Marathon security, Gaming Commission, Whip-poor-will status report, Dem candidates forum
— Attorney General Maura Healey gives the keynote address at the 2018 Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Springfield, 9:30 a.m.
— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans discuss public safety measures in advance of the 122nd Boston Marathon, Eagle Room, Boston City Hall, 10:15 a.m.
— Gaming Commission meets with an agenda that includes reviewing a proposal to disqualify Steve Wynn as a license holder and other gaming-related issues, 101 Federal Street, 12th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and others gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race Street, Holyoke, 11 a.m.
— House Speaker Robert DeLeo and legislative leaders address 495/Metrowest Partnership at release of CBRE/New England commercial real esate report, House Members’ Lounge, third floor, State House, 11 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Harriette Chandler, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others are scheduled to speak at the 10th annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day, Grand Staircase, 11 a.m.
— Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee meets, with Chris Buelow, a restoration ecologist with the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, giving a presentation on the status of Whip-poor-will in Massachusetts, One Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, 1:30 p.m.
— Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez, Setti Warren and Robert Massie participate in the Coalition for Social Justice Gubernatorial Educational Forum, Bristol Community College, Room H-209, 777 Elsbree St., Fall River, 6 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker is billed as a keynote speaker at a gala lauding Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who receives Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s Making a Difference Award, Andover Country Club, 60 Canterbury St., Andover, 6 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.
The House budget: Extra funds for local aid and education, but ‘no’ to MassHealth change
The House yesterday released its nearly $41 billion state budget, about $80 million higher than Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed fiscal blueprint unveiled earlier this year. Here are some of the highlights of the House plan, as approved by the Ways and Means Committee:
— Revenue and public aid: SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Colin Young at WBUR look at, among other things, the revenue assumptions of the budget that includes no major tax increases.
— MassHealth: Jessica Bartlett and Greg Ryan at the BBJ focus on the House’s substantially higher budget increase for MassHealth and its refusal to go along with Baker’s proposal to move 140,000 people off Medicaid and onto the Health Connector, the state’s online health insurance marketplace.
— Education: Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports on, among other things, the House’s proposed increase in education funding, including another $21 million for K-12 education.
— MBTA: Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports on how the House oddly rejected a key payroll provision within the MBTA budget – and yet it increased the T’s budget by a corresponding amount.
— Sales tax payments: SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that the House budget plan drops the controversial proposal to start collecting sales taxes in real-time as purchases are made, a new system retailers had vehemently opposed.
— Early release funding: Michael Jonas at CommonWealth reports the House is proposing new spending for programs aimed at helping criminal offenders get on the right track.
The House didn’t forget about you, State Police
From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Leaders in the Massachusetts House are proposing a new audit unit within the state police and a new commission to review state police hiring and promotion practices. ‘These will monitor the agency, help develop best practices and prevent issues from occurring in the future,’ said House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, D-Boston. The proposal, included in the House Ways and Means budget released Wednesday, comes on the heels of multiple scandals involving the state police.”
The Herald has more on the House’s plans for the embattled State Police.
Meanwhile, Walsh unveils Boston’s new $3.3B budget – with some pay hikes for top brass
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was also busy on the budgetary front yesterday, laying out his priorities for the coming year in his new $3.3 billion city budget proposal, reports Isaiah Thomposon at WGBH. The mayor’s budget includes funds to rebuild the Long Island bridge. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Dan Atkinson reports the budget also includes hefty pay hikes for top lieutenants in the Walsh administration.
The Ryan Departure: Massachusetts Dems sense mid-term victory in the air
Members of the Bay State Congressional delegation weren’t pulling out the tape measures and demanding to inspect their Republican colleagues’ leadership offices on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday. But they sure sounded upbeat after U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s surprise announcement that he won’t be running for re-election this year and will be leaving Congress, a move many saw as Ryan jumping a sinking GOP ship before this fall’s mid-term elections.
“The blue wave is real, and it just swept away Paul Ryan,” U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton tweeted. “I do believe he hears the steps of the Democrats coming to take over the House,” said U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano. Shannon Young at MassLive, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and Kimberly Atkins at the Herald have more.
Moulton’s many challengers
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton may be looking forward to Democrats taking over the U.S. House if the mid-term elections go his party’s way this fall – and he may even be eyeing a potential bid for the White House in two years. But Moulton must first win re-election – and it turns out there’s no shortage of candidates seeking to knock him off. Five candidates have signaled they will challenge Moulton this year, including two Republicans, one Libertarian and two independents, Ethan Forman reports in the Salem News. The field includes three potential challengers who, like Moulton, have military service records, though they certainly don’t have the same campaign-coffer bucks that Moulton has compiled, Forman notes .
Another ex-Lowell mayor gunning for Donoghue’s Senate seat
It’s like musical chairs in Lowell these days. On the same day that Eileen Donoghue officially resigned from her Senate seat and was sworn in as Lowell’s new city manager, former Lowell mayor Bill Martin announced yesterday he’s jumping into the race to succeed Donoghue, who, it should be noted, is also a former mayor. City Councilor and former mayor Edward Kennedy has already thrown his hat into the Senate race ring. The Lowell Sun has more.
From the Berkshires to LA: Rockwell painting has new home
After a long and exhausting battle over the sale of artwork by the Berkshire Museum, the selling has indeed begun and it turns out that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles—which won’t open its doors until 2022—will be the new owner of one of the Norman Rockwell paintings being sold by the museum, Larry Parnass reports in the Berkshire Eagle. Though the sale price of “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” was not disclosed, previous estimates valued the work at up to $30 million.
Board of Higher Education and Senate to review Mount Ida College sale to UMass-Amherst
Now it’s three: The Board of Higher Education and the state Senate are joining Attorney General Maura Healey in reviewing the proposed sale of Mount Ida College to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, in the latest development in the ongoing saga over how and why the deal was cobbled together. Kathleen McKiernan at the Herald, Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive and Andy Metzger at State House New Service (pay wall) have the details.
Reports: Mount Ida would have survived under Lasell’s takeover proposal
Speaking of the controversial Mount Ida-UMass deal: The folks at Mount Ida College may not have liked Lasell College’s original merger proposal and its “take-it-or-leave-it acquisition terms,” but the BBJ’s Max Stendahl reports that a copy of Lasell’s takeover plan called for the two Newton schools to continue operating as “independent, affiliated colleges.” Mount Ida opted to walk from the deal, deciding instead to sell itself to UMass-Amherst and effectively close shop.
The Globe’s Laura Krantz has a similar story on how Lasell officials believe their merger offer to Mount Idea “would have kept the doors open and allowed its students to graduate.”
Amherst, Williams and Wellesley colleges among schools targeted by feds looking into early admission policies
Speaking of higher-ed institutions under scrutiny: As the feds investigate Harvard’s affirmative-action admissions policies, the Justice Department’s anti-trust unit has opened up a separate probe into whether elite colleges effectively colluded amongst themselves over early admissions – and Amherst, Grinnell, Middlebury, Pomona, Wellesley and Williams colleges and Wesleyan University are on the feds’ investigative list, reports Laurel Wamsley at WBUR, citing a recent Wall Street Journal story (pay wall).
The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports on how the Justice action has “left many higher education specialists puzzled about what message the Trump administration is trying to send.”
The latest DOR screw up: Sensitive child-support info sent to wrong addresses
The Globe’s Joshua Miller has the latest coming out of DOR, literally: “The state’s beleaguered Department of Revenue — already reeling this year after failing to deliver timely child-support payments and a data breach of sensitive businesses tax information — announced Wednesday that the personal information of thousands of people who pay child support was inadvertently sent to companies that do not employ them.”
‘Deep trouble’ in Missouri
OK, no matter how much we mess up here in Massachusetts, always remember: We’re not Missouri. From the NYT: “He blindfolded and bound a woman to exercise equipment, spanked her, and tried to kiss her without her consent. Those are among the scandalous allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri that were released in a legislative report on Wednesday that has put the first-term Republican governor’s political future in deep trouble.”
The headline on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s story: “Woman testifies that Greitens groped and hit her; governor blasts ‘lies’ and ‘tabloid trash.’” The headline on the Kansas City Star’s editorial: “Step down, Gov. Greitens, or prepare to be impeached.” … Now back to our comparatively tame and dull local political news …
Bill Weld’s latest reincarnation: Pot entrepreneur and advocate
Here’s a career update on our former Massachusetts governor, via Jordan Graham and Bob McGovern at the Herald: “Former Republican powerhouses John Boehner and Bill Weld are joining a national pot company — that owns three medical marijuana licenses in Massachusetts — as part of their effort to legalize weed nationally. ‘The effect of marijuana being a schedule class 1 narcotic in Washington is a seriously flawed idea,’ Weld said. ‘Descheduling is the most constructive step that could be taken.’”
Sorry, Tom, apology not accepted
The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham responds to Tom Ashbrook, the former ‘On Point’ radio host fired for abusive behavior towards his workers and who yesterday penned a Globe op-ed asking if there was room for redemption for him. From Yvonne: “Here’s how to apologize for having treated your employees badly. Say sorry to the people you actually hurt, rather than to the people who had no idea what was going on. Don’t claim you were blindsided by allegations of mistreatment when you had plenty of warning over the years.”
Attleboro mayor seeks to silence critical police chief
Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux says he’ll enforce a rule he put in place just after taking office that requires department heads to seek his permission to speak to the media after the city’s police chief blasted him and city councilors in print for their liberal position on legalized marijuana, George Rhodes reports in the Sun Chronicle. Police Chief Kyle Heagney was quoted in a Providence Journal story expressing his concerns that city leadership is blinded by dollar signs and overlooking the social and security impacts of embracing legal pot.
Charlie Austin, RIP
WBZ’s Jon Keller and the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen have sad but moving pieces on long-time WBZ-TV reporter Charlie Austin, who died earlier this week. From Kevin: “In the ultra-competitive world of journalism, Charlie made everybody slow down a bit and just appreciate what was going on, appreciate the camaraderie. Whenever I bumped into Charlie, it was a good day. How many people in this world can you say that about? He was a great reporter, but he was a better man.”
Diehl: Massachusetts should consider sending National Guard troops to patrol Mexican border
Geoff Diehl, the former true-blue Democrat now trying to out-right-wing his two Republican rivals in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, said Massachusetts should “seriously” consider any request to send the state’s National Guard to help patrol the Mexican border, as part of President Trump’s call for beefed up border security, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. What else can you say?
Alan Dershowitz: ‘A key Trump whisperer’
The Globe’s Matt Viser confirms that Alan Dershowitz, the longtime liberal Harvard professor, has become a sort of ‘Trump whisperer’ on legal matters related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump and that Dershowitiz did indeed dine at the White House earlier this week on a “ravioli appetizer, guinea hen entree, and, for dessert, fruit compote.”
Sen. Brownsberger endorses Gonzalez for governor, citing Warren’s veto promise of criminal-justice bill
Sen. William Brownsberger, one of the main authors of what some consider a landmark criminal-justice reform bill now sitting on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk, is endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez, bluntly saying he can’t back candidate Setti Warren, also a Democrat, after he said he would veto the justice bill because it contained a mandatory minimum sentence for selling fentanyl and carfentanil. “I thought that was an uninformed statement,” Brownsberger told State House News Service. “Following that statement, I endorsed Jay Gonzalez.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy has Warren’s reaction.
UMass Dartmouth to study economic impact of offshore wind once turbines are up and spinning
As the state prepares to choose the first offshore wind projects that will sell electricity to utilities, the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s Public Policy Center is launching a special initiative to track the economic impact resulting from the wind farms, reports Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ.
ACLU sues Trump administration over ‘bait and switch’ immigration policy
From the Globe’s Akilah Johnson: “The ACLU of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that it had sued the Trump administration, alleging the federal government is pulling a ‘bait and switch’ by detaining and threatening to detain undocumented immigrants who are following a legal path to seek permanent residency through their American spouses.”
Candidating with Leonard Golder, Rick Green, and Terry Ryan
Renegotiating NAFTA: Partners for a Prosperous Economy – BOSTON
New England-Canada Business Council
Spring 2018 Robert C. Wood Lecture of Public and Urban Affairs
University of Massachusetts Boston John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
33rd Annual New England AFP Conference
Innovation Bioscience: Solve-It, Open Innovation Challenge
Munevar & Associates, Inc./Innovation Bioscience
Exploring the Future of Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities
Grid Modernization in Massachusetts: International Insights to Meet 2050 Carbon Goals
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE)
Boston City Council wants more trees, ban on booze ads on T – Universal Hub
Lawsuit: Duck boat company’s hopes doused by Boston police – Boston Herald
Another Lowell mayor joins state Senate race – Lowell Sun
Baker: offshore wind decision likely in May – Standard-Times
Lawmakers, advisory panel plot Pilgrim’s future – Cape Cod Times
Worcester Airport’s new $32M landing system won’t help American Airlines flights – Telegram & Gazette
NRA got more money from Russia-linked sources than earlier reported – Politico
Bannon pitches White House on plan to cripple Mueller probe and protect Trump – Washington Post
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