Happening Today

Governor’s Council, child marriage protest, House reproductive-health vote

— The Governor’s Council holds three hearings today on judicial nominations, with Gov. Charlie Baker gaveling in the noon meeting, Council Chamber, 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux, and Mass. Farm Bureau Federation President Mark Amato are scheduled to speak at Agriculture Day, State House, 9:30 a.m.

— Activists will gather at the State House in bridal gowns, chains and taped mouths to protest child marriage in Massachusetts, State House, House Chamber Balcony, 3rd Floor, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Lottery Commission’s compensation committee meets to discuss the pay of its executive committee, followed by a meeting of the full commission, One Ashburton Place, 12th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.

— The Massachusetts House is scheduled to hold a formal session to take up legislation to help offset the loss of federal funding to women’s reproductive health organizations, House Chamber, 11 a.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: Rent control is ‘wrong direction’ to go on housing

SHNS’s Chris Lisinki (pay wall) and the Globe’s Tim Logan report that Gov. Charlie Baker is making it clear he opposes restoring rent control in Massachusetts, saying it’s “exactly the wrong direction” to go in addressing the housing crisis in the state. He said rent control, now being pushed by some lawmakers on Beacon Hill, would merely “stifle the production of new housing.”

Spilka eyes ‘progressive’ and ‘new economy’ tax code – and perhaps higher taxes along with it

From the Globe’s Victoria McGrane: “As calls multiply for money to address the state’s transportation and education needs, Senate President Karen E. Spilka is taking some initial steps to examine the tax system — a process that could ultimately find new ways to bring in more cash. Spilka is launching a group of policy makers, academics, and business specialists from across the political spectrum who will be charged with taking what she calls ‘a good long hard look at our tax code.’” 

So is a tax increase around the corner on Beacon Hill? There’s certainly been a lot of talk in general these days of tax hikes for transportation, education and other services. But, as McGrane notes, Spilka’s planned working group may take a few years to complete its study.

Boston Globe

Lynn pot shop OK could spark legal battle with Saugus

Frankly, we’re a little surprised this didn’t happen sooner. A decision by officials in Lynn to approve a recreational pot shop could be challenged by neighboring Saugus, where part of the shop’s parking lot is located and where voters recently banned pot-related businesses, Gayla Cawley reports at the Lynn Item.

Meanwhile, in East Boston, confusion reigns after the mayor’s office approved host community agreements with two recreational marijuana shop proposals located closer together than the half-mile buffer zone spelled out in a city ordinance. Adam Gaffin has the details at Universal Hub.

Lynn Item

All in the Family (sort of): Walsh flips campaign business to his girlfriend’s fund-raising firm

Here’s a test of whether optics still matter. The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is increasing spending from his campaign account to the fundraising consulting firm that employs his longtime girlfriend, Lorie Higgins. Walsh’s campaign has spent $900,000 on work done by LB Strategies — accounting for half of the firm’s total business since 2013–and monthly spending on the firm has been on the rise in recent months. While some say the spending smacks of nepotism (sort of), we’ll have to wait for Walsh to run for office again to find out if voters care.

NFL’s Goodell signals he’ll be the judge of Kraft’s guilt or innocence

CBS Boston reports that Robert Kraft has pleaded not guilty and is requesting a trial by jury in his Florida prostitution case. It seems like a maneuver by Kraft’s legal team to force a possible settlement of the case. In any event, here’s the more juicy angle: Kraft may not get a trial per se of his NFL-owner peers. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, of Inflategate infamy, says the league will make up its own mind about a possible punishment for Kraft – and, we assume, that means Goodell will decide. The Globe’s Ben Volin and MassLive’s Andrew Callahan have more on the Goodell angle.

Florida sheriff: Hold buyers accountable in sex trafficking (and that means you, Bob Kraft)

What timing! William Snyder, the Martin County sheriff whose department conducted the Florida investigation that led to Robert Kraft and others being charged with soliciting prostitution, has an op-ed in the Globe this morning arguing that buyers of sex contribute to human trafficking and need to be held accountable. He doesn’t mention Kraft in the piece, but Kraft’s there in spirit.

Mass. Democrats jump to defense of Obamacare after Trump gives them an opening

The Washington Post headline says it all: “Trump surprises Republicans — and pleases Democrats — with push to revive health-care battle.” It’s surprising because now the attention isn’t on the Mueller report that exonerated Trump of colluding with the Russians – but rather on a subject dear to Democrats: Preserving ObamaCare. Shannon Young at MassLive and Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald report that local Democrats – including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Ayanna Pressley, among others – are all over the  issue.

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Howie Carr desperately tries to keep the focus on the Mueller report – and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s stand on it.

Sagan steps down as education chair, replaced by Craven

Paul Sagan, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and a big champion of charter schools, announced yesterday’s he’s stepping down – and he was immediately replaced by board member Katherine Craven, who currently serves as the chief administrative officer at Babson College. Michelle Williams at MassLive and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have the details.

Legislative gamesmanship: Baker pushes for sports betting vote before summer recess

From Chris Lisinski at SHNS: “As daily fantasy sports company DraftKings celebrated the opening of its new Boston headquarters Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker said he hopes to see the state legalize sports betting before the start of the next National Football League season to allow additional job growth and bring in new tax revenue.”

Coming a few months after he filed legislation to legalize sports gambling, Baker’s latest call for action occurred soon after Rhode Island’s governor signed a bill allowing sports betting online, as the AP reports at MassLive.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Oversaturation Alert, Part II: Please, no more resort casinos

In an editorial, the Globe doesn’t address the issue of sports gambling. Instead, it focuses on the so-called “Region D” proposal to allow a resort-style casino in Worcester County and other ideas for expanded casino gambling – and it warns of casino market oversaturation in Massachusetts.

Boston Globe

Trump’s ‘strange, vengeful’ attacks on McCain and Dukakis

Peter Lucas at the Herald writes that President Trump, who took medical deferments to avoid serving in the military, crossed the line of decency with his recent pot shots at late U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Michael Dukakis, both of whom honorably served in the military. “What a strange, vengeful man this president is,” writes Lucas, who’s not known for riding to the defense of the former governor.

Boston Herald

Seaport ferries to the congestion rescue?

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports on several moves, one within the private sector and another aimed at the public sector, to boost harbor ferry service to relieve the horrible traffic congestion in Boston’s Seaport District.

Consolation prize? Would-be Congressman Koh elected selectman in Andover

Dan Koh, the former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh who made headlines with his fundraising prowess but fell short in a bid to secure a seat in Congress, has won a seat on the Andover board of selectmen, reports the Eagle Tribune.

Quickie observations: First, one can’t help but admire Koh for not viewing a town post as somehow beneath him after he came so close to serving in Congress. Second, a certain rather tall politician from Swampscott has already shown that being a selectman isn’t a bad launching pad for higher office in Massachusetts – and we assume Koh sees it that way too.

Eagle Tribune

Second trooper sentenced in OT scandal – and this time gets prison

From the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi and Matt Rocheleau: “Retired Massachusetts State Police trooper Gregory Raftery delivered a tearful apology Tuesday for his role in an overtime fraud scandal before being sentenced to three months in prison, making him the first defendant to face incarceration over the scheme tied to the now-disbanded Troop E.” Earlier this week, former trooper Eric Chin was sentenced to a year of supervised release, including three months of home detention. Chin was accused of scamming far less money than Raftery. 

Meanwhile, former state trooper sentenced to 10-15 years for raping fellow trooper

These aren’t good days for the State Police. Alana Melanson at the Lowell Sun reports that Robert A. Sundberg, who was fired as a state trooper after his recent conviction of raping a fellow trooper, was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison yesterday. The victim was his then-girlfriend and a fellow trooper. Check out the long list of other charges against Sundberg. Nasty stuff by a nasty guy. Scott Croteau at MassLive has more.

Lowell Sun

Warren’s mad dash to catch a train …

It took a while, but a TMZ reporter finally caught up with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she literally dashed into NYC’s Penn Station, down an escalator and through hallways as she tried to catch a train. She got there in time – and then, breathing a little hard, she turned around to give Adam Glyn an interview. It’s a fun video to watch – and it actually shows a nice side of Warren and provides a brief glimpse of the hectic life of a presidential candidate and serving U.S. senator. The Globe’s Steve Annear has more.

TMZ (Video)

In liberal Northampton, it’s not easy being a cop

Linda Enerson at CommonWealth magazine reports on the “increasing hostility towards police from a vocal minority of residents and public officials” in the liberal college town of Northampton. It’s apparently part of a “backlash” against police in general by young people, liberals, and people of color in the wake of recent police-related controversies, reports Enerson.


One woman’s tale of child marriage

Christian Wade at the Salem News and Steve Brown at WBUR report on yesterday’s State House hearing on a bill that would ban child marriages in Massachusetts – and the testimony of one woman, Tammy Monteiro, who was married off at the age of 16 to a 25-year-old religious zealot. She effectively had no choice in the matter, as Wade and Brown explain.

Will the courts ultimately decide the physician-assisted suicide question?

As Shira Schoenberg at MassLive notes, voters have expressed their opposition to the plan and lawmakers have been reluctant to take up the issue. So now advocates of physician-assisted suicide are pressing their case in court. And this time it’s personal for one doctor with Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer and one of the plaintiffs in the case.


Missions impossible? Steve Poftak wants to woo back T riders

In an interview with the Herald, new MBTA general manager Steve Poftak says he has plans to woo back T riders fed up with unreliable service and filthy stations. The woo-them-back offensive “ranges from cheap cosmetic measures to overhauling bus routes, installing new control systems and replacing aging trains, with long overdue repairs to tracks, tunnels and stations,” writes the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter.

Boston Herald

Chamber: National Grid affecting manufacturers, development

When in doubt, blame the utility. The Greater Worcester Chamber of Commerce says National Grid’s foot-dragging is costing the city’s manufacturing sector and putting the city’s “economic development momentum” at risk, Zachary Comeau reports at the Worcester Business Journal. The chamber’s comments were made to regulators who are considering National Grid’s proposed 2.6 percent rate hike. 


New Insights: Native American History in the Colonial Period

Colin Calloway, author of The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, The First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation and Dartmouth professor of history, and Julia A. King, St. Mary’s College of Maryland professor of anthropology, discuss recent historical research into Native American life with Philip Deloria, Harvard professor of history.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kindness and Civility in Society: A Call to Common Purpose

A discussion about kindness and civility in society with leaders from Boston College and A Faith that Does Justice.

A Faith that Does Justice

Women’s Network Breakfast: Sandi Fenwick, Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health, and is home to the world’s largest pediatric research enterprise. Much of this consistent excellence can be credited to the outstanding leadership, of Boston Children’s first female Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Fenwick, and the team she has assembled.

Background Check Workshop

“The Background on Background Checks – Sources of the Information and Understanding Your Results.” This program will provide attendees with an insight as to how a background screening is developed, the data compiled, the source of the data, and interpreting results.

North Shore Chamber of Commerce

Professional Center for Child Development in Andover to host Gov. and Mrs. Baker

Students and staff at Professional Center for Child Development in Andover will welcome Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker.

Professional Center for Child Development

ACS CAN Cancer Lobby Day

Cancer patients and survivors to travel to Beacon Hill to urge legislators to protect Massachusetts kids from Big Tobacco. Advocates will lobby in support of e-cigarette tax, increase in cigar and tobacco taxes & prohibiting sale of flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Lobby 101 – Methuen

Wondering how to get involved in improving animal protection in Massachusetts? At this event, we will discuss the legislative process, current legislation you can take action on, and different ways that you can effectively use your voice to make a difference for animals.


Energy Efficiency & CRE: Ambitious New Goals, Codes and Technologies

Passive house, carbon-free, increased electrification, solar rooftop requirements, a new energy code, new energy efficiency goals, and greenhouse gas reductions for buildings…what does it all mean for commercial real estate and how do we get there?

NAIOP Massachusetts

Invite Your Legislator to School Day

The Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps) is hosting 6 “Invite Your Legislator to School” Days at special education schools across the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Association for 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps)

2nd Annual Milford DTC Spring Brunch

The Milford DTC’s second annual spring brunch will honor police chief Thomas O’Loughlin for his years of service to the town. Sen. Jamie Eldridge, Framingham city councilor Margareth Shepard, rep. Brian Murray, rep. Jeff Roy, and Worcester Co. register of deeds Katie Toomey are scheduled to speak, along with town election candidates. Proceeds to benefit the group’s scholarship fund.

Milford Democratic Town Committee

Impact & Opportunity – The North Shore Innovation Economy

The Biotech and the Tech industry have long been strong drivers of economic growth and job creation. Massachusetts is home to a biotechnology supercluster that is second to none. In recent years, the two industries have converged to create new industries that leverage the strength of each… empowering new fields, such as digital health and synthetic biology.

North Shore Chamber of Commerce

Today’s Headlines


Parents voice worries about safety at BPS schools – Boston Herald

Quincy landlords, officials wary of rent control – Patriot Ledger


South Hadley public schools brace for staff layoffs – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Marijuana business proposed at Otis poultry farm property – MassLive

Missing name on WWII memorial prompts Worcester to consider change – Telegram & Gazette


New York county declares state of emergency over measles – The Hill

White House Obamacare reversal made over cabinet objections – Politico

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