Happening Today

House environmental bond vote, legislative hearings and more

— The Public Health Council meets, 250 Washington St., 2nd Floor, Henry I. Bowditch Public Health Council Room, Boston, 9 a.m.

Health Policy Commission holds a meeting of its Market Oversight and Transparency Committee, featuring a presentation on the impact of the Supreme Court’s Gobeille decision on the All Payer Claims Database, 50 Milk St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a meeting to set the agendas for future meetings, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Faith leaders and members of the Safe Communities Coalition march through the State House and deliver a letter calling on the budget conference committee and State House leaders to protect immigrant families, State House, 10:30 a.m.

Public Service Committee meets for a hearing on five local bills, Room B-1, 11 a.m.

— The Massachusetts House meets in formal session to take up Gov. Charlie Baker’s environmental bond bill, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight meets to consider testimony on six late-filed bills, Hearing Room B-2, 11 a.m.

— Retail and grocery workers plan to join Raise Up Massachusetts members at a rally to oppose retail-industry demands for Sunday-pay law changes, outside the Downtown Crossing Macy’s, 450 Washington St., Boston, 11 a.m.

— The Health Policy Commission‘s Care Delivery Transformation Committee meets to discuss the Patient Center Medical Home PRIME Program and other matters, 50 Milk St., Boston, 11 a.m.

— The Committee on Elder Affairs will hold a hearing on Sen. Julian Cyr’s proposal on background checks for nursing home staff, Room B-1, 11 a.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg offers remarks at the 2018 Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts Education and Legislative Convention, Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, 1657 Worcester Road, Framingham, 11:30 a.m.

Governor’s Council meets to possibly vote on reappointment of Omar Hernandez to the Industrial Accident Board, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.

— Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center CEO Travis McCready and MassTech Collaborative CEO Pat Larkin welcome a delegation of executives from South America who are attending an MIT executive program, State House, 3:30 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Harvard Pilgrim CEO resigns, citing unspecified ‘mistakes’ concerning behavior

The head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the state’s second largest health insurer that’s now in merger talks with Partners HealthCare, abruptly stepped down yesterday, acknowledging he had made unspecified “mistakes” regarding his behavior. Eric Schultz and H-P officials declined to say what type of behavior prompted the surprise resignation. So read into it what you will. The Herald’s Jordan Graham and Joe Dwinell, the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett and the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey have the details, or lack thereof.

Healey sues Purdue Pharma, saying it misled public about dangers of opioids

Attorney General Maura Healey opened a new legal front yesterday against pharmaceutical makers of opioids, filing a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in state court and alleging the firm and its executives knew of the lethal dangers of opioids when pitching its products to doctors and consumers. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett and the Globe’s Joshua Miller have more. Fyi: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is backing the Democratic Healey’s move against Purdue Pharma.

Trump groupies prevail in primaries in South Carolina and Virginia

For all you political animals out there: The Republican base is doubling down on Donald Trump, handing pro-Trump candidates big victories in yesterday’s primaries in South Carolina and Virginia, the NYT reports. How this impacts the mid-term elections is anyone’s guess. But our hunch is that it doesn’t bode well for Democrats. It shows the GOP-Trump base is energized and ready for battle.


Maine’s ‘ranked voting’ results could take days to untangle

In other primary news, Maine made history yesterday by holding a first-in-the-nation “ranked voting” election yesterday – but it may take a few more days to figure out the final results for the Democratic gubernatorial race, reports the Portland Press Herald. Still, the new system is being credited with generating a large voter turnout yesterday – and Maine voters appear to have decided in a referendum to keep the new voting system, the Press Herald also reports.

Press Herald

T’s latest service debacle: ‘It’s the same issues over and over again’

A damaged overhead wire wreaked havoc on the Green Line yesterday, forcing thousands of commuters to find other means of transportation and raising the eternal question yet again: When will the T ever get its act together? CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl and the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro have more. Btw: The Baker administration seems to be moving the service-improvement goal posts, saying it will take a decade or more to see the positive results of reforms, as Vaccaro reports.

One thing was clear yesterday: Massachusetts Democrats were quick to blame the T fiasco on Baker, reports Fox 25. Sooner or later, the T criticism is going to stick to the governor. People are getting fed up.

Uber and Lyft represent ‘existential threat’ to the T and other public transit agencies

We thought the T represented an existential threat to itself. But James Aloisi, a former state secretary of transportation and a board member at TransitMatters, thinks otherwise, saying it’s actually Transportation Network Companies, i.e. Uber and Lyft, that represent an auto-centric “existential threat to public transportation” and policymakers must move “decisively to protect, rebuild, and renew our public transit system.”


Look out: AT&T-Time Warner mega-merger could be just the beginning

How fitting: Only days after net neutrality officially came to an end, a federal judge has approved the controversial $85 billion mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner, a move expected to open the flood gates for similar mega-mergers, reports the Washington Post. The Herald’s Jessica Heslam reports that some think the deal will actually be good for consumers. But here’s a rough rule of thumb in these matters: When someone argues that another monopolistic-like company is needed to counter other monopolistic-like companies, consumers usually lose.

Washington Post

The good news and bad news for Scott Lively’s lawsuit against state GOP

The good news for conservative firebrand Scott Lively is that Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has caught Gov. Charlie Baker’s re-election campaign playing political footsie with the state GOP over use of its email list. The bad news for Lively, a gubernatorial candidate who’s filed a lawsuit against state Republicans for favoring Baker in the GOP primary, is that a former state attorney general is on the verge of being hired to defend the party against Lively and the case has been assigned to a judge appointed by Baker only six months ago, reports Frank Phillips at the Globe.

Lost and found: The curious disappearance of BU’s John Kidd, mysterious scholar of all things ‘Ulysses’

Jack Hitt, writing at the NYT, goes on a hunt to find John Kidd, once considered the greatest James Joyce scholar alive and last seen (or at least by the Boston Globe and its readers) feeding pigeons near BU. Hitt called old academic colleagues, some of whom thought Kidd was dead. He checked out homeless shelters in Brookline. He chased down emails and … let’s just say there’s someone who’s still mighty pissed at the Globe for printing that pigeon-feeding photo 16 years ago.


AFL-CIO backs Capuano, teachers union endorses Gonzalez

Two endorsements that actually matter: The AFL-CIO is backing U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in his tough primary battle against City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (Boston Globe) and the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts is supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez (Boston Globe).

It’s not nice to upset Amazon: Seattle repeals tax opposed by tech giant

Here’s a cautionary tale for those pining for Boston to get Amazon’s HQ2: Seattle officials were in total retreat yesterday, repealing a new city tax on major employers (i.e. Amazon) to raise funds for homeless and affordable housing. The tax was vehemently opposed by Amazon. The NYT has more on the tax rout.


Dude, don’t rush them: Impaired-driving commission finally gets down to business with retail pot sales only weeks away

What’s the hurry? From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Cape Cod Times: “With legal marijuana sales expected to begin within a month, the commission that is supposed to make recommendations to prevent operating under the influence of marijuana and impaired driving is slated to meet for the first time Wednesday.”

Cape Cod Times

Pot entrepreneurs blame towns for lack of marijuana applications on the Cape

Blame the towns. The Cannabis Control Commission has yet to receive an application for a recreational marijuana license from any of the three counties that make up the Cape and Islands region and would-be weed entrepreneurs say feet-dragging towns are to blame, Christine Legere reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

Meanwhile, Marty Walsh just says no to mayors’ marijuana coalition

A newly formed coalition of mayors from cities around the country where marijuana has been legalized will have to get by without Boston’s Marty Walsh, who also declined to back two pro-pot resolutions the national mayor’s group approved during its meeting in Boston last week. The Globe’s Dan Adams notes that Walsh’s position increasingly puts him at odds with his fellow mayors and the Democratic party writ large. 

Boston Globe

Federal judge invokes Declaration of Independence in immigrant case

U.S. Judge Mark Wolf pulled a fast one on the Trump administration, citing the Declaration of Independence in a ruling that ordered ICE to release two illegal immigrants and writing that the document proclaimed “that: ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,’ and that ‘among these’ is ‘Liberty.’” The order was issued just after ICE had released the two – and before they were due to appear before Wolf, reports Fred Thys at WBUR.


Scope of State Police scandal still clouded as MassDOT refuses to release audits

A week after being ordered by the state’s supervisor of public records to comply with requests for documents, the Mass. Department of Transportation has yet to turn over any audits or funding information related to some 42 State Police troopers now accused of falsifying overtime reports, Dan Glaun reports at MassLive. Seems the State Police and MassDOT may not even be on the same page about who should be providing any such records. 


Report says caps will crimp solar industry growth this year

Massachusetts will see a drop in solar power installations this year compared to last, according to a national trade group that lays the blame at the feet of state caps, Mary Serreze reports at MassLive. Last year saw 540 megawatts of solar power installed, a number that is expected to drop to around 300 megawatts this year, the Solar Energy Industries Association says. 

Meanwhile, writing in CommonWealth Magazine, Sean Garren of Vote Solar says the state is already feeling the impacts of bumping up against net metering caps: The number of solar workers in the state dropped 21 percent last year, the largest decline in the nation. 

Environmental groups rate Baker a ‘C’ for third straight year

At least he’s consistent. A group of seven environmental groups has given Gov. Charlie Baker a ‘C’ for his administration’s efforts on energy and environmental issues, WBUR reports. Despite some positive developments, such as a new push to help cities and towns deal with climate change impacts, the groups say the state should be paying more attention—and directing more funding—to environmental issues. 


Firms make pitches to evaluate struggling Steamship Authority

Eight firms—including one from Germany—have responded to the Steamship Authority’s request for a complete management review tied to the recent less-than-stellar ferry service of late, George Brennan reports in the Martha’s Vineyard Times. The authority’s board is expected to select a bid next week. 

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Donoghue ends vague consulting gig for retired Lowell DPW director

Lowell city manager Eileen Donoghue has put the kibosh on a $60 per hour consulting job given to the recently retired DPW director by an acting city manager just prior to Donoghue taking over the job, Christopher Scott reports in the Lowell Sun. Thomas Bellagarde retired in February after 40 years with the city and was rehired as a consulting “special events/ceremonies coordinator.” 

Lowell Sun

So what’s your favorite political-thriller movies? Part III

We’ve received more recommendations from readers about the best political-thriller movies out there, prompted by Bob Tremblay’s own list at Wicked Local. We posted previous recommendations on Monday and again yesterday. Here are the latest:

From Reader C: Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks. From Reader EB: Thirteen Hours and Zero Dark Zero and Vantage Point and The Package. A couple readers recommended ‘Primary Colors.’ We’re not sure that’s a thriller, but it’s definitely political in nature.

Boston Cyber Security Conference 2018

2018 Boston Cyber Security Conference This conference qualifies for CPE credits! Passes include a full lunch, entrance into the main conference room and all conference material.

Data Connectors

WBA Litigation Conference – Signs of Change: A 40 Year Perspective

The WBA celebrates its 40th anniversary with a litigation conference on June 14. Signs of Change: A 40 Year Perspective features discussions on: civil rights; empowering women to change including recent developments in human trafficking, athlete sexual assault, workplace harassment and assault laws and remedies; women leading big law; the practical realities of litigation; and a judges panel.

The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

Boston CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards

Join New England’s Technology Professionals at the Boston CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards. This event will honor chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership.


2018 Growth Acceleration Summit

This isn’t your typical B2B conference. Here, sales & marketing alignment will be challenged by industry-leading experts who will share insights & tactics to unify teams & reach new business heights – as one.


The State of Our Transportation System with MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack

The State of Our Transportation System – A Briefing by MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack

NAIOP Massachusetts

Getting to the Point with Congressman Joe Kennedy III

Congressman Joe Kennedy III will visit the Institute for a wide-ranging conversation on issues facing our communities today. Congressman Kennedy is in his third term representing the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Commonwealth Commentary with Senator Karen Spilka

Senator Karen E. Spilka is the State Senator for the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus

Chat & Chowder – Digital World War

This exploitation of social media has had a significant impact on the Muslim world and is often difficult to counter or monitor, raising a very valid concern: how do we fight in this digital war?


Today’s Headlines


Harvard goes on attack to defend its admissions policies – Boston Globe

Damaged wire on Green Line delays commuters – Boston Herald


Rising rent costs exacerbated by short-term rentals in Massachusetts – MetroWest Daily News

Worcester City Manager says Nortre Dame church demolition ‘very imminent’ – Telegram & Gazette

Fired Hingham DPW worker sues town, selectmen – Patriot Ledger


DeVos questioned about NRA influence over school safety panel – Politico

AT&T takeover of Time Warner approved, in blow to Justice Department – New York Times

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.