Happening Today

Hillary Clinton at Wellesley College commencement

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state, delivers the commencement address at Wellesley College, Wellesley College, 106 Central St., Wellesley, 10:30 a.m.

Gold Star Families Memorial

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Urena, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard Major General Gary Keefe, members of the Legislature and Gold Star families for a ceremony of remembrance at the state’s Gold Star Families Memorial in Fall River, Bicentennial Park, 1082 Davol Street, Fall River, 1 p.m.

Battle of Okinawa medals

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy present veteran John “Jack” Hurley with medals earned from the Battle of Okinawa during WWII and interview him for the Library of Congress Veteran History Project…….Residence at Five Corners, 678 Depot St., Easton, 3 p.m.

Asian American unity dinner

Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attend the Asian American Commission’s annual Unity Dinner, Boston University, GSU Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

T reshuffles the deck

The T is once again reshuffling the deck, not to be confused with re-arranging the deck chairs. Prepping for more management changes to come, the MBTA announced yesterday that interim general manager Brian Shortsleeve is stepping down and will be taking a slot on the T’s powerful fiscal control board, while Steve Poftak will be stepping down from the T’s fiscal control board to take over as interim GM. And Poftak will himself then return to the board, once the T finally hires a permanent general manager, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Got it?

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Matt Stout is reporting the next general manager – the T’s fifth over the past three years – may end up making around $300,000 a year, as officials get serious about wooing top-notch talent to the beleaguered agency. 

Now comes the hard part: Reconciling Senate and House budgets

The Senate last night approved a $40.4 billion state budget that just about everyone knows isn’t really balanced and will have to be reworked and downsized in tough upcoming bargaining sessions with the House, reports Laura Kranz at the Globe. “It’s going to be a rough budget conference,” said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, as he exited the chamber around 9:30 Thursday night. “We’re going to have to figure out and hope that the revenues reported at the end of May are continuing to head in the right direction.”

The Senate did load up on some earmark goodies, though, including funds for “anniversary celebrations in Peabody, Amesbury, Mendon and Westfield as well as a soccer program in Lawrence, a winter tourism campaign in Hull, the MetroWest Food and Music Festival and a theater in Hyde Park,” reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

Boston Globe

Senate OKs studies of high-speed rail and injection facilities

Tucked into the Senate-approved budget are amendments that call for studies of high-speed rail between Springfield and Boston, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, and new medical injection facilities for those addicted to opioids, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at the Berkshire Eagle.

‘It’s like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Just prior to last night’s Senate budget vote, a large cracking sound was clearly audible in the historic and aging Senate chamber, causing senators to apparently hurry up with business. “We’re just out of there in the nick of time, frankly,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg later told reporters, according to SHNS’s Andy Metzger. “It’s like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ where the pieces started falling,” Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka joked. 

 As it is, the Senate chamber — generally acknowledged to be more than a little, well, rickety, shall we say — is slated to soon undergo a much-needed renovation, forcing senators to hold future proceedings elsewhere in the State House.

SHNS (pay wall)

McGovern urges Trump to cool it on North Korea

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern of Worcester and other Democrats are urging the Trump Administration to tone down the rhetoric and find a diplomatic approach in dealing with the nuclear-armed North Korea, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. “In such a volatile region, an inconsistent or unpredictable policy runs the risk of unimaginable conflict,” the more than 60 Democrats write in a co-signed letter.


The Stefanini ‘PosterGate Remix’ Video, Abridged

For those of you in need of a chuckle and/or who didn’t have time to sit through the whole cringe-inducing John Stefanini Postergate video (the one where he’s seen lifting a Framingham mayoral opponent’s campaign literature from a local library), here’s an abridged remix, with accompanying music. (Btw: We called John, a former state rep, Jeff the other day – our boo-boo. Sorry.)

‘PosterGate Remix’ (YouTube)

Governor blasts plan to let convicted state employees collect pensions

The provision was tucked into a special commission’s proposal: Rather than stripping pensions from state employees convicted of on-the-job corruption and other criminal activities, the new provision would create a ‘tiered’ system of punishments that would allow the convicted to keep part of their pensions. Gov. Baker isn’t impressed. “You’re not supposed to engage in criminal activity, and if you do, your pension should absolutely be on the table and at risk,” said Baker, as reported by the Herald’s Matt Stout.

Boston Herald

Pension-manager travel spending put under microscope

On another public-pension front: A hotel room that cost $550 per night and $56 steaks are among the high-end travel-related expenses racked up by managers of the various retirement funds around the state, expenses the head of the group overseeing those funds admits are difficult to defend, Kevin Rothstein of WCVB reports. 


Health insurers warn premium rates will rise ‘substantially’ if subsidies are cut

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse on the health-care front: In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans is warning of “substantially” rising premium rates if key federal subsidies are cut off in coming months by President Trump, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ. 


Warren on McConnell: ‘He finally said hello to me’

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who sparred earlier this year with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, has achieved a diplomatic breakthrough of sorts, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. “He finally said hello to me,” Warren said in an interview on Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix show. “I said hello to him first and he finally said hello back. The first few times I said hello and he didn’t even say hello back.”


Transit-oriented development on steroids: Suffolk Downs

The proposed redevelopment of Suffolk Downs by HYM Investment Group would be perhaps the largest single development in urban Boston, costing billions of dollars and creating a “vast complex of housing, shops, restaurants, and eventually offices, arranged on pedestrian-friendly city blocks,” reports the Globe’s Tim Logan and Jon Chesto.

Boston Globe

Teachers union snubs Dorchester’s Teacher of the Year

A National Teacher of the Year isn’t really a National Teacher of the Year unless he or she belongs to a public union and doesn’t teach at a charter school, apparently. CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas reports on the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s rather ungracious refusal to congratulate, let alone acknowledge, Sydney Chaffee, the first Massachusetts educator ever named National Teacher of Year.


Middleboro selectwoman not happy to learn she was left off the invite list

Middleboro Selectwoman Leilani Dalpe, chair of the town’s Oliver Estate Advisory Committee, was more than a little ticked off to learn, after the fact, that the select chair invited the vice chair, town manager, police chief, town moderator and board assistant to a meeting to discuss issues related to Oliver Estate – and Dalpe wasn’t invited, reports Eileen Reece at Wicked Local. “It seems highly inappropriate to me,” said Dalpe.

Wicked Local

Setti Warren would use millionaire-tax proceeds to extend Blue Line

Someone should start keeping tabs on all the miracle things the yet-to-be-passed millionaire’s tax is supposed to pay for in the future. The latest commitment: A Blue Line extension into Lynn, as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren is expected to announce today, reports Tom Grillo at the Lynn Item.

Lynn Item

Gaming Commission to call in chips over horse-racing fund

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission plan to lobby urge State House lawmakers not to raid the state’s multimillion-dollar horse-racing fund, saying they’re still hopeful that the money can be used to revive thoroughbred racing in the Bay State, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.


Legalized weed ends three-year legal ordeal for head-shop owner

Massachusetts voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana has prompted prosecutors to drop three-year-old charges against a Framingham man for selling pot paraphernalia, Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports. Chris Vaccarello, who opened Grateful Head after voters legalized medical weed only to have it raided a short time later, said vindication comes too late. “They robbed the American dream from under my feet,” he said.

MetroWest Daily News

Meet the ‘other’ candidate for mayor of Boston

Jennifer Smith of the Dorchester Reporter profiles Joseph A. Wiley, 68, of East Boston who has filed enough signatures to earn a spot on the ballot and force a runoff election along with Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Tito Jackson. Wiley says he was motivated to enter the race by a recent Barack Obama speech urging “dissatisfied” citizens to get involved. 

Dorchester Reporter

Hubway expansion promises more bikes—and more conflicts

Hubway, the city’s bike-sharing system, is poised to grow rapidly over the next two years, adding 70 new locations to its current 127-location footprint, David Harris of the Boston Business Journal reports. But the expansion has the potential to add fuel to the already testy relationship between cyclists and motorists in an increasingly crowded city. 


Have a great Memorial Day – and see you on Tuesday

MASSterList will be taking Monday off for the Memorial Day holiday, so we’ll see you first thing Tuesday morning. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone.

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 5, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: James Kirchick, author of ‘The End of Europe: Dictator, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age,’ who discusses recent events in Europe with host Jon Keller.

TWIB, NECN, 10 a.m. Pat Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, talks about the upcoming summer tourism season; Dick Gavegnano, Eastern Boston Savings Bank CEO, discusses what’s new at the bank; and Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe reviews the top business stories of the week.

CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m. Kristin Keating, an EY Partner, Tanya Bakalav, CEO of BetterSkills and founder of SevOne, and Dana Ehrlich, founder and CEO of Verde Farms, participate in a roundtable on the art of entrepreneurship. 

DC Diaglogue, NECN, 1 p.m. New England Council CEO Jim Brett talks with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on  the Trump budget, the Boston response to the terrorism in Manchester, Logan Airport delays and other issues; James Pindell, political reporter at the Boston Globe, talks about the president’s overseas trip, the Russia investigation and advice on what a Democrat would have to do to beat Gov. Charlie Baker.

Note: Due to weekend sports programming, NBC Boston’s This is New England and WCVB-TV’s On the Record and CityLine shows will not air this Sunday.

Water and Wetlands Legislative Briefing

The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions are hosting a Water Issues and Wetlands Sustainability Briefing on Tuesday, May 30th from 10 am – 11 am in the House Members’ Lounge.

Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions

Putin’s Strategy in Ukraine and the Baltics

As Editor in Chief of Ukraine Business Journal and the former Russian Foreign Correspondent for Voice of America, James Brooke will give an overview of present-day Russia and Eastern Europe along with his thoughts on Russia’s current strategic interests. Q&A, refreshments. Free

Nahant Public Library

China from Inside and Outside

China changes rapidly. Learn opportunities/challenges from American & Chinese practitioners who will share their outcomes and focus on what an investment in China might mean, from your own perspective. The Chinese Economic, Monetary and Banking Situation | China in a Global Asset Allocation Framework | Investing in Chinese Equities | What’s the next Alibaba? A Focus on Chinese Tech Shares

CFA Society Boston

Women Influencers: A Financial Industry Networking Event

Please join CFA Society Boston, Boston Women in Finance, Women in ETFs Boston, Women in Investments, and Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy for a spring joint-networking event! A special THANK YOU to Eaton Vance for hosting us in their space!

CFA Society Boston

15th Annual Spring Awards Breakfast: Honoring Health Equity Champions

This June, join MPHA and more than 300 friends and partners in public health for a special celebration, as we honor five visionary leaders advancing health equity here in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Today’s Headlines


Brookline Town Meeting calls on Congress to investigate Trump – Boston Globe

Walsh: Aides deserve pay unless proven guilty – Boston Herald

Meet Joseph Wiley: He’s dissatisfied and wants to be your next mayor – Dorchester Reporter


Mass. teachers union snubs National Teacher of the Year – CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. teachers union snubs National Teacher of the Year – CommonWealth Magazine

State plans to boost pay for next T boss – Boston Herald

Study of high-speed rail between Springfield and Boston clears Senate – MassLive

Apex Center to create 1,600 jobs – Worcester Business Journal

Ex-Lowell building inspector fined $2,500, must turn over house in larceny case – Lowell Sun

Baker pledges support for life sciences center at tech council talk – Salem News

Vineyard gaming case put on hold – Cape Cod Times

Staples reportedly rejects takeover offer but another bid is still on the table – Boston Business Journal


4th circuit court ruling keeps Trump’s travel ban on hold – NPR

In words, and actions, tough posturing from Trump – New York Times

Jared Kushner now a focus of Russia investigation – Washington Post

Gianforte wins Montana special election – Politico

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