Happening Today

Senate in session, Health Policy Commission

The Senate plans to meet in a formal session without a calendar, Gardner Auditorium, at 1 p.m. … The House meets in an informal session. … Gov. Baker has no scheduled events. …. Health Policy Commission holds a public meeting to present an analysis on new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data regarding health spending trends, 50 Milk St., Boston, 10 a.m. … Former Treasurer Tim Cahill guest-hosts ‘NightSide,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Today’s Stories

In case you missed it on Monday …

MassterList published on Monday, so check out what we covered over the long holiday weekend, including Chris Christie’s beach party, Gov. Baker’s reaction to Donald Trump’s tweets, lawmakers going after patent trolls, MBTA putting a hold on its WiFi program and Curt Schilling torturing the general public by talking of running for prez in 2024. As for today’s news …

MassterList Monday

They’re back – with lots to do

After taking off the long holiday weekend, lawmakers start streaming back to the State House today with a not-so-minor agenda of crafting a new state budget and, hopefully, cobbling together a compromise marijuana-regulation bill, among other things, as SHNS’s Michael Norton reports at the Sentinel & Enterprise.

One of the major issues tied to the budget is Gov. Baker’s proposed overhaul of the state’s Medicaid system, a package that’s beginning to draw fire from activists who say it will hurt low-income people, as the Globe’s Priyanak Dayal McCluskey recently reported. A Globe editorial suggests that maybe the various reforms should be considered individually by lawmakers, rather than as one big package, though the editorial makes clear something needs to be done about Medicaid spending. 

Sentinel & Enterprise

No beach party for our pols, thank goodness

The Globe’s Nestor Ramos is thankful that we don’t have a governor stupid enough to close state beaches and then frolic on a state beach with the family, unlike a certain governor in New Jersey. Ditto the Herald: “The fact that fiscal 2018 has begun and Massachusetts doesn’t have a budget in place is regrettable. But the fact that there is a temporary spending plan, that there has been no government shutdown, that the parties are working together to forge a compromise — and above all, that our governor wasn’t sitting on a beach in front of a taxpayer-funded summer house while all this was going on — is at least to Beacon Hill’s credit.”

‘Altering the scentscape’

Personally, we’ve never confused the smell of pot with the scent of a skunk, but apparently a lot of Bostonians do and they’re not happy with the ‘altering scentscape’ in Massachusetts, post-Question 4, reports the Globe’s Beth Teitell. Maybe lawmakers can address skunk-scented pot smoking in a compromise bill. How they do it, we don’t know.

Fyi: They’re experiencing skunk-scented pot in Washington D.C. too, reports the Washington Post

Boston Globe

UMass-Boston: The employment ‘nirvana’ of choice for the political class

The University of Massachusetts-Boston may be facing an unprecedented financial crisis, but that hasn’t stopped the school from handing out plum jobs to the politically wired, including former state Rep. Tom Sannicandro and former state Democratic Party director Matt Fenlon, reports the Globe’s Laura Krantz. Says former legislator and state inspector general Greg Sullivan: “UMass is nirvana for state employees … To get to UMass is like a life dream for state legislators.” From the Globe’s Adrian Walker: “Times don’t seem to be hard at all for the retinue of recycled Beacon Hill solons and Democratic Party fixtures who have negotiated a soft landing in the midst of the rubble and chaos on Columbia Point.”

Boston Globe

Welcome to Boston, Gordon Hayward

There’s actually a political angle to the big news that Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward will be heading to the Celtics (as reported by NESN and other media outlets), to wit: Celts GM Danny Ainge just dealt his son Tanner a major campaign setback. Serves him right. 


Tufts Medical girds for strike, prepares for nurse lockout

Taking a page from Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Tufts Medical Center is preparing to counter a potential nurses strike with a multi-day lockout, using replacement nurses to keep the hospital running, reports Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe. Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett writes that a federal mediator will be bringing hospital and union officials back to the bargaining table this week in a last-ditch effort to avert a July 12 strike. Question: Where’s Mayor Marty Walsh in all of this?

Don’t forget the sales-tax ballot question

Jon Hurst, head of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, hasn’t given up on getting a sales-tax holiday approved this session, as he makes clear in this Globe op-ed. But Steve Koczela at WBUR notes that Hurst’s association is behind an even bigger issue: A possible ballot question that would cut the state’s sales tax. The measure is polling strong, Koczela notes. It’s also nice leverage heading into the last weeks of this summer’s session on Beacon Hill.


Seth Moulton: Rebel without a cause

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi is sympathetic toward U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s attempt to shake up the Democratic establishment following the party’s disastrous Congressional elections of late. But she wonders if the “independent and unafraid” Moulton has a true message beyond calling for new party leadership.

Boston Globe

Neal is spotted in district over the Fourth

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal spent July Fourth taking part in a parade in tiny Chesterfield (population, 1,200), one of the many smaller towns in his district where critics say the congressman is seen all-too-infrequently, Jim Kinney of MassLive reports. Neal, whose district spans 87 communities from Worcester westward, was the subject of satirical “missing” ads in local papers last month. 


While Warren was off to Afghanistan, Trump was off his rocker

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined U.S. Sen. John McCain and other Congressional officials on a fact-finding trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan over the holiday weekend, as Warren slowly finds her voice on foreign policy matters, reports the Globe’s Victoria McGrane. Separately, the Herald’s Peter Gelzinis contrasts the seriousness of Warren’s bi-partisan trip to our commander in chief’s golf and Twitter antics of late.

Worcester readies pitch as PawSox seek new home

Let the Woo-town wooing begin! As of July 1, the Pawtucket Red Sox were free to negotiate with any city that wants to host them and Worcester is already making back-channel efforts to get the attention of the team and president Larry Lucchino, Bill Ballou of the Telegram reports. The Rhode Island legislature recently adjourned without taking action on a bill to help fund a new park in Pawtucket and efforts to site a stadium in Providence have similarly hit a wall.


The Muzzle Awards 2017: Google, Bill Evans, Paul LePage and more …

Writing at WGBH, media critic Dan Kennedy unveils his 2017 Muzzle Awards, his annual recognition of those busy assaulting or diminishing free speech across the land. Meanwhile, Harvey Silverglate, also writing at WGBH, announces his own Muzzle Awards for those universities who say they’re all for intellectual and academic freedoms – until someone says, does or is accused of something they don’t like. Middlebury, Babson, Wellesley and Salem State, take a bow!


When a campaign spokesman becomes the story

The Herald’s Jaclyn Cashman takes a shot at Setti Warren’s press spokesman, Kevin Frank, who she says “may alienate every member of the #mapoli press corps before Gov. Charlie Baker even announces his re-election bid.” Kevin is making no apologies. Jacklyn has the details.

Boston Herald

Free meals for all at Salem schools

When the next school year begins in the fall, the city of Salem will become the latest Massachusetts community to offer free meals to all students, regardless of need, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. The program is funded by a federal grant and the populations of all the city’s schools now meet the financial eligibility requirements. 

Salem News

Are Markey and other Dems getting swamped by the left’s version of Breitbart, Rush and Fox News?

A recent media blunder by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is featured as Exhibit A in how Democrats need to be more careful about where they get their news, in a piece by Atlantic Monthly’s McCay Coppins, who warns of a “vast alternative left-wing media infrastructure” that’s increasingly fed by “polemicists, conspiracists, and outright fabulists.” To be clear: The left’s loony alt-media isn’t as powerful and prevalent as the right’s loony alt-media. But it’s getting there, Coppins writes.

The Atlantic

ACLU’s voter-registration case goes to trial today

From Patrick Johnson at MassLive: “A trial in a civil lawsuit that challenges the legality of Massachusetts to set a voter registration deadline prior to elections is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court. The suit, filed last November by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, charges that the state laws requiring new voters to register with the local election office within 20 days of an election or primary


Dear Globe bosses: Asians are minorities, too

Shirley Leung isn’t impressed that recent poll stories by her own employer, the Boston Globe, “left the impression that the only minorities in Boston worthy of ink were blacks and Hispanics.” She has a point. Check out this neighborhood-by-neighborhood map at the BPL of foreign-born immigrants to Boston. Notice anything?

Boston Globe

Candidate seeks North Adams mayor’s office on the cheap

Rachel Branch became the third candidate to declare for the soon-to-be-open mayor’s office in North Adams and says she’ll run a campaign that reflects her “low-income” lifestyle, Adam Shanks of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Branch says she will lean on her experience as an activist to draw attention to her candidacy, eschewing the traditional lawn-signs-and-campaign-mailers approach. 

Berkshire Eagle

Magistrate restores weed doctor’s license

A magistrate has overturned the Board of Registration in Medicine’s decision to yank the medical license of a doctor who prescribed medical marijuana for a pregnant woman, saying he did not violate state regulations in doing so, Bob McGovern of the Herald reports. The doctor—one of the state’s most prolific prescribers of pot—argued that medical weed was the safest option for treating the woman’s back pain given her past battle with opioid addiction. 

Boston Herald

2017 Eastern States Retail Association Conference

Retailers Association of Massachusetts

Eastern Seaport by Foot: A NAIOP Summer Walking Tour


Today’s Headlines


Walsh calls on Congress to figure out immigration – Boston Herald

Dorchester waterfront proposal revised – Boston Herald

T cop convicted of beating woman at Dudley Station; acquitted on civil rights charges – Universal Hub


State to lease out New Braintree land for farming – Telegram & Gazette

Lawrence police keep pressure on insurance fraud fight – Eagle-Tribune

Amid recall effort, Southhampton select board member abruptly quits – Hampshire Gazette

Bill would change voter registration from opt-in to opt-out – Hampshire Gazette

Mega booze store out for itself – CommonWealth Magazine


Appeals court says EPA can’t keep delaying Obama-era methane rules – NPR

At holiday parades and protests, GOP lawmakers get earful about health care – Washington Post

As sales slow down, US automakers cut jobs – New York Times

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