Happening Today

House budget, Governor’s Council, and more

— The Massachusetts House is expected to resume deliberations on the House Ways and Means Committee’s $40.98 billion fiscal 2019 budget, House Chamber, 10 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey delivers the keynote speech and participates in a moderated conversation about pay equity with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Charlotte Burrows, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, 2019 Milstein West A, 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 10 a.m.

— Senate Democrats gather for a closed-door caucus in Senate President Harriette Chandler’s office, Room 332, 11 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will attend the CORE Plan Statutory Committee Meeting, One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor Crane Conference Room, Boston, 11 a.m.

— Former Gov. William Weld joins Libertarian candidate for auditor Dan Fishman to file Fishman’s nomination signatures and will be available to take questions from the media, Room 1705, One Ashburton Place, Boston, 11:30 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds a hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of attorney Elizabeth Sheehy as clerk-magistrate of the Middlesex County Juvenile Court., 11 a.m., Council Chamber; the council then holds its weekly meeting, 12 p.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump and her staff volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank as part of the OSA Cares Program, 70 South Bay Ave., Boston, 1 p.m.

Health Policy Commission‘s board meets to consider setting the health care cost growth benchmark for calendar year 2019, 50 Milk St., 8th Floor, Boston, 12 p.m.

— FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold Shaw offers keynote remarks at a quarterly cyber threat briefing hosted by Cybereason and SecureMA, Cybereason HQ, 200 Clarendon St., Boston, 12 p.m.

— Top officials in government and industry will discuss the carbon emission reduction goals established by Massachusetts, Germany and other governments around the world, with Commonwealth magazine editor Bruce Mohl moderating a panel discussion, 5 Channel Center Street, Boston, 3:30 p.m.

— Harvard President Drew Faust and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh celebrate ten years of Harvard Allston Partnership Fund grant recipients, Ray V. Mellone Park, 300 North Harvard Street, Allston, 4:30 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey gives the keynote address at the Facing History and Ourselves New England Dinner, Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston, 5:45 p.m.

— Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Carlos Veiga, former prime minister of Cape Verde will discuss development in Africa and public leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Kennedy School, Cambridge, 6 p.m.

— San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz speaks about the transformation of Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria at an event held as part of Holyoke Innovation Week, Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race St., Holyoke, 6 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Consul General of Israel to New England Yehuda Yaakov to celebrate 70 years of Israeli independence, Edward M. Kennedy Institute, 210 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, 6:45 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.

Today’s Stories

After pleading not guilty, Bryon Hefner told to stay away from Beacon Hill

The Globe’s Joshua Miller, SHNS’s Andy Metzger at Wicked Local and WGBH’s Adam Reilly report on Bryon Hefner’s plea yesterday of not guilty to various sexual-misconduct charges in the case that’s rocked the Massachusetts Senate and led to the downfall of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg. There’s not much more to add except to point out that new details of the charges against Hefner, Rosenberg’s husband, paint a picture of a sexual predator on almost constant prowl in political settings, if the allegations are true. Btw: An assistant clerk magistrate ordered Hefner to stay away from the grounds of the state capitol.

SJC rejects challenge to state’s cap on charter schools

Another setback for charter-school advocates. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts’ highest court has upheld the state cap on charter schools. The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday, in a decision written by Justice Kimberly Budd, agreed with a Superior Court judge and dismissed a case brought by five public school students challenging the charter cap. ‘The education clause (in the Massachusetts Constitution) provides a right for all the Commonwealth’s children to receive an adequate education, not a right to attend charter schools,’ Budd wrote.”


L’Italien blasts Third rivals’ ties to Walsh, Meehan and bankers

State Sen. Barbara L’Italien is uncorking on her politically and financially wired rivals in the Third Congressional District race – and that means you Dan Koh, Lori Trahan and Rufus Gifford. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot has more on L’Italien’s blast at blow-in candidates and/or their outside-the-district benefactors like Marty Walsh, Marty Meehan and banker Chad Gifford et gang.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Mark Shanahan starts off with what looks like a puff-piece ode to the glitzy Rufus Gifford, but then he gets to the nub of the matter: Gifford’s feud with the mom of actor Nicolas Cage’s son over either back rent or alleged black mold (depending on who you believe) tied to Gifford’s Los Angeles home.

Boston Herald

Pollack to struggling regional transit authorities: No more money

Regional transit authorities say they’re financially reeling. But state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack says more money is not the answer to financial problems facing the struggling agencies, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. “They’re going to need to reinvent themselves the same way the T is in the process of reinventing itself,” she says.


Judge gets his day in court

There was no shortage of reporters attending yesterday’s Supreme Judicial Court hearing into whether Judge Thomas Estes should remain on the bench after his extramarital affair with a clinician in a drug court he oversaw. Among others, Ally Jarmanning at WBUR has the details on the hearing that ultimately came down to the question of whether the affair warrants a mild or severe punishment for Estes.


Bump draws Republican challenger as Weld pushes Libertarian candidate

Helen Brady, a Concord Republican, will run against state Auditor Suzanne Bump in the November election, saying the incumbent hasn’t done enough to root out fraud and waste in state government during her two terms in office, Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive. Brady, who works for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, won the GOP nod to run for state representative in 2016 but lost by a wide margin to incumbent Cory Atkins. 

Meanwhile, former Gov. William Weld, the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2016, will be accompanying Libertarian candidate Dan Fishman as he files his nomination papers to run for auditor. Weld has previously expressed his support for Fishman.


Higher education board seeks more authority to avert future Mount Ida fiascos

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education wants the power to intervene when colleges or universities, like Mount Ida College, face the prospect of financial collapse, reports the Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan and Brian Dowling. “This is a system failure,” said board chairman Chris Gabrieli of Mount Ida’s planned closing next month. “So many people were misled or straight out deceived.”

The Globe’s Laura Krantz has more on yesterday’s sometimes emotional board hearing into Mount Ida’s controversial plan to close the school and sell off the Newton campus to UMass-Amherst. Meanwhile, the BBJ’s Max Stendahl reports that angry Mount Ida students have disinvited the college’s president from their graduation ceremony next month, while Stendahl in a separate BBJ story says Mount Ida food-service workers are already getting pink slips. Last but not least, we missed this piece yesterday by the Herald’s Hillary Chabot, on the surprised reaction of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren, who teaches at Mount Ida, to the school’s unexpected closing. 

Boston Herald

Fall River plant closure: You can believe your lying eyes — or an academic study

A union boss is encouraging/pleading/demanding that President Trump and others help save the blue-collar jobs at a soon-to-be-closed Fall River plant owned by Philips Lighting, which is planning to move operations to Mexico, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson and Kimberly Atkins. But, wait, the New York Times is touting a study by a University of Pennsylvania political science and communications professor who says Trump supporters are driven by fear of losing status and privilege, not economic anxiety. Just pointing out two stories that caught our attention this morning.

Mitt Romney taunts star player at Jazz-Thunder game

Wearing a basketball jersey over his neatly pressed dress shirt, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — and presumably former Boston Celtics fan — was getting into the swing of all things Utah earlier this week by attending a Jazz-Thunder playoffs game in his latest home state – and he was even taunting Thunder star Russell Westbrook. CBS Boston has the details (and video) of the now Utah U.S. Senate candidate in action.

CBS Boston

Shire finally concludes that $64 billion is a lot of money

It took a while to consummate, but it looks like a deal that will transform the state’s biotech sector is going through. From the Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman: “Shire PLC, the second-largest biotech employer in Massachusetts, said Tuesday that it had accepted a $64 billion takeover offer from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and would recommend the sweetened deal to shareholders. It was the fifth proposal made by the Japanese company since it first expressed interest in Shire on March 28.”

Reuters has more on what appears to be a still somewhat tentative deal.

Healey agrees to prosecutorial reforms after drug-lab controversies

From Sean Musgrave at the Globe: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has committed to measures to guard against the kind of egregious prosecutorial misconduct committed in the Amherst drug lab scandal, when prosecutors mischaracterized evidence of drug use by a state chemist. In a brief submitted to the state’s top court, Healey promised to create an ethics committee within her office and train prosecutors on their obligations to share evidence, among other measures.”

Boston Globe

SJC to review ‘creepy’ GPS tracking case

The Herald’s Bob McGovern has a good piece about how the Supreme Judicial Court will review a case about a man who stuck GPS tracking devices on a Hingham couple’s vehicles, allowing him to monitor their travels to Hull, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York – and it was all perfectly legal, or so say the experts, because there’s no law against it. “Creepy is not yet a crime in Massachusetts,” observed civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate.

Boston Herald

SJC Chief Justice Gants: A mistake was indeed made in letting rape suspect flee

Speaking of the SJC, one wishes more people would fess up like this. From Neal Simpson at the Patriot Ledger: “The chief justice of the state’s highest court says he believes the release of a rape suspect who later fled the country was the result of a ‘mistake’ and not part of a larger issue in Quincy District Court. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants told The Patriot Ledger on Monday that Frederick Q. Amfo of Quincy, an Uber driver accused of raping a passenger in Weymouth earlier this month, had been released without being required to surrender his passport because of ‘confusion’ in the clerk’s office about the proper protocol to follow.”

Patriot Ledger

Dentists drop long-time opposition to new dental therapists

This is somewhat unexpected. From Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe: “After resisting for years, Massachusetts dentists are now throwing their support behind legislation that would create a new kind of midlevel provider of dental care. Advocates say these workers, called dental therapists, would provide much-needed routine dental care, particularly to low-income patients.”

Boston Globe

‘The 100 Most Influential People in Boston’

We greatly admire Linda Pizzuti Henry. But is she really the most influential person in Boston? You decide. Boston Magazine is out with its ‘100 Most Influential People in Boston’ list, edited by David Bernstein. For political junkies, most – but not all – of the big political names are there: Marty, Charlie, Maura, Liz, John, Ayanna, Bob, etc. We could mention who’s not mentioned, but that would be giving away too much.

Boston Magazine

Tim Connelly resigns as head of Mass Tech Collaborative after only 18 months

Tim, we hardly knew ye. Timothy Connelly has resigned as the executive director of the quasi-public Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, just 18 months after taking the helm, the BBJ reports. Connelly, formerly a general partner at financial services firm Brown Brothers Harriman, says he just thought it was time to return to the private sector.


That’s a take: Tom Brady’s new digital production company raises $3 million

Riding the wave of popularity for his ‘Tom vs. Time’ documentary, Tom Brady and his partners have raised $3 million for their new digital production company, Religion of Sports Media Inc., from investors that include Norwood-based Advancit Capital, which was co-founded by Viacom Inc. director Shari Redstone. The BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien has more on No. 12’s venture into entrepreneurship and venture capital.


What will they think of next: MIT grads to open fully automated ‘chefless’ restaurant in Boston

The New Yorker’s Jay Cheshes and Boston Magazine’s Jenna Pelletier have the scoop on how four MIT grads next week plan to open one of the world’s first fully automated restaurants in which there’s no chef or short-order cook in sight – just a copper-clad contraption that does all the cooking. Their eatery, Spyce, will open in Downtown Crossing on May 3.

Framingham State gets $2.4M donation for full-ride scholarships

Halcyon Mancuso Krebs, an English Department faculty member at Framingham State University, and her businessman husband Thomas Krebs, have made the “largest financial commitment in Framingham State University’s history in order to establish full-ride scholarships for students in the humanities and social sciences,” reports Zane Razzaq at MetroWest Daily News. The $2.4 million scholarship program will start in the fall of 2019.

MetroWest Daily News

For group trying to save Worcester’s Notre Dame, a small glimmer of hope

Preservationists who turned out to pressure the Worcester City Council to save the Notre Dame des Canadien Church left with a sliver of hope: The council asked City Manager Ed Augustus to work with the church’s owner on possible solutions, Aviva Luttrell reports in MassLive. The Save Notre Dame Alliance also said its efforts had won the support of U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern. 


Educational Program on Guardianship in South Dennis

Guardian Community Trust

Free Open House Networking Event

North Shore Technology Council

IEEE 2018 International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security

IEEE Boston Section

Today’s Headlines


Is State Street leaving its HQ tower? – Boston Globe

Eight-story hotel approved for S. Boston, plans leave room for station on fabled train track – Universal Hub


Lowell to weigh ban on single-use plastic bags – Lowell Sun

Education board seeks more authority amid Mount Ida sale – Boston Herald

Last-minute ‘magic’ sought to save Notre Dame Church in Worcester – Telegram & Gazette

Chief justice sees urgent need for new courthouse in Quincy – Patriot Ledger


Judge rules government must accept new DACA applications – Washington Post

VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drinking on job, improper prescriptions – NPR

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