Happening Today

Immigration bill press conference

Sen. Jamie Eldridge, Rep. Juana Matias, Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, and others hold a pre-committee media availability over legislation that would bar state and local police from aiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on certain immigration matters, Room 437, 9:30 a.m.

Safe Communities Act hearing

Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security holds a hearing on the ‘Safe Communities Act’ that bans use of state resources to support federal immigration laws, Rooms A1 and A2, 10 a.m.

Cabinet meeting

Gov. Charlie Baker holds a meeting with members of his cabinet and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Room 360, 10 a.m.

Safe Communities Act vigil

Greater Boston Health and Law Immigrant Solidarity Network holds a vigil for health professionals in support of the Safe Communities Act, State House steps, 12 p.m.

Gold Award ceremony

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg provides congratulatory remarks at the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award Ceremony, Great Hall, 2 p.m.

Asian American Civic Association gala

Gov. Baker and Auditor Suzanne Bump attend the Asian American Civic Association 50th Anniversary Celebration, Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Bombshells away

So much for yesterday’s James Comey hearing being a dud. There were no true smoking guns per se revealed yesterday, as the Globe’s Joan Vennochi and the New York Times’ David Brooks rightly note. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of damning and damaging testimony by the former FBI chief, they add The Globe’s Jacklyn Reiss has a fun best-quotes story from the hearing, while her Globe colleagues – James Pindell and Michael Cohen – have their own hearing highlights pieces. One more from a Globie: Scot Lehigh thinks Comey absolutely mauled President Trump.

Then again, this is a two-newspaper town, and the Herald’s Howie Carr says Comey’s testimony merely proved he’s a hero in his own mind. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says Comey is covered in the same mud he was slinging. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins notes that Trump wasn’t the only one damaged by Comey’s blunt testimony: Hillary Clinton, former AG Loretta Lynch and current AG Jeff Sessions also got dinged.

Finally, WGBH’s Peter Kadzis has a good piece comparing today’s Russian-connections scandal and Watergate and says yesterday’s hearing proved, if anything, that some sort of crime was committed, as it relates to Russia.

Rosenberg on freezing income-tax rate: ‘I don’t see that happening’

Senate President Stan Rosenberg has thrown cold water on the idea floating around the State House of freezing the state’s income tax rate at its current rate, rather than letting it decrease as scheduled by law, in order to help balance the state budget, reports Colin Young at SHNS (pay wall). Meanwhile, Gov. Baker, trying to plug a more than $400 million budget gap in the current state budget, yesterday said that there may be “hundreds of millions of dollars” that won’t be spent by state agencies by the end of this fiscal year and that those funds could be used to fill budget holes, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan and Andy Metzger (pay wall). Rosenberg said he’s “looking forward” to seeing how that mini-miracle budget trick pans out.

Big changes at Medicaid?

If this works, it’s a big long-term deal, arguably more important than anything that lawmakers are now mulling to stabilize the state’s perennially unstable budget. From Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: “Massachusetts has chosen 18 health care organizations to participate in a massive Medicaid restructuring aimed at changing the way providers are reimbursed and creating new programs to care for patients on a budget.”


‘Here are tips on how to successfully cultivate your own cannabis’

The times they are a-changin’ when a mainstream newspaper site, in this case MassLive.com, has a feature on how best to grow pot in your home. …


Travesty: Hilltop Steak House site to be redeveloped into luxury apartments

One saving grace of AvalonBay Communities Inc.’s purchase of the old Hilltop Steak House in Saugus, with plans to turn the site into luxury apartments, is that the firm plans to incorporate the restaurant’s landmark cactus sign into development designs, as the BBJ’s David Harris reports. Here’s a BBJ slideshow of the old Hilltop Steak House.


Brockton socks away cash for education lawsuit

This is getting serious. The city of Brockton’s 2018 budget sets aside $100,000 to hire outside lawyers in the event it joins with other cities—think Worcester—to sue the state over the way it distributes education funding, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. “Relief must come from the state,” the mayor says. 


Showdown today over ‘sanctuary state’ legislation

Proponents and opponents of making Massachusetts a ‘sanctuary state’ are gearing up for a major fight today, as the Safe Communities Act goes before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, according to an AP report at the New York Times. This legislation shouldn’t be confused with a similar bill that House Democrats recently retreated from amid fears it would be perceived as a ‘sanctuary state’ endorsement, as the Herald’s Jack Encarnacao notes.


One word may doom pregnant-worker protection bill

The inclusion of just one word – “knowingly” – in a compromise bill may put in jeopardy the entire pregnant-worker protection legislation that was passed by the House earlier this session and now awaits a vote in the Senate, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports (and explains). 

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, a radio ad campaign aimed at just one person

Forty-nine other states, Gov. Charlie Baker and a majority of lawmakers on Beacon Hill favor a bill that would allow optometrists to treat glaucoma and other eye conditions. But the optometrists are now spending $25,000 on radio ads to convince just one lawmaker to relent in his opposition: House Majority Leader Ron Mariano, the Globe’s Frank Phillips also reports.

Boston Globe

Next chore for Elizabeth Warren: Defending Dodd-Frank

As the nation’s attention was riveted yesterday on former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled U.S. House quietly voted to weaken the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill – and weaken as well U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s cherished Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Washington Post reports progressives are already gearing up for a major fight in the Senate.

Washington Post

Scott Brown confirmed as ambassador to N.Z. – with Elizabeth Warren’s help

Speaking of Warren, partisanship was most definitely set aside yesterday, at least locally, when former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, was easily confirmed to be the next ambassador to New Zealand, with Warren, who defeated Brown for the Senate seat in 2012, and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, both Democrats, voting in favor.


SJC tosses defamation suit against former Gov. Patrick

Without addressing former Gov. Deval Patrick’s executive-privilege defense, the Supreme Judicial Court yesterday threw out a much-watched defamation suit against Patrick, saying the plaintiff failed to prove Patrick’s statements about the fired chair of the Sex Offender Registry Board were made with “actual malice,” reports Stephanie Ebbert at the Globe.

Boston Globe

Crosby: Thoroughbred horse racing has not crossed the finish line yet

Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, has written a letter to Beacon Hill lawmakers saying the horse-racing industry can be saved in Massachusetts, but it’s not going to happen if lawmakers raid the state’s horse-racing fund and don’t consolidate regulatory powers with the commission. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth has more.


Fear not: Corrections employees won’t go payless

From Colin Young at SHNS: “The Senate will temporarily relent in its pursuit of a report on Department of Correction spending and pass a budget bill Thursday to ensure the department can avoid payless paydays for its employees. On Boston Herald Radio, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, asked about a News Service report that department funds will run out on Sunday, said the Senate has committed to getting the supplemental budget to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk by the end of the week.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Going local: Faneuil Hall Marketplace launches latest effort to win back locals

Under new ownership, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is once again trying to woo local shoppers and diners who have long been turned off by the tourist-trap “stigma” of the tourist-trap mecca, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan. While they’re at it, the owners may also want to step up efforts to rid the marketplace of the “Fake Monk Mafia” trawling for dollars, reports Universal Hub.

A pot-sweetener for weed-host towns?

Lawmakers are considering sweetening the pot to convince more communities to keep their borders open to recreational marijuana shops as they race to revamp the ballot initiative passed in November, Chris Villani of the Herald reports. A slew of communities—mostly well-heeled, suburban types—have passed moratoriums on pot shops in the months since the ballot question passed. 

Boston Herald

Gavel thief steals chairman’s thunder in Attleboro

Police in Attleboro are hard on the trail of a man who they say was caught by video walking into the city council chamber and swiping the chairman’s gavel late last month, a theft that forced the council’s chairman to bring a rubber mallet from home to help keep order. George Rhodes of the Sun-Chronicle has all the gavel-to-no-gavel coverage. 

Sun Chronicle

Reminder: The election cycle never ends

It’s always campaign season somewhere and with less than three weeks to go, it’s crunch time in the 4th Middlesex Senate district, where the three Democrats vying for the right to replace the late Sen. Ken Donnelly debated Thursday night. Rick Sobey of the Lowell Sun reports the debate was civil, with the three hopefuls agreeing on most of the major issues. No Republicans have declared, so the June 27th primary will essentially decide who’s the next state senator. 

Lowell Sun

A call to arms to oppose the Weymouth natural-gas compressor

Tim Cronin, who’s only a senior at Stonehill College, has written an impressive blog post at the Climate Action Business Association calling on people to support state Sen. Patrick O’Connor’s bill that attempts to block a proposed natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth and to support carbon pricing.  


‘Reclaiming history in New Orleans’

This isn’t about a local topic, but it is written by a local writer, Rick Holmes, the former opinion-page editor at the MetroWest Daily News, whose op-ed pages shined under Holmes’ watch. The reason we’re running his column about a Robert E. Lee statue in New Orleans is because: A.) It’s an interesting topic about the changing South and B.) It’s just really well written. See what you think.

MetroWest Dailey News

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Massachusetts Democratic Party chair Gus Bickford, who discusses the 2018 races and the Democratic party in general, with host Jon Keller.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal talk about the Massachusetts budget shortfall, the Comey hearing, the Boston Globe’s ‘Trump Bump,’ the state’s Fortune 500 companies and other business issues.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m., Lupoli Companies CEO Sal Lupoli talks about his development projects in Gateway cities and his other business, Sal’s Pizza.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Taylor, this week’s focus: ‘Branding,’ how political, non-profit and business officials are working together to fight racism and Boston’s image as a racist city.

2017 Massachusetts Conference on Service and Volunteering

The conference will explore innovative ways to harness the power of service and volunteerism and turn the energy of volunteers into efforts that directly impact our most pressing community needs. Attendees will leave the conference with new skills, insights into best practices, connections to potential partners, and increased enthusiasm for tackling issues that concern us in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Service Alliance

College Success for Opportunity Youth

The Rennie Center will release a new report on improving college graduation rates among the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable students. The event will look at unique challenges faced by first-generation college students and opportunity youth—the 5 million young Americans who are neither in school nor employed—and how colleges, communities, and the state can support these students.

The Rennie Center

Cottonwood Management Parcel M1&M2 Groundbreaking and Celebration

Join Cottonwood Management as they break ground on their premiere Boston development located in the heart of Seaport Square on Parcels M1&M2. Cottonwood’s ceremony will include remarks from Governor Charles D. Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and will be attended by various members of the Boston City and State delegation.

Cottonwood Management, LLC

BBJ & Constant Contact Smart Reader Seminar

Join us for a 1-hour power breakfast to learn how to find more leads and minimize cold calling using the Boston Business Journal. And then, put lead generation and prospecting to good use with marketing techniques from Constant Contact.

Boston Business Journal

Gearing Up Conference

This one day intensive conference for emerging women leaders is presented by the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University.

Center for Women and Business at Bentley University

Today’s Headlines


Faneuil Hall Marketplace tries to draw more locals – Boston Globe

Four now certified for mayor’s ballot – Dorchester Reporter

GrubHub to acquire Boston-based Foodler – Boston Business Journal


Legislators advance driver cellphone ban – Boston Herald

Southbridge teachers union head faults state leadership – Telegram & Gazette

Fatherhood award established in Paul Cellucci’s name – MetroWest Daily News

Keating spars with Homeland Security over worker visas – Cape Cod Times

Gavel stolen in Attleboro council chamber caper – Sun-Chronicle

Fear and loathing on Haverhill school vote – CommonWealth Magazine

Springfield-Boston rail is now a ‘pivotal time,’ Sen. Eric Lesser says – MassLive

Lawmakers hear pitch for automatic voter registration – WGBH


‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes’: Highlights of James Comey’s testimony – NPR

Trump hearings launch Kamala Harris – Politico

What was behind those befuddling McCain questions? – New York Times

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