SJR hears ‘millionaire’s tax’ case, budget hearing, net neutrality, Third District forum
— The Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments in six cases, including the challenge by business groups to the proposed millionaire’s tax, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
— State marijuana regulators from the Cannabis Control Commission hold public hearings today in Hyannis, 9 a.m., and Greenfield, 10 a.m., and Dartmouth, 2 p.m., to give residents a chance to weigh in on draft regulations the CCC has proposed.
— Members of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees will sit jointly to launch public hearings on Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed $40.9 billion fiscal 2019 budget, Gardner Auditorium, 10 a.m.
— Students, faculty and environmental advocates launch a campaign urging colleges and universities to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, Third floor near House Chamber, 10 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government holds a hearing on proposed legislation, Room B-1, 10:30 a.m.
— The Special Senate Committee on Net Neutrality and Consumer Protection holds its first hearing, with Attorney General Maura Healey, Executive Office of Technology Services and Security Chief Technology Officer Dennis McDermitt and others expected to attend, Room 428, 11 a.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey, Acting Senate President Chandler, House Speaker DeLeo and Rep. Colleen Garry speak at an American Heart Association event as part of its Go Red for Women campaign, Grand Staircase, 11 a.m.
— Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a hearing on three bills, Room A-2, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker addresses the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, an organization of over one hundred craft brewers, during their annual meeting at Castle Island Brewery, 31 Astor Ave, Norwood, 12:30 p.m.
— Committee on Marijuana Policy solicits testimony on a local bill and then moves into an executive session, Room B-2, 1 p.m.
— The Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities will hold an informational hearing on the Department of Children and Families, Room A-2, 1 p.m.
— Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay, who was picked last month as the next executive director of MassHousing, is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— The 12 Democrats vying for their party’s nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas in the Third Congressional District will convene for a candidate forum sponsored by the Maynard & Hudson Democratic Town Committees and Marlborough Democratic City Committee, Hudson Portuguese Club, 13 Port St., Hudson, 7 p.m.
— Fisheries and Wildlife Board holds a public hearing on proposed rules and regulations relative to leashing of dogs on MassWildlife wildlife management areas, Cronin Building, One Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, 7 p.m.
— Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman is a guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.
The question: When – not if – will Stan be replaced?
When the governor, two of three gubernatorial candidates, the mayor of Boston and an increasing number of senators themselves openly say – with varying caveats – that it’s probably time to find a permanent replacement for Stan Rosenberg as president of the Massachusetts Senate, guess what? Stan’s days are numbered – and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says a vote on a new permanent president could come as early as this week. We’ll see.
Gintautas Dumcius and Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, the AP’s Steve LeBlanc and Bob Salsberg at WBUR, Matt Stout and Chris Cassidy at the Herald and Matt Murphy at SHNS (pay wall) have more on the governor’s “no way” comment on a Rosenberg return, the reactions of the mayor and gubernatorial candidates, the criticism of Rosenberg by fellow Dems, the behind-the-scene jockeying for power in the Senate and more.
About that Dow drop …
Nothing like a single-day 4 percent drop in the Dow and S&P 500 to grab the attention of investors, economists and pols everywhere. And the fact much of the plunge is attributable to machines, as Bloomberg News reports, isn’t exactly reassuring. Still, the Globe’s Evan Horowitz and the NYT’s Neil Irwin, while not downplaying the potential significance of yesterday’s stock-market plunge, say that a little perspective is needed and that the headlines look worse than reality. Let’s hope they’re right.
DOR: Enjoy the state budget surplus while it lasts
As investors try to determine the economic implications of the stock market’s roller-coaster ride of late, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is trying to make sense of the flood of cash now flowing into state coffers. Specifically, the $158 million in January tax collections above budget projections, bringing the state’s total “cash cushion” to $810 million over the first seven months of the fiscal year, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. But DOR Commissioner Christopher Harding is signaling, as have others, that the revenue increase may be tied to tax code changes and “collections are likely to regress closer to benchmark through the end of the fiscal year.”
In other words: We may be looking at a fleeting budget surplus.
Hatch says he hatched plot for Mitt’s Senate run
This is interesting. U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is taking credit for Mitt Romney’s probable run for the U.S. Senate in Utah, saying he first floated the idea of a Romney political comeback last March, reports the Globe’s Matt Viser. “As I was thinking about retiring I was thinking, ‘I don’t want some dud to replace me,” Hatch said. “I want somebody who’s capable and could carry on some of the things I’ve worked so hard to do. And Romney fits that bill 100 percent in my opinion.” Keep in mind: Hatch also has a legacy interest in not appearing to have been shoved out the retirement door. Either way, Romney is expected to make an announcement next week.
Report: Steve Wynn set up separate LLP to conceal payment to accuser
More factoids for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to mull in coming days and weeks: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Steve Wynn, whose company is currently building a massive casino in Everett, and his attorneys set up a separate limited liability company, dubbed Entity Y, in order to conceal his $7.5 million payment to settle a sexual assault claim by a woman. The Boston Herald has more.
Opioid lawsuits gain steam as more communities sign on
Selectmen in Sturbridge and Dudley have voted to add their communities to the growing list of cities and towns signing on to lawsuits against major drug makers for their role in the opioid crisis, Craig Semon and Debbie LaPlaca report in the Telegram. That’s four Worcester-area towns already on board, with Charlton and Southbridge officials earlier signaling they want a piece of the action.
With loaded gun in backpack, T driver was using cell phone when he crashed his trolley
For the record: It was .40-caliber Smith and Wesson firearm and he was deleting a Reddit post when all of a sudden – bam! – he crashed his Mattapan Line trolley into another train, according to police records. The driver has since been fired. The Globe’s Travis Andersen has the details.
MBTA to communities: No pay, no expansion play
Attention all those who want expanded rail service in western and southeastern Massachusetts: Be prepared to pay up. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that state transportation officials will increasingly look to third parties to financially support expansion initiatives, similar to how Somerville and Medford had to pony up millions for the Green Line extension.
MBTA bus mechanics agree to concessions to avoid privatization
After reaching a tentative deal last month, it’s now official: The MBTA and the union representing bus mechanics have indeed settled their privatization feud, with existing workers agreeing to wage and work rule concessions in exchange for the T dropping efforts to privatize bus repair work, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall).
Report: Uber, Lyft merely contributing to Boston’s traffic congestion
Speaking of transportation issues: No, it’s not your imagination. Uber and Lyft are actually making traffic worse. That’s the upshot of a report from the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, which found that more than half of the 1,000 ride-hail passengers it surveyed would have taken public transit, walked or just stayed home if they couldn’t summon a ride with their iPhones, Zeninjor Enwemeka reports at WBUR.
Rep. Carvalho pulls paper to run for Forry’s Senate seat
From Meghan Irons at the Globe: “State Representative Evandro Carvalho has pulled papers to compete in the special election for First Suffolk Senate district, which became vacant when former state senator Linda Dorcena Forry abruptly quit her job last month. Carvalho joins state Representative Nick Collins, who announced Friday that will seek the post.”
AG, Berkshire Museum hope for art-sale resolution later this week
Monday was supposed to be the day we found out whether the Berkshire Museum could go forward with its planned controversial sale of artwork, including two Norman Rockwell paintings. Instead, in multiple court filings, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office and the Pittsfield museum said they are now working together to seek a resolution, Larry Parnass reports in the Berkshire Eagle. The two sides may ask a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court to take up the case as soon as this week, which would freeze a host of lower court actions already under way.
After all, if the Eagles can beat the Pats, Pressley can beat Capuano
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi thinks the political establishment is being too quick in dismissing City Councilor Ayanna Pressley’s chances of knocking off U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary this fall. There’s nothing wrong with a fresh face taking on the status quo, Vennochi writes. So there you have it: A progressive Democratic incumbent represents the status quo in Massachusetts. We’re pretty sure Massachusetts Republicans would agree.
Walsh ‘disappointed’ in Baker’s education funding plan
A rare, if mild, mayoral criticism of the governor. From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Telegram: “Boston is undergoing a ‘crisis’ and the state needs to address longstanding shortages of state funding for local schools, Mayor Marty Walsh told business leaders on Monday, saying he was ‘disappointed’ in the amount of funding Gov. Charlie Baker proposed in his budget.”
Partners reports data breach effecting thousands of patients
This is exactly what Attorney General Maura Healey had in mind when she recently announced the launch of a new data-breach reporting system: Partners HealthCare, the state’s largest private employer, revealed yesterday that its computer network was breached last spring, potentially exposing the private information of up to 2,600 patients, including patient names, diagnoses, types of procedures and medications, and possibly Social Security numbers and financial-account data, reports the BBJ’s Max Stendahl. Why this took till now to publicly reveal isn’t clear.
Hey, don’t forget Apple is also looking for a new multibillion-dollar campus
Callie Crossley at WGBH thinks it’s just fine and dandy that Boston landed on the finalists list for the new Amazon HQ2, but she said city officials shouldn’t miss another development opportunity: Apple’s search for a new $10 billion campus.
RIP: After Massachusetts defeat and scandals, pro-charter group calling it quits
Blame it (in part) on the Bay State. Families for Excellent Schools, the pro-charter education group that pumped $20 million into last year’s referendum seeking to lift the state’s charter cap, says it is winding down operations. Max Larkin of WBUR reports the move comes just days after the nonprofit ousted its CEO and a couple months after the group was forced to pay the largest-ever fine for campaign-finance rules violations in the Commonwealth.
In first-ever state of city, Spicer pledges collaboration
Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News breaks down Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s first-ever state of the city address. The new city’s first mayor pledged to work collaboratively with the school board and other agencies to improve the city’s schools and jump-start long dormant economic development projects.
Printing issues cited for late Globe deliveries, again
Not again. The Boston Globe is once more facing problems at the Taunton facility where the newspaper is printed, leading to delivery delays both Sunday and Monday, Don Seiffert reports in the Boston Business Journal. Unlike last summer, when printing and delivery woes dragged on for weeks—leading to executive changes—the Globe expects these problems to be short-lived.
Two ‘Codfather’ fishing boats sink in New Bedford
Two vessels formerly owned by the imprisoned Carlos Rafael, aka the ‘Codfather,’ sank in about 25 feet of water yesterday, one of them apparently dragging the other down and raising concerns about oil leakage, reports Michael Bonner at the Standard Times.
The New Shape of Boston’s Historic Neighborhood
Author Talk and Book Signing with Rosalyn D. Elder
State Library of Massachusetts
Harvard National Model United Nations Conference in Boston
Boston’s Seaport might be better prepared for climate change than we think – WGBH
T abandons privatization of bus garages – CommonWealth Magazine
Framingham panel to study racial equity in schools – MetroWest Daily News
Political notes: Legislators target high cable TV bills – Cape Cod Times
Clarksburg considers opening door to tiny houses – Berkshire Eagle
Mass. has record deer harvest in 2017 – Telegram & Gazette
Lawyers urge Trump to avoid interview with special counsel – New York Times
All she has to do to collect a $560 million lotto jackpot is make her name public. She refuses – Washington Post
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