Happening Today

Gaming Commission, sports betting hearing, and more

— The Massachusetts House meets in a formal session with plans to take its final vote on $200 million for local road and bridge repairs and to take up its version of a $23.7 million midyear spending bill that Gov. Baker filed earlier this month, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— The Governor’s Council holds two meetings, the first to interview Jennifer Queally for a circuit position on the District Court bench and the second to possibly vote on the nomination of Steven Bolivar to the Worcester County Juvenile Court, Council Chamber, 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. respectively.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to vote on a handful of design changes Wynn Resorts has made to its Encore Boston Harbor project since the commission last approved its design, Gaming Commission, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies holds a hearing for members of the public to share their thoughts on legalizing sports betting, Hearing Room B-1, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley talks on Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 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

Blame game: Report says Meehan, not Motley, behind UMass Boston’s financial woes

As UMass President Marty Meehan presses lawmakers for more funding on Beacon Hill, a new report from the Pioneer Institute says chronic budget struggles at the system’s Boston’s campus are the fault of Meehan and the UMass board of trustees — and not former UMB Chancellor Keith Motley, Gintautas Dumcius and Hilary Burns report at the Boston Business Journal. The report says the UMass system failed to properly track capital projects, triggering a fiscal crisis when it became aware of its incorrect forecasts and then using Motley as a scapegoat. For its part, UMass says the report is flawed, with a spokesperson pointing out that one of the footnotes is a link to an Avengers movie trailer. (As if there were something wrong with that!)

FYi: The Herald is splashing the report’s finding on its front page, under the headline “Schooled!” The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter has the story.


Poll: Massachusetts residents not wild about letting 16 year olds vote

From Matt Berg at MassLive: “Some of the state’s cities and towns want to let 16- and 17-year-olds vote. Some members of Congress support a lower voting age. But a majority of Massachusetts residents think it’s a bad idea, according to a new survey by the Western New England University Polling Institute.” 

Residents appear a little more willing to let 16 year olds vote in local election, as opposed to national elections, but not much more willing. The Hill recently reported that the rest of the nation is overwhelmingly against letting 16 year olds vote.


Wynn won’t appeal commission’s conditions, pays $35M fine

Is the saga over? We suspect not. But it’s over for the time being. From Gintauas Dumcius at the BBJ: “With the opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort casino less than five weeks away, Wynn Resorts said it won’t appeal the fines and conditions set by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The company on Tuesday paid the $35 million fine, as well as the additional $500,000 levied on CEO Matt Maddox.”

Steph Solis at MassLive and Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth report that the company is still miffed at the treatment of Maddox. They explain.


Sports betting debate: The Lottery, collegiate and profit-margin questions

There was a lot of ground covered yesterday at a State House hearing on whether to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts – and lot of different story angles for journalists. Here are some of them. From the Globe’s Andy Rosen: “Mass. lottery sees opening in debate over sports bets.” From SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “Policymakers to draw boundary on college sport betting.” And from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “How much money would legalized sports betting bring into Massachusetts?”

The Grand Sports Betting Alliance: Was there ever an alliance?

Still on the subject of sports betting: We got the impression that some sort of a grand alliance was forming between casinos and fantasy-sports firms, like DraftKings. But the AP’s Philip Marcelo at the Herald reports that DraftKings made it clear yesterday that it wants the state to allow it to offer sports bets outright – independent of casinos, not in coordination with casinos.

Boston Herald

O’Keefe takes jabs at Rollins and other ‘social justice district attorneys’

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins says she and ICE officials have cordially agreed to disagree on some immigration matters (though not on courthouse detentions of immigrants), reports Sarah Betancourtat CommonWealth magazine.

But while Rollins and ICE “make nice” on the immigrant front after a series of recent public clashes, it seems another public battle is brewing for Rollins, who has also tangled with the Baker administration in the past. In a Globe opinion piece, Cape & Islands DA Michael D. O’Keefe takes swipes at “social justice district attorney” types, including those “here in Boston” (i.e. Rollins, though she’s not named), for advocating that certain crimes not be prosecuted. “This criminal justice philosophy, though well intentioned, is flawed in several respects,” O’Keefe writes. “A district attorney does not have the power to nullify an entire class of criminal conduct. That is the sole prerogative of our Legislature.”

The ball is now in Rollins’ court. Stay tuned.

The GOP’s chair’s latest target: ‘Radical left Democrats’

He’s already accused state Dems of supporting “infanticide” and now he’s openly recruiting Republican candidates to “challenge the radical left Democrats” across the state. He’s none other than the new chairman of the state Republican Party, Jim Lyons. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has the details on Lyons’s latest salvo and the latest evidence of the creeping conservative takeover of the state GOP.


Moulton reveals he sought help for PTSD after Iraq tours

As he pushes for an increase in mental-health services for veterans, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democratic presidential candidate and former Marine Corps officer, has revealed that he too “sought help for managing post-traumatic stress” after serving four tours in Iraq. The Globe’s Danny McDonald has more.

Boston Globe

Slowly but steadily, Warren’s ‘one-plan-at-a-time’ strategy seems to be working

Speaking of Dem presidential candidates, the New York Times is the latest media outlet to detect slight improvements in U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s polling and fundraising numbers, suggesting that her policy-wonk strategy of regularly rolling out progressive policy positions may be working in the crowded Democratic field.


In Springfield, it’s suddenly a race for mayor

Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight reports that Linda Matys O’Connell, a journalist, activist and former League of Women Voters official, has officially made it on the mayoral ballot in Springfield, guaranteeing that long-time incumbent Domenic Sarno will have a substantive challenger later this year (not just a token run-for-every-office type of opponent). More mayoral challengers may be joining the fray as the city’s election board finishes up the certification process, Szafranski notes.


Closure of Pilgrim nuclear plant this week: An end of an era

The AP’s Steve LeBlanc at the Sun Chronicle and the Globe’s David Abel report on Friday’s planned shutdown of Plymouth’s aging Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, after 47 years of operation, and how it represents the end of an era for nuclear power in the region – and across the nation.

Ronald Alexander: Local government gadfly extraordinaire

Colman Herman at CommonWealth magazine takes a look at Ronald Alexander, one of the most annoying local government gadflies in Massachusetts, so annoying with all his open-meeting law complaints that Attorney General Maura Healey “recently took the unheard of step of refusing to process the overwhelming majority” of his complaints and “daring him to sue her if he doesn’t like it,” as Herman writes.


Work to be done: Worcester ranks 5th nationally in count of homeless students

A new study argues Worcester has the 5th highest rate nationally of homeless students enrolled in its schools and more than any other New England city — and it draws a straight line between the problem and the opioid epidemic, Scott O’Connell reports at the Telegram.


‘The menstrual equity movement is growing’

Sasha Goodfriend, president of the state chapter of the National Organization of Women, writes at CommonWealth magazine that the “menstrual equity movement is growing” across the land and that state lawmakers have an “opportunity to lead the country in menstrual equity legislation by passing Mass NOW’s new bill, An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, and Public Schools.”

Walsh to announce new private fund for the Boston Public Library

We’re surprised they weren’t already doing this. The Globe’s Milton Valencia reports that Mayor Marty Walsh is set to launch a new privately-sponsored campaign, the Fund for the Boston Public Library, described as the “first major philanthropic endeavor of its kind for the 171-year-old civic institution.” They’ve already raised $2.8 million and hope to raise another $3 million at an inaugural fund-raising gala next month.

Target of the day (and week, month and year): Mass. Cultural Council

The Herald is still pounding away at the Massachusetts Cultural Council via a Joe Dwinell story, in which Republican state Sen. Ryan Fattman blasts the agency’s sometimes lavish spending, and via a Herald editorial, which praises efforts to control council spending.

Loss for labor: Lowell city council rejects agreement on high school project

No deal. The Lowell city council voted against exploring a Project Labor Agreement that could dictate union hiring requirements for the entirety of the $343 million effort to build a new city high school, Elizabeth Dobbins reports at the Lowell Sun. The vote came after City Manager Eileen Donoghue told the council such a deal could cause delays and add another $40 million to the price tag of what is already on course to become the costliest school building project in state history.

Lowell Sun

So who is this Bob Hildreth guy?

The Globe’s Adrian Walker takes a look at Bob Hildreth, the man with the wallet behind a recent student lawsuit over the closure of Mount Ida College, a lawsuit that was dismissed last week by a judge and that cost Hildreth some big bucks, though he doesn’t regret it.

Boston Globe

State collects 1,500 public comments on Long Island bridge

They’ve got some reading to do. The Department of Environmental Protection says it has collected some 1,500 public comments on the proposed reconstruction of the bridge to Long Island, Erin Tiernan reports in the Patriot Ledger. With the public input period closed, all eyes will be on the DEP as it considers a tidal zone work permit sought by the city of Boston for the controversial project which Quincy officials have moved to squash.  

Patriot Ledger

After 75 years, Sgt. Alfred Sandini is coming home to be buried with his parents

The Globe’s Jerome Fox reports that the remains of Technical Sergeant Alfred R. Sandini, a World War II airman shot down in Southeast Asia more than 75 years ago, will buried this summer in a family plot, alongside his parents, in Marlborough. As Fox notes, Sandini’s remains were identified earlier this year using DNA technology and other measures – and now he’s finally coming home.

She spied for her country in WWII …

Here’s another World War II story of note: Patricia Warner, 98, a Lincoln resident and former officer with the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War, has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her long-ago intelligence service to the nation. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark presented the medal yesterday to the surprised Warner. Jerome Campbell at WBUR has the details.


Old North Speaker Series: James Farrell – The Child Independence is Born

Did the Revolution begin with the writs of assistance trial? To answer that question, we will review the purpose and function of writs of assistance within the political, legal, and economic environment of colonial Massachusetts, and discuss the constitutional dispute over writs of assistance in the 1761 trial.

Old North Foundation

NAIOP Bus Tour – The Science of Success: Today’s Development DNA

Jump on board the NAIOP Bus Tour to observe, identify and analyze some of the most exciting office, multifamily, lab and mixed-use developments in Waltham, Watertown, Newton and Needham!

NAIOP Massachusetts

Let’s have Breakfast with Mayor Marty Walsh

Join Mayor Marty Walsh in supporting Operation ABLE, which provides training and employment services for job seekers.

Operation ABLE

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development. This event is an opportunity to learn about innovative ways businesses, schools and nonprofit partners are working together to educate and prepare a skilled future workforce. Featured Speaker is Rosalin Acosta, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.

Apprentice Learning

MSDC Advocacy Day

Please join the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) in celebrating the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and learn about critical policies and funding that will help them to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives at the 6th annual MDSC Advocacy Day on Thursday, June 6 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in front of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House.

Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)

Today’s Headlines


New Northeastern building would include space for improving driverless cars – Universal Hub

WIll Quincy hit 100,000 in 2020? US Census raises doubts – Patriot Ledger


Mass. high court calls for state of the art storage facility for evidence – Boston Globe

Lowell mayor says settlement reached in voting rights lawsuit – Lowell Sun

Baystate Health plans to close ICUs in West Springfield, Palmer – MassLive

Worcester City Council thrilled over Memorial Auditorium deal – Telegram & Gazette


Biden dominates Dem rivals in new early primary poll – Politico

McConnell says he would fill a Supreme Court vacancy even if it came in election year – Washington Post

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.