Happening Today

Ride-hailing services, MBTA meeting, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker attends is second day of the Republican Governors Association’s summer meeting in Aspen, Colorado, with the governor scheduled to return to Massachusetts on Wednesday.

  — House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets meets for an oversight hearing on capital spending at the Department of Transportation and the MBTA, Hearing Room A-2, 10:30 a.m.

Joint Committee on Financial Services reviews proposed fees and eligibility on ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, Room B-2, 10:30 a.m.

Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy holds a hearing on state emissions targets, energy storage and electric vehicles, Hearing Room B-1, 1 p.m.

— The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board holds its second meeting in as many days, with an agenda that calls for an update from the independent rail safety panel convened in the wake of a June 11 Red Line derailment, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 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.

Today’s Stories

No-shows: Lawmakers abruptly end RMV hearing after Baker officials skip meeting

Can we now safely say the nearly five-years-long honeymoon is over? Beacon Hill lawmakers yesterday cut short an oversight hearing into the scandal-plagued Registry of Motor Vehicles after the Baker administration refused to make certain officials available to testify – and now they’re talking about subpoenas and House Speaker Robert DeLeo is sayng he’s “extremely disappointed by the lack of cooperation.”

The Herald’s Mary Markos, CommonWealth’s Andy Metzger and SHNS’s Chris Lisisnki (pay wall) have the details on the rare open confrontation between the Republican Baker and the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that he would have loved to hear what Thomas ‘London Calling’ Bowes would have said, except he was one of yesterday’s no-shows.

Here’s one guy who can’t dodge testifying: Mayor Walsh in City Hall corruption case

The Herald’s Andrew Martinez and the Globe’s Maria Cramer report that Mayor Marty Walsh may end up being called to testify in the City Hall corruption case that just got under way in federal court in Boston.

Martinez writes that testifying would create a “tricky situation that court watchers say could harm the former union boss come re-election time.” And as Cramer notes: “If Walsh were to testify, it would be the first time a sitting mayor in Boston has testified in a criminal trial in nearly 100 years.”

The budget stuffings: Drug price controls, Blue Line extension, UMass tuition and more

The House and Senate acted quickly yesterday to approve the $43.1 billion state budget that was only agreed upon by negotiators over the weekend, sending the massive spending bill to Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and Michael Norton at SHNS (pay wall) have the big-picture budget stories.

As for the details inside (and sometimes outside) the budget, here’s a sampling of other budget-related stories:

— From Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “Massachusetts moves to negotiate Medicaid drug prices.”

— From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “UMass tuition freeze dies in House-Senate budget talks.”

— From the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “Lawmakers revive Blue Line extension idea.”

— From SHNS’s Michael Nortion (pay wall): “Revenue markup draws Fiscal Alliance’s attention.”

— From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Massachusetts budget aims to ease eligibility for homeless shelters.”

— From the Globe’s editorial board: “Budget sets stage for ed reform, drug cost controls.”

— From Christian Wade at the Salem News: “Deal boosts funding for after-school programs.”

— From the Standard Times: “Montigny, Cabral say state budget increases ed aid for New Bedford.”

As casino bid stalls, tribe halts Delahunt lobbying payments

Are they giving up? The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has stopped paying a lobbying firm established by former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, as federal legislation that would have allowed the tribe to open its Taunton casino has stalled in Washington, Tanner Stening reports at the Cape Cod Times. The tribe paid Delahunt Group LLC $120,000 last year and $30,000 in the first months of this year but now it seems any work Delahunt does on the tribe’s behalf will be on a pro bono basis. 

Cape Cod Times

The MBTA’s Catch 22: Can’t make repairs without money, can’t make repairs with money

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has an update on all that money the MBTA has stashed away to make desperately needed repairs to the transit system – repairs it can’t make because it doesn’t have enough expert employees to oversee projects. We guess it’s a sort of a Catch 22 situation: The T can’t make repairs without money, but it can’t make repairs with money, and so we remain trapped in the status quo. 

In a separate piece, though, Mohl reports that the T does hope to grow its workforce by 10.5 percent this year.

Btw, from Simón Ríos at WBUR: “Advocates Call For Reduced MBTA Fares For Low-Income Riders.” Btw, II: from CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas: “State calls off sale of East Boston easement rights.”


Question of the day: How do you respond to someone who yells at you to ‘go back to your country’?

Kanwar Singh experienced a delayed reaction to a woman who recently yelled at him in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, “Go back to your country!” Singh, who became a U.S. citizen five years ago, thought about the incident afterward. “Did she want me to go back to Malden? Because that’s where I live, and that’s my home,” he writes at WBUR.


Markey gets a second challenger: Steve Pemberton, a businessman, author and former foster child

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and the Globe’s James Pindell report that, yes, Steve Pemberton, a former New Bedford foster child turned successful businessman and author, plans to announce today that’s he’s indeed challenging U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, becoming the second Democratic candidate to go after the incumbent Markey. If you recall, Pemberton recently returned to Massachusetts from Chicago, buying a home in Framingham this spring in apparent anticipation of his campaign for office.

Neal vs Morse: It’s a generational thing

Speaking of interparty challenges to sitting members of the congressional delegation, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, as expected, yesterday officially kicked off his primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (MassLive), the latest local incumbent to feel the generational heat from younger pols who don’t want to wait, as the Globe’s Joan Vennochi writes.

Pressley: Deftly straddling the insider-outsider line

The Globe’s Laura Krantz and Jazmine Ulloa report that U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is deftly straddling two political worlds these days – one foot in the establishment, the other in the “squad” camp – and thus “seems to be aiming to use her insider and outsider reputations to try to have the best of both worlds.”

Boston Globe

Ex-Rep. Vinnie Piro, ‘a delightful rogue,’ RIP

The Herald’s Howie Carr remembers ex-Rep. Vinnie Piro, ‘a rogue but a delightful rogue’ from the old Somerville days, who passed away last Friday at age 78. Howie: “Not too many politicians get recorded on tape taking a $25,000 cash bribe from an undercover FBI agent at the State House — and then beat the rap in federal court. Twice.”

Boston Herald

Warren’s economic crash warning: Good politics, bad economics?

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren yesterday issued a warning of an imminent economic crash caused by too much debt – and argued only her economic prescriptions could avert catastrophe, reports Politico.

The Globe’s Larry Edelman, who’s usually impressed with Warren’s knowledge of finance and economics, isn’t impressed. “Her heart is in the right place, but the post, titled ‘The Coming Economic Crash and How to Stop It,’ relies on some fear-mongering and a few debatable assertions. Good politics, perhaps, but I give the Harvard law professor’s paper a C.”

Campaign finance reports yield local nuggets: Fenway Park gala, Harvard Club fees, etc.

Speaking of the presidential race, Politico had a team of reporters dig through the sky-high stack of campaign finance reports for the 2020 Democrats and found a host of off-beat spending, including some with local ties. For instance, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg paid just over $36,000 to Fenway Park to host a fundraiser and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton shelled out $1,100 for an overnight stay at the Harvard Club of New York City, as well as $40 to maintain his membership in his alma mater’s Boston club. 


Electrifying finish: State Police pull tasers on participants after Naked Bake Ride

We missed this one from the other day. From Marc Levy at Cambridge Day: “The local celebration of the 10th annual World Naked Bike Ride ended on a sour note late Saturday in North Point Park, as up to 20 state trooper vehicles arrived to break up a post-ride hangout. Troopers arrested one person in a tense scene that included them pointing tasers at the agitated riders who followed.”

Cambridge Day

Thermo Fisher got $855K to create jobs that it never bothered to create

The BBJ’s Allison DeAngelis reports that Thermo Fisher hasn’t exactly lived up to its promise to create 100 additional jobs in Tewksbury in return for $850,000 in tax credits that it received in 2012. Seven years later, a company spokesperson says the firms “continue(s) to work with the municipality to reach our goals.”

BBJ (pay wall)

House rejects Baker’s amendment to Janus bill

The Senate is not too far behind. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “The House on Monday rejected Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed privacy amendments to legislation pitched in response to last year’s Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision. Both branches passed the bill (H 3854), which allows public-sector unions to seek reimbursement from non-members for certain services and representation, with bipartisan support.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Oh, well: Gas company misses deadline for testing soil at Weymouth site

Just the latest in the ongoing Weymouth compressor-station saga. From Jessica Trufant at Wicked Local: “Residents and officials fighting a proposed natural-gas compressor station on the banks of the Fore River say it’s unlikely that construction of the controversial project could start this year after the gas company missed a deadline to submit additional hazardous waste soil testing.”

Wicked Local

Weld says he’s going all in on NH — and may soon have company

He’s going to live free or die trying. Bill Weld plans to be in New Hampshire nearly full-time in coming weeks as he promises to ramp up his longshot campaign against Donald Trump in the Republican primary, reports Paul Steinhauser at Seacoast Online. But Weld may soon have company in the race, with former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford saying he’ll soon swing through the Granite State as he mulls his own primary bid.

Seacoast Online

Masters of Scale Live Podcast Event

Join the first-ever live recording of the Masters of Scale podcast! Host Reid Hoffman will lead a captivating conversation with a legendary founder (and some special guests) in an evening full of illuminating stories, hard-won truths and high-level insight on growing a business.

Reid Hoffman

CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon

Don’t miss your chance to meet & learn from Boston’s top CFOs at the 11th annual CFO of the Year Awards!

Boston Business Journal

Celebrate Boston’s Public Open Spaces

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Boston Waterfront Partners will celebrate Boston’s public open spaces by co-hosting the third annual Pitch A Blanket event near the Waterfront. Participants will learn more about their right to use and access public open spaces near Boston Harbor, the threats that climate change will bring to open space near the Waterfront, and more.

Conservation Law Foundation

YoungDemsRead Book Club: The Fifth Risk

Join #YoungDemsRead in reading “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis in July Meet new friends in Boston and discuss this spellbinding piece.

Greater Boston Young Democrats

Today’s Headlines


Advocates call for reduced MBTA fares for low-income riders – WBUR

Boston poised to get its first pot shop–in a community hit hard by the war on drugs – WBGH


Gas company misses deadline for testing soil at Weymouth site – Patriot Ledger

Retired Judge Peter Velis to lead diocesan probe into allegations against late Bishop Christopher Weldon – MassLive

Marlborough mayor requests funds for commuter rail shuttles – Worcester Business Journal


Trump administration pursues rule that would cut 3.1 million people from food stamps – Reuters

More than 2,000 migrants were targeted in raids. Just 35 were arrested – New York Times

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