Happening Today

Cannabis Commission, Senate session, and more

Cannabis Control Commission meets, Department of Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— The Senate meets in formal session to vote on bills toughening laws against wage theft by employers, expanding the state’s commitment to clean energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.

MassDOT Office of Outdoor Advertising holds a hearing on off-premises billboards, signs and other advertising devices in the state, 10 Park Plaza, conference rooms 5 and 6, Boston, 11 a.m.

— Secretary of State William Galvin participates in the Flag Day ceremony at the State House, Nurses Hall, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker calls for passage of his CARE Act opioid addiction bill during a visit to A New Way Recovery Center with Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bhare, 85 Quincy Ave. – Suite B, Quincy, 11:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in a groundbreaking ceremony for Beacon Communities North Square, 113 Cowls Road, Amherst, 2 p.m.

Raise Up Massachusetts coalition members join teen workers to rally against a teen sub-minimum wage, State House, 4 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey receives the John W. Gardner Award during ‘A Cause for Celebration,’ a ceremony marking the anniversary of Common Cause Massachusetts, Boston Public Library, 230 Dartmouth St., Boston, 7 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

World Cup fever grips Boston, new soccer-stadium hallucinations reported

Yesterday’s announcement that the 2026 World Cup will be held in North America means Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium will likely be hosting some of the games, reports Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine and Sean Philip Cotter and Dan Atkinson at the Herald. But the Herald takes it further: The announcement could boost New England Patriots and New England Revolution owner Bob Kraft’s dream of building a new downtown soccer stadium. Jim Hand at the Sun Chronicle reports that Kraft is getting credit for lining up support from President Trump for the games to be held in North America.

Three New England Patriots stars to tackle Suffolk DA candidates, figuratively

Speaking of the Patriots: As part of the NFL Players Association’s “Launching Justice” program, New England Patriots stars Devin McCourty, his twin brother, Jason McCourty, and Matthew Slater will be posing questions to candidates running for Suffolk County District Attorney at an event next week, reports Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine.


Lively warns of ‘Orcs of Mordor’ (i.e. Democrats) raising a ‘mighty army’ to roll over the CommonShire

Ed Lyons makes a good catch on a recent fundraiser letter sent out by GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively, who compares the “blue wave” of Democrats to a “mighty army” of the “Orcs of Mordor” rampaging across the land unless, of course, they’re stopped by a “simple pastor with no political ambitions.” Lyons tweet via UH.

Twitter (Lyons)

Is Patrick tight-lipped on the governor’s race for the wrong reasons?

Speaking of the governor’s race, former Gov. Deval Patrick says “it’s killing me” that he can’t speak out on the governor’s contest, i.e. issue an endorsement for his former budget chief, Jay Gonzalez, who’s now running in the Democratic primary. Patrick, as a managing director at Bain Capital, says he’s constrained in what he can say by regulatory pay-to-play rules. But the Globe’s Michael Levenson reports Patrick’s interpretation of the rules may be a little too strict.

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, Twitter taunt backfires on Gonzalez’s campaign

Speaking of Jay Gonzalez, Kevin Ready, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez’s campaign manager, just couldn’t resist taunting Democratic rival Bob Massie for not marching in this past weekend’s Boston Pride Parade. Turns out Massie has a disability, walks around with a cane these days, and couldn’t march. Oops. Frank Phillips at the Globe has more.

Fess up, Harvard Pilgrim: Why did your CEO resign?

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says Harvard Pilgrim Health Care owes it the public to openly explain why its CEO, Eric Schultz, suddenly resigned earlier this week. “Citing unspecified ‘behavior’ is not enough,” he writes. “Not even close.”

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Mary Markos reports that Gov. Charlie Baker, who used to head Harvard Pilgrim, and Attorney General Maura Healey, whose offices oversees nonprofits, are remaining mum on the matter. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that Schultz’s surprise resignation hasn’t stopped the ongoing merger talks between H-P and Partners Healthcare.

Boston Herald

The incredibly shrinking Boston Herald, Part III: Screaming-headline page designs to be outsourced

This ought to prove interesting. The Boston Herald’s page designs and layouts will now be handled out of its new owner’s headquarters in Colorado, leading to major newsroom layoffs of copy editors in Boston, Jack Sullivan reports at CommonWealth magazine. So how’s this going to effect the writing of the feisty tabloid’s headlines and, more importantly, its page-one splash headlines? Btw: advertising design jobs are also being cut. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan has more.


Chinese biotech project in line for $18 million in state and local incentives

The Chinese biotech company that said last week it would build a $60 million manufacturing plant in Worcester is poised to get at least $18 million in direct and indirect state and local incentives, Lisa Eckelbecker reports in the Telegram. Some $5 million in state funds will be funneled to the Worcester Business Development Corp. to build out the site for the plant while WuXi Biologics could see its local tax bill cut by at least $1 million. 


House health-care bill contains $450M in hospital and insurer assessments

We completely missed this story from the other day, via SHNS’s Colin Young at the Milford Daily News: “A House-controlled committee on Tuesday advanced a 127-page health care bill that includes $450 million in assessments on hospitals and insurers, a fee on urgent care clinics, creates consumer protections against out-of-network billing, adds new reporting requirements for MassHealth and urges an acceleration of digital health initiatives.”

Milford Daily News

Goldberg warns of Lottery’s slide into Toy R Us irrelevancy

SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Sentinel & Enterprise reports that Treasuer Deb Goldberg doesn’t want the Massachusetts Lottery to go the way of Toys R Us and is warning that, with new gambling competition and without new Lottery online games, the Lottery could become ‘irrelevant.’

Sentinel & Enterprise

Sanctuary state update: Protesters push for immigration safeguards at State House

Protesters turned out in force yesterday on Beacon Hill to press leaders, including Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, to support Senate measures designed to protect immigrants – measurers some critics believe would all but make Massachusetts a ‘sanctuary state.’ Brian Dowling at the Herald and Amelia Nierenberg at the Globe have the details.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Travis Andersen reports that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is accusing the Trump administration of pursuing an immigration policy that’s “hostile” to children and families.

Healey seeks more info from Senate on Hefner case

Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has filed a motion seeking the names of potential victims referred to in a recent Senate Ethics report on the alleged sexual misconduct of Bryon Hefner, the husband of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, reports Laurel Sweet at the Herald and Matt Stout at the Globe. Healey’s office is already pursuing assault charges against Hefner, and her latest filing may indicate that the investigation is expanding.

In an editorial, the Herald supports Healey’s bid to get more information.

Don’t tell Springfield: It’s on the top 50 list of worst places to live

The folks at USA Today and 24/7 Wall St. obviously aren’t aware that MGM Springfield is going to open later this summer in downtown Springfield, otherwise they might not have put the western Massachusetts city on their top 50 list (at #28) of the worst places to live in the U.S. Hartford and New Haven were the two other New England cities to land on the worst-places list.

USA Today

Do tell sun bathers: Cape has third highest skin cancer rate in U.S.

Is there anywhere left in the state we can enjoy? From Cynthia McCormick at Cape Cod Times: “Several recent reports show that skin cancer rates are particularly high on the Cape and Islands, and physicians are urging residents to be screened for moles and to apply sunscreen liberally. According to the recently released Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Health of America Report, the Cape Cod region and the Melbourne area in Florida are tied for the nation’s third-highest rates of skin cancer.”

Cape Cod Times

Wynn Resorts accused of reneging on a $19M handshake deal with Everett land owner

He agreed to a lower price in exchange for a higher price later — based on a handshake? Anyway, from Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The drama surrounding the Wynn Resorts casino took another odd turn when one of the former owners of the Everett property on which the facility is being built alleged that Wynn reneged on a handshake deal to pay him nearly $19 million in return for essentially accepting a lower sales price.” Max Stendahl at the BBJ has more.


Council approves crackdown on Airbnb rentals by investors

There apparently weren’t too many fireworks at yesterday’s city council meeting, as promised. Still, councilors voted 11-2 to bar investors from renting out apartments and condos on Airbnb and other online sites, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub. But the council decided against putting a cap on how many days a year owners of two- and three-family homes can rent out their homes.

Universal Hub

Meanwhile, let’s tax and regulate those ‘existential threats’ to public transit

Seems like everyone wants to regulate new-fangled consumer services offered by tech companies. As the Boston City Council acted yesterday to regulate Airbnb and other short-term rental firms, James Aloisi, writing his second of two pieces on the ‘existential threat’ posed by Uber et gang against transit agencies, is calling for new regs and fees on ride-sharing firms and self-driving cars and using the funds to subsidize public transportation.

Neal : ‘Trade with Canada is terribly important to the Massachusetts economy’

Add U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to the growing list of local pols and business officials nervous about the Trump administration’s war of words with Canada over tariffs, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive. He makes a good point: It’s not just about our exports to Canada, but also Canada’s export of energy (read: oil, wind and hydro) to us.


As inmates get older, state prisons may get more dangerous for them

Jenifer McKim and K. Sophie Will at WGBH report on the dangers elder inmates face in state prisons, including occasional killings, and it’s only going to get worse as the average age of prisoners rises in coming years.


The ironic ripple effects of the millionaire’s tax …

The Globe’s Katie Johnston takes a look at all the ways the proposed millionaire’s tax is influencing key ‘grand bargain’ negotiations at the State House – and how, if the millionaire’s tax question is thrown off the ballot by the SJC, it will still have ironic ripple effects on other ballot measures.

Boston Globe

Report: Mass. employers lose union elections three-quarters of the time

This is politically interesting, not just economically interesting. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Management lost just under 75 percent of union elections held in Massachusetts in a recent three-year span, one of the highest loss rates in the country during that time, according to a new analysis from the law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP. … In Massachusetts, management lost 101 of 138.”


Clark’s student-loan payoff plan for opioid workers advances in House

A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark that would pay off as much as $250,000 worth of student debt for people who work in the opioid treatment field won the unanimous support of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a report at WBUR. Workers would have to practice in a high-risk area or in places suffering shortages of treatment professionals to qualify for the payback. 


Never mind: Stryker Corp. says it’s not in takeover talks with Boston Scientific

The Wall Street Journal says there are, or were, talks. Stryker Corp. begs to differ, saying it’s not in discussions to take over Boston Scientific Corp. The Globe’s Johnathan Saltzman has more.

Boston Globe

Frustrated by city inaction, preservations take Notre Dame church owner to court

A coalition of preservation groups hoping to save the Notre Dame des Canadiens church in Worcester from the wrecking ball have taken their battle to court. The Save Notre Dame Alliance filed suit against Hanover Insurance and is seeking an immediate injunction to halt demolition work, Bill Shaner reports in Worcester Magazine.

Worcester Magazine

State Reps take the ‘food stamp challenge’

State Rep. Jim Hawkins and several other lawmakers are hoping to shed light on the issue of hunger in the Bay State by restricting their spending on food to $22.80 every five days—or what food stamps recipients receive, Jim Hand reports in Sun Chronicle. 

Sun Chronicle

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


Jury finds Red Sox not negligent in case of woman injured by foul ball at Fenway – Boston Globe

A year after the Lynn trash fee was enacted, bills have not been sent out – Lynn Item


Agawam officers not facing charges as FBI ends ‘excessive force’ probe – MassLive

New twist in Natick’s ‘public speak’ controversy – MetroWest Daily News

Despite booming economy, poverty persists on South Shore – Patriot Ledger

Another cultivation operation seeks roots in Pittsfield – Berkshire Eagle


Trump ordered troops to the border, but they’re doing busywork – Politico

CBS: Sanders to leave White House at end of year – The Hill

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