Happening Today

‘NASTY’ bill signing, House in session, Warren holds town hall meeting

— Gov. Chalie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Sen. Harriette Chandler  and others gather for the governor’s signing of the so-called ‘NASTY’ bill that repeals archaic abortion and contraception laws, State House Library, 10 a.m.

— National Park Service, Friends of the Public Garden and Museum of African American History officials join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to sign a memorandum of understanding to collaboratively restore the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, Shaw Memorial, corner of Beacon and Park streets, Boston, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joins mayors Linda Tyer of Pittsfield and Thomas Bernard of North Adams to announce federal DOT grants, Pittsfield Municipal Airport, 832 Tamarack Rd., Pittsfield, 11 a.m. — House meets in a formal session, 11 a.m.

— Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan will host a summer safety day with the Acton Police Department and Acton Fire Department, NARA Park, Parking Area near NARA Beach, 25 Ledge Rock Way, Acton, 11 a.m.

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren will host her 30th town hall meeting, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Bakers joins members of the administration and legislators to sign legislation that raises the age to buy tobacco and other measures tied to tobacco use, Room 360, 2 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

Baker signs $41.2 billion budget, vetoes about $50M in spending

From the AP’s Bob Salsberg and Steve LeBlanc at WBUR: “Nearly one month into the state’s new fiscal year, Massachusetts finally has a budget. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed the $41.2 billion spending package into law on Thursday, ending the state’s status as the only one in the nation without a permanent budget. Baker vetoed nearly $50 million in spending from the plan.”  

SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the BBJ has more. The Globe’s Joshua Miller and Matt Stout have a good round-up piece on the budget and other activities on on Beacon Hill yesterday, as lawmakers try to wrap up business before the end of the session next Tuesday.


Baker puts the brake on test congestion-pricing plan

As part of his budget actions yesterday, Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed a measure that called for a pilot toll program to see if “congestion pricing” might work one day on toll highways (read: the Pike and Tobin Bridge) in Massachusetts. Baker sent back what’s now being called by supporters a “toll discount” program with the suggestion that the state conduct a broader study of how to relieve traffic congestion in the state. The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro has more.

Boston.com’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa explores why Baker vetoed the measure and the conservative Pioneer Institute’s Jim Stergios and Charlie Chieppo at the BBJ explain why they reluctantly favor the pilot program. We had our own rant yesterday against the disingenuous plan ultimately aimed at sticking it to Pike and Tobin motorists again, so we’ll refrain from saying more.

Boston Globe

And, yes, Spilka became Senate president yesterday …

Almost lost in all the late-session activity at the State House yesterday was the fact that, yes, Karen Spilka did indeed assume the presidency of the Senate, amid much pomp and circumstance, as Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports. WGBH’s Mike Deehan has a good Q&A interview with Spilka, whose family and personal histories are quite interesting.

Sessions pays another ‘Mass-bashing’ visit to Boston

He was obstensibly in Boston to announce charges against 28 people accused of committing identity fraud through social insurance programs like Medicaid and via the RMV. But it was hard to miss the fact that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was effectively bringing his anti-illegal immigrants and anti-sanctuary city crusade to this bluest of blue states – and former Gov. Michael Dukakis, who ran for president so many years ago, is warning that Sessions in merely laying the groundwork for a future Massachusetts-bashing campaign in 2020. “I mean, I don’t think they’re doing it just for the hell of it — and sending Sessions up here just for the hell of it,” Dukakis says in a story by the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter.

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that “Mass.-bashing” is a tried-and-true political strategy of Republicans dating back to George H.W. Bush’s battle against Dukakis in 1988. And it will be the strategy in 2020 if the Bay State’s Elizabeth Warren or Deval Patrick win the Democratic nomination for president.

Quincy Walters at WBUR, Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine and Maria Cramer at the Globe have more on Sessions’ visit to Boston.

Locally, Lelling is carrying Trump’s nationality message

As the dust settles from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s blow-in visit to Boston yesterday, Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine notes how U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, a Trump appointee, is playing his own part in immigration politics, with his office going out of its way in identifying the nationalities of defendants in press releases.  


Dukakis warns Dems not to ‘exaggerate’ the significance of Ocasio-Cortez’s victory

Back to our former governor, from Antonio Caban at WGBH: “If Democrats want to recapture either house of Congress in November, former Governor Michael Dukakis is warning his party not to use Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset last month in New York as the new playbook. ‘I think it’s a mistake to exaggerate the importance of what happened in the Bronx. I mean, that’s not the country,’ the former Democratic nominee for president and Massachusetts governor told Jim Braude on Greater Boston.” He said the party will need moderates, like U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, to run and win in many districts.


Zakim: Galvin blew it by scheduling primary election on the day after Labor Day

Now this is a legitimate issue, unlike his past attacks on his rival’s irrelevant-to-the office position on abortion. From Tori Bedford at WGBH: “Boston City Councilor and candidate for Mass. Secretary of State Josh Zakim says scheduling the state primary election day for September 4 was a mistake, criticizing incumbent Sec. William Galvin for choosing the day after labor day and for many, the first day of school.” Bedford has more on why Galvin chose Sept. 4 for this year’s primary elections.


UMass students say timing of Amherst election locks them out

Speaking of day-after-Labor-Day elections, two UMass Amherst students have filed a lawsuit T seeking to block the town of Amherst from holding a preliminary election on Sept. 4 for its newly formed town council, saying the end-of-summer date all but shuts them out of the political process. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has more.


Police called to Rockland Town Hall as tempers flare amid recall battle

Things are getting testy in Rockland. Mary Whitfil of the Patriot Ledger reports that police were dispatched to Rockland’s town hall yesterday after a report of a potential assault. Instead, they found a verbal standoff between Selectman Edward Kimball and a group of residents collecting signatures to recall Kimball for his role in the sex-lies-and-video-tape scandal now rocking the town’s government.

Patriot Ledger

Former Menino aide takes the helm at New England Baptist Hospital

David Passafaro, a former top aide to Mayor Tom Menino and former Suffolk Construction employee, is taking over as head of New England Baptist Hospital, succeeding current chief executive, Trish Hannon, who is stepping down, reports Thomas Oide at the Globe. Currently senior vice president for external affairs at the hospital, Passafaro will take control during a regulatory and politically thorny time, as NEBH, Beth Israel Deaconess, Lahey Health and other hospitals attempt a controversial merger.

Boston Globe

Markey: Face it, Amazon’s facial recognition technology doesn’t work

This would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high. From Jordan Graham at the Herald: “U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey is calling for federal oversight over facial recognition technology after a watchdog’s test of Amazon’s commercially available software mistakenly identified Markey and other congressmen as suspected criminals in an arrest database.” The technology is increasingly being used by police departments and other organizations around the country.

Boston Herald

Cannabis Commission tells communities to back off excessive payment demands from pot applicants

Cities and towns that receive exorbitant ‘donations’ from would-be pot license holders are likely breaking the law and should probably cut it out, the Cannabis Control Commission warned Thursday, as Dan Adams reports at the Globe. The commission wants communities to stick to the 3 percent local tax and a 3 percent of annual revenue to address local impacts that are spelled out in state law. Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ has more on the commission’s growing frustration with local government shakedowns of pot-shop applicants.

Some minorities don’t see a lot of ‘priority’ in priority pot licenses

Speaking of burdensome requirements on pot-shop wannabes: Zeninjor Enwemeka at WBUR has a good story on how many people of color, who are supposed to qualify for so-called “priority” pot applications, are frustrated with the entire process. Kijana Rose, 28, of Roslindale, makes some excellent points: She doesn’t have high-price attorneys like other firms to fill out her applications and she complains about the required local host agreements that can cost entrepreneurs thousands of dollars. “It feels like we’re being already slapped and hit with sanctions before we even got anywhere,” she says.


Chief Justice Roberts agrees with Marblehead on ‘gerrymandering’ pronunciation

No one’s any closer to knowing what to do about the problem, but at least we’ve got some more clarity on how to pronounce the word ‘gerrymandering’ — and it’s with a hard ‘G,’ as in Gary. The staff of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts responded to a letter from selectmen in Marblehead, where the namesake of the political map-drawing practice, Elbridge Gerry, hails from, and Roberts agrees that the name is pronounced wrong by most people, reports Chris Stevens at the Metrowest Daily News.

MetroWest Daily News

Developer unveils plans for proposed 100-acre horse race track in Lancaster

The Stronach Group, North America’s largest thoroughbred racing company, has unveiled its site plans for a proposed 100-acre horse racing track in Lancaster that the firm’s representative says could attract 2,500 spectators on weekends and 1,000 on weekdays, at a site west of Route 70, reports Peter Jasinski at the Lowell Sun. Southborough-based Capital Group Properties has been tapped to develop the proposed track for Stronach. Other portions of the site may be developed for commercial and residential uses.

Lowell Sun

Healey goes after federal regulation that permits lower-quality health plans

From Jackson Cote at the Globe: “Attorney General Maura Healey announced Thursday she and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood are leading a coalition of 12 state attorney generals in a lawsuit challenging a new federal regulation that allows healthcare plans to sidestep protections set by the Affordable Care Act.”

‘Nov. 4, 2020 … Donald J. Trump has been decisively re-elected as president of the United States’

Bret Stephens at the NYT imagines how the media may well have to report presidential election results in just over two years. In Stephens’ fantasy outcome, President Trump triumphs over … U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her running mate, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Yeah, it’s silly and Stephens seems to think the economy will still be running strong in 2020. But it raises interesting points.


‘Do you live in a bubble?’

Meanwhile, another NYT piece goes back in time, specifically to 2016, to analyze, precinct by precinct, the presidential election results in an “extremely detailed map.” As they say, land doesn’t vote, people do. But it’s still surprising how most of Hillary Clinton’s supporters lived/still live in tiny pockets of blue surrounded by a sea of Trump-backing red.


Gaming Commission punts on Brockton casino request

From Peter Goonan at MassLive: “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which rejected a proposed $700 million casino in Brockton more than two years ago, held off on a request for reconsideration at its meeting Thursday. Commission members said that with other gaming issues in full swing, including the opening of MGM Springfield on Aug. 24, they would not expect to take up the request for reconsideration until September.”


Clark launches bid to move up the leadership ladder in U.S. House

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark yesterday officially launched her re-election campaign – and simultaneously launched her bid to move up the leadership ladder within the U.S. House’s Democratic caucus after the November election, declaring she’ll run for the position of caucus vice chair, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.

Lawmakers reach deal on automatic voter registration

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “House and Senate negotiators working on automatic voter registration legislation filed a compromise bill with the House clerk’s office late Thursday afternoon. … Under the bill, (H 4834) which all six conference committee members agreed to, eligible citizens would automatically be registered to vote when they interact with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, unless they choose to opt out. The Division of Medical Assistance and the Health Connector Authority would also become automatic voter registration agencies.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Fishing industry could use some tariff-war relief too, Moulton says

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is leading a push by members of Congress to have the fishing industry considered for the type of financial relief the Trump administration wants to deliver to farmers hurt by his escalating tariff-war policies, reports Sean Horgan at the Gloucester Times. Moulton and his fellow lawmakers are calling on the administration to direct the Commerce Department to “provide emergency assistance to working families of the water.”

Gloucester Times

Activists test Ben Franklin’s theory that a spoonful of honey catches more flies than a gallon of vinegar

Finally, SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that advocates, dressed in bee costumes and beekeeper gear, delivered sunflowers and honey to the offices of House leaders yesterday in a late-session attempt to get a bill passed that would protect bees and other pollinators by restricting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in Massachusetts. In an accompanying photo, the advocates look like they were having fun yesterday.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Sunday public affairs TV

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Immigration attorney Jeff Goldman from the Law Offices of Jeff Goldman talks about reuniting immigrant children and their parents and working with businesses to help immigrants get work visas; Derek Schoettle, CEO of ZoomInfo, on helping companies grow; and Boston Business Journal editor Doug Banks on the state budget, the demise of NECCO and other top local business stories.    

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Spartan Race vice president Mike Lunardelli on the business of running obstacle course races and efforts to make it an Olympic sport; Craft North America chief executive Eric Schenker on designing athletic wear for the participants.  

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Attorney General Maura Healey, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: ‘The Drinking and Cannabis Economies,’ with Shaleen Title, a member of the Cannabis Control Commission.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 11:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topic: Upcoming events and fundraisers happening in the community: Run & Ride at CambridgeSide, Chefs at Sea with the Beauport Cruise lines, Rock’N 4 Heroes Veterans Benefit Concert, the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, and #JonJonStrong.   

Sunset Sips at Stone Zoo

Relax and take in the beautiful summer night as you stroll amongst Caribbean flamingos, bush dogs, North American river otters, black bears, and the rest of the animals that call Stone Zoo home for an after-hours night at the Zoo!

Stone Zoo

Fundraiser for Katie McBrine for State Senate

Come out and meet the next state senator from Plymouth and Norfolk. Katie is a lifelong Democrat, a pediatrician, and a mom running on a Prescription for Change.

Committee to Elect Katie McBrine

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


In Suffolk DA race, calls to coalesce – CommonWealth Magazine

South Boston residents push for safety measures where 3-year-old was hit by car and killed – MassLive


Firefighters union hits Lowell with labor complaint – Lowell Sun

Brockton mayor backs down from downtown-heavy pot shop plan – Brockton Enterprise

Hodgson’s jails fail to document proper temperatures – Standard-Times

Attleboro begins issuing costly tickets for leaving dogs in hot cars – Sun Chronicle


Trump uses taxpayer-funded trip to campaign for GOP candidates – Washington Post

New York City moves to cap Uber and other for-hire vehicles – 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.