Happening Today

New labor secretary, Markey award and rally, Senate in session

Gov. Charlie Baker ceremonially swears-in Rosalin Acosta as the administration’s new secretary of labor and workforce development, Room 360, 11 a.m. … U.S. Sen. Edward Markey accepts the Environmental Champion Award from nonprofit group Environment Massachusetts, Long Wharf, Boston, 11 a.m. … U.S. Sen. Markey attends a ‘Here to Stay’ immigrant rally with labor union 32BJ SEIU, Jobs with Justice, the Irish International Immigrant Center and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Irish Famine Memorial, School St. and Washington St., Boston, 12 p.m. … The Senate meets in a formal session, starting at 1 p.m., while the House convenes in an informal session. … Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visits the Cape today for a boat-yard opening in Chatham and a new dock announcement in Harwich, before heading to Peabody for a community-transit program award.

Today’s Stories

Budget and pot update: ‘The mischief makers are once again at work’

We haven’t quite figured this one out yet. But House Speaker Robert DeLeo — shortly after SHNS reported (pay wall) that state budget and marijuana-regulation negotiations were getting hopelessly tangled up together – abruptly announced yesterday the suspension of House-Senate talks over how to tax and regulate legalized pot, insisting the focus should be on crafting a new state budget, reports Joshua Miller at the Globe, Matt Stout at the Herald, Matt Murphy at SHNS (pay wall) and Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth.

The reaction of Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who often butts head with DeLeo: “The mischief makers are once again at work,” Rosenberg said in a statement. “The Senate has not and will not link the budget and marijuana negotiations. Period. The Senate is fully committed to continuing negotiations on both the budget and marijuana legislation simultaneously.”

Well, so much for budgetary harmony at the State House, after patting ourselves on the back for averting a government shutdown and a Chris Christie-like BeachGate controversy.

And the horse-racing fund winner is …

On another budgetary front: The Herald’s Jack Encarnacao and Matt Stout may have just killed, once and for all, any chance of lawmakers keeping their hands off of the state’s horse-racing fund. The duo reports this morning that “taxpayers have been fattening the purses of wealthy horse owners at Suffolk Downs,” thanks to payouts from the horse-racing fund that some lawmakers want to drain for other programs.

Boston Herald

Advocates try to slip a booze-tax mickey into marijuana mix

Seemingly oblivious to the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected a sales tax on booze in 2010, public health advocates see a “renewed opportunity” to boost the state’s alcohol tax as State House lawmakers haggle over how high to tax legalized marijuana. The Globe’s Felice Freyer has more on the they-know-what’s-good-for-us advocates.

Boston Globe

After zigging left on labor appointment, Baker zags right on fish-and-game appointment

Gov. Charlie Baker raised eyebrows when he recently selected progressive activist Rosalin Acosta as his new labor secretary, suggesting to some the Republican was lurching to the left to protect his centrist re-election flank. But yesterday Baker appeared to be lurching right by appointing Ronald Amidon, president of the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), as the state’s new fish and game commissioner, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Telegram. Yes, the same GOAL that filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and state law-enforcement officials over the state’s assault weapons ban. The group has also been none too happy with Healey’s recent “copy cat” ruling on guns. Btw: Baker will be swearing in Acosta later today.

The Telegram

Dad’s pride and joy: Bosley first to enter race for Cariddi seat

The name rings a bell … The first candidate to declare for the 1st Berkshire District state representative seat to be filled in a November special election is Stephanie Bosley, whose father Daniel held the seat for more than two decades, Adam Shanks of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Bosley’s father was quick to endorse her: “She’s much more qualified than I was,” he said. 

Berkshire Eagle

Tinlin resigns as highway chief following brain-aneurysm scare

The state has lost a good public servant. Thomas Tinlin, the state’s highway chief who suffered a brain aneurysm earlier this spring, has officially announced his resignation – and he’s thanking the doctors and nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess for “returning me to 100 percent so I can start the next chapter of my life as a healthy husband and father,” reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. Gov. Charlie Baker praised Tinlin for working “tirelessly to support the Commonwealth’s commuters to ensure everyone got to their destinations quickly and safely in every corner of the state.” Jonathan Gulliver, who has been serving as acting highway administrator since Tinlin left in May, will continue in that role through September.


Super PAC takes aim at Warren in 2018 – and 2020

From Chris Cassidy at the Herald: “A new Bay State super PAC is hoping to knock U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren out of the 2020 presidential race before it even begins by making next year’s Senate re-election campaign closer than expected, vowing to spend up to $10 million — and to convince other groups to kick in more.” The name of the Republican-backed PAC? Deal Her Out PAC. Get it? Geoff Diehl. Deal Her Out. Chris explains.

Boston Herald

Framingham’s first city election draws a crowd

Next stop, November: More than 50 residents have returned nomination papers for various offices in what will be Framingham’s first-ever city election in November, including a half-dozen who want to be the newly minted city’s first mayor, Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports. 

MetroWest Daily News

Markey: The U.S. needs more than ‘vague Twitter bluster’ in dealing with North Korea

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who has pushed to keep President Trump’s finger as far away as possible from the nuclear button, is calling on the administration to launch a “bold” diplomatic approach – and not “vague Twitter bluster” – in response to North Korea’s “dangerous test” of an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this week, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. Fyi: The NYT has a story about the “grim” military options open to the U.S. and its allies, leading military officials to conclude that diplomacy is the only viable option, as Markey has contended.


Smith & Wesson acquires firms specializing in gun suppressors

Gun suppressors may be banned in Massachusetts. But that doesn’t mean a Massachusetts company can’t own a firm that makes gun suppressors. SHNS’s Stephanie Murray at the BBJ has the details on Smith & Wesson Corp.’s purchase of an Idaho manufacturer of firearm suppressors.


Is it Donald Trump or … Ted Kennedy?

Heads were turning at the soon-to-be-opened Dreamland Wax Museum on City Hall Plaza, after museum officials briefly displayed a wax figure of Donald Trump giving a big thumbs up. Or was it Ted Kennedy? People seem confused, reports Steve Annear at the Globe. We thought it looked like Trump. But you decide.

Boston Globe

Cambridge firm awarded contract for North-South rail tunnel study

Cambridge-based Arup USA Inc. has been awarded a $1.5 million contract to study a proposed tunnel linking North and South stations in Boston, reports the BBJ’s Don Seiffert. Arup USA Inc., a unit of London-based Arup Group Limited, has worked on projects at Harvard, MIT and the Institute of Contemporary Art building in Boston.


Mass. health care costs rising slowly, but they’re still ridiculously high

From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Here’s some good news: Massachusetts no longer is the most expensive health care state in the United States. Alaska won the designation instead. The bad news is annual health care costs in the Bay State went beyond $10,500 per person in 2014. That’s 31 percent higher than the U.S. average.”

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett notes that Health Policy Commission “data shows that the state’s health care spending is growing more slowly than almost all other states in the nation, despite the fact that health care costs here remain among the highest.”

The T pension system’s ‘death spiral’ isn’t coming – it’s already here

The Pioneer Institute’s Greg Sullivan and Charles Chieppo say the Carmen’s Union and its consultants have been understating the MBTA’s pension system woes for years – and now it’s in a death spiral that can’t be stopped without immediate steps to fix it.


Gatehouse settlement window closing

Time is running out for Gatehouse Media customers who want to be part of a proposed $2.3 million settlement tied to disputes over the length of newspaper subscriptions. Leslie Gaydos of NECN reports the lawsuit was launched by a Marblehead Reporter subscriber who noticed his two-year subscription ran out well before he expected it to because of “special issues” published by the chain, which owns 100 daily and weekly papers across the state. 


Jackson hoping enthusiasm can bridge cash gap

Mayoral hopeful Tito Jackson is hoping to rely on volunteers and younger, lesser-paid staffers in his bid to unseat incumbent Marty Walsh, whose has more than $3 million to spend on the race, Dan Atkinson of the Herald reports. Jackson and his supporters tout the ‘grassroots’ approach but most observers are skeptical the low-budget tactics can work. 

Boston Herald

Cantonese-English Chat

2017 Eastern States Retail Association Conference

Retailers Association of Massachusetts

The Anchor of American Liberty Featuring Massey Campos of the Self Evident Ministry

Massachusetts Faith and Freedom Coalition Affiliate

Eastern Seaport by Foot: A NAIOP Summer Walking Tour


Today’s Headlines


Cambridge welcomes refugees but few are resettled there – Boston Globe

South Boston developer proposes boutique hotel near Broadway T station – Boston Business Journal

Tito flush with volunteers if not cash in city hall bid – Boston Herald


Massachusetts care still expensive – Boston Herald

More than 50 enter Framingham election – MetroWest Daily News

Anti-abortion coalition wants ban on state funding – Salem News

Quincy’s Uncle Sam campaigns for Colbert – Patriot Ledger

Advocates see a chance to raise alcohol tax – Boston Globe


Most states fully or partly refute Trump’s voter fraud panel – Washington Post

Trump organization renews rights to TrumpTowerMoscow.com – Politico

The unexpected political clout of dentists – Washington Post

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.