Gun-control legislation, Northern Pass reconsideration, MBTA board
— The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center hosts the fourth annual U.S. Canada Cross-Border Energy Summit, with speakers including Consul General of Canada in New England David Alward and representatives from Eversource and National Grid, 575 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, 8:30 a.m.
— The House and Senate Ways and Means committees will hear from Baker administration health and human services officials about their recommendations for the fiscal 2019 budget, Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St., The Connector Room, Pittsfield, 10 a.m.
— New federal legislation based on Massachusetts gun laws will be unveiled by Mayor Martin Walsh, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and police chiefs from Arlington, Boston Woburn and Watertown, Boston Police media room, 1 Schroeder Plaza, Roxbury, 11 a.m.
— The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee will consider whether to vacate its previous decision to reject the 192-mile Northern Pass electricity transmission project, 49 Donovan St., Manchester, NH, 11 a.m.
— The MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board meets to discuss the T’s capital investment plan, proposed renovations of two MBTA Red Line parking garages, a preliminary discussion of the fiscal 2019 budget and reports from management, Transportation Board Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker leads a roundtable discussion about the Administration’s housing bill, with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, MassHousing Director Chrystal Kornegay and several local business leaders attending; the event will be closed to the press but a media availability will follow, Room 360, 12:30 p.m.
— Committee on the Judiciary holds a hearing on four bills, including legislation that seeks to increase protections against drivers under the influence of drugs and another that seeks to enhance investigations of sexual harassment and discrimination, Hearing Room A-2, 1 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Harriette Chandler, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones gather for a weekly leadership meeting, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.
— Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery hosts its 15th annual public policy forum on criminal justice and opioids, featuring seven state representatives, officials from the Department of Public Health and others, Huvos Auditorium, Faulkner Hospital, 1153 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 5 p.m.
— The Worcester Regional Transit Authority holds a public meeting to hear feedback on proposed service reductions and route eliminations, Jacob Edwards Library, Pioppi Meeting Room, 236 Main Street, Southbridge, 6:30 p.m.
— Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is interviewed on ‘Nightside,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Warren plays ‘dodge ball’ on presidential bid
When U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren announces she has ‘no intention’ of running for president in 2020 – after huge amounts of attention has been heaped on her interest in running for president – you’d think it would be big news. But the Boston Globe buried the story this morning below the fold in its Metro section. The news is nowhere in prominent sight on the Washington Post and NYT’s web pages this morning. The Drudge Report, not surprisingly, is instead playing up the Pocahontas/DNA angle (in brutal fashion) etc.
What’s going on here? Absolutely no one believes Warren when she said yesterday, as she did on multiple TV shows, that she’s not running for president in 2020 – while at the same time refusing to answer repeated questions about whether she’d pledge to serve out her entire six-year Senate term if she wins re-election this year in Massachusetts. Bottom line: The Herald’s blaring “dodge ball” headline this morning has more than a little credibility. The Herald story also notes how her Republican challengers are already pounding away at her refusal to say she’ll serve the full six years.
We know what she was trying to accomplish, i.e. to put the focus on her 2018 re-election bid. But her Sunday media blitz didn’t go so smoothly, it’s safe to say.
Meanwhile, Warren rejects taking DNA test to prove Native-American ancestry
So what did the media mostly jump on after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s surprise appearances on multiple Sunday talk shows? As stated above, her refusal to answer questions about serving an entire terms and, more prominently, the fact she rejected taking a DNA test to prove her Native-American ancestry, as reported at the Washington Post and the NY Post and MassLive. In other words, she kept the controversy in the news.
So why is Warren so interested in Ohio?
The NYT has a piece on how Ohio Democrats are adopting their own form of populism in order to keep or gain office in the Buckeye State – and how U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden have taken a keen interest in what’s happening in the key swing state. Hint: It has nothing to do with the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts.
Deval Patrick headed to … Wait a minute. Matt Stout has jumped ship?
Two political tidbits in one: Looks like long-time Herald political reporter Matt Stout is one step ahead of the Digital First Media axe that’s about to fall at the Herald. He has a byline story in the Boston Globe about how former Gov. Deval Patrick is headed to a sold-out event in Philadelphia this week, “marking the latest opportunity for him to raise his national profile amid speculation about his White House interest.”
The long arm of justice: N.C. man arrested for killing of State Police chief’s sister in 1986
This is one of those “wow” stories that leaves you wondering how family members held it together for so long – and how they must be feeling this morning. From Scott Croteau at MassLive: “A 61-year-old North Carolina man has been arrested for the 1986 killing of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin, the sister of the head of the Massachusetts State Police. Authorities announced Sunday that Michael Hand of Troutman, North Carolina, was arrested there and will face charges in Gilpin’s killing. Hand will appear in a North Carolina court (Monday), according to the State Police.”
State Police Col. Kerry A. Gilpin, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, and her family are expressing their thanks to all the law-enforcement officials involved in the apprehension of Hanks, who reportedly lived in Kingston at the time of the homicide, reports Laurel Sweet and Antonio Planas at the Herald.
If it’s good enough for Marty and Seth, it’s good enough for Ayanna …
Marty Meehan and Seth Moulton didn’t wait until an incumbent stepped down to run for U.S. Congress. So why should Ayanna Pressley wait for Michael Capuano to leave office before running for U.S. Congress? That’s the question being asked (and answered) by the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham.
Still, Pressley may have some explaining to do, if election regulators are not too busy, about why she was spending her city council campaign money to pay staff and consultants after winning reelection to the council and just prior to her announcing her bid to challenge Capuano. The Globe’s Frank Phillips has more on her spending and the federal ban on using state and local campaign money on federal elections.
And they’re off … Beacon Hill staffer declares for Cantwell’s seat
Sean Costello, legislative director for Rep. Bruce Ayers and chairman of the Marshfield School Committee, is already gunning for the House seat to be vacated later this month by state Rep. James Cantwell, who’s planning to join the staff of U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. Meanwhile, Michael Bradley, a Marshfield attorney and selectman, said he’s considering a run this fall. SHNS’s Sam Doran and Michael P. Norton at Wicked Local have more.
Meanwhile, lawyer-farmer is sixth to declare the Franklin 1st
In the latest sign that the college-town region west of Springfield is politically fired up in the Trump era, a Cummington attorney-turned-farmer is the sixth candidate to declare for the 1st Franklin District seat now held by the retiring Rep. Stephen Kulik. Christine Doktor, a Democrat, who is also the fifth female candidate already in the race, indicates she’ll run a low-budget campaign and focus on issues important to rural voters.
Chuck Campion, RIP
Chuck Campion, founder of the Dewey Square Group in Boston and described as a “stalwart” of Democratic presidential campaigns over the decades, has passed away at the age of 62, according to reports at the Boston Globe and the New York Times and the Washington Post. “He was a great example of somebody who loved politics, and did it, and did it well,” said former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, who first hired Campion as an adviser more than 40 years ago. Campion was also a key operative in the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Walter Mondale and Hillary Clinton. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.
No, not the cranberries …
The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that the state’s struggling cranberry industry is bracing for possible retaliatory action by the European Union in the wake of President Trump’s move to impose tariffs on imported steel .
Baker’s $661M economic-development bill includes making sales tax holiday permanent
It’s probably the only feature of a $661 million economic-development package that most people will remember (or care about): Making the sales tax holiday permanent. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan has more on the plan unveiled on Friday by Gov. Charlie Baker.
The Great Gondola Debate
Ari Ofsevit and Eitan Kensky, members of the nerdy data-crunching Transit Matters, think Millennium Partners’ proposed Seaport gondola is a bad idea and deserves to be thrown into the dustbin of transit history. Instead, they advocate at CommonWealth magazine for a major Silver Line upgrade and maybe even converting the existing underground Silver Line into an extension of the Green Line.
But the Globe,in an editorial, thinks the Millennium plan “deserves serious attention” and the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro, in a weekend news story, reports how a gondola system over traffic-clogged streets in Mexico City has been a huge hit. Our humble view: The nerds at Transit Matters obviously haven’t come up with an algorithm yet to predict broken state transit promises and/or ridiculously long waits to get major projects done. Of course a gondola system is not efficient. But it’s probably more efficient than waiting around for tenuous state action.
Galvin ‘horrified’ by Trump’s idea to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling stations
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin says he’s “horrified” by President Trump’s proposal to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places during federal elections, saying it’s a form of “totalitarian government” that could discourage voting. The AP at the Herald has more.
The Mitt Romney Instructional Manual
The Globe has a silly, but entertaining, editorial that provides handy instructional-manual tips for Utah voters trying to figure out the rebooted Mitt Romney.
As Dems roll out new gun-control legislation, GOP hopefuls say it’s time to lock and load
Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, among others, plan to announce today new federal legislation based on strict Massachusetts gun laws in the wake of last month’s mass school shooting in Florida, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (paywall). Meanwhile, Mike Deehan at WGBH reports there’s a spirited debate under way at the State House over the so-called “red flag” gun-control bill – and it’s a debate mostly being conducted via email, not necessarily in committee rooms, hallways or on the floors of the House and Senate.
But three Republican candidates running respectively for governor (Scott Lively), attorney general (Jay McMahon) and lieutenant governor (Lou Marino) are tacking in the complete opposite direction, saying school teachers should be armed and pooh-poohing all that “gun-free school” stuff, reports Stephanie Murray at SHNS.
SJC: Churches of historic significance may receive public funds but …
This is an interesting ruling – with lots of caveats by the state’s highest court. From the Herald’s Bob McGovern: “The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that the state constitution’s anti-aid amendment doesn’t prevent public funds from being used to renovate active churches that have been identified as “historic” resources under the Community Preservation Act. But the court didn’t declare open season on unfettered public spending on houses of worship. Instead, it created a legal test that judges will apply when determining whether a historic church should receive publicly funded grants.”
Baker signs bill extending OSHA work protections to municipal workers
This shouldn’t have taken this long to pass, but better late than never: Four years after passage of a bill extending federal Occupational Safety and Health Act safety rules to protect state workers, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed legislation that applies the same rules to municipal workers. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more.
Defense attorneys in City Hall extortion case: For crying out loud, just drop the case
Keep in mind that federal prosecutors have already acknowledged their case is on thin judicial ice. From Bob McGovern at the Herald: “Attorneys representing two of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s top lieutenants in their upcoming extortion trial blasted federal prosecutors for continuing to pursue charges against their clients while putting off ‘the inevitable end of this unjust prosecution.’ In a blistering motion filed yesterday, lawyers for Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan said federal prosecutors are trying to ‘cobble together a viable case’ and should drop the charges.”
Moulton urges Tufts and UMass-Boston to cut ties with China-backed campus group
From the Globe’s Laura Krantz: “US Representative Seth Moulton has urged two colleges in Massachusetts to cut ties with on-campus institutes that have ties to the Chinese government and are believed to promote censorship and undermine human rights. Moulton, a Democrat from Salem, sent letters this week to Tufts University and UMass Boston asking them to disassociate with the Confucius Institute, which operates centers on both campuses.”
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has a good column about how American corporations are increasingly caving to the Chinese government’s shrill political demands, including Marriot’s “shameless” firing of a worker in Omaha who unintentionally offended Chinese communist officials thousands of miles away.
Legislation would outlaw drowning of animals
From the Associated Press at the Herald: “Animal rights advocates are planning to converge at the Massachusetts Statehouse (this Wednesday) to push legislation aimed at outlawing the drowning of animals. Advocates say the bill would strengthen animal cruelty laws in Massachusetts by increasing reporting, updating penalties, and prohibiting certain kinds of cruel acts.” Check out the penalties for some violations. They’re pretty damn harsh.
Critics slam Barnstable County delegates’ hotel upgrades
Several members of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates bypassed a group hotel room discount for a stay in Boston for a Mass. Municipal Association meeting and set up shop instead on a suites-only floor—a move that cost the cash-strapped county more than $2,000, Geoff Spillane reports in the Cape Cod Times. The county is mulling an early retirement plan in the hopes of avoiding layoffs as it struggles to balance is $29 million annual budget.
Williamstown might set example for others to follow in legal weed deals
Williamstown is ready for July 1. The town has struck one of the first community host agreements with a recreational pot shop operator, Scott Stafford reports in the Berkshire Eagle, a deal that will see the town receive 6 percent of the gross sales—the 3 percent local tax allowed by state law and another 3 percent meant to defer new costs to the town. The agreement, which also calls for an annual donation to a local nonprofit involved in drug education and treatment, could become a template for other communities to follow, officials say.
Meanwhile, Worcester city councilors are being warned that a plan they floated to ensure that pot shops are evenly distributed among the city’s five districts would likely not withstand a legal challenge and basically amount to spot joining, Nick Kotsopolous reports at the Telegram.
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