Happening Today

Gaming Commission, legislative conference committees, and more

— The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute formally opens a new pressure test facility at the Center for Marine Robotics, with Damon Cox, chair of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, scheduled to speak, Village Hill Campus, Adjacent to Blake Building/Deep Submergence Lab, Woods Hole, 10 a.m.

— Middlesex DA Marian Ryan hosts a meeting of the Eastern Middlesex Opioid Task Force, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 270 Governors Ave., Medford, 10 a.m.

Gaming Commission meets and will hear a briefing from executive director Ed Bedrosian on the regulatory preparations for the opening of MGM Springfield, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, 10 a.m.

Matahari Women Workers Center, MA Jobs with Justice and other community organizers will hold a vigil in front of the Department of Homeland Security to demand an end to family detention, JFK Federal Building, Cambridge Street, 11 a.m.

— The Senate is scheduled to meet in a formal session, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.

— A House and Senate conference committee starts discussions on the two branches’ energy legislation proposals, Room 416, 11:30 a.m.

— State Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attend the Massachusetts Building Trades Council meeting and the annual AFL-CIO Annual Building Trades BBQ, 37 East Street, Hopkinton, with Bump appearing at 11 a.m. and Goldberg at 12:30 p.m.

— A House and Senate conference committee assigned to negotiate a compromise bill authorizing automatic voter registration holds its first meeting, Room 312A, 2 p.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Department of Conservation and Recreation commissioner Leo Roy to announce four DCR Recreational Trail Program grants benefitting Brewster, Chatham, Sandwich and Dennis, Drummer Boy Park, 773 Main Street, Brewster, 4 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

Last but not least: Legislators finally approve new state budget

Beacon Hill lawmakers surprised many yesterday by rolling out a new $41.8 billion state budget and then swiftly passing it within seven hours, ending an 18-day impasse that left Massachusetts as the only state in the union without a new fiscal-year budget. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and State House News Service (pay wall) have the details. Some big-picture factoids: The budget is nearly $400 million more than what either branch originally approved and it anticipates an additional $271 million being deposited in the state’s rainy day fund, the increases due to the recent surge in state tax collections. 

Below are some of the more notable features of the new budget that’s now sitting on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.

Budget footnote, I: Sanctuary state measure stripped from budget

The final budget approved by lawmakers yesterday doesn’t include the Senate-backed amendment that effectively would have made Massachusetts a sanctuary state. The omission “drew swift and harsh criticism from supporters, including immigrant rights advocates, the sponsor of the amendment, and the two Democrats running for governor,” reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine. In an editorial, the Herald is applauding the amendment’s disappearance act.


Budget footnote, II: Pilot ‘congestion pricing’ plan drawing fire already

The Herald this morning is going, well, Heraldish, blaring across its front page news of a plan, apparently tucked into the DOT budget, that calls for pilot “congestion pricing” on toll roads and commuter rail lines in an attempt to reduce travel during peak hours. Question: Will lawmakers ever apply any tolls, let alone congestion tolls, to roadways other than the Pike, Tobin and tunnels? Question 2: Don’t they want people to take trains to work?

Boston Herald

Budget footnote, III: RTAs get more funds

From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “State lawmakers on Wednesday set aside $88 million for the state’s 15 regional transit authorities, $8 million more than Gov. Charlie Baker had recommended for fiscal 2019. The legislative budget also creates a task force to examine ways to improve the performance of the authorities.”


Budget footnote, IV: State Police reforms

The new state budget unveiled yesterday by lawmakers includes reform proposals for the scandal-plagued State Police: a new internal audit unit and creation of a new commission to review state police hiring and promotion practices, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Btw: Former BPD commissioner Kathleen O’Toole has been signed up to provide pro-bono consulting services to State Police, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.


Budget footnote, V: Business tax breaks to get closer scrutiny

From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Under the state budget agreement reached Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue would begin regularly reviewing the state’s corporate tax breaks to help determine whether they are worth the use of taxpayer money.”


Legislation calling for $2 car-rental fee for police training sent to Baker’s desk

Separate from the budget, lawmakers yesterday approved a bill that would fund municipal police training via a new $2 fee on car rentals. Whether Gov. Charlie Baker will sign the bill is not known. SHNS’s Andy Metger (pay wall) and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl (in a story written before a final vote) have more.

The U.S. Attorney may have something to say about those proposed supervised-injection sites …

The Senate today is supposed to debate an opioids bill that includes a provision calling for pilot supervised-injection sites in Massachusetts. But there’s a small problem: Such facilities would run counter to federal law – and U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office says Lelling may have a thing or two to say about the plan later today, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Salem News.

Salem News

‘MBTA ambassador arrested at Government Center station – but not for anything he did on the job’

Commuters don’t see this every day. From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “Around 2 p.m. yesterday, people inside the Government Center T stop saw an odd thing: two Transit Police officers walked in, put cuffs on one of the red-shirted T ambassadors and marched him out in the pouring rain to their police car.”

So, ah, what did the esteemed ambassador do? There apparently was a warrant out for his arrest on a “shod foot” assault and battery charge, among other things.

Universal Hub

Coming to a TV screen near you: Transgender-rights advocates planning $1M broadcast blitz

From the Globe’s Joshua Miller: “Advocates who want to keep Massachusetts’ transgender antidiscrimination law on the books have reserved nearly $1 million in TV time, according to a spokesman for the campaign. Matthew Wilder said the reservation on broadcast TV in the Boston and Springfield area is an initial effort to make sure people vote yes on Question 3 on Election Day and ‘uphold transgender dignity and equality at the voting booth.’”

Boston Globe

Kennedy calls for translator to testify on what Trump and Putin said behind closed doors

We missed this one from the other day: U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is calling for the translator at the Helsinki summit to testify before Congress about what President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin privately talked about at the summit. New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, also a Democrat, is making the same demand. The Washington Times has more.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham takes to task the state’s Republican candidates for U.S. Senate for their supportive/hedged reactions to the Helsinki summit. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins writes how the president’s “whirlwind reversals” on his summit statements are undermining Republicans in Washington.

Btw: In a post yesterday on the Helsinki hullabaloo, we inaccurately attributed a MassLive story about U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern’s push for more election-security funding. The story was by Shannon Young. Sorry about that, Shannon!

Vermont trooper: Sutton selectman stumbled from car, yelled obscenities, threatened sexual assault, vowed to shoot cops, etc. etc.

Let’s put it this way: Sutton Selectman Michael Kenney didn’t have a good night last month in Bennington, Vermont, where he was arrested on a DUI charge and where he wasn’t exactly a model prisoner, as reported by Susan Spencer at the Telegram. We liked these lines: “Kenney informed us several times that he was a selectman in Sutton, MA and that he objected to the proceedings,” a trooper wrote in a report. “After Trooper Stange, Corporal Harrington and I walked away from Kenney, he stated that if Trooper Stange or I ever came into Massachusetts, he would shoot us.”


State panel: Beth Israel-Lahey mega-merger could cost a mega-lot

More trouble for the proposed Beth Israel-Lahey hospital megamerger. From Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “A state panel assessing what would be the largest hospital transaction in Massachusetts in more than 20 years finds that the merger could increase health costs by tens of millions of dollars a year. The preliminary assessment from the Health Policy Commission (HPC), released Wednesday, calculates the proposed merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health would increase annual spending statewide by $138 million to $191 million on inpatient, outpatient and adult primary care services.”

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett has more – and has higher dollar figures for the potential impact of the merger.


He’s back: Anthony Scaramucci is coming to Boston for Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit

He was driven off campus by student journalists at Tufts University, but Forbes magazine and its journalists are bringing Anthony Scaramucci back to Boston this fall for its 30 Under 30 Summit. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has more on the Mooch and other summit headliners, including John Kerry and Cardi B.

Boston Magazine

More housing, please, Speaker DeLeo

The Globe’s Dante Ramos is encouraging House Speaker Robert to get on board efforts to increase affordable housing in Massachusetts, via changes to state and local zoning laws. At the least, he should do it for granny, Ramos writes.

Boston Globe

Neal crushing Amatul-Wadud on the fundraising front T

The power of incumbency on full display. From Shannon Young at MassLive: “U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, continued to bring in high-dollar amounts for his re-election bid this spring, adding to his $3 million edge over 1st Congressional District Democratic opponent Tahirah Amatul-Wadud. The longtime congressman raised $504,198 for his campaign between April and the end of June. … Amatul-Wadud, by contrast, raised $37,338 for her congressional bid between April and the end of June.”


About that Chang going-away contract …

The Globe’s James Vaznis reports that outgoing Boston Public Schools superintendent Tommy Chang’s going-away contract of about $300,000 was “approved by the School Committee in secret in an apparent violation of the state’s open meeting law.”

Boston Globe

Brewster gives OK to three pot facilities – at a hefty price

Brewster selectmen have approved host agreements that clear the way for three new marijuana facilities in the Cape Cod community. But it will cost the companies. Ethan Genter at the Cape Cod Times has the host-agreement details.  

Cape Cod Times

Dukakis: Baker will have to break his ‘no new taxes’ pledge to pay for MBTA fixes

From Tori Bedford at WGBH: “Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis says Governor Charlie Baker will be unable to fix the state’s infrastructure and transportation problems without drastic policy and budget changes.  Dukakis told WGBH News that Baker will have to go against his ‘no new taxes’ campaign pledge if he can’t scrap projects with huge cost estimates.”


House votes to repeal anti-abortion law and other measures in ‘NASTY’ bill

The Massachusetts House has voted to repeal a series of antiquated state laws, including a 19th-century ban on abortion, as part of a move to hedge against possible future rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports at WBUR. The rollbacks were contained in a bill called “NASTY,” for Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women.


Activists to lawmakers: ‘Time to go big on clean energy’

As lawmakers try to hammer out a compromise energy bill in the waning days of the legislative session, environmental activists have some advice: “It’s time to go big on clean energy.” SHNS’s Michael Norton has more on a new clean-energy report released yesterday by activists and their hope for increased clean-energy standards in a final energy bill. Fyi: House and Senate negotiators will start discussions on clean energy proposals this morning at the State House.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

And another thing, lawmakers: Your proposed health-care reforms are ‘misguided’

In an editorial, the BBJ isn’t thrilled with lawmakers’ attempt to shore up community hospitals via new assessments on health insurers and larger hospitals, saying legislative reform plans being negotiated in the waning days of the session represent a “misguided attempt to address shortcomings in the state’s health care network — issues that deserve a much better plan than the one now being worked out.”


Sound retreat: Lawmakers back off net-neutrality

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts lawmakers have backed off their attempts to institute a state-level net neutrality law, apparently due to the threat of a legal challenge. ‘The feeling was, due to federal pre-emption clauses, that we couldn’t be as bold as what I would have done,’ said Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover, who sponsored a bill to impose state-level net neutrality.”


DCI Campaign Bootcamp – Brockton

Are you looking to build on your skills as a Democratic campaigner? Do you want to learn from local campaign experts skilled in the Massachusetts political arena? Are you eager to take the first steps to join our efforts to get Democrats elected up in all corners of the Commonwealth? Then you need to sign up for on of our Massachusetts Democratic Party Campaign Bootcamps this summer!!

Massachusetts Democratic Party

Afternoon Cocktails & a BBQ Reception With Governor Charlie Baker

The Baker Committee

Forum with Candidates for Middlesex County DA and Governor’s Council

Participating candidates: District Attorney: Donna Patalano and Marian Ryan (incumbent); Governor’s Council: Nick Carter and Marilyn Petitto Devaney (incumbent). Co-Moderators: Patti Muldoon and James Milan

Massachusetts Democratic Party

A Job Fair & CORI Sealing Clinic for a New Economy

The Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Equitable Opportunities Now, and ELEVATE NE are pleased to collaborate and co-host a special event connecting prospective employees to one of Massachusetts’s fastest growing sectors.

Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Equitable Opportunities Now, and ELEVATE NE

Coffee with the BBJ Editor & Publisher

Join Boston Business Journal Editor Doug Banks and Publisher Carolyn M. Jones for coffee at our office. You’ll get the chance to network with business professionals from various industries & introduce yourself and/or your business to our team.

Boston Business Journal

2018 Summer Institute in Global Leadership: Advanced Public Speaking

Advanced Institutes bring together older students who are passionate about global issues and are in, or aspire to be in, leadership roles that demand advance communication skills. This week, students will work together to develop public speaking skills through the format of Model UN crisis simulations. There will be a particular focus on presentation tips and tricks and extemporaneous speaking.

United Nations Association of Greater Boston

NAIOP 8th Annual Harbor Cruise

Mix business with pleasure on the decks of the NAIOP Harbor Cruise, featuring networking, an 80’s theme party, and cocktails. Connect with friends and colleagues while enjoying a 360-degree view of Boston’s ever-changing waterfront.

NAIOP Massachusetts

2018 #FlipMyFunnel B2B Marketing and Sales Conference

Each year, more than 1,000 B2B marketing and sales professionals gather together to learn about the latest in B2B marketing and sales, network with one another and explore the latest technologies to power their programs.


Malden Democratic City Committee Annual Summer BBQ

We hope you’ll join us for our summer BBQ! This annual event is always a lot of fun and a great chance to catch up with old friends while supporting MDCC.

Malden Democratic City Committee

Today’s Headlines


Former Boston school leader to receive payment in secret deal – Boston Globe

Marty Walsh out-of-state in Dem attempt to woo working class – Boston Herald


Massachusetts Legislature sends $41.88 billion FY19 state budget to Gov. Charlie Baker – MassLive

State says Beth Israel-Lahey merger could cost Mass. millions – BBJ

Massachusetts House Votes To Repeal Old Anti-Abortion Laws – WBUR


E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case – NYT

White House attempts to clarify Trump’s response to whether Russia is still targeting U.S. elections – Washington Post

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