Cannabis Control Commission, Senate budget votes, Board of Educaton
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will chair a meeting of the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board, MSBA Headquarters, 40 Broad Street, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike attend the MassCEC board of directors meeting, 63 Franklin St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— Nursing home residents, certified nursing assistants, nurses, housekeeping, dietary aides, and nursing home administrators urge lawmakers to support increases in funding for nursing homes, with Senate President Harriette Chandler scheduled to speak, Room 428, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Sen. Nick Collins, City Councilors Michael Flaherty and Ed Flynn and others gather for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Omni Seaport Hotel, 492 Summer St., Boston, 10 a.m.
— The Cannabis Control Commission is expected to deal with the last of its priority review applications and will receive an update from executive director Shawn Collins on the agency’s hiring, Health Policy Commission conference room, 50 Milk St., 8th Floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Senate President Harriette Chandler speaks at a Massachusetts Senior Care Advocacy Day, Room 428, 10:30 a.m.
— Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets to discuss automated test scoring, the fiscal 2019 state budget, and the draft of the revised curriculum framework for history and social science, Marblehead High School auditorium, 2 Humphrey St., Marblehead, 10:30 a.m.
— The Senate is scheduled to begin going through the 1,196 amendments senators filed to the Senate’s proposed $41.4 billion fiscal year 2019 budget, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña, Massachusetts National Guard Adjutant General Gary Keefe and elected officials to present the Medal of Liberty to 14 families of fallen servicemembers, Memorial Hall, 11:15 a.m.
— Over 100 teens from cities across the state plan to rally for an increase in youth jobs funding on the first day of the Senate’s annual fiscal 2019 budget debate, State House, outside House and Senate chambers, 4 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker attends the 8th Annual Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner with First Lady Lauren Baker, where he will receive the Captain Jennifer Harris Award for his support of Gold Star families and veterans, Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer Street, Boston, 7 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.
Has UMass-Boston hit rock bottom yet?
UMass-Boston keeps churning out the controversies. The latest from the Dorchester campus: All three finalists for UMass-Boston chancellor have withdrawn their names from consideration, after 200 members of the school’s faculty openly, and harshly, questioned their qualifications and blasted UMass trustees for the way they conducted the search for a new chancellor. UMass president Marty Meehan says he’s “mortified” by the faculty’s action and has appointed Katherine Newman, UMass’s senior vice president for academic affairs, as what looks like the permanent interim chancellor of the school.
Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive, Janelle Nanos and John R. Ellement at the Globe and SHNS’s Katie Lannan at Wicked Local have more on the latest turmoil at UMass-Boston.
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld has a good column this morning saying Meehan is facing the “biggest crisis yet of his three-year tenure” and needs to get control of the UMass-Boston situation, following controversy after controversy, including the recent takeover of Mount Ida College by UMass-Amherst. Joe makes the excellent point: “Much of the discord over the chancellor search and the Mount Ida deal seems rooted in something much deeper: a $30 million deficit at UMass Boston, with the likelihood of layoffs and cutbacks. Faculty and staff feel they’ve been unfairly targeted, and until Meehan addresses that, there’s likely more nastiness coming.”
Charlie Baker for president? One pundit hopes so
Granted, it’s only Bill Kristol, the conservative pundit and Never Trumper who’s vainly tried to recruit other Republicans to take on Donald Trump. Still, it’s fun to see Gov. Charlie Baker’s re-election team desperately trying to tamp down Kristol’s talk about how Baker would make a swell presidential candidate one day. The Herald’s Hillary Chabot has more.
Meanwhile, Bump and Dukakis not giving up on Dems beating Baker
Speaking of Charlie Baker and politics: Auditor Suzanne Bump yesterday endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez over primary rival Bob Massie and she pronounced that “Charlie Baker is not invincible,” reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). Meanwhile, former Gov. Michael Dukakis says either Gonzalez or Massie could “still mount an effective contest” this fall against Baker, assuming they ever get traction, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pall wall). Appearing on WBZ’s “Keller at Large” over the weekend, Dukakis couldn’t resist taking a swipe at Baker: “Charlie’s a nice guy. I just don’t think he has that sense of urgency that I’d like to see in a governor.”
T approves $10 all-you-can-ride weekend rail passes
This is a great idea. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “Trying to entice more people to ride commuter rail on the weekends, the MBTA’s oversight board on Monday approved a new $10 weekend pass that entitles the holder to take unlimited trips on the system on Saturdays and Sundays this summer. The pass is the second part of a first-of-its-kind effort to build ridership on the commuter rail system, particularly on lines that are underutilized. The T launched a $200,000 advertising campaign in April to build general awareness.”
Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive notes the deal doesn’t apply to the CapeFLYER, the seasonal service that runs between South Station and Hyannis.
Stun gun regulations included in House’s ‘red flag’ bill
The House Ways and Means Committee yesterday reported out the so-called “red flag” gun-control bill that House members are expected to vote on tomorrow – and the legislation now includes a provision that would subject stun guns to the same licensing requirements as a rifle or shotgun, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy.
SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)
Earmarks hell: Senators have a long budget debate ahead of them
Starting today, senators start debating the chamber’s proposed $41 billion state budget – and Christian Wade at the Salem News takes a look at some of the nearly 1,200 amendments (most of them earmarks) that senators will have to wade through.
Et tu, Josh Zakim?
We’ll let the Globe’s Matt Stout explain this hypocritical chapter in the ongoing campaign-at-work saga: “City Councilor Josh Zakim has repeatedly denounced his primary opponent, Secretary of State William F. Galvin, for allowing public employees to file campaign paperwork on the longtime incumbent’s behalf while drawing a full day’s pay, calling it ‘unethical’ and ‘unacceptable.’ But public records show that Zakim, 34, has also benefited from his own public employees assisting him politically, and, like Galvin, during normal business hours.”
Western Mass. man admits to terrorism plot
The son of a Boston police officer yesterday admitted he plotted to attack a state college, with guns and pressure-cooker bombs, and now faces 20 years in prison for his Islamic State-inspired plans, reports Bob Dunn at the Berkshire Eagle. If you recall, Alexander Ciccolo’s own father, a Boston police captain, was the one who originally tipped off the FBI about his son’s alarming religious zealotry.
Has Capuano cemented his image as the white status quo candidate?
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi and the Herald’s Kevin Franck say U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano may have scored tactical victories by nabbing endorsements from leading African-American pols like John Lewis and Deval Patrick. But Capuano, who faces a spirited primary challenge from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, may have made the strategic mistake of drawing attention to the fact that he’s ultimately the white establishment candidate in a majority-minority district, they note. From Franck: “Instead of reassuring black voters that he has their best interests at heart, Capuano has unwittingly cemented his image as part and parcel of a status quo that has always resulted in a raw deal for black communities.”
Maine governor appeals to those who don’t find him disgusting
Maine Governor Paul LePage hit the campaign trail yesterday in Massachusetts on behalf of fellow Republican and U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl and pronounced: “The people that find me provocative or find me disgusting never voted for me and never will vote for Geoff Diehl. It’s that simple,” LePage told reporters. The Globe’s Matt Stout has more.
Anti-racism protesters arrested after refusing to leave State House
From Marie Szaniszlo at the Herald: “Sixteen anti-racism protesters were arrested yesterday after they refused to leave the State House. The 13 women and three men were arrested shortly before 7 p.m. on trespassing charges after they refused requests to disperse after the building closed for the night, state police spokesman David Procopio said.” Szaniszlo has more.
More than the Yawkey Way street sign is missing from Fenway Park
Speaking of racial issues and protests, CommonWealth magazine’s Jack Sullivan reports that the Red Sox have quietly taken down a plaque outside Fenway Park commemorating former team owner Tom Yawkey, who has been accused of being a racist and who recently had his name stripped from street signs outside the park. Sullivan’s piece is accompanied with before-and-after photos of the plaque and now missing plaque.
Richard Goodwin, RIP
He literally wrote and lived history. From the Assocaited Press at WBUR: “Richard N. Goodwin, an aide, speechwriter and liberal force for the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson who helped craft such historic addresses as Robert Kennedy’s “’ripples of hope’ and LBJ’s speeches on civil rights and ‘The Great Society,’ died Sunday evening at age 86. Goodwin, the husband of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, died at his home in Concord, Massachusetts. According to his wife, he died after a brief bout with cancer.”
Clerks: No surge in young voters
The surge in youth activism following the February shooting at Parkland High School in Florida may have sparked a nationwide surge of activism but town and city clerks say there is no corresponding boost in the number of young people registering to vote, Jim Hand reports in the Sun Chronicle. Mansfield’s town clerk said that town saw a spike in young voters stepping forward, but that was likely because a 19-year-old was running for a selectman’s seat.
Federal judges cool to ICE’s tactics in Boston
The Globe’s Maria Cramer reports that federal judges in Boston are increasingly, and openly, critical of the federal government’s immigration crackdown, questioning the tactics of ICE officials and even releasing some detainees. “The critical judges include two Obama nominees, a Clinton nominee, and (Mark) Wolf, a Reagan nominee,” writes Cramer.
City Council divided over Airbnb rules as vote nears
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposals for regulating short-term rentals via Airbnb and similar services got a mixed reception from the city council on Monday, Zeninjor Enwemeka of WBUR reports. Councilors seem to like Walsh’s push to ban investor-owned units from short-term rental agreements, but some worry that the mayor’s plan may go too far in crimping the rights of property owners. A vote on the proposed regs could come tomorrow.
Not playing around: Toys ‘R’ Us lays off nearly 1,000 in Mass.
From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “Bankrupt toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. laid off 981 associates at 25 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us locations across Massachusetts, the company has disclosed. The layoffs were effective May 14 for Toys ‘R’ Us facilities in Braintree, Peabody, North Attleboro, Everett, Framingham, Millbury, Holyoke, Wrentham, Lee, Saugus, Auburn, Woburn, Dedham, Springfield, Swansea, Kingston, Brockton, Leominster, Hyannis, North Dartmouth, Bellingham and Northborough.”
In separate layoff news, Don Seiffert at the BBJ reports that the Boston Globe has let go another six non-newsroom employees, saying the cuts were necessary to increase efficiency.
Four Democrats announce write-in bids for Walsh seat
Here they come. A day after Democrats in Framingham decided against a caucus to put a candidate on the ballot to fill the late Rep. Chris Walsh’s seat on Beacon Hill, four candidates tell Zane Razzaq of the MetroWest Daily News they will launch write-in campaigns. The four Democrats—two men and two women—will be among those facing off in the September primary for a chance to run against Republican Tom Blanford in the November general election.
Despite fewer inmates, prison spending continues to soar in Massachusetts
WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey reports on how inmate numbers in Massachusetts has dropped by 21 percent over the past eight years – and yet spending on incarceration still increased by 25 percent, based on data from a new MassINC briefing paper.
It’s official: South Coast recycling standoff is now headed to court
The city of New Bedford has sued ABC Recycling, asking a judge to block the company from charging fees not covered in its contract with the city and to order it to continue its curbside service through 2023, Jennette Barnes reports in the Standard-Times. ABC has told New Bedford and other communities it may stop collecting recycling at the end of next month if they don’t agree to help defray higher costs associated with stricter rules put in place by China, where most recycled goods are shipped.
‘In the last five years, we’ve had 15 Mount Idas’
Carlos Santiago, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, says Mount Ida wasn’t the first small private college to go under in Massachusetts – and it won’t be the last due to demographic shifts that are hurting higher-ed institutions across the country, reports Jim Kinney at MassLive.
But Mount Ida will always be the mother of all Mount Idas in the pantheon of Mount Idas – and the Globe, in an editorial, wants to know a little more about those millions of dollars in checks that a 98-year-old woman wrote to bail out the small private college before its collapse and acquisition by UMass-Amherst.
Markey: It’s time to reinstate the oil export ban
With gas prices climbing heading into the Memorial Day weekend and the summer driving season in general, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has a suggestion: How about re-instating the U.S. oil export ban that was dropped in 2015, only to see gas prices steadily rise ever since? He has a point about the ban, but it’s not going to happen – not with Republicans controlling the White House and Congress. SHNS’s Colin Young at WCVB has more.
State fines Hingham housing authority chief for conflicts of interests
From Mary Whitfall at Wicked Local: “Sharon Napier, executive director of the Hingham Housing Authority, has paid a $2,500 fine after violating two sections of the conflict of interest law, the State Ethics Commission says. The commission says Napier, who was appointed director of the Hingham authority in 2011, had a financial interest in a housing authority contract and approved and co-signed housing authority payments to a company she co-founded.”
Photo tour of abandoned Scollay Square subway tunnel
City archaeologist Joe Bagley gave photographer Jesse Costa a tour abandoned old subway tunnel running underneath City Hall Plaza, once connecting the now closed Scollay Square and Adams Square stations. Though sealed shut more than a half century ago, the tunnel still looks in remarkably good shape. Fyi: Universal Hub has more an another upcoming subway-tunnel tour.
MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
Discussion panel Crossroads: Identity, motion and migration
The New World of Work: Leveraging Benefits Strategies to Shape the Future
New England Employee Benefits Council
Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting
Community Choice Energy – Boston City Council Hearing
Getting to the Point with Eric H. Holder Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
UMass Boston faculty blamed for chancellor finalists’ dropout – Boston Herald
Boston Globe lays off advertising employees – Boston Business Journal
Quincy bans commercial vehicles from Long Island bridge access roads – Patriot Ledger
Police department’s data sharing raises sanctuary questions – Daily Hampshire Gazette
Democrats sweep Hopkinton election – MetroWest Daily News
‘Too inconvenient’: Trump goes rogue on phone security – Politico
The eviction machine churning through New York City – New York Times
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