Happening Today

Restaurant relief and mail-in voting, COVID-19 updates, and more

— House meets in a full formal session with votes expected on mail-in and early voting legislation as well as a package of restaurant relief proposals, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, state Rep. Tom Golden and Quincy City Councilor Nina Liang join the Environmental League of Massachusetts to discuss their perspectives on clean energy and climate policy as part of the organization’s weekly webinar program, 12 p.m.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce hosts a virtual panel discussion exploring how COVID-19 has affected Boston’s housing market and then later hosts another virtual panel on the future of hospitality in tourism amid the pandemic, at 12 p.m. at 2 p.m., respectively.

— Massachusetts COVID-19 Perinatal Coalition hosts a town hall about the impacts of COVID-19 on new and expectant mothers, featuring U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Katherine Clark and others, 3 p.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is a guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Lawmakers call for special-prosecutor post and other measures to combat police misconduct

After five days of peaceful protests and street violence across the state and nation, a group of minority state  lawmakers and elected officials yesterday outlined a package of proposals they say is needed to stop police misconduct and quell recent unrest, including creation of a new independent special prosecutor post to investigate allegations of police brutality against minorities. MassLive’s Jackson Cote, SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk (pay wall) and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt have more on the policy demands by U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and others.  

Meanwhile, Brockton protest ends in rocks, fireworks, tear gas and pepper spray

It was Brockton’s turn yesterday. The Enterprise’s Marc Larocque reports that yet another protest in Massachusetts started off peacefully and ended in street skirmishes, this time in Brockton, where a rally yesterday turned ugly with some throwing bottles, fireworks and rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and pepper spray. 


But thousands peacefully protest across the state as Boston police ‘take a knee’ in solidarity

Brockton may have its hands full these days. But in Boston, things were relatively calm yesterday, as thousands of demonstrators descended on Franklin Park to peacefully protest police misconduct across the country, a four-reporter team at the Globe reports. And protesters were surprised by one action by police, via WCVB: “Crowd cheers as Boston officers ‘take a knee’ outside police headquarters.”

Not that it was all kumbaya yesterday in Boston. From WCVB: “Protesters in Boston force National Guard vehicle away from Massachusetts State House.”

Meanwhile, from around the state, starting with the Patriot Ledger: “Thousands gather in Quincy center to protest, march.” … From MassLive: “Holyoke police brutality protesters demand citizens review board for officer complaints, more anti-racism training.” … From the Lynn Item: “Cries for justice resonate across North Shore.” 

Clark University suspends ties to Worcester police after night of unrest

In yet another Massachusetts city, the Telegram’s George Barnes reports that Clark University, upset at the Worcester police department’s handling of recent late-night unrest that led to the arrest of some of its students, says it will no longer hire city officers for details.

As for the street melee on Monday night in Worcester, businesses were left picking up the pieces yesterday following the post-protest showdown between police and lingering crowds of apparent troublemakers, the Telegram reports. About 19 people were arrested during the evening.

FYI: Worcester police apparently did NOT fire rubber bullets and tear gas the other night, as originally reported by MassLive, which now says that police instead “fired smoke grenades and pepperball rounds” to disperse crowds.


Local pols on Trump’s send-in-the-troops threat: ‘Stupid’ … ‘Dictator’ … ‘Callous’

Members of the state’s congressional delegation and Attorney General Maura Healey are denouncing President Trump’s threat to send U.S. troops into cities to quell violence, reports Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times and Matt Murphy and Chris Lisinski at SHNS (pay wall).

Does the president even have the authority to send in U.S. troops? The Globe’s Victoria McGrane has the yes-and-no answers. In a Globe opinion piece, Elizabeth Goitei argues the president does indeed have the authority to deploy federal troops. Not that he should in this case.

Guardsman put on inactive duty after ‘can’t wait to shoot’ rioters post

Speaking of troop deployments, from NBC Boston: “The Massachusetts National Guard said Tuesday that it has placed a soldier on inactive status and is investigating claims that he posted to social media that he ‘can’t wait to shoot’ rioters.” File under: ‘Sigh.’

NBC Boston

New England Episcopal bishops denounce Trump’s church visit as ‘disgraceful, morally repugnant’

MassLive’s Anne-Gerard Flynn reports on the reaction of local Episcopal bishops to the use of police force to clear a path through protesters for President Trump to visit a Washington D.C. church earlier this week. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, is asking the Department of Defense’s inspector general to investigate whether any military personnel were used in the incident, MSN reports.

There’s also this via The Hill: “Warren and dog Bailey join protests outside White House.”


Healey: ‘America is burning. But that’s how forests grow’

It’s an instant contender for quote of the week. CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg and SHNS’s Chris Lisinski report on Attorney General Maura Healey’s virtual address yesterday to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and her call for a “revolution in mindset” and action against “400 years of racism and oppression.” And she added “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow.”

State GOP chairman Jim Lyons is criticizing Healey’s remarks in general. But let’s be clear: She’s been pretty tough in her denunciation of recent violence and she’s not advocating violence now, though the above quote may not have been the best choice of words considering the times.

Trend extends: GOP bids adieu to another Beacon Hill seat after special elections Tuesday

More of the same on yet another special election day. Democrat Carol Doherty claimed victory in the 3rd Bristol District state representative race, putting a seat most recently held by Republican Shauna O’Connell back in the Democrats’ column.Charles Winokoorat the Taunton Gazette reports Doherty bested Republican Kelly Dooner with 57 percent of the vote.

No luck for the GOP either in the 37th Middlesex District, where Acton Democrat Danillo Sena handily defeated Cathy Clark in the race to fill out the term of former Rep. Jennifer Benson, who now leads the Alliance for Business Leadership CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports both GOP candidates in Tuesday’s races suffered from a lack of coordinated support from a battered and divided state party organization.  

The coronavirus numbers: 50 new deaths, 7,085 total deaths, 358 new cases

Yes, there’s still a pandemic underway in Massachusetts, and WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts, which now include confirmed and probable cases.

Cocktails to go: House set to vote on restaurant relief bill making it easier to sell booze and host outdoor dining

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) and the Globe’s Janelle Nanos report that the House today is expected to vote on legislation that would allow restaurants to sell to-go cocktails with takeout orders, streamline the permitting process for outdoor dining and slap a cap on fees collected by food delivery companies like GrubHub.

SJC refuses to order release of inmates, sends case back to lower court

This is a clear setback for prisoner-rights advocates. From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “The Supreme Judicial Court refused refused to order the release of convicted prisoners on Tuesday, holding that their continued incarceration increased their odds of contracting COVID-19 but did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s threshold of cruel and unusual punishment.”

WGBH’s Jenifer McKim has more, including the SJC’s decision to send the case back to the lower court for possible other action.


Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

Just in case: Brockton Hospital preps field unit for possible second wave

They want to be prepared if the worst happens. Even as emergency health care facilities that sprung up across the Bay State are being mothballed, Brockton Hospital says it used a grant from the International Medical Corps to build its own field unit so it can be prepared for a possible resurgence of the virus, Corlyn Vorhees reports at the Brockton Enterprise.


Salem police suspend captain who sent ‘wildly inappropriate’ tweet about Walsh and Baker

From WCVB: “A member of the Salem Police Department was suspended after posting a tweet criticizing Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for permitting demonstrations during the coronavirus pandemic. Capt. Kate Stephens, a 24-year veteran of the department, was placed on paid administrative leave.” The tweet also referenced “Tall Deval,” i.e. Gov. Baker.

And then there’s this, via MassLive: “Michael Wilk removed from position as Chicopee Police Department spokesperson following controversial social media posts.”


After five sessions, public health panel finally advances lethal dosage bill

Supporters say the proposal got a boost from the current pandemic. From SHNS’s Colin Young: “After at least five legislative sessions without advancing beyond the committee stage, bills that would open the door to doctors prescribing lethal doses for terminally ill patients got favorable reports from the Committee on Public Health last week.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Win-Win: Pot shops victorious in two court cases

Just issue it — and fast. A Superior Court judge has ordered the Springfield City Council to grant a permit for an adult-use cannabis shop inside a former burger restaurant, saying the council’s denial had “no rational basis,” Peter Goonan at MassLive reports.

Separately, a judge rejected arguments from some Haverhill businesses who said that city’s first recreational pot shop is violating its own special permit by offering state-mandated curbside pickup service, Allison Corneau of the Eagle-Tribune reports.

A Virtual Conversation with Michael Douglas & Senator Ed Markey

Join Senator Ed Markey for a virtual conversation with Michael Douglas.

Senator Ed Markey

The Future of Work: Pivoting Your Business for a Strong Reopening

The health and economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic requires our businesses to adapt and transform the way we operate. In this session, learn from business experts and resource partners on how you can pivot your operating model, integrate technology tools and enhance your marketing strategies to operate successfully in the new normal.

Amplify Latinx

MassHire Central Region Career Center Virtual Job Fair

It’s Central Massachusetts “Back to Work” Day! More than two dozen employers from diverse industries will participate in the Central Region Career Center’s Virtual Job Fair on June 4th from noon – 4:30PM. The Virtual Job Fair is FREE for all job seekers and employers; no pre-registration required for job seekers.

MassHire Central Region Career Center

Virtual Author Talk with Honor Moore

Virtual Author Talk with Honor Moore, Moderated by Claire Messud

American Ancestors and NEHGS together with the Boston Public Library and the State Library of Massachusetts

Protecting Cystic Fibrosis Patients from Discrimination by ICER Through COVID-19 & Beyond

Pioneer Institute and the Boomer Esiason Foundation will host an educational webinar, Protecting Cystic Fibrosis Patients from Discrimination by ICER Through COVID-19 & Beyond, on the importance of protecting patients with cystic fibrosis and any other complex condition from the harms of ICER and other one-size-fits-all value assessment methodologies both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pioneer Institute and the Boomer Esiason Foundation

Today’s Headlines


Raytheon bosses get merger windfall amid furloughs, pay cuts for workers – Boston Globe

Lynn city hall begins road to reopening – Lynn Item


Auburn takes annual town meeting to the gridiron – Telegram & Gazette

Amherst council resolution: Racist mistreatment ‘a wrong that needs to be righted’ – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Three now in running for Norfolk County sheriff – Sun Chronicle


Joe Biden sweeps all seven presidential primaries – New York Post

Fed’s massive ‘Main Street’ business rescue in danger of fizzling – Politico

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