House budget, MBTA-DOT meeting, and more
— The House begins deliberations on the House Ways and Means Committee’s $42.7 billion fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, House Chamber, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker joins U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon, Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi and representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the Plymouth Holmes Dam Removal & Newfield Street Bridge Replacement dedication, Corner of Summer Street & Newfield Street, Plymouth, 10 a.m.
— Members of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors host a joint meeting to discuss commuter rail performance, the Green Line Extension, capital investments, a Red and Orange Line procurement contract amendment, and more, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.
— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, one of the chief architects of the Green New Deal proposal, will discuss the matter in an Earth Day address at UMass Boston, UMass Boston Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Ballrooms B and C, 100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston, 12 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey makes her semi-regular ‘Ask the AG’ appearance on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
— U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan and Treasurer Deb Goldberg are separate guests on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Dell Technologies chief executive Michael Dell and Gideon Lichfield, editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, participate in the Future of Work Forum at ‘MassForward: A vision for 2030,’ Cahners Theater, 3rd Floor, Museum of Science, Boston, 5 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.
He’s running for president: Moulton makes it official with video launch
Of course he’s running. U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton made his White House bid official Monday morning, posting the launch video he was spotted making recently in Marblehead and joining the massive crowd of Democrats who say they’re the one to bring down Donald Trump. Also not surprising: The three-term congressman emphasized his tours of duty in Iraq as a marine and hinted he’ll lean on the first-hand foreign policy experience he earned, Anthony Brooks reports at WBUR. The Globe’s James Pindell and Peter Bailey-Wells have more on Moulton’s announcement.
Some observers are already casting doubt on whether Moulton — the third Bay State candidate to declare for president — is a viable candidate given his relatively weak fundraising he recently reported for the first quarter, as Brooks note.
Btw: Did Massachusetts come close to yet another local pol running for president? Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Atlantic reports that some party officials did indeed approach U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III about possibly running for president – and he even briefly (very briefly) considered the idea.
Btw, II: The Atlantic is also reporting that Vice President Joe Biden will likely announce this week that he’s a candidate for president, meaning former U.S. Sen. John Kerry won’t be a candidate, we assume.
Stop & Shop strike over, union claims ‘powerful victory’
MassLive’s Scott Croteau and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report that company and union officials have reached a tentative agreement to end the Stop & Shop strike by tens of thousands of store workers across the region. The United Food and Commercial Workers is declaring a “powerful victory” – and, by the looks of it, they aren’t exaggerating. Along with MassLive and the Herald, the Globe’s Katie Johnston and John Hilliard also have more on the tentative deal reached yesterday. The Globe also has statements from both the company and union
No more presidential-candidate pit stops at Stop & Shop
With the apparent end to the Stop & Shop strike, presidential candidates will have to find another labor issue to demonstrate their union bona fides. Before yesterday’s strike-settlement announcement, the Globe’s Larry Edelman noted how the Stop & Shop showdown had become a major local magnet for presidential candidates – and a cause that highlighted, yet again, how economic issues remain the top concern of many workers.
The ghost of Michael Capuano: Liss-Riordan files paperwork to explore run against Markey
We’ve noticed U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has been popping up all over the place recently, attending a rally here and holding press conferences there, and maybe this is one of the reasons why: Shannon Liss-Riordan, a prominent labor attorney who has been talking about possibly challenging Markey in the Democratic primary, last Friday officially filed paperwork with the FEC to further explore a possible bid, reports the Globe’s Victoria McGrane.
She goes there: Warren calls for Trump’s impeachment
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, now a Democratic candidate for president, has called for the impeachment of President Trump, citing what she calls presidential misconduct outlined in the recently released Mueller report. Anthony Brooks at WBUR and Lisa Kashinsky at the Herald have the details. Kashinsky and the NYT note that other Dem candidates are being more cautious on the matter.
The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby thinks other Democratic leaders ultimately aren’t foolish enough to pursue impeachment. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch isn’t ruling out impeachment. But he says first things first: Investigations must be held, according to a report at WGBH. The Boston Herald, in an editorial, is blasting the state’s “relitigation delegation” in general.
Elizabeth Warren: ‘The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters’
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is apparently a big fan of Game of Thrones, largely because of the strong female characters in the hit HBO series, though Warren is not, in any way, shape or form, condoning Cersei Lannister’s ruthless and lethal lust for power, as she writes at New York Magazine. Abigail Feldman at the Globe has more on Warren’s fascination with the series.
‘The quest for pork will never die’
As the House begins floor debate today on the proposed state budget, a Globe editorial generally praises the House’s budget blueprint, with some reservations, as a “solid, workmanlike effort,” and it urges legislators to hold the line on spending this week: “The more than 1,370 proposed budget amendment already filed are proof that the quest for pork will never die.”
China claims three runners cheated in Boston Marathon
Last week, Derek Murphy, who operates Marathon Investigation.com, warned of probable/possible cheating even before the Boston Marathon got underway on Patriots Day. Now China has banned three runners from competing in future marathons, claiming they cheated last week by either giving their bib to another runner or faking prior race results to qualify for the marathon, according a report at the BBC, as cited by Universal Hub.
Hampshire College at risk of losing accreditation
Just what Hampshire College needs. From Kirk Carapezza at WGBH: “Hampshire College is at risk of losing its accreditation. In a Friday press release, the New England Commission of Higher Education and the college announced that the accrediting agency has voted to ask Hampshire why it should not lose accreditation or be placed on probation, because the commission believes the college is not meeting its standards.”
Meanwhile, Jim Russell at MassLive reports that Hampshire College has raised $4.7 million in donations – with acclaimed filmmaker and alumni Ken Burns leading the way – and hopes to raise even more as it financially fights for survival.
Review begins of proposed first-ever cross-state school district
With a consultants’ report in hand, the state border communities of Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt. plan to begin a detailed review of the pros and cons of creating what is likely the first school district that crosses state lines, Adam Shanks reports at the Berkshire Eagle. The plan would address issues that dog many rural districts, including transportation costs, and would require approval from voters in both communities before it can move forward.
Uber and Lyft mobilize customers against common foe: Massport
Lyft began mobilizing its customer base on Friday to pressure Massport to back off its new curbside rules at Logan Airport, as reported by Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine. Now Uber is joining Lyft in the mass customer mobilization, reports the Globe’s John Hilliard.
Massachusetts hospitals not wild about Medicare for All, Part II
Considering that CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas touched upon this issue last week, we thought we’d bring your attention to this morning’s NYT piece on how hospitals across the country are mobilizing against “Medicare for All,” not just hospitals in Massachusetts. The reason: Medicare’s low reimbursement rates that, currently, have to be offset by higher private-insurance payments.
Btw: Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe reports that a dozen community hospitals are banding together to form a new partnership, largely, for now, to make bulk purchases together.
The war on black market tobacco: It’s not going well
As some groups push for yet another cigarette tax hike, lawmakers might want to take a gander at this story by the Herald’s Mary Markos, who reports on how police storage units are brimming with confiscated illicit tobacco and yet the state is still losing $300 million a year in tax revenue to the tobacco black market – and retailers are not happy.
The primary reason for the booming black market? Massachusetts has raised the state’s tobacco tax so often and so high, it’s literally created a black market. File under “law of diminishing returns.”
Here’s the latest dirt on the Green Line
Attention fellow Sidewalk Superintendents of Greater Boston: The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro has a good construction update on the Green Line extension through Somerville and Medford, a task that entails removal of far more dirt than we would have suspected, considering the extended line is along an existing rail corridor. Vaccaro has the details.
UMass-Boston update: Broken promises, fuming professors (again)
The Globe’s Kay Lazar reports how UMass-Amherst officials initially pronounced they wouldn’t use the former Mount Ida College campus in Newton for academic programs that directly competed with UMass-Boston programs – and yet less than a year later they’re proposing academic programs that directly compete with UMass-Boston programs. UMass-Boston professors are fuming – again, Lazar reports.
Btw: State Rep. Tackey Chan is eyeing the salaries of top UMass-Boston brass as a potential source of savings at the financially-strapped campus, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall). We assume professors aren’t fuming over this one.
Trump brushes off Romney’s post-Mueller report criticism
The latest from our former governor. From the AP at Yahoo: “Sen. Mitt Romney says he’s ‘sickened’ by the dishonesty the Russia investigation found in the Trump White House, but the president fires back that Romney should have put the same energy into running for president in 2012 that the Utah Republican has tapped in criticizing him.”
Cabral on sheriffs getting a piece of asset-forfeiture pie: Now wait just minute
We’re not sure any agency or program should be getting a specific share of civil asset-forfeiture money, for it merely encourages government bodies to seek out ever more asset forfeitures. Still, state Rep. Antonio Cabral thinks if civil asset forfeiture money is to be divvied up, substance abuse programs should be getting funds ahead of the state’s sheriffs, as the Baker administration and House have proposed. Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine has the details.
The latest Gardner heist theory: The IRA did it, not the butler or the Mafia
From Casey Sherman at the Herald: “A celebrated Dutch art detective vows to recover missing masterpieces stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and return them to their rightful home after nearly three decades. Arthur Brand, dubbed ‘The Indiana Jones of the art world,’ tells me that he’s spoken with sources in direct contact with what’s left of the IRA. They have convinced him some of the missing paintings are stashed away in Ireland.”
The FBI and Gardner folks are skeptical.
Payback problems: As defendants wait, state mulls reimbursement in drug-lab scandals
The office of Attorney General Maura Healey is expected soon how much the thousands of criminal defendants whose cases were impacted by illegal activity at the state’s crime labs could receive in reimbursement payments, Steph Solis reports at MassLive. The price tag could be a steep one: There are nearly 30,000 defendants whose cases were impacted and last fall the state was ordered to pay more than $8,000 to just two such defendants. One official pegged the cost to the state at more than $10 million.
Group says it will challenge conversion therapy ban
Not so fast. The Massachusetts Family Institute says it plans to challenge the recently passed legislation that bans gay conversion therapy in the state, arguing it infringes on the free speech rights of mental health providers and prevents parents from making choices for their children, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News. Supporters of the legislation say they are confident it can withstand Constitutional challenges.
Community Conversation: Local Experiments in Land Trusts
Land trusts are an important way to make land and housing permanently affordable and to begin undoing centuries of housing segregation and discrimination. Join local leaders in activism, finance and public policy for a community conversation connected to the new Undesign the Red Line interactive exhibit.
The Environmental Science & Policy Impacts of Remote Sensing on Governance & Land Use in Tropical Forests
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Land Use and Livelihoods Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center invite you to attend an upcoming series of keynote lectures titled “The Environmental Science & Policy Impacts of Remote Sensing on Governance & Land Use in Tropical Forests.”
Harvard Healthcare Debate
US Healthcare & Drug Pricing Debate with Moderator Vivek Ramaswamy, Founder & CEO, Roivant Sciences and Panelists Peter Kolchinsky, Ph.D., Co-founder, Portfolio Manager, & Managing Director, RA Capital Management; John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO and Director, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; and Shawn Bishop, Vice President, Controlling Health Care Costs and Advancing Medicare, The Commonwealth Fund.
Retail’s Changing Landscape
The reports of the ‘retailpocolypse’ are far from true. Join NAIOP to learn how retail is evolving and thriving while dispelling some of the myths. Hear from expert panelists on what they are seeing here and across the country and learn how architects are helping to transform malls for the future.
Government Affairs Speaker Series featuring Congresswoman Katherine Clark
Join us for our second Government Affairs Speaker Series featuring a conversation with Congresswoman Katherine Clark. Congresswoman Clark has served as the United States Representative for Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District since 2013.
Cannabis 101: Molecules, Markets, … Mayhem?
In 2016, Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana. We wanted laws that empower disenfranchised communities and grow a healthy stream of taxes. But not all of our dreams came true. Now that stores are opening, many of us are wondering about weed…
Offshore Wind: Power, Policy, and Promise
This is a free presentation seminar and discussion event hosted by the Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), a non profit organization located in Cohasset on Boston’s South Shore. CSCR educates students in environmental sciences, encourages environmental awareness, and promotes activism. Details are available at www.ccscr.org.
Public Service Symposium
The purpose of this symposium is to bring together a cross-sector of participants and their organizations to discuss the role of individuals, universities, nonprofits, and the private sector in best practices around engaging our respective populaces in civic life.
The Smart, Connected Commonwealth: Data-Driven Research and Policy Across the Region
BARI’s 2019 Spring Conference will bring together academics, policy makers, and practitioners to highlight work being conducted throughout Greater Boston as a way to share insights and methods, catalyzing inter-disciplinary, intercity collaboration in the use of data and technology.
Harvard Neurologist Rachel Bennett on the Science of Dementia
Everyone knows someone who is experiencing serious cognitive decline. Harvard neurologist Rachel Bennett will speak on the current science of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including diagnostic and treatment options, and will take questions afterward. 60 minutes, FREE, as part of Nahant Public Library’s Dementia Friendly Nahant project.
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