Happening Today

Groundbreaking ceremony

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Beverly Mayor Michael P. Cahill, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, MBTA acting general manager Brian Shortsleeve, MassHousing executive director Tim Sullivan and Barnat Development founder Sarah Barnat to break ground on 112 Rantoul Street in Beverly, 100 Rantoul Street, Beverly, 9 a.m.

Spilka speaks to Realtors

Massachusetts Association of Realtors hosts its annual lobby day to promote its legislative priorities, with Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka expected to speak at the event, Great Hall, 10 a.m.

Flag Day ceremony

Secretary of State William Galvin hosts schoolchildren for a Flag Day ceremony, Nurses Hall, 10:45 a.m.

Renewable energy rally

Environment Massachusetts and other clean energy advocates will rally in support of bills that would require the state to get all of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050, State House steps, 10:45 a.m.

Governor’s Council

Governor’s Council holds its weekly meeting with votes possible on the nominations of attorney John Coffey to the Natick District Court bench, Michelle Kelley as clerk magistrate of the Wrentham District Court and Susan Sard Tierney as a judge in the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.

Marijuana Policy Committee

Marijuana Policy Committee holds executive session to vote on a bill to overhaul the marijuana legalization ballot law, Room A-1, 12 p.m.

Constitutional Convention

A proposed amendment to the state constitution that would add a 4 percent surtax on incomes over $1 million needs one final vote of the Legislature to be placed before voters in 2018, House Chamber, 1 p.m.

Gaming Commission

Gaming Commission meets to discuss Gaming Service Employee Registration, a report about the PlayMyWay program, 2016 audit results for Plainridge Park Casino, and other matters, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 1 p.m.

Sail Boston security

Gov. Baker, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and city, state, and federal officials discuss public safety in preparation for Sail Boston, which is being held from June 17 to June 22, UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, Boston, 1:30 p.m.

MBTA retirement fund rebuttal

Tom Roth, president of the Labor Bureau, Inc., and the Boston Carmen’s Union give a presentation on the MBTA Retirement Fund ‘refuting recent information released by the MBTA about the status of the fund,’ Hearing Room 437, 1:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

The Question 4 overhaul, unveiled

As expected, the planned legislative overhaul of the Question 4 initiative legalizing marijuana is pretty extensive, with lawmakers proposing to double the total tax on pot sales, giving local boards and councils more power to ban marijuana shops and stripping Treasurer Deb Goldberg of sole responsibility for regulating the pot industry in Massachusetts. The Globe’s Joshua Miller and the Herald’s Matt Stout and CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan have comprehensive takes on the legislation that committee members plan to vote on today and that House members will vote on tomorrow. Of course, the indispensable State House News Service has a PDF copy of the bill (pay wall) at its web site.

The proposed 28 percent tax rate, frankly, is a surprise, seeing how many lawmakers, including Sen. Pat Jehlen, chairwoman on the Marijuana Policy Committee, have warned that the tax rate should be kept relatively low to discourage the emergence of a marijuana black-market. But it seems a majority of the commission are going for broke on the tax-rate issue. Needless to say, Question 4 backers are furious over the legislative plans.

Boston’s Tall Ships extravaganza deemed a high-security risk event

The Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie and the Herald’s Dan Atkinson are both reporting that the upcoming Tall Ships event in Boston has been designated as one of the highest security risks in the nation, right up there with the Super Bowl in terms of requiring extra security. Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and law enforcement officials are expected to address security measures and concerns at a press briefing later today.

Capuano rips fellow Dem’s aggressive push for Trump impeachment

Emotions are high and getting higher within Democratic ranks over the impeachment issue. Mike Lillis at The Hill reports that U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts confronted a fellow Democrat during a closed-door caucus hearing yesterday, denouncing his aggressive impeachment push as a selfish move that could harm Democrats and Democratic candidates. Demanding that more party discussions are needed on the impeachment issue, Capuano is quoted as saying: “Emotions are high. These issues have political implications and government ones.”

The incident makes you appreciate more this past weekend’s Boston Globe piece by Victoria McGrane and Astead Herndon about the growing divisions among Democrats over how hard to push impeachment, if at all, at this time.

The Hill

Congressional Dems to file suit against Trump over his business dealings

Meanwhile, Democrats don’t appear very divided on this issue, reports the Washington Post: “Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress agreed to file a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump alleging that by retaining interests in a global business empire he has violated constitutional restrictions on taking gifts and benefits from foreign leaders.”

Washington Post

Baker bill would unambiguously crack down on repeat drunk drivers

Reacting to a recent SJC ruling that said the state’s repeat drunk-driving laws are too “ambiguous,” Gov. Charlie Baker is crafting legislation that would “ensure repeat drunk drivers don’t get an easier path back to the streets,” reports the Herald’s Matt Stout.

Boston Herald

You steal my parking space, I’ll take your legislative seat

Get a load of this one: Barnstable County Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr. says he is ‘strongly considering’ running for the 5th Barnstable District state House seat in 2018, apparently because the incumbent, Rep. Randy Hunt, took his reserved parking space outside the Barnstable Court House. Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times follows the email chain behind the Republican-on-Republican parking dustup. 

Cape Cod Times

Pharmacist spills beans on high prescription-drug prices: The system is rigged

This is pretty outrageous if it’s true: Northeastern University’s Todd Brown, a long-time independent pharmacist who heads the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, says powerful middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers, basically have the system rigged so that they, not the patients, pocket the savings from negotiated prescription-drug discounts – and pharmacists are told to shut up about the pricing arrangement. The bottom line: “In many instances, patients would be better off paying for their medicine without going through their insurance company.”


Shifting Bridgewater State Hospital from DOC to DMH meets union opposition

A prominent supporter of shifting control of the troubled Bridgewater State Hospital from the Department of Corrections to the Department of Mental Health says the enabling legislation will “probably not” pass this session because “it’s going to take a lot to convince people.” Chief among the unconvinced are members of the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union, whose lobbyist yesterday said shifting the hospital to DMH would be a mistake, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at Wicked Local.

Wicked Local

Bloomberg: Russian cyberattacks may have hit as many as 39 states

Though Massachusetts isn’t specifically named, Bloomberg’s Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson report that Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. electoral system have been far more extensive than previously disclosed, with Russian hackers hitting election-data systems in a total of 39 states.

Makes you wonder about the urgency of Gov. Baker’s recent move to elevate the state’s IT office to a cabinet-level position. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is planning to introduce a bill creating the “National Russian Threat Response Center,” charged with snuffing out Russian hacking, reports the Herald’s Jack Encarnacao. In addition, U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, in a Globe op-ed, was warning over the weekend about the seriousness of Russian cyberattacks.


Don’t forget: ConCon is today

The Legislature today holds a Constitutional Convention at which the Fair Share Act (i.e. the ‘millionaire’s tax’) is expected to win easy approval and take another step towards landing on the 2018 statewide ballot – unless business groups can legally block the initiative in the courts. The Globe’s Michael Levenson has more on the convention — and the Fair Share Act’s supporters and opponents.

Hardwick mulls lifting ban on nuclear weapons – and detonations – in town

A set of Hardwick bylaws dating back to the Nuclear Free Zone movement of the 1980s and early 1990s will be the subject of Town Meeting debate this weekend, as voters decide whether to rescind ordinances banning the production, transportation, storage, processing — and detonation — of nuclear weapons within town, reports Jim Russell at MassLive. Maybe they should leave the detonation clause in place.


Financially struggling Wheelock College selling off Fenway buildings

Boston’s Wheelock College, facing increasing financial pressures and plunging enrollments, is trying to sell off its president’s house and a dormitory in the Fenway, in addition to re-evaluating its programs, writes the Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes. How serious is the problem? Plans are on hold for recruiting a freshman undergraduate class for 2019.

Boston Globe

Don’t freak out: WBUR launches new politics and history podcast

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Ron Suskind and Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson are starting a new weekly podcast, called Freak Out and Carry On, on WBUR, focusing on national political issues and putting them into historical context, reports Katherine Brewer at WBUR. The new podcast, which will run every Thursday, launches tomorrow. 


Another Hollywood bomb, another big Mass. payout

The Globe is reporting that the producers of the most recent ‘Ghostbusters’ movie received $26.7 million in state film tax credits last year, a big thumbs up for them, even though audiences and critics gave big thumbs down to the movie itself.

Boston Globe

Lauren Baker launches DCF support fund push

Lauren Baker, the state’s first lady, is launching an initiative to quadruple the fundraising power of the Massachusetts Wonderfund, which funnels money to children in DCF care, Brian Dowling of the Herald reports. Baker said she has been working on the project behind-the-scenes for more than a year and hopes to help the fund raise $1.5 million this year, compared to the $400,000 it took in last year. 

Boston Herald

Greenfield nurses poised to strike on June 26

The labor showdown between Tufts Medical Center and its nurses has drawn a lot of attention of late. But it appears 200 nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield are actually much further along in possibly striking over contract issues, setting June 26 as the target date for their one-day action, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ.


Self-driving car startups sure love testing their vehicles in Boston

From Dylan Martin at BostInno: “Another self-driving car startup has received approval to test the streets of Boston’s Seaport, and it could eventually lead to the company to providing passenger service in the future. Optimus Ride, a MIT spinoff backed by computer chip giant Nvidia, announced on Tuesday that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has given it the go-ahead to start testing autonomous vehicles in the state.”


Landfill cash can’t sway voters on trash

Voters in Southbridge overwhelmingly defeated a non-binding referendum that would have directed officials to negotiate for an expansion of a local landfill operation, despite more than $100,000 in trash-talk spending ahead of the vote from supporters, Brian Lee of the Telegram reports.


Ash lauds New Bedford’s links-to-biz-park plan

The state’s secretary of housing and economic development visited the Whaling City Golf Course in New Bedford, where city and state officials plan to convert half the links into a new business park, and said the site is poised to become a major jobs magnet, Michael Bonner of the Standard-Times reports.

SouthCoast Today

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

The Art of Health Care at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will hold its fifth annual “The Art of Health Care” celebration, honoring its mission of providing easily accessible, affordable, high-quality health care to East Boston and surrounding communities. The night will include a reception, silent auction, and guided art tours of the building.

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

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

Tzedek Salon: Confronting Islamophobia

Join us on June 14 for an important conversation on understanding and confronting Islamophobia, nationally and in Massachusetts. We’ll be joined by the Shannon Al-Wakeel, Executive Director of the Muslim Justice League, to talk about the way that Muslim communities are targeted structurally and ways to advocate for policy change.

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

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


Mammoth Wynn Boston Harbor resort taking shape – Boston Globe

Tall Ships bringing Super Bowl-like security to Boston – Boston Herald

Boston council considers sanctuary schools – Boston Globe


Millbury bylaw restricting drug treatment clinics is rejected as discriminatory – Telegram & Gazette

Worcester city councilor questions advisory panel’s tactics – Telegram & Gazette

Lawmakers cite need for better civic lessons – Salem News

Keep your eyes peeled for a yellow red line train – Patriot Ledger

Cape prosecutor testifies in own defense – Cape Cod Times

$41,000 goes uncollected at T parking garage – CommonWealth Magazine

Attleboro police issue warrant in stolen gavel case – Sun-Chronicle

Legislators call for Tufts Medical to offer nurses better contract – Boston Business Journal

Brockton school superintendent: Mayor’s budget ‘completely irresponsible’ – Brockton Enterprise

State official calls new business park at Whaling City golf course a ‘no brainer’ – Standard-Times

Nangle bill sees sharp opposition from nonprofits – Lowell Sun


Six explosive moments that could still come in Russia probe – Politico

Congressional Democrats to sue Trump, alleging improper payments from foreign nations – Washington Post

Upstarts get beaten back in primary for Virginia governor – New York Times

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