Governor’s Council, ride-hailing safety, and more
— The Governor’s Council holds three meetings today — the first to interview Patrick Malone, nominated to a judgeship in the Fitchburg District Court; the second for the council’s regular weekly assembly; and the third to review the reappointment of Dr. Charlene Bonner to the Parole Board, Council Chamber, at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides and others announce new legislation to enhance safety and enforcement provisions for ride-hailing companies in Massachusetts. Room 157, 11 a.m.
— Health Policy Commission’s Advisory Council will meet to review the HPC’s latest publications: a report on pharmacy benefit managers, a report on the availability of care for co-occurring disorders and an examination of opioid-related acute hospital utilization, 50 Milk St., 8th floor, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses holds a hearing on 13 bills related to small businesses, including legislation sponsored by Rep. Lori Ehrlich to establish a commission that would study threats to journalism and specifically ‘communities underserved by local journalism in Massachusetts,’ Hearing Room B-1, 2 p.m.
— Joint Revenue Committee takes up 42 revenue bills that relate to the environment and farming, including ones that deal with property tax exemptions for solar and wind systems, the conservation land tax credit, and property tax exemptions for farmers’ markets, Room B-2, 2 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.
Three former prosecutors accused of misconduct in drug-lab scandal
This involves the Sonja Farak state drug-lab scandal, not to be confused with the Annie Dookhan state crime-lab scandal. From the Globe’s Shawn Musgrave: “Allegations of official misconduct have been filed against three former state prosecutors related to the Amherst drug-lab scandal. The state body that investigates lawyers alleges the attorneys, two of whom currently work for government agencies, withheld evidence from defendants, district attorneys, and a judge.”
Senators alarmed over administration’s medical-parole regulations
Keep in mind the Baker administration is also taking flak for its prison solitary-confinement rules, so a pattern seems to be forming here. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Just more than a year after the Legislature created a medical parole program under which terminally-ill or permanently-incapacitated inmates could be released from prison, a cadre of senators are speaking out against the Baker administration’s draft regulations for medical parole and the ‘emergency’ process being used to put them in place.”
SHNS reports that eight senators have signed a letter to Public Safety Secretary Thomas Turco expressing their “serious concerns” over recently published regulations.
Pressley to Conway: ‘Keep my name out of your lying mouth’
The Globe’s Peter Bailey-Wells reports that U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, caught up in an intraparty feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is now battling with White House adviser Kellyanne Conway over her “major meow mashup” description of the intraparty feud, telling Conway to keep Pressley’s name out of her “lying mouth.”
Separately, the NYT has discovered, a few days late, the intraparty feud, started in a piece by one of its own columnists.
Baker among 24 governors opposing Trump’s rollback of auto-emission rules
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, is joining mostly Democratic governors across the country in urging the Trump administration to halt its planned rollback of federal clean-car rules.
The state budget process: Screwed up since 1787?
SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports that state budget negotiators believe they’re “pretty close” to resolving their differences and ending a 10-day impasse over a new budget. The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby is uncorking on lawmakers this morning, saying there’s unfortunately nothing new about state lawmakers blowing off budget deadlines. Hell, they’ve been screwing up since the Constitutional Convention of 1787, he writes.
State to flip proceeds of GE real-estate sale to workforce housing
A future episode for Flipping Boston? From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker plans to use $86 million the state has received from the sale of the General Electric Co. Fort Point headquarters to create a combined 760 residential units. Baker, alongside state Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan and MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay, on Tuesday announced the expansion of MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative.”
Developers funding actual T operations?
The Globe’s Tim Logan reports that developers are being increasingly pressed to help pay for T operations, not just for new or improved T stations near their development projects.
‘Insufficient evidence’: Commission says state should scrap forced addiction treatment
It’s too harsh and, too often, it doesn’t work. That’s the conclusion of a state commission after it reviewed the state law that allows judges to order up to 90 days of involuntary drug treatment, Christian Wade reports at the Salem News.
Candidate of the people: Liss-Riordan loans her own campaign $1 million
From the Globe’s Aiden Ryan: “Shannon Liss-Riordan, the Brookline labor attorney challenging US Senator Edward J. Markey in next year’s primary, has loaned her campaign $1 million for her effort to topple the incumbent, according to a preliminary copy of a fund-raising report from her campaign. She raised just shy of $145,000 and will report about $992,000 in cash on hand for the second quarter, which ended June 30.”
Sneaky peek: SJC asks for input on Cape Cod bridge cameras
The state’s highest court is collecting input as it prepares to take up an appeal from a New Bedford man who says the state’s use of license-plate reading cameras on the Cape Cod bridges is unconstitutional, Wheeler Cowperthwaite at the Cape Cod Times reports. Civil rights groups and others are expected to weigh in on the case, which could have implications statewide for law enforcement efforts to track driver movements with new technologies.
Harvard fires fencing coach who sold his home to dad with kid looking to get into Harvard
It’s the story that keeps on giving. From the Globe’s Michael Levenson: “Harvard said Tuesday that it is firing its longtime fencing coach, finding that he violated the university’s conflict-of-interest policy by selling his home to a wealthy businessman whose teenage son was looking to apply to the university and fence on the team.”
If you recall, the Globe broke the original home-sale story in April with the memorable headline: “He bought the fencing coach’s house. Then his son got into Harvard.” Btw: They should have regular awards for the best local headlines. Don’t you think?
Baker to unveil ride-hailing safety legislation
This is interesting timing, considering all the controversies lately over T safety. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce new legislation Wednesday that would enhance the safety of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft and strengthen the state’s enforcement of the rules governing those companies operating in Massachusetts, the governor’s office announced Tuesday evening.”
Baker administration: State doesn’t provide system-wide access to driver’s licenses to feds
We missed this from the other day, i.e. Gov. Charlie Baker’s assertion that the state’s RMV is not providing the FBI and ICE with system-wide access to state driver’s licenses, though it does provide some case-by-case access. The RMV confirmed that again yesterday, as Steve Brown reports at WBUR.
Councilor still on the warpath over controversial magistrate appointment
It’s not over till it’s over. From the Herald’s Mary Markso: “The lifetime appointment given to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito’s college friend as clerk magistrate in Cambridge — a $150,000-a-year post — was put on a fast track and may have violated state law, according to Governor’s Council member Marilyn Devaney.”
Rollins to law students of color: ‘Stay in Boston’
Addressing young legal interns of color in Boston, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins had a simple message: “Stay in Boston.” The BBJ’s Don Seiffert has the details. They’re actually inspiring words – and they’re among the reasons why Rollins is such a fascinating figure in Boston these days.
Meanwhile, the Globe on Rollins: ‘It’s not like she tricked us’
Speaking of the fascinating Suffolk DA, the Globe, in an editorial, is standing by Rachael Rollins, following the newspaper’s own reporting that showed the DA is drifting far afield from her “do not prosecute” list by not pursuing even assault-and-battery cases. “It’s not like she tricked us,” the paper says.
Still, the paper adds: “She’d help her own cause immensely by developing a thicker skin in the face of the inevitable criticism and dropping the unlawyerly statements that only diminish her work.”
Trahan files bill requiring feds to report migrant deaths along border
From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Legislation by Rep. Lori Trahan, a Westford Democrat, would require Congress to be notified within 24 hours of a migrant’s death while in federal custody and give broader authority to House committees to quickly hold hearings to investigate. Her measure, which faces an uphill battle for approval, would also prevent Trump administration officials from claiming “executive privilege” to avoid testifying at those hearings.
Also on the immigration front, via MassLive: “Massachusetts immigration activists to protest outside of Joe Biden’s 2020 headquarters in Philadelphia.”
Bill Russell: Mentoring youths is the key to our future
For his work on civil rights and social justice, Celtics legend Bill Russell will receive the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage tonight at the ESPYS – and he writes at the Globe he hopes to use the occasion to promote adult-youth mentorship programs: “In these moments of division and uncertainty, take heart: We agree on more than we realize. We are more alike than we are different. The social contract is still being honored in deeply meaningful and personal ways. Relationships can build and sustain social movements. In fact, they always have.”
Columbia Gas reaches settlement with family over teen’s death
The family of Leonel Rondon, 18, who was killed as a result of last September’s natural-gas explosions and fires in the Lawrence area, has reached a legal settlement with Columbia Gas, according to a report at WBUR. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Meanwhile, Lawrence area officials have announced a new “Rock the Register” marketing campaign to help local businesses still struggling from last year’s gas-pipeline disaster, reports Jessica Valeriani at the Eagle Tribune.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport reopens following bomb threat
Following a phoned-in bomb threat that turned out to be bogus, Martha’s Vineyard Airport reopened yesterday morning after police, who searched the facility, said it was safe to resume normal travel. Alyssa Vaughn at Boston Magazine has more on yesterday’s three-hour closure of the airport.
N.E. Center for Investigative Reporting will continue to partner with other media outlets
We mentioned yesterday that it was unclear whether the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit that’s merging with WGBH, planned to keep partnering with other media outlets in the Boston area. In fact, it was/is clear: It will continue to partner with other outlets. It said so right in the BBJ story that we linked to. We simply didn’t read the story close enough. Sorry about that!
Local educators want nation’s highest court to hear union-representation case
This is not to be confused with various union-fees cases. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Four Massachusetts educators, with the help of the National Right to Work Coalition, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case challenging a union’s right to be the exclusive representative of employees in their workplace. The plaintiffs, including UMass Amherst Finance Professor Ben Branch, have argued that exclusive representation rights infringe on a worker’s First Amendment right to have a voice in their own labor conditions.”
Healey defends Obamacare as court takes up issue
From Meghan Ottolini at the Herad: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey voiced her defense of the Affordable Care Act Tuesday, rallying with Obamacare supporters hours before the U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments over the law’s constitutionality. ‘This isn’t just a fight about the law, it’s a fight about country, our values, and whether we’re going to take care of one another,’ Healey said.” standing on the harbor side of the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston.
Going it alone: Frustrated Framingham businesses hire security firm
Saying the city isn’t doing enough to make would-be customers feel safe, businesses in downtown Framingham are pooling their resources and raising funds to hire private security — a move that could raise a host of operational and civil rights issues, Susan Petroni of Framingham Source reports.
Strike two: Zoning worries raised over marijuana-at-the-mall plan
Careful what you wish for. Planning officials in Springfield say a proposal to change zoning at the Eastfield Mall to allow for a marijuana cultivation and retail operation could open the door to a host of other, less desirable uses, Peter Goonan at MassLive reports. The city says the rezoning to allow for industrial operations at the mall could allow for a number of “high hazard” uses, including junk-yard and recycling centers.
ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute Info Session & Happy Hour
Join us to learn more about ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute (GLI) and meet recent graduates!
Boston Unity Cup
Join us to honor and celebrate the immigrant communities of Boston. Boston Unity Cup is citywide World Cup style adult soccer tournament designed to bring together Boston’s diverse and immigrant communities around the shared passion for sport. There are 21 nations represented across the men’s and women’s tournaments. This event is powered by the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh.
CMO Breakfast with Massachusetts General Hospital
Register for a CMO Breakfast with Misty Hathaway, the Chief Marketing Officer of MGH.
RCV Lobby Day
Join us July 16 as we gather with other electoral reform advocates and meet at the State House with legislators and representatives from across the state, urging them to support RCV! Hear from our expert speakers, then meet with your own representatives and tell them that you want RCV in MA!
Evaluating Creative: How to Get the Best from Your Creative Team- Professional Development
This full day workshop will focus on best practices for evaluating creative; why, when and how to evaluate creative work (and how not to!), comparing work against your brief, asking the right questions, giving productive feedback, and understanding and valuing team members roles.
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