East-West rail tour
Sen. Eric Lesser kicks off a statewide tour to discuss his proposal to study high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield, with Sens. Linda Dorcena Forry and Joe Boncore expected to attend, South Station, Track 5, 9 a.m.
All-electronic tolling update
The MassDOT Committee on Finance and Audit will discuss all-electronic tolling revenue and expenses, the fiscal 2018 budget recommendation and other issues, Transportation Board Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, 9:30 a.m.
Advanced Functional Fabrics center
Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Reps. Joe Kennedy III and Niki Tsongas, and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics James MacStravic attend the opening of MIT’s new Functional Fabrics of America headquarters, 12 Emily Street, Cambridge, 10 a.m.
Ahead of today’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the ACLU of Massachusetts holds a press conference to urge lawmakers to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, (call-in conference), 10:30 a.m.
Senate in session
Three bills could reach Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on Monday, including one that would name a state-owned bridge in the town of Amherst after former Rep. Ellen Story, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.
MassDOT and MBTA meeting
The T Fiscal and Management Control Board will meet on its own before holding a joint meeting with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors, with discussions on the Wollaston Station improvements, the Quincy Center Garage demolition, overhaul of 10 locomotives, the future of commuter rail and the Green Line extension, 10 Park Plaza, Board Room, 11:30 a.m.
Bump and female mayors
Auditor Suzanne Bump will host a lunch with the state’s female mayors to discuss the work of the auditor’s office and issues impacting communities, Auditor’s office, 11:30 a.m.
Marijuana Policy Committee
The Marijuana Policy Committee holds an executive session to vote on a redrafted marijuana-regulation bill, separate from a Senate bill that emerged on Friday, Room A-1, 12 p.m.
Criminal justice reform rally
Jobs Not Jails coalition hosts a rally before the afternoon’s Judiciary Committee hearing on criminal justice reforms, Nurses Hall, 12 p.m.
Criminal justice reform hearing
The Judiciary Committee hears legislation Gov. Charlie Baker filed based on the results of a Council of State Governments review of the state’s criminal justice system and 58 other bills related to sentencing, parole, probation and other issues, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.
Gov. Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito hold a State House leadership meeting, Senate President’s Office, 2 p.m.
Better Government awards
Gov. Charlie Baker provides welcoming remarks at the 6th annual Better Government Competition Awards Gala, hosted by the Pioneer Institute, Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 6 p.m.
Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, RIP
This is very sad and shocking news, via Scott Stafford and Kevin Moran at the Berkshire Eagle: “Gailanne M. Cariddi, the 1st Berkshire District state representative from North Adams and the first woman to hold that seat, died Saturday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston following a brief illness, according to North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright. She was 63.” Condolences and tributes are pouring in from House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli, Rep. Carole Fiola, North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright and other leaders, loved ones and friends, according to reports at the Eagle and SHNS (pay wall). More on Cariddi’s sad passing at MassLive and WAMC.
It’s going to be a busy and hectic week on the marijuana front on Beacon Hill. The Senate is now pushing an alternative marijuana bill that largely hews to the stipulations within the voter-approved Question 4 initiative – with a 12 percent tax rate on marijuana sales, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller and Dan Adams. But the Marijuana Policy Committee is expected today to vote on a redrafted pot bill that, besides fixing an embarrassing language snafu on tax rates, is expected to set the rate at 28 percent. Those and other differences – including who oversees future marijuana regulations – appear headed for a conference-committee showdown.
How crazy is it getting on Beacon Hill on this issue? CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan reports that Rep. Mark Cusack, House chair of the marijuana committee, is peeved at Treasurer Deb Goldberg over the potential move of the Lottery from his hometown in Braintree – and that may explain why a leadership agreement to keep Goldberg in charge of regulating marijuana wasn’t included in the Marijuana Policy Committee’s first bill. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot is openly wondering what type of weed lawmakers are smoking these days. WGBH’s Mike Deehan takes a look at what to expect this week on the marijuana front.
Finally: Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have editorials this morning basically endorsing/leaning toward the House approach towards taxing and regulating marijuana, with the Globe saying pot needs to be taxed “good and hard.” Here’s an idea: How about splitting the difference between the House and Senate tax rates? Twenty percent. There. Done.
Stanford prof: Millionaires ain’t going nowhere …
Cristobal Young, an assistant professor of sociology at Stanford University, says passage of a millionaire’s tax in Massachusetts won’t lead to an exodus of millionaires, based on what’s happened in other states. To be frank, we’re usually a little suspicious of ideas and conclusions coming from sociology majors, but Cristobal isn’t the first to reach this conclusion.
They may have too much money on their hands in Milton
Poster children for the millionaire’s tax? Shelley Hoon-Keith and her husband, builder John Keith, want to build a personal “funiulcar,” i.e. a tram, from their sprawling Milton mansion to the Neponset River, more than 45 feet down a steep bluff, reports the Globe’s Kathleen Conti. Well, they won’t be moving anytime soon after making that investment, millionaire’s tax or not.
America’s ‘toughest sheriff’ urges armed ‘volunteers’ to help stop crime
One of the redder parts of Massachusetts turned downright crimson on Saturday when former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Springfield native, brought his message to a Belchertown Second Amendment rally. Shannon Young at MassLive reports that Apraio called for more armed citizens to help stop crime and save lives. Young’s piece doesn’t mention any Massachusetts pols attending the red-meat event—which also featured a rejoinder on President Obama’s birth certificate. Protesters held a counter event nearby.
In Michelle Carter verdict, judge cited 200-year-old Northampton case for guidance
MassLive’s Phil Demers has a great story about how Judge Lawrence Moniz, in finding Michelle Carter guilty of manslaughter for inciting fellow teen Conrad Roy III to commit suicide, relied on an 1816 murder case in which a jailhouse prisoner was accused of encouraging another inmate to commit suicide. Demers cites details of that long-ago “murder by counseling” case from an article written by Jack Tager, University of Massachusetts Amherst emeritus professor of American history, in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts.
Keeping cold-case records closed for 50 years: ‘Classic Massachusetts’
Former New Yorker journalist Becky Cooper and Michael Widmer, the former head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, want to investigate the 1969 murder of Jane Sanders Britton, a Harvard graduate student found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge apartment. But the case has never been solved and never closed, so the Middlesex DA’s office isn’t opening the books, reports the Globe’s Todd Wallack. Widmer and Cooper aren’t happy. The DA’s office says releasing the files could jeopardize any potential prosecution. They can’t even redact some of the information?
Time to deport nonimmigrants?
For your reading pleasure, here’s a mischievous piece by the NYT’s Bret Stephens, the paper’s new conservative columnist, who points out the disturbing education, prison incarceration, religious beliefs, business creation and out-of-wedlock-birth gaps between immigrants and long-time American citizens and concludes it may be time for mass deportations.
The dental-care gap: What other states are doing
Simon Montlake at the Christian Science Monitor has a piece about the gap in dental care between the haves and have-nots in the US – and what other states are doing to close that gap, including allowing dental hygienists to perform more dental procedures. State Sen. Harriette Chandler, who is pushing legislation on Beacon Hill to give hygienists more power, is quoted in the piece.
Trader Danny did what?
We interrupt this politics and public policy newsletter to bring you this quick thought on a major weekend sports development: Danny Ainge’s surprise weekend trade of the Celtics’ No. 1 draft pick to Philly better work out – or he’ll be the most despised front-office sports executive in generations in Boston. That’s all we’ll say.
Fyi: ESPN initially broke the trade story and ESPN’s Chris Forsberg has more, noting, along with others, that such a trade has precedent in Celtics history. True, but are we now comparing Danny Ainge to Red Auerbach? Really? … Now back to local politics and public policy.
Baker, Kasich criticize GOP health-care bill
Gov. Baker was among three Republican governors – the others being John Kasich of Ohio and Brian Sandoval of Nevada – who signed a bi-partisan letter to Congressional leaders openly rejecting the current House health-care bill and urging lawmakers to reach agreement on a more fair compromise bill, reports Business Insider. In particular, Kasich, who ran for president last year, is seen as a key GOP figure in future talks over health-care reforms, not Baker, Business Insider reports in a separate piece.
Baker attends first opioid commission meeting, then whisks home to Boston
Besides voicing concerns about GOP health-care reform plans, Gov. Charlie Baker was also in Washington, D.C. on Friday to attend the first meeting of a new Trump administration commission that’s examining the opioid-abuse crisis sweeping the country, reports Jacob Geanous at the Globe and Jordan Frias at the Herald. Baker was back in Boston by the end of the day.
Steamship Authority has some explaining to do
After Friday evening’s accident in which a high-speed ferry crashed into a jetty in Hyannis — injuring more than a dozen people — the Steamship Authority is scrambling to determine what the heck happened, according to reports at the Cape Cod Times and Globe. With the U.S. Coast Guard investigating, it’s already been determined that the ferry was driven by two experienced operators and that alcohol has been ruled out as a possible explanation for the incident, according to published reports.
Cape homeowners kick off summer with $1 million Airbnb weekend
As lawmakers continue to mull how to tax and regulate online home-sharing sites, new data show the use of Airbnb surging on Cape Cod and the islands, where homeowners raked in $1 million over the Memorial Day weekend, Sean P. Driscoll of the Cape Cod Times reports.
Weymouth and Wonderland’s seas of cars
Hundreds of Volkswagens recalled because the automaker lied about their compliance with emissions standards are sitting on vacant land at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station and town officials say they have little control over the situation, Jessica Truant of the Patriot Ledger reports. Meanwhile, Revere has its own sea-of-cars problem at the former Wonderland racetrack, but with rental cars, reports the Globe’s Roberto Scalese.
Minorities see political benefits to city shift in Framingham
Several Brazilian and Latino candidates have emerged as candidates for the newly created positions in Framingham’s town-to-city transition—including a 26-year-old running for mayor. The moves provide hope that the change in government will mean better representation for minorities, Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports.
Oops. Massie cops to ‘honest mistake’ on disclosures
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Massie admits he made an “honest mistake” by not immediately disclosing donors to his campaign, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. We’re not talking major money here ($25K), but still. …
EPA taketh, so Boston giveth back climate data
From the Globe’s David Abel: “Soon after President Trump took office, the Environmental Protection Agency began removing links on its website to data that reflected years of research into the causes of climate change. Now, Boston and many other cities are returning the information to the public sphere through municipal websites, part of a revolt against Trump’s efforts to overturn policies designed to curb the greenhouse gases causing the planet to warm.”
The allure of non-gambling events cited for revenue rise at Plainridge
Concerts, boxing matches and other events aimed at the 21- to 40-year-old crowd are being credited with a strong spring at Plainridge Park Casino, which is marking its two-year anniversary and has seen a three-month revenue surge, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports.
Bread and water—and hold the water
Six years after being ordered by state regulators to install a new water-treatment system, water at the state’s largest prison continues to show high levels of manganese in test samples, exposing the 1,500 inmates housed at MCI-Norfolk—nearly half of whom are serving life sentences—to potential long-term health risks, David Abel of the Globe reports.
Gearing Up Conference
This one day intensive conference for emerging women leaders is presented by the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University.
Cellucci Fatherhood Award
This award, named in honor of the late Governor Paul Cellucci, honors an individual’s commitment to improving the world for children and families. While in office, Governor Cellucci led the Commonwealth’s efforts to ensure that fathers received the support, skills, and confidence they needed to be great fathers.
Navigating Divorce in Massachusetts
This is a workshop for women going through divorce in Massachusetts, led by Weston attorney Isabella Jancourtz.
Senator Pat Jehlen on the Young Jerks Show
Watch live as The Young Jurks interview the Senate co-chair of the Marijuana Committee.
Books and Voices Aid Nahant Library
Closing out the Sail Boston weekend, the Friends of Nahant Public Library will be selling books and celebrating in song on Sunday, June 18.
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