Labor rally against privatization
Labor leaders plan to rally against the MBTA’s potential privatization of four bus maintenance garages, State House steps, 9:30 a.m.
Boston Landing ribbon cutting
State officials hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Boston Landing commuter rail station, with Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov Polito, Transportation secretary Stephanie Pollack, Rep. Michael Moran, MBTA chief administrator Brian Shortsleeve and Keolis general manager David Scorey expected to attend, 100 Arthur Street, Brighton, 10:30 a.m.
Senate Dems caucus
Senate Democrats caucus with the possibility that leadership hierarchy changes will be presented to members, Room 332, 11 a.m.
Women’s Advocacy Day
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women hosts Women’s Advocacy Day 2017, Great Hall, 11 a.m.
Governor’s Council meets with votes expected on the nominations of attorney Mark Goldstein to the Worcester District Court bench and attorney Mark Hallal to the Superior Court bench, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.
Artificial Intelligence collaboration
CEOs of Partners HealthCare and GE Healthcare host a joint media roundtable to announce a long-term Artificial Intelligence collaboration, Hynes Convention Center, Room 200, 12 p.m.
Gov. Baker visits iBoss to meet with employees and discuss the growing cybersecurity industry in Massachusetts, 101 Federal Street, 23rd Floor, Boston, 3 p.m.
Catholic Charities spring event
Gov. Baker, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey and other guests attend the annual Catholic Charities Spring Celebration, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston, 6 p.m.
Warren to Trump: Intelligence information is not water-cooler ‘gossip’
Who knows where the latest Trump-Russia revelation (i.e. the president passing along sensitive intelligence information to the Russians) is headed? It’s serious stuff, politically, if not constitutionally. But until the dust settles, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has some advice for the president: Stop treating intelligence information like its mere idle ‘gossip,’ reports the Globe’s Christina Pregnant.
Warren was in vintage anti-Trump form yesterday, adding that if he doesn’t spur an international incident on his forthcoming trip to Europe and Israel, she’d consider it a success, reports the Herald. What can you say? It’s true.
State House battle looms over home-rental taxes
As the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association predicted, the Senate Ways and Means Committee yesterday released a $40.3 billion state budget yesterday that closely hews to House and Baker administration proposals on overall spending and tax increases, including the inclusion of a new employer health-care assessment tax opposed by many in the business community.
But the Senate budget did differ from the separate House and administration proposals in one key, sensitive area: A tax on short-term home rentals, via Airbnb and other rental companies. The Globe’s Curt Woodward notes the sometimes stark differences in the Senate, House and administration versions of the tax, differences that could lead to tough negotiation in the final days of the legislative session. The Herald’s Matt Stout reports how the various proposals are starting to unnerve the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which is warning it could force homeowners who occasionally rent their homes to “go underground.”
Quickly, in other Senate budget news: CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports on how the Senate budget would empty the Horse Race Development Fund to help fund the overall state budget; the AP’s Bob Salsberg at WBUR reports how the Senate budget doesn’t make any adjustments in highly questionable revenue estimates for next year; and SHNS’s Katie Lannan at CommonWealth reports on how the entire Senate budget is built on shaky revenue forecasts. The House and Baker budget proposals are also built on shaky revenue forecasts, for that matter.
Healey reviewing charter school’s crackdown on African-American girls’ hair braids
Attorney General Maura Healey says her office is looking into the controversy over Mystic Valley Regional Charter School’s disciplining of students who it says violated the school’s dress code – an action that critics say discriminates against black girls wearing their hair in braids through extensions, reports Gintautas Dumcias at MassLive. “We’ve been in contact with the school and administrators, and we are taking information, and I’m going to evaluate and make a decision from there,” Healey told MassLive.com. The ACLU and other groups have harshly criticized the school’s dress code and disciplinary actions.
Another buyer pulls out of deal to acquire Globe property
The second time wasn’t the charm. The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock reports that Center Court Properties’ deal to buy the Globe’s 16.5-acre site on Morrissey Boulevard has fallen through, marking the second time a potential buyer has pulled out of an agreement to acquire the property. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports the newspaper is still moving ahead with plans to move its headquarters to downtown Boston next month. We hate to speculate, but we’ll speculate anyway: Is there something wrong with the property, environmentally or is it just the area in general?
‘Why Allston/Brighton is the next Kendall Square’
Writing at BostInno, Mike Jezienicki and Ryan Hurd think the next Kendall Square, i.e. a major tech hotspot, will be in Allston/Brighton. Why? One word: Harvard. They note, among other things, that Harvard has plans to develop over 25 million square feet over the next several decades, compared to the 14.7 million square feet of office and lab space now in Kendall Square.
Setti takes his third or fourth ‘first step’ towards running
Frankly, we’ve lost track of how many ‘first steps’ Newton Mayor Setti Warren has already taken toward running for governor, from setting up new committees to hiring key campaign personnel. Now the Democrat is preparing to make another “first step” toward running, his wife, Tassy Warren, says in an email. SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Sentinel & Enterprise has the details. Meanwhile, the Globe has good thumbnail sketches of the three Democratic candidates now openly vying to run against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker next year.
Shortsleeve dumps Dem tag in bid for Senate seat
Former TV newscaster Joe Shortsleeve says he will run for the state Senate as an independent, or unenrolled candidate, rather than as a Democrat, giving him a much clearer path to appear on the final ballot, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Shortsleeve and others are running to replace former Sen. James Timilty, who resigned to become Norfolk County Treasurer.
Bad news for Goldberg on the online lottery front
Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who is pushing Beacon Hill lawmakers to approve online lottery games, may be running out of luck on the issue. From the Globe’s Sean Murphy: ” Nearly 70 percent of Massachusetts voters do not support legislation that would allow the state lottery to sell tickets online, a new survey has found. Just 5 percent said they support expanding the lottery to include Internet games ‘very’ strongly, the survey found, while 7 percent said they support the proposal ‘somewhat’ strongly.”
Celtics break the curse
We interrupt this political newsletter to bring you this special MassterList announcement: The Boston Celtics have broken their NBA Lottery Curse by last night winning the right to the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft, ESPN reports. Happy days are already here for the Celts, who are now making a deep run in the NBA playoffs. But even happier days lie ahead if Danny Ainge makes the right move with the pick. NESN’s Cameron McDonough is already telling Danny what to do. More from the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.
Now back to politics …
How can the state and city improve the business climate here?
The Globe’s Shirley Leung heaps praise on MassPort for including a diversity requirement in the development plans for the new Omni hotel complex in South Boston, saying it’s a step in the right direction in making Boston a more welcoming city for minority- and female-owned businesses. Meanwhile, former state economic czar Greg Bialecki, also writing at the Globe, says the state needs to sharpen its message that Massachusetts’ long-term economic prospects are bright and getting brighter.
Healey organizes fentanyl ‘strike force’
Armed with $1 million in federal money, Attorney General Maura Healey is launching a new task force to battle the spread of fentanyl, citing “incredibly haunting” stastics showing the rise of opioid-tied deaths linked to fentanyl, as Gintautas Dumcius reports at MassLive.
N.H., Maine now await word from Massachusetts on the fate of Daylight Saving Time
Fred Bever at WBUR has a good piece on how other New England states are proceeding with the once seemingly crazy idea of sticking to just one time during the year (i.e. no more “fall back” by an hour in the autumn). As previously reported, Maine is well along the way of approving the idea. But so is New Hampshire. Still, legislation in both states have a big caveat: They’ll make the change only if Massachusetts does so, Bever writes.
Riding with bigotry
Commuters are seeing a definite spike in bigoted, hate-filled messages scrawled on T benches, bus seats, subway signs and the like – and the Globe’s Kay Lazar and Nicole Dungca have the stats to prove it. And the swastikas and other offensive graffiti are showing up on the roadways too.
Hundreds to descend on Boston for women’s political caucus conference
This is big news in both the political and tourism worlds in Boston, via SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Record: “In two months, Boston will host the National Women’s Political Caucus Biennial Convention, which will focus training women to run for public office. ” More than 500 women from 30 states are expected to attend.
From greens to green in New Bedford
The city of New Bedford plans to redevelop part of its Whaling City municipal golf course into a business park to help meet a growing need for new business development space, Wesley Sykes of the Standard-Times reports. How much of the 18-hole course will be used is not yet clear, though the city says it will work with MassDevelopment to redevelop the property.
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