Happening Today

Janus bill, Governor’s Council, SHNS’s 125th anniversary

Health Policy Commission‘s Market Oversight and Transparency Committee meets to hear about new research on the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) on drug pricing; the commission’s Care Delivery Transformation Committee later meets to discuss a new interagency initiative, MassUP, 50 Milk St., Boston, with the first committee meeting at 9:30 a.m. and the second at 11 a.m.

— House and Senate members appointed to a six-member conference committee meet for the first time to hash out an agreement on a new fiscal year 2020 budget, Room 243, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds a hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of Dorchester lawyer Michael Doolin for a Superior Court judgeship, followed by a second meeting with vote possible on Jennifer Queally’s nomination to a circuit position on the District Court bench, Council Chamber, with the first meeting at 10 a.m. and the second at 12 p.m.

— House meets in a formal session with plans to take up the so-called ‘Janus bill’ on union dues, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will speak at an AT&T announcement of a new digital leadership initiative, Boston Public Library Copley Square branch, 3:30 p.m.

State House News Service holds an evening reception to mark its 125th anniversary, with Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo among those attending, Room 428, 5:30 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

Shooting the messenger? Rollins blasts Globe for publishing O’Keefe op-ed

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins used an appearance on Greater Boston to blast both her Cape and Islands counterpart Michael O’Keefe and the Boston Globe for publishing an op-ed piece criticizing “social justice” prosecutors, a piece that was widely seen as a broadside against her, Kaitlin Locke reports at WGBH. Rollins claimed the Globe has refused to publish pieces supporting her decision not to prosecute some lesser crimes. She also said O’Keefe’s piece was “overly rhetorical” and that one passage seemed to contain “barely veiled” racially inflammatory language.


Brady settles drunk driving case, surrenders driver’s license

So he didn’t go to trial after all. From Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine: “Sen. Michael Brady of Brockton on Tuesday avoided the hazards of a criminal trial in connection with his March 2018 drunk driving arrest, agreeing to a settlement that could pave the way for all charges eventually being dismissed. Under the terms of the agreement, Brady will see his license suspended for 45 days, participate in a driver-alcohol education program, pay multiple fines totaling at least hundreds of dollars, and remain on probation for a year.”


Trimming the sails: Salem State offers buyouts

Hoping to stay ahead of demographic changes and balance its budget amid stagnant state funding, Salem State University says it will offer buyouts that could cut as many as 50 faculty and staff positions, Paul Leighton reports at the Salem News. President John Keenan says that enrollment at the university has been on a steady decline over the last decade and that reducing headcount is necessary to keep the school affordable and accessible over the long haul. 

Salem News

Biden and Warren unveil dueling multitrillion-dollar green plans

File under: “A trillion here and a trillion there …” Former Vice President Joe Biden, the current frontrunner in the Democratic race for president, yesterday outlined $1.7 trillion in spending and a tax on planet-warming pollution as part of his climate-change/green agenda, as the NYT reports. Then only a few hours later, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren effectively pronounced: I can outdo that! And she unveiled her own $2 trillion “green manufacturing” proposal. The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius, the Globe’s Jess Bidgood and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky report on the dueling trillions-dollar proposals.

Fyi: Biden and Warren are also dueling on how cooperative Democrats should be in the future with Republicans. Somehow, this has become a big deal for some in the Democratic race. It’s not quite in litmus-test territory, but it’s getting there. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane has the details.

Warren rising?

Speaking of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, it’s only a one-point bump in her presidential polling numbers. But it does put her in double-digit territory and separates her a little more from the third-tier pack of candidates, so Morning Consult’s latest survey is indeed welcome news for Warren and her supporters. The Hill has the details.

The Hill

Warren allows campaign staff to unionize

She’s following in the footsteps of other Dem candidates, fyi. From Eliza Collins at the Wall Street Journal: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign has agreed to let workers unionize, according to the business manager of the union branch that will represent them. The New Hampshire-based International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320 approached the Warren campaign Monday after a simple majority of the Massachusetts Democrat’s staff had signed on as part of the union.”

WSJ (pay wall)

Markey’s latest potential challenger: Steve Pemberton, ex-foster child and author

Globe columnist Adrian Walker breaks some news of sort this morning by announcing that Steve Pemberton is very likely to announce that he’ll be taking on U.S. Sen. Ed Markey next year, becoming the latest candidate to challenge the incumbent Democrat. Pemberton, now a C-suite success story, was a foster child as a youth and penned the memoir “A Chance in the World,” later turned into a film. “If this were a race for most inspirational back story, Pemberton might be the unquestioned front-runner,” writes Walker.

Meanwhile, Markey, who’s already facing a challenge from labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, tells the Globe’s Michael Levenson that he takes “every challenger seriously, and that’s why I’m going to conduct this race running at full speed for the next year and a half, nonstop, every day.”

Boston Globe

Question of the day: How do you dispose of 100,000 pounds of rotting whale blubber stranded on a beach?

SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that the Metropolitan Beaches Commission yesterday grappled with the question of what to do with dead multi-ton whales washing up on local beaches. “It’s a unique problem to have,” says Tony LaCasse, a spokesman for the New England Aquarium. “You’re going to need heavy equipment and you might need some cash.”

Cohasset recently came up with a simple solution: Tow the carcass out to sea. Revere didn’t appreciate the disposal method. Young has the details .

Thwarted again: Partners backs off Providence takeover after R.I. governor objects

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has effectively put a stop (at least temporarily) to Partner HealthCare’s empire building in Little Rhody, effectively telling local Providence hospitals and Brown University to get their act together and work out a local merger. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett has the details. So how many of Partner’s takeover plans have now been thwarted here and elsewhere? We’ve lost track.

In separate empire-building news: Providence-based CVS has announced it’s “pushing deeper into health services with plans to add dietitians, medical equipment and space for the occasional yoga class to 1,500 stores over the next few years,” reports the AP’s Tom Murphy at WBUR.


‘The Bloomberg battalion’

It wasn’t very clear the other day why a group was suing Attorney General Maura Healey over documents related to Michael Bloomberg and ExxonMobil. Now we know more, thanks to Herald columnist Michael Graham, who writes that the controversy involves the apparent hiring of two special assistant attorneys general with private funds indirectly provided by the billionaire Bloomberg to combat climate change etc. There’s always two sides to a coin – and Graham seems to have shed some light on at least one side of the coin this morning.

Boston Herald

Healey’s office sues White’s Bakery in Brockton for alleged discrimination

Speaking of the AG, from the Globe’s Andrew Stanton: “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office is suing White’s Bakery & Cafe in Brockton, its manager, and head pastry chef for allegedly discriminating against an employee on the basis of his race and disability, officials said. The alleged victim was subjected to harassment and hateful language, including the use of variations of the N-word by his supervisor” and was mocked for having a speech impediment, Healey’s office said in a statement.”

Boston Globe

Number three: Springfield principal comes out as transgender

Declan O’Connor, the head of a Springfield middle school, is now the third school principal in Massachusetts to publicly come out as transgender and it doesn’t appear to be creating much of a stir in Springfield, as Shira Schoenberg reports at MassLive. A few more of these announcements and it won’t be news anymore.


Meanwhile, conservative group plans ‘straight pride’ parade

Speaking of LGBTQ issues, hopefully this won’t stir up trouble, though you have to wonder if that’s the provocative intent of organizers. From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Local conservative activists are planning a ‘Straight Pride’ parade in Boston for August — with their own heavy security in case of trouble — though both its organizer and the president of the LGBTQ pride parade invited each other to the other’s events.”

Aviva Luttrell at MassLive has Mayor Walsh’s reaction to the straight-parade move, obviously an attempt to mock Saturday’s LGBTQ-sponsored Pride Parade.

Boston Herald

On the verge of extinction in Massachusetts: ‘Aldermen’

SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that officials from Melrose, the last remaining city with a “board of aldermen” in Massachusetts, yesterday formally asked lawmakers to let it change its governing board’s name to the more gender neutral “city council.” If the request is approved (and it will), there will no longer be any aldermen to kick around in Massachusetts.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

TrooperGate update: Two more sentenced – and the Governor’s Council angle

Scott Croteau at MassLive reports that a former State Police officer and former SP lieutenant have both been sentenced to one day in prison for their role in the ongoing overtime-abuse scandal at the agency. It’s certainly a light sentence, but their careers and, we presume, their pensions are now finis.

The Herald’s Howie Carr makes a connection to yesterday’s sentencing hearing and today’s Governor’s Council hearing on the appointment of Jennifer Queally to a position on the District Court bench. Hint: It has to do with State Police “standards.”


SJC to review police use of controversial ‘plate readers’

Yet another skirmish in the battle over privacy. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “Massachusetts’ highest court will soon review the legality of controversial surveillance technology that state and local law enforcement use to track vehicles in real time, collecting voluminous data on motorists not suspected of any crime. … The practice has raised a host of legal and privacy concerns, along with questions about how the data is used and stored.”

‘Sprawl buster’ strikes again: Activist files suit to halt Greenfield’s ‘grand bargain’

He stopped Wal-Mart. Now he has the “grand bargain” in his sights. Al Norman, who gained national fame as the “sprawl buster” when he stopped a planned Wal-Mart from coming to Greenfield, has filed a civil complaint seeking to halt the agreement reached by the city council to fund a new library in exchange for rolling back zoning regulations in the city’s business district. Norman wants a court to order the city to advance his petition for a citywide referendum on the deal. 

Greenfield Recorder

Medford mayor and lawmaker: Everett casino snapping up private parking spaces left and right

Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke and state Rep. Paul Donato say they’re “very disheartened” that a privately owned parking garage in Medford plans to lease 700 parking spaces to Encore Boston Harbor for exclusive use by the future Everett casino’s employees, effectively giving the boot to Wellington Station commuters with little notice. The Herald’s Mary Marko and Jonathan Ng have more on the emerging casino parking war.

Boston Herald

Boston watchdog Sam Tyler celebrates retirement

Congratulations to Sam Tyler, who officially retired yesterday after 46 years as Boston’s chief fiscal watchdog at the nonprofit Boston Municipal Research Bureau. Taxpayers and others who care about good government will miss him dearly. The Herald’s Taylor Pettaway has more on Tyler’s retirement.

Dozens of lawmakers call for delay in paid-leave tax

We’ll see where this goes. From SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall): “More than four dozen lawmakers from both parties are urging legislative leaders to pass a bill delaying implementation of the state’s new paid family and medical leave program by three months. In a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, the legislators said more time is needed so the state can finalize regulations and millions of employers and employees can be educated about the law’s requirements.”

Councilors: Free menstrual products should be available in schools and all city buildings

From Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub: “The City Council on Wednesday will consider a proposal by councilors Matt O’Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) and Lydia Edwards (North End, Charlestown, East Boston) to have public schools, libraries, community centers and other municipal buildings stock free menstrual products in women’s rooms.”

Universal Hub

Free range weed: Framingham dispensary will offer outdoor-grown cannabis

Their green will be greener. A recreational cannabis dispensary planning to open in Framingham next year says it could be among the first to offer customers a chance to purchase outdoor-grown pot after receiving the go-ahead from the Cannabis Control Commission to harvest crops on a Sheffield farm, Jim Haddadin reports at the MetroWest Daily News. The company says that by growing outdoors, it can dramatically reduce the amount of electricity required to produce its products.

MetroWest Daily News

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

Author Talk and Book Signing with Christine M. DeLucia

History professor and author Christine M. DeLucia will speak about her recent book, Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.

State Library of 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


Politicians fret over parking issues at Everett casino – Boston Herald

False fire alarm at Cambridge courthouse enflames ire over state maintenance of crumbling tower – Cambridge Day


Weymouth officials to see big pay hike in 2020 – Patriot Ledger

Healey intervenes in suit over oil transport – Cape Cod Times


Mayoral Portrait of TIm Murray to be unveiled Friday in Worcester City Hall – Telegram & Gazette

Trump administration gave green light to nuclear permits for Saudi Arabia after Kashoggi killing – NBC News

Government argues for a halt to youth climate lawsuit, saying there is no constitutional right to a stable climate – Washington Post

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