Happening Today

Sen. Brady’s DUI trial, Puppy mills, Offshore drilling ban

— Sen. Michael Brady goes to trial in Quincy District Court on drunk driving charges stemming from his March 2018 arrest, Quincy District Court, 1 Dennis Ryan Parkway, Quincy, 9 a.m.

Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government will hold a public hearing on 11 bills, including legislation tied to so-called puppy mills and sales of sick puppies, Room A-1, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan, Roger Crandall of MassMutual and legislators participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for MassMutual’s newest location, 10 Fan Pier Boulevard, Boston, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Project Lead the Way & Mass STEM Hub Design Showcase with Boston Children’s Hospital, Merck Research Laboratories, 33 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, 12:30 p.m.

— Members of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture take up 11 bills, including legislation that would ban offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in any state waters, Room A-2, 1 p.m.

— Republican presidential candidate and former Gov. Bill Weld will be the inaugural guest at the ‘Visits with the U.S. Presidential Candidates’ series at Salisbury University, Great Hall, Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Ave., Salisbury, 1 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

Ban sought on non-medical vaccine exemptions

Let the debate begin. From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “A freshman lawmaker is thrusting Massachusetts into the thorny debate over childhood vaccinations by proposing a statewide ban on religious exemptions. … (Rep. Andy Vargas’) proposal comes amid a national debate prompted by a measles outbreak in two dozen states that has been attributed to unvaccinated children.”

Gloucester Times

Governor: Lawmakers may act this week to delay paid-leave tax

It doesn’t sound like a done deal yet – and Gov. Charlie Baker himself doesn’t sound exactly thrilled with the idea. Still, from SHNS’s Colin Young: “If state government is going to approve the three-month delay in payroll taxes needed to fund the new paid family and medical leave program that advocacy and business groups have pushed for, it is likely going to happen this week, the governor said Monday.” House Speaker Robert DeLeo adds: “It’s something that we’ll consider. Whether or not we will agree to that extension is yet to be seen.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

House will take up Janus bill amid torrent of ‘bluster and B.S.’

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the House this week will finally take up the so-called “Janus bill” that would allow unions to charge non-members fees for various services, in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that restricted non-member funds flowing to unions.

The expected action comes amid growing acrimony on Beacon Hill between Speaker Robert DeLeo and AFL-CIO president Steven Tolman, who has harshly criticized DeLeo for not moving more aggressively on union-backed initiatives. In turn, state Rep. Daniel Cullinane, without naming names, has condemned Tolman’s rhetoric as mere “bluster and B.S.,” reports WGBH’s Mike Deehan. The Herald’s Mary Markos has more on the upcoming Janus-bill action.


Development uproar brings mayoral challenger in Quincy

Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch is facing a challenger in this fall’s election — and it appears she’s motivated by opposition to a Koch-backed plan for a massive development on Hospital Hill. Brenda Ryan, who has been a critic of the proposal, has pulled nomination papers, signaling her intent to challenge Koch, who has been mayor since 2008, Erin Tiernan at the Patriot Ledger reports.

Patriot Ledger

The art and science of using zoning codes to block multifamily housing

A new 123-page report to be released today at the State House outlines all the ways suburban towns use zoning rules to block new multifamily housing in Greater Boston, from lot size requirements to parking minimums to age restrictions. The Globe’s Tim Logan has the details, as Beacon Hill lawmakers debate how to spur more housing in the region.

Boston Globe

Expand and contract: T extends later-night bus service on some routes, but eliminates post-1 a.m. program

From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “About 150 nighttime bus trips per week introduced as a pilot in and around Boston will become a permanent feature on the MBTA, but the T will no longer offer service after 1 a.m. after officials cited insufficient ridership and high costs. The MBTA plans to continue to offer greater frequency on key bus routes between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., and several lines will see final trips past 12:30 a.m.”

CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on the T’s split decision on late-night bus service, in a piece headlined: “Boston: the 22-7 city in terms of transit.”

Moulton asks for donations. Instead, he gets an earful

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld reports that U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton issued a plea for campaign donations on Facebook in order to make the Democratic debate cut – and instead got an earful from readers on everything from Medicaid for All to his anti-Nancy Pelosi campaign last year.

Boston Herald

Star attraction: Kevin Spacey’s attorneys rip into Cape & Island’s DA

It’s what big-bucks attorneys are paid to do. From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “An attorney for actor and sexual assault defendant Kevin Spacey made explosive allegations against the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office in a court hearing Monday, claiming that prosecutors have known since 2017 that Heather Unruh deleted text messages from her son’s phone before turning it over to state troopers.”


The old apologize-and-deny tactic of the high and mighty

Speaking of high-profile legal proceedings, Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine thinks he sees a pattern forming, with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who is facing prostitution solicitation charges, and state Sen. Michael Brady, who goes to trial today on a DUI charge, both publicly apologizing for their actions – and then effectively denying their actions by fighting the cases.

One more apologize-and-deny case would definitely make it a trend. Kevin Spacey’s case (see above post) doesn’t qualify. He’s just fighting.


Next stop, Bourne: CapeFlyer’s new stop a hit with passengers

It’s only one extra stop — at a temporary railroad platform – but it’s already a hit with some passengers and others, i.e. the CapeFlyer’s new summer train stop in Bourne, in addition to other stops along the weekend South Station-Hyannis route. Beth Treffeisen at Wicked Local has the details.

Wicked Local

Troubling trend: Massachusetts college enrollments continue alarming decline

A new report shows the number of students enrolled in Massachusetts colleges continues to decline, following a national trend that has many smaller liberal arts schools struggling with severe financial pressures, Grant Welker reports at the Worcester Business Journal. Enrollment dropped 1.2 percent this year — representing the loss of more than 5,000 students — the National Student Clearinghouse reports and the number of students in Bay State schools is down some 6 percent since 2014.

Meanwhile, Dusty Christensen at the Daily Hampshire Gazette talks with some of the just 15 incoming freshmen on their way to Hampshire College this fall despite that school’s very public financial struggle for survival.


Pressley’s PAC would help those challenging incumbents

She says it has nothing to do with new party rules that make it harder for newcomers to challenge incumbent Democratic members of Congress. You decide. From Kimberly Atkins at WBUR: “U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is launching a new leadership political action committee to help boost Democratic candidates — including those challenging incumbents. The committee, called the Power of Us PAC, will also fund civic engagement efforts and help cultivate a diverse pipeline for community activists and organizers to access federal-level campaigns.”


The latest hope and dream for City Hall Plaza: Actual trees?

The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and the Globe’s Milton Valencia report on yet the latest plan to transform what many consider one of the ugliest public spaces in America: The wind-swept City Hall Plaza in Boston. The latest proposal includes actual trees – yes, trees – in an effort to make the brick-covered monolith more park-like. The design sketches actually look pretty good. Fyi: We’re among the minority who sort of like the Brutalist-designed City Hall. It’s the hideous outdoor plaza that makes you want to pop a Zoloft every time you pass it.

Virtually empty Springfield Plaza and Swansea Mall to get makeovers

Speaking of wind-swept plazas, here’s yet more evidence that shopping malls are sucking wind big time in this e-commerce era. Jim Kinney at MassLive reports that the owners of Springfield Plaza are now mulling adding housing to the sprawling 72-acre site in the hopes of revitalizing the property. Meanwhile, Peter Jazinski at the Herald News reports that the new owners of the largely vacant Swansea Mall are planning a multi-use complex combining retail, housing and other tenants.

The Bruins: ‘Boston’s latest would-be champs are truly Boston’s’

This NYT piece was written before last’s night unfortunate Bruins loss to the Blues, but it still holds, i.e. how Boston finally has some actual Bostonians on one of our championship-contending sports teams. And it’s true: The Bruins have three of ‘em.


Just in case: Worcester school board may lawyer up for school funding suit

File under: ‘Hoping for the best but …’ The Worcester School Committee could vote on Thursday to formalize an agreement with a pro bono attorney who would represent the city in a potential education funding lawsuit against the state – assuming lawmakers don’t take action this year on changing the school-aide formula, Scott O’Connell reports at the Telegram. Michael Angelini, who chairs the firm Bowditch & Dewey, has already been advising the board and would take on the more formal role for free.


Pats players blitz lawmakers with appeal to boost education funding

Speaking of education funding, New England Pats players Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Matthew Slater, and Duron Harmon pen a joint op-ed in the Globe calling for additional state funds for low-income school districts. Fyi: They’ve all been previously active in the education-funding debate.

Boston Globe

Anti-gerrymandering group targets Massachusetts: But is it really nonpartisan?

John Pudner, a man with “unimpeachable conservative credentials,” swears his group’s early-stage campaign to change how Massachusetts draws its Congressional maps is meant to benefit everyone, not just Republicans. But local Democrats aren’t buying the anti-gerrymandering argument. Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine has more.


Boston real estate heavyweights Fallon, Hines and O’Connor join CBRE

In Boston’s small-yet-powerful commercial real estate world, this is a big deal. From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “The founding partners of erstwhile real-estate brokerage Fallon Hines & O’Connor are joining CBRE in Boston. Joe Fallon, Brian Hines and Chuck O’Connor, who combined have more than 80 years’ worth of commercial real estate experience in Boston, will join CBRE from Cushman & Wakefield.”


Wife of Wynn Resorts CEO ordered to undergo counseling after striking husband during couple’s anniversary

This is a weird one, considering all that Wynn Resorts has gone through in recent months in Massachusetts. From Steph Solis at MassLive: “Katherine Maddox, wife of (Wynn Resorts) CEO Matt Maddox, pleaded no contest last week to one count of domestic battery after an altercation with her husband at the Red Rock Resort in April, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Katherine Maddox, who pleaded no contest to one count of domestic battery earlier this month, must perform at least 48 hours of community service and undergo domestic violence counseling.”


Supporters optimistic sex-ed bill can pass this year

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that supporters of a comprehensive sex education bill, which would require use of LGBTQ-inclusive materials and discussions of consent and healthy relationships, are guardedly optimistic that the legislation can finally pass this session after years of setbacks.

Healey questions if there’s sufficient funds to handle Pilgrim’s decommissioning

From SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “With Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station now offline for good, Attorney General Maura Healey is worried there is not enough money to safely clean up the Plymouth plant site and is renewing her call for federal regulators to hold a hearing on the proposed sale and decommissioning of the plant.”

AG sued by group seeking records on Michael Bloomberg and ExxonMobil

Speaking of the attorney general, a progressive group (we think) is suing Maura Healey’s office to obtain records involving her “global warming lawsuit against ExxonMobil and her office’s relationship with billionaire Michael Bloomberg,” reports the Herald’s Rick Sobey. It’s not exactly clear what they’re after, other than obtaining documents they say should be public.

Boston Herald

Fund the forests: Senators push for PILOT formula changes

They speak for the trees. Two western Mass. state senators have won support for a budget amendment that could rewrite the formula the state uses to make payments-in-lieu-of-taxes to communities that host state facilities such as public forests and parks, Anita Fritz reports at the Greenfield Recorder. State Sens. Adam Hinds and Jo Comerford say the current formula favors metro Boston communities while shortchanging more rural communities, where Comerford says large swaths of forest are “literally breathing for the state.”

Greenfield Recorder

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)

Farming While Black

Join award-winning author, activist, farmer, and co-founder of @soulfirefarm Leah Penniman for a discussion of her new book “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Guide to Liberation on the Land”. Penniman will share highlights from her book, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Food from @freshfoodgeneration is included courtesy of Boston Medical Center. All proceeds benefit @ufiboston.

Urban Farming Institute

Agrus Enterprise Training

This one day course is designed for new-to-intermediate users of ARGUS Enterprise or anyone who will be responsible for entering leases, budgets, market assumptions or valuation and yield parameters on a repetitive basis.

NAIOP Massachusetts

31st Annual Charitable Golf Tournament Benefiting Heading Home

Join us for NAIOP’s 31st Anniversary Golf Tournament at The International! If you haven’t played there yet, it is a golfer’s paradise that features two award-winning 18-hole golf courses, including The Pines, designed by Robert Trent Jones.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Launching Young Leaders: An Intensive Workshop

For CRE professionals with less than five years business experience.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Suffrage Centennial Kick-Off Celebration

Kicking off a year of commemorations celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, enabling women to vote.

The Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts and The Greater Boston Women’s Vote

Today’s Headlines


MBTA says new six-car Orange line set will be ready this summer – Boston Business Journal

Free breakfast will soon be served in Lynn classrooms – Lynn Item


Complaints against Worcester police decline by 38 percent – Telegram & Gazette

Some Kempton area parents are upset at demise of neighborhood charter school – Standard-Times

Facing economic pressures, Berkshires United Way to cut more than a quarter of staff – Berkshire Eagle

Meet the 19 candidates for Attleboro City Council – Sun Chronicle


More than 4 million people at risk of not being counted in 2020 census, report says – NBC News

House plans antitrust investigation of Google, Facebook and other tech giants – Washington Post

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