South Boston, 1 p.m.
Committee on the Judiciary holds a hearing on family and probate legislation, including bills dealing with child custody, divorce proceedings, alimony payments and visitation rights, Hearing Rooms A-1 and A-2, 1 p.m.
Gov. Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Lt. Gov. Polito gather for a private leadership meeting, Governor’s Office, Room 360, 2 p.m.
Medicine that Matters gala
Gov. Baker is expected to attend the annual Medicine That Matters Gala, where Boston Health Care for the Homeless will present its Tim Russert Award to Mike Barnicle and his wife Bank of America vice chair Anne Finucane; First Lady Lauren Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, former Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Joseph Kennedy III, and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey are also expected to attend, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress St., Boston, 5 p.m.
Getting kids to exercise more beyond using their texting thumbs
Sen. Thomas McGee and others want to increase the time kids spend in school gym classes as part of an effort to reduce obesity rates among the young, reports the MetroWest Daily News. No word on banning possession of mobile phones during said activities, though maybe that’s assumed.
While the state is spending more on prisons …
There may be fewer inmates languishing in state prisons and jails these days, but the cost of operating those facilities has risen by 18 percent over the past five years, thanks largely to the hiring of more employees and pay increases for corrections staff, according to a new MassINC study, as reported by Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.
… funding for prisoner reentry program slowly fades away
This makes a lot of sense (not): The state is spending more on fewer prisoners, while a celebrated city reentry program for ex-prisoners quietly fades away due to lack of funding, as reported by Michael Jonas, also at CommonWealth. In other words: The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing? It wouldn’t be the first in the history of government. The Globe has an editorial on the state’s prison-funding priorities.
Henri Termeer, RIP
Henri Temeer was no ordinary retired chief executive. He was rightly considered a giant, even an historic figure, within the state’s powerful biotech industry, a sector Termeer, as the long-time head of Cambridge’s Genzyme Corp, helped pull from the laboratories and into the commercial world. Termeer passed away on Friday night. He was a pioneer. He played a huge role in shaping the state’s economy. He loved Boston. And he will be missed. Here are pieces on Termeer’s sad death from the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal and Boston’s Xconomy.
A return to ‘Taxachusetts’?
If the state ultimately passes all the proposed taxes now on the table– the millionaire’s tax, the soda tax, the higher marijuana tax, the Airbnb tax, the governor’s employer-health-care assessment tax – is it fair to say Massachusetts could reclaim its old title of ‘Taxachusetts’? The answer is, well, yes, according to fiscal watchdogs and anti-tax groups. The Globe’s Joshua Miller has more on all the tax ideas now floating around Beacon Hill.
Fantasy sports sites could get hit with reality-based taxes
Oh, wait. Here’s another tax to add to the above list: New possible fees and taxes on fantasy sports sites, such as Boston’s DraftKings, reports Christian Wade at the Eagle Tribune.
Committee expected to release Senate budget on Tuesday
Though it’s unclear how it will handle a potential half-billion-dollar budget shortfall facing the state, the Senate Ways and Means Committee is expected to unveil tomorrow its own spending blueprint for Massachusetts, several weeks after the House approved its own $40.3 billion budget for next fiscal year, the Associated Press is reporting at CBS Boston. The more liberal Senate is usually more open to new taxes, but Gov. Baker and House Democratic leaders are making it clear they oppose to a major tax hike.
Adding up all the state’s botched computer system screw-ups
Treasurer Deb Goldberg and Gov. Baker are scrambling to win back taxpayer confidence and fix problems associated with computer boondoggles that have cost the state $400 million in recent years, reports the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. “I’ve seen the state get burned on a lot of projects, but we’ve tirelessly reviewed this technology and the potential vendors,” said Goldberg.
Thanks to a computer system that actually works, DOR gets tougher on tax returns
Of course, the state made darn sure it didn’t screw up installation of a new computer system at the Department of Revenue, which is now using it and other means to step up efforts to catch fraudulent tax returns, reports the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes. The “mini-audits” are freaking out some tax filers.
Quincy attorney’s latest crusade: A ballot question to force candidates to release tax returns
Speaking of tax returns, Quincy attorney Tom Kiley, known for having a client list heavy with prominent pols, is pushing for a statewide referendum on whether to force candidates to make public their tax returns in order to qualify for the ballot, the Herald’s Matt Stout reports in the paper’s weekly Pols & Politics column, which also has updates on state Sen. Thomas McGee’s run for mayor of Lynn (and his use of some “internal assistance”) and state Rep. Michelle DuBois’s new problems with state campaign finance officials.
Gonzalez to western Mass.: ‘I’ll be your governor as much as anybody else’s’
Jay Gonzalez’s former boss, Deval Patrick, made it to the Corner Office partly by appealing to voters in red-leaning western Massachusetts. Now it seems Gonzalez, a Democrat, is ripping a page from that playbook in his own bid for governor, reports Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics & Insight.
Here’s why former Gov. Patrick was generally liked and espected in western Massachusetts: He not only owned a home in the area. He actually spoke, and still speaks, to crowds in the region, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive.
Warren’s Ware appearance greeted by pro-Trump protestors
Not all Democrats are being well received in western Massachusetts. From Lucas Robek at MassLive: “A small crowd of Ware residents and self-proclaimed Trump supporters stood outside of the local High School on West Street on Friday, protesting the Town Hall being held by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren within. … The protesters of the event said that they didn’t believe Warren’s politics served their interests and that they approved of the job Donald Trump is doing as President.” MassLive has another reporton Warren’s appearance in western Mass. over the weekend.
Tanglewood makes sweet music for Berkshire economy
Speaking of western Massachusetts, Tanglewood, the Lenox summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, generates nearly $104 million in economic activity in the Berkshires region each year, a new report due out of Williams College suggests. Clarence Fanto of the Berkshire Eagle reports that a similar study done in 2008 found $60 million in annual spending tied to the venue.
Framingham mayor’s race has first controversy
The field for the first-ever election for mayor in Framingham hasn’t even been set yet, but the race already had its first public controversy over the weekend. One candidate, John Stefanini, a former state representative, admitted to hiding campaign materials of another, Yvonne Spicer —including a clipboard for gathering voter signatures to get her name on the ballot—when he came across them at the town’s public library on Saturday. Police were called; surveillance video was reviewed; outrage ensued.
Chelmsford lawmaker accused of ‘meddling’ in Lowell’s high school land quest
Lowell’s efforts to free up recreational land to host what could be the state’s most expensive high school building project is causing rancor in the state legislature, Christopher Scott reports in the Lowell Sun’s The Column blog. Cory Atkins, who represents neighboring Chelmsford, wrote to House Speaker Robert DeLeo asking for a public hearing on a home-rule petition sought by Lowell asking lawmakers to roll back so-called Article 97 protections on open land near Cawley Stadium. That prompted charges by Rep. David Nangle, who represents Lowell, that Atkins was meddling in city business. Atkins, however, says she’s heard from more than 100 Lowell residents concerned the land flip would be fast-tracked and passed without debate.
Nearly 600,000 motorists, some reluctantly, sign up for E-ZPass transponders
Now here’s an electronic program that has definitely worked, one that ultimately came down to this: Which do most E-ZPass holdouts hate more – loss of some electronic privacy or higher Pike fines? The answer: They hate the higher fines more, so much so that the number of E-ZPasses in circulation have soared by 587,000, or 22 percent, over the past year and, especially, since the Pike went all electronic-tolling, reports the Globe’s Nicole Dungca.
But WGBH’s Callie Crossley remains a proud EZPass holdout. She explains.
Gold State dad Khizr Kahn to speak at ACLU event tomorrow
From the Associated Press at the New York Times: “Gold Star father Khizr Khan will be a featured speaker at the annual Bill of Rights Dinner sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. … Khan, a lawyer and civil liberties advocate, received international attention after he criticized Trump during a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. His son was a Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War.”
Norfolk DA wants state funds to deal with Plainridge Casino-tied crime
Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office is asking the state’s gaming commission to help foot the bill for an attorney who would deal specifically with crimes – such as firearm offenses, domestic violence cases and even instances of assaults on police officers – tied to the new Plainridge Park Casino, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. Crime associated with new casinos? We thought there wasn’t supposed to a big spike in crime tied to casinos, or at least that’s what we were told by gambling proponents. (Insert obligatory snort here.)
Three internal candidates vie for US Attorney here; Baker not involved in selection
The Globe’s Milton J. Valencia has the names of three current federal prosecutors who have been interviewed by the Trump administration to replace former US Attorney Carmen Oritz, reports Milton Valencia at the Globe. Note: The selection process is being totally run out of Washington – and Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who refused to endorse Donald Trump for president last year, has been frozen out of proceedings, Valencia reports.
Pot shop could mean big bucks for Attleboro
From Attleboro comes a reminder of just how lucrative the medical marijuana business can be for municipalities: George W. Rhodes of the Sun-Chronicle reports that under a proposal to open the Bristol County Wellness Center in a former jewelry story downtown, as much as $1 million could find its way into city coffers over the course of the next three years.
Meanwhile, the tally of towns saying no to recreational marijuana shops continues to grow. The latest to close its borders to pot shops is Pembroke, where voters on Saturday backed a full-on moratorium on recreational weed by a count of 842 to 313, Jessica Trufantof the Patriot Ledger reports.
Anti-OUI ignition interlocks on the rise in Bay State
The number of drivers required to use anti-OUI ignition interlocks before they use their cars has increased sharply over the past decade in Massachusetts, with 5,883 motorists now using the device that can measure alcohol on their breath, and a bill before lawmakers would expand the current program, reports the Globe’s Sean P. Murphy.
Boston Common cage match: Neo-Nazi punks vs socialist punks
Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin has links to lots of photos and videos of right-wing protestors, who Adam rightly labels as mostly neo-Nazi morons, and a lot of bandana-wearing counter protestors who came to rumble at Boston Common over the weekend, as the Herald points out. Both sides love this stuff.
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