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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
2017 Eastern States Retail Association Conference
Eastern Seaport by Foot: A NAIOP Summer Walking Tour
How to Contact MASSterList
Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.
Subscribe to MASSterList
Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.