Happening Today

SJC hearings, Senate budget, Gaming Commission

— The Supreme Judicial Court will hear five cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

Gaming Commission meets to vote on an updated version of the ‘responsible gaming framework,’ review a UMass Donahue Institute and SEIGMA analysis of state lottery revenue and Plainridge Park Casino, and get an update on regulatory preparations in advance of the opening of MGM Springfield, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Sens. Karen Spilka, Joan Lovely and Sonia Chang-Diaz plan to publicly unveil the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s proposed state budget, Room 428, 11 a.m.

— Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Hot Pink Party, InterContinental Hotel, 3rd Floor, 510 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, 6:15 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey gives the keynote address at Health Care for All’s annual ‘For the People’ Celebration, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston, 7:15 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

How about them Celts? It’s now on to Cleveland

Another clutch win last night. Another playoffs opponent dispatched. So it’s now on to Cleveland for the young, injury-hobbled Celtics who no one thought would get this far in the playoffs. The Globe and the Herald have the details on last night’s dramatic victory over the 76ers.

Running scared: Galvin’s taxpayer-funded employees filed campaign papers during work

This is ultimately about Galvin hitting the primary-challenge panic button. From Matt Stout at the Globe: “Secretary of State William F. Galvin, the state’s chief elections officer for more than two decades, is leaning heavily on employees within his office to help with his first serious primary fight in years, and in some cases, potentially running afoul of ethics rules. At least 13 taxpayer-funded employees who work for the secretary of state’s office have filed election paperwork on his campaign’s behalf during weekdays or normal business hours, the Globe found after reviewing documents from dozens of local clerk’s offices.”

This is probably going to hurt Galvin among politically attuned primary voters.

Boston Globe

Walsh goes after investor-owned Airbnb rentals

From Zeninjor Enwemeka at WBUR: “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is looking to crack down on investors who snap up housing units to rent them out through services like Airbnb. The mayor  filed a new ordinance Wednesday aimed at regulating short-term rentals in the city. This is Round 2 for Walsh. He first filed an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals back in January, but then withdrew the ordinance in March to make changes after pushback to proposed units operated by investors.” Michelle Wu had something to do with it too. 


Normandy proposes mega-development of T’s Riverside complex in Newton

Normandy Real Estate Partners is taking another stab at developing the vast parking lot at the MBTA’s Riverside Terminal in Newton, but this time it’s teaming up with another developer and proposing an even bigger project at the T site and beyond, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto. It’s a transit-orientated project on steroids, by the look of it.

Boston Globe

Editorial: ‘Baker must take stronger stance on ballot questions’

A BBJ editorial is sympathetic to Charlie Baker’s position as a Republican governor in an overwhelmingly blue state. But it’s nevertheless urging Baker to be more clear, and forceful, about where he stands on the proposed millionaire’s tax and sales-tax-cut ballot questions. “The absence of Baker’s voice on such important issues strikes us as an abdication of leadership at a time when businesses need such leaders,” the editorial says. 

Re the sales-tax-cut ballot question: The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is pushing ahead with the second round of signature gathering to get the referendum on the fall ballot, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).


Debate Lively, Governor

Speaking of gubernatorial campaign advice: The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham gives Charlie Baker some really bad advice, so bad we almost wonder if she’s engaging in political mischief: She thinks Gov. Charlie Baker should give a statewide stage to bigot-extraordinaire Scott Livey by debating him in the Republican primary. “Debate him, and demolish him,” she writes. They said the same thing about Donald Trump, didn’t they? We could be wrong.

Maine’s Paul LePage to liven up local Senate race

We suspect Gov. Charlie Baker won’t be around when Paul pays a visit. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Controversial Maine Gov. Paul LePage will be the featured guest at a Waltham fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl later this month. … LePage, one of four Republican governors in New England, has spent a turbulent eight years in office, frequently quarreling with lawmakers in his own state and getting into a verbal dust-up with the mayor of Lawrence when he blamed blacks and Hispanics from that mill city for fueling the heroin and fentanyl epidemic in Maine.”

SHNS (pay wall)

Inspector General: Remove former MCC president’s name from school library

This is unusual. Inspector General Glenn Cunha is urging Middlesex Community College trustees to strike former President Evan Dobelle’s name from a school library, citing alleged financial abuses Dobelle committed while head of Westfield State University, reports Christopher Scott at the Lowell Sun. “My office found that throughout his tenure Mr. Dobelle abused his authority, mislead the university’s board, misspent university and Westfield State Foundation funds on personal expenses and violated the public trust,” Cunha wrote. The board is weighing Cunha’s recommendation – which is not an order.

Lowell Sun

Meanwhile, state revokes approval for Quincy College’s nursing programs

In other higher-education news: Following years of low scores by Quincy College nursing students, the state Board of Registration in Nursing yesterday withdrew approval of Quincy College’s nursing programs, effectively shutting them down at the end of the academic year, reports Philip Cotter at Wicked Local. Quincy College president Peter Tsaffaras says he intends to appeal the state’s decision.

Wicked Local

UMass-Boston faculty members say they’re ‘deeply dismayed’ by ‘superfluous’ Mount Ida deal

OK, one last higher-ed item, from Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive: “Incensed at a proposed deal that has their sister campus in Amherst acquiring Mount Ida, a small private college in nearby Newton, a group of UMass Boston faculty members are saying they’re ‘deeply dismayed’ over the ‘superfluous’ proposal. .. ‘We submit that if UMass Amherst would like to provide its students with access to the Boston metro area and its opportunities, the UMass system should encourage intra-system student exchange and resource-sharing, rather than having one branch acquire an additional campus.’”


Fourth candidate enters race to succeed Rosenberg

Democrat David Murphy, a Newton attorney with roots in the Pioneer Valley and a former legislative assistant to the late Ted Kennedy, has become the third candidate to launch a write-in campaign for the now vacant seat previously held by former Sen. Stan Rosenberg, reports Bera Dunau at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Democrat Chelsea Kline is the only candidate officially on the ballot, but it now looks like her election won’t be the cake walk that we once foolishly thought it might be, by the look of it.


State Police file complaint against new GPS tracking system

From Kay Lazar at the Globe: “The union representing Massachusetts State Police is pushing back against a recent major reform, accusing the agency’s leaders of acting in bad faith by forcing a GPS vehicle tracking system on troopers.”

The troopers may well win this complaint in the halls of labor regulators, but they’ve already lost the argument in the court of public opinion.

Boston Globe

Don’t hang up: House advances bill banning robocalls

We missed this one from the other day. From SHNS’s Colin Young at MetroWest Daily News: “Those calls offering free cruises, loan modifications, supposedly important information from the FBI and more could soon stop coming to your cellphone unless there is a real human making the call. Just as experts warn that robocalls and the scams they often peddle are becoming more pervasive, the Massachusetts House gave its initial approval last week to a bill (H 201) filed by Mattapoisett Rep. William Straus to ban all robocalls to mobile phones or other electronic devices.”

MetroWest Daily News

Shiva Ayyadurai’s unstoppable fundraising juggernaut, fueled 97 percent by in-kind contributions from himself

Shiva Ayyadurai, the Cambridge tech businessman and independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, boasts about the “enormous strength” of his “historic grass-roots campaign.” But the Globe’s Frank Phillips takes a closer look at the $4.6 million his committee claims to have raised – and 96.6 percent of it comes from non-cash, in-kind contributions from himself, based on the value of the digital software systems that he’s developed.

In second Third District debate, Democrats show a bit more edge

The eleven Democrats left vying for the right to succeed Niki Tsongas in Congress battled over what message the party should carry into the midterm elections and disagreed on progressive policies such as free college and health care as they sought to differentiate themselves in the second full-scale debate of the campaign. Candidates were again divided, this time randomly, and Elizabeth Dobbins of the Lowell Sun reports the first group of hopefuls focused heavily on what the Democrats message should be nationally. 

The second group of candidates also found widespread agreement on issues, leading many in that group to pivot away from policy to focus on their unique backgrounds and qualifications, Chris Liskinsireports, also in the Sun. 

Extreme politics: They really don’t work

Speaking of primary elections in general, the NYT reports, based on a study by Stanford researchers, that when either party, Republican or Democrat, nominates an extreme candidate — in a district where a more moderate candidate might have had a chance to win the primary — the extreme candidate usually performs worse in the general election. “Extreme candidates, the researchers say, may mobilize their party’s base — but they tend to activate their opponent’s base even more than their own, resulting in a net loss on turnout.”  


State investigating whether Uber jacked up prices during winter Nor’easter

The Department of Public Utilities is looking into whether Uber illegally jacked up prices during the state-of-emergency Nor’easter this past March, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham. Uber says it complied with all state laws. Meaning: It complied with all state laws when it jacked up prices during the storm.

Boston Herald

Meanwhile, Worcester mulls how to spend its Uber haul

Some 850,000 ride-hail trips took place in Worcester in 2017, and now the city has to decide how to spend the $85,000 it took in a result, Cyrus Moulton reports in the Telegram. The city and other municipalities get 10 cents per Uber and Lyft trip under state regulations and Worcester must use the cash on transportation-related projects. 


Worcester city manager on PawSox: We’re in it to win

Amid a flurry of behind-the-scenes meetings in Worcester and in Rhode Island, Worcester city manager Edward Augustus tells Melissa Hanson of MassLive that his city is doing all it can to convince Pawtucket Red Sox brass to move the team to Massachusetts and that he is intentionally keeping the work on the down-low. “My goal is to make it happen, not to talk about it,” he said.  Several media outlets report Augustus has convened a series of PawSox-related meetings with civic and business leaders this week, even as activity heats up in the Rhode Island legislature aimed at securing a deal to keep the team in the Ocean State.  


House approves raising tobacco-buying age to 21

This was expected, but it’s still important to note. From the AP’s Bob Salsberg at WBUR: “The Massachusetts House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved raising the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco or vaping products from 18 to 21, a move that would bring the entire state in line with a policy already adopted by many of its cities and towns. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more.


Massachusetts’ economy outpaced the rest of the Northeast in 2017

From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Massachusetts’ real gross domestic product grew by 2.6 percent last year, a faster clip than every other state in the Northeast, according to new federal economic data. The commonwealth was the only state in the region to even break a 2 percent growth rate in 2017, according to data published Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.”


Switching chambers: Nick Collins sworn in as senator

Nick Collins is now state senator and a former state representative, after his swearing in ceremony yesterday at the State House. Jennifer Smith at the Dorchester Reporter has the details.

Dorchester Reporter

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: ‘The blogger king of Boston’

Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine interviews the indefatigable Adam Gaffin, founder and operator (not counting the legions of his contributing readers) of the popular Universal Hub and its Twitter account. How Adam does it all, we don’t know.

Boston Magazine

Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Mark your calendar for Zootopia!

Franklin Park Zoo

March for Affordable Insulin

Right Care Boston

Today’s Headlines


Is the era of investor-owned Airbnbs over? – Boston Magazine

Here’s what Related Beal has planned for the property beneath the Citgo sign – Boston Business Journal


Charlie Baker campaign drops $25,000 on political research firm – Boston Globe

Amherst TM gives $53K in hopes of saving PVTA routes – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Swampscott wants to develop a ‘smart growth’ area around its train station – Lynn Item

Mass. had the fastest-growing economy in the Northeast for 2017 – Boston Business Journal


McCain urges Senate to reject Haspel for CIA director – Politico

Cohen got millions for insider access outside White House – New York Times

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