Happening Today

Gender neutral IDs, Hefner hearing, Child marriage

Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee reviews a number of bills dealing dealing with animals, including protecting research animals, the regulation of piggeries, ivory and rhino horn trafficking, protecting dogs at kennels, horse sales, and irresponsible breeding, Room A-2, 10 a.m.

State Administration Committee reviews bills dealing with gender neutral identification and gender neutral bathrooms, Gardner Auditorium, 10:30 a.m.

— A final pre-trial hearing is planned today in the Bryon Hefner case, with a possible plea change by the estranged husband of former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Suffolk County Courthouse, Pemberton Square, 11 a.m.


— The Local Government Advisory Commission reviews bills dealing with cybersecurity threats, traffic congestion, and the state’s fiscal 2019 surplus spending plans, Room 157, 1 p.m.

— The Judiciary Committee reviews legislation ranging from the privacy of deceased individual’s electronic communications to the adoption of embryos, ending child marriage, creation of electronic health care proxies and other topics, Rooms A-1 and A-2, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker delivers remarks at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies 2019 Workforce Summit, Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, 1:15 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

SJC hands Rollins victory in feud with ‘unhinged’ judge

Boston Magazine’s Alyssa Vaughn reports that Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins won a major victory yesterday when SJC Judge Frank Gaziano ruled that Judge Richard Sinnott had “no authority” to ignore Rollins’ recommendation not to press charges in the Straight Pride Parade counter-protest controversy.

At WGBH, Eliza Dewey reports Rollins is claiming victory in the dispute and calling Judge Sinnott’s behavior “unhinged.” Rollins also says the entire affair was a “colossal waste of time,” reports Steph Solis at MassLive. But did Rollins win on the legal merits alone? The Globe’s Kevin Cullen provides circumstantial evidence that the luck of the Irish may have played a role in Rollins’ victory. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is depressed by the entire anti-prosecute affair, going so far as to compare Massachusetts to … Rhode Island? The cops are still angry at Rollins, too, reports Sean Philip Cotter and Mary Markos at the Herald.

Boston Magazine

Unmask those protesters, Part II

City Councilor Tim McCarthy is now joining state Sen. Dean Tran in saying that antifa protesters, like those at the recent Straight Pride Parade, shouldn’t be allowed to hide their identities behinds masks at demonstrations, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin

SJC to ‘secret courts’: Start recording hearings

Since the ruling is connected to a Globe lawsuit and the paper’s investigation into ‘secret courts,’ we’ll go with the Globe’s Nicole Dungca on this one: “The state’s highest court on Monday ordered district court clerks to audio record all closed-door hearings that vet criminal complaints and regularly gather demographic data on these proceedings, saying such measures are important to promote trust and transparency in the system.”

Boston Globe

Well, are they or aren’t they going to do something about the pot law?

So are they on board or not? The headline on the Globe’s story this morning, via Naomi Martin and Dan Adam: “After Fall River bribery indictment, Baker joins calls to change local marijuana rules.” But, wait, maybe the governor isn’t on board, via the Herald’s Mary Markos: “Changes to pot law something to ‘consider,’ Gov. Baker says.” Then there’s this headline on Colin Young’s SHNS story (pay wall): “Beacon Hill leaders unfamiliar with requested changes to pot law.”

On a separate pot-related matter, at least one state entity appears to be acting decisively, via SHNS (pay wall): “State regulators shut down marijuana licensee.”

Fall River ultimatum to mayor: Quit or face ouster

Speaking of the pot scandal in Fall River, City Council President Cliff Ponte has issued an ultimatum to embattled Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II: Resign or face a possible ouster vote tonight, via a new charter that allows the council to determine whether the mayor is able to perform his duties, reports Jo C. Goode at the Herald News. The Globe’s Michael Levenson has more on the council-mayoral showdown in Fall River.

Herald News

Massachusetts among states backing antitrust probe of Google

The Washington Post reports that attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories have officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google – and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) reports that Attorney General Maura Healey is among those backing the bipartisan effort and its focus on the tech giant’s advertising practices.

Baker: Ed-funding reform may have to wait till 2020

Just like the Red Sox: Wait till next year. From SHNS’s Chris Lisinsk: “Republican Gov. Charlie Baker hinted in a new interview that a major education funding reform bill eagerly awaited on Beacon Hill may need to wait until next year. In an  interview with WGBH’s Joe Mathieu that aired Monday, Baker said he believes the Legislature is working ‘in good faith,’ but that making changes to the state’s foundation budget formula is a significant challenge.” Here’s the full WGBH interview.  

Baker does have a list his top three legislative priorities for this fall, which don’t include, needless to say, school funding changes, as SHNS’s Michael Norton reports (pay wall). 

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

One thing is clear in a possible Kennedy-Markey showdown: Online polling is here to stay

MassINC Polling Group’s Steve Koczela and Rich Parr take a look at recent polls showing U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III leading U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in a possible primary matchup and conclude: Online polling is here to stay. It’s sort of a wonky political-insiders piece, but it’s a good wonky political-insiders piece.

Btw, from SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “Spilka, DeLeo stand by Markey in Senate race.”


Oh, they knew, all right

The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports that top level MIT fund-raising and finance officials were well aware of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s extensive financial ties to the university’s Media Lab and agreed to keep the ties hidden. 

Actually, we don’t see how they couldn’t have known, considering the millions flowing into and out of various university accounts, unless the department/school silos at MIT are far higher than we ever imagined. 

Boston Globe

Patriots Derangement Syndrome: Giants fan accused of making stadium threat after Pats sign Antonio Brown

The wide and wild world of sports. From CBS Boston: “A New York Giants fan was so angry about the New England Patriots signing Antonio Brown he allegedly issued a threat on Facebook to ‘shoot up random people’ at Gillette Stadium. Tobias Gray was arrested at his home in East Providence, Rhode Island Sunday. He was handcuffed and wore a Giants jersey and jacket during a court appearance in Providence Monday on unrelated assault charges.”

CBS Boston

Newsflash: ‘Baker rides the T’

Cue the ‘Charlie on the M.T.A.’ headlines, after Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday actually rode the Red Line for the first time since becoming governor. From Universal Hub: ‘Charlie on the MBTA: Governor rides Red Line from Park to Wollaston.’ Andy Metzger at CommonWealth magazine and the Globe’s Shirley Leung have more on the governor’s big and largely symbolic ride yesterday – and, yes, he did return.

Reverse congestion pricing? Lawrence experiments with free bus service

Rather than implementing controversial new toll-pricing plans to boost public-transit ridership and reduce traffic congestion, the city of Lawrence, borrowing an idea touted by Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, is now conducting an experiment: Offering free rides on three bus routes in the city. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth has the details. Btw: Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday discussed his “managed lanes” idea (involving toll pricing) at WGBH.

Potential picket shuts down Lawrence’s first-responder appreciation event

Speaking of Lawrence: Optics matter. Mayor Daniel Rivera has canceled a planned dinner to honor the work of first responders from last year’s  natural gas disaster after the city’s firefighter union said it would boycott and picket the event, Jill Harmacinski reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Gov. Baker was among the dignitaries invited to the dinner, which Rivera planned to stage on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the blasts and fires with funds donated by Columbia Gas. 

Eagle Tribune

The tangled web they weave at the Zoning Board of Appeals

Boston Magazine’s Alyssa Vaughn and the Globe’s Tim Logan and Milton Valencia have who’s-who and what’s-at-stake pieces regarding the unfolding City Hall bribery case centering on the powerful Zoning Board of Appeals. We especially liked the headline on Vaughn’s story: “The Remarkably Not-Boring and Thrilling Guide to the Zoning Board of Appeal Scandal.”

And now the Herald has a new editorial-page editor

The Globe has a new editorial-page editor. So why not the Herald? The latter has announced that Sandra Kent, a veteran Herald writer and editor, has been named as editorial page editor, replacing Tom Shattuck, who is assuming a new role as senior editor at Lowell Sun and Fitchburg’s Sentinel & Enterprise, both owned by the Herald’s parent company, Digital First Media.

Boston Herald

Springfield mayor’s listless campaign for re-election

Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics and Insights takes a look at what appears to be, so far, a listless and go-through-the-motions re-election campaign by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.  


Bump: Transportation, federal rules discourage mothers from applying for WIC food assistance

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “A lack of transportation and misperceptions about federal law are among the barriers families may face to accessing benefits from the federal Women, Infants, and Children program, according to new report by state Auditor Suzanne Bump.”


Baker and public union go at it over paid leave law

From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Unsatisfied with the progress or lack thereof at the bargaining table, the state’s largest public employee union last week called on Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration to exempt state employees from having to pay into the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. Through a senior aide, the Baker administration responded by accusing the union of a political attack and asserting that public employees are trying to push costs onto the backs of taxpayers.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Sabadosa and Rausch to push sexual-harassment resolution at Dem convention

State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and state Sen. Rebecca Rausch will ask the state Democrats to adopt a resolution at their party’s state convention this weekend in Springfield  calling on the legislature to establish an independent commission to investigate sexual and identity-based harassment, Bera Dunau reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Legislation filed by the lawmakers to establish a commission on the topic has stalled out on Beacon Hill.


Critics poised to blast NRC over Pilgrim license transfer

They’re ready. Critics of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rapid decision to approve the transfer of the Pilgrim Station plant’s license to the company that will decommission the facility plan to give the agency an earful when it holds a public meeting on the process Wednesday, Christine Legere reports at the Cape Cod Times. 

Cape Cod Times

Stone Social Impact Forum

Innovative education leader Geoffrey Canada, president and founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, is the inaugural speaker for the Stone Social Impact Forum, a new signature series highlighting civic change agents who advance social change and innovatively address areas of inequality in our society.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

The Somerville Surge

Join NAIOP for a deep dive into the transformative projects underway in Somerville, including Assembly Row, Boynton Yards, Union Square and more.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Author Talk and Book Signing with Anthony Abraham Jack

Author talk and book signing with Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, who will be speaking about the overlooked diversity among lower-income students in our colleges and universities.

State Library of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s committed to ‘overhauling’ city zoning panel – Boston Business Journal

State awards Saugus $33K grant to fight climate change – Lynn Item


Indicted Marion Town Clerk Ray Pickles resigns – Standard-Times

Fall River mayor’s alleged co-conspirator has not resigned from post – Herald-News

Charges dropped against Lowell teacher – Lowell Sun

Climate change forums set for Northampton city council candidates – Daily Hampshire Gazette


CIA informer extracted from Russia had sent secrets to the U.S.for decades – New York Times

For the first time ever, most new working age hires in the U.S. are people of color – Washington Post

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