Keller at Large

Spilka: The Senate’s police-reform proposals were fully aired months ago

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller had a chance to talk with Senate President Karen Spilka, who says the process for passing her chamber’s police-reform bill was anything but rushed and non-inclusive.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Native American heritage, Senate transportation bill, and more

Mass. Gaming Commission meets to receive a report on the reopening of the state’s slots parlor, two resort casinos and one horse track, 10 a.m.

Native American advocates and supporters hold a press conference to urge passage of bills calling for creation of special commission to review the seal and motto of the commonwealth; a ban on the use of Native American mascots by public schools; and to protect Native American heritage, 11 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Senate plans to hold a formal session to consider its $16.9 billion multi-year transportation bond bill, 11 a.m.

— Rep. Chynah Tyler, Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman, CCC commissioner Shaleen Title, Cannabis Advisory Board member and Equitable Opportunities Now! co-founder Shanel Lindsay and cannabis industry equity advocates hold virtual rally to push for consideration of bills that they say could help create a more equitable cannabis industry in Massachusetts, 12 p.m.

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization holds a Zoom call with Reps. Michelle Ciccolo, Ken Gordon and Tami Gouveia to discuss racial justice and equity issues, Online, 5:45 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

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.

The coronavirus numbers: 27 new deaths, 8,152 total deaths, 142 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Expiration date anxieties: Will Congress extend jobless benefits?

SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House’s powerful Ways and Means Committee, is joining Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch in expressing guarded optimism that Congress will soon pass a new federal relief program, now that red states are getting hammered by the coronavirus.

But it’s going to be a close call, particularly over whether enhanced jobless benefits will be extended through the summer for millions of unemployed Americans. The Globe’s Larry Edelman writes that it would be a huge economic mistake not to renew the enhanced $600 a week jobless benefits, known as “Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.” Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is expecting an “epic battle” over relief funds for states, municipal governments and others, reports Benjamin Kail at MassLive.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

As clock ticks towards end of jobless benefits, food banks brace for surge in demand

Local lawmakers aren’t the only ones looking at the calendar and hoping for a new federal relief package extending jobless benefits, among other measures. WBUR’s Simón Ríos reports that area food banks, already hard pressed to provide food for the needy, are growing increasingly nervous about what will happen if the enhanced $600 jobless-benefits perk expires soon.

Meanwhile, WBUR’s Bob Oakes and Wilder Fleming take a virtual tour of one of the 500 or so food pantries in eastern Massachusetts, the Watch City Market in Waltham, where a once-a-month assistance event has turned into a crowded weekly assistance event.


Getting serious about maskholes

In other pandemic-related news, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that legislation filed earlier this week would do more than just quarantine visitors from out-of-state hotspots. It also calls for fines of up to $1,000 for anyone who refuses to quarantine and $100 for not wearing a mask in Massachusetts.

Boston Herald

Beach wars

So it’s come to this: Beach wars. WCVB reports that Gloucester is closing beach parking lots to non-residents this weekend due to the influx of day trippers from all over the region trying to get in a little pandemic-era sun and fun. And they’re targeting the side streets too. From the Gloucester Times: “Gloucester issues record number of parking tickets.”


Transportation: How the mighty issues have fallen this session

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports that the Senate today is expected to vote on a nearly $17 billion transportation bonding bill that has all sorts of transportation-related items tucked into it. But there’s one thing missing: New tax revenues.

CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg tries to figure out how the heck transportation improvements went from top priority to semi-side issue at the State House. Ultimately, it comes down to one word: pandemic. MassLive’s Tanner Stening has more on the transportation bonding bill.

The pandemic cultural carnage: $425 million in losses and counting

MassLive’s Steph Solis and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) report that state cultural nonprofits have lost at least $425 million due to the pandemic – and officials told Beacon Hill lawmakers yesterday that the arts and culture sector will need “hundreds of millions of dollars and multiple years to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, the pandemic has sunk the Head of the Charles regatta, according to a report at WCVB.

Poll: Minority and low-income students more likely to have changed college plans

Yet another way the pandemic is hitting Blacks and others especially hard: Disruption of their college plans.  Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth magazine has the details.


Wampanoag tribe subpoena focuses on Delahunt partnership, business ventures

Some more details have emerged on the federal grand jury subpoenas served last month to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, with Jessica Hill at the Cape Cod Times reporting the tribe was asked to turn over records relating to its work with The Delahunt Group — the consulting firm run by former U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt — dating back to 2011 and some of the tribe’s spinoff private business enterprises. 

Cape Cod Times

As Kennedy gets knocked for ‘wait your turn’ ad …

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports that a new U.S. Senate campaign ad by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy is backfiring on the candidate and drawing attention to his less-than-purist progressive credentials.

Boston Herald

… Markey rapped for using taxpayer-funded mailings to ‘buttress re-election campaign’

Meanwhile, the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld is going after U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who’s desperately trying to fend off Dem rival Joseph Kennedy, for “sending out glossy, self-promotional, taxpayer-funded mass mailings touting his efforts fighting coronavirus.”

Boston Herald

Harvard professor targeted over six tweets and a two-word phrase dating back to 2011

The NYT reports on how Harvard professor Steven Pinker, a best-selling author and celebrity scholar, is now the target of a movement to toss him from a list of “distinguished fellows” due his allegedly minimizing racial injustices and drowning out the voices of the vulnerable. His critics’ proof? Six tweets dating back to 2014 and a two-word phrase he used in a 2011 book.


‘We need the honesty and courage’

Speaking of public-discourse issues, one may disagree with some of the things that professors Robert George and Cornel West write in their Globe opinion piece this morning. But that’s sort of their point: It’s time for people to summon the “honesty and courage” to address the thorny issues facing the nation. And this item seems particularly applicable to the Pinker controversy above:

“We need the honesty and courage to treat decent and honest people with whom we disagree — even on the most consequential questions — as partners in truth-seeking and fellow citizens of our republican order, not as enemies to be destroyed. And we must always respect and protect their human rights and civil liberties.”

Boston Globe

Legislative roundup: Safe Communities Act, Interlock for first DUIs, climate-change rally

Believe it or not, lawmakers are trying to address non-pandemic and non-policing issues in the waning weeks of the session. Among their actions yesterday: A State House committee has advanced a Safe Communities Act, aka a “sanctuary state,” bill that would limit communications between state law enforcement entities and federal immigration officials. CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt has the details. … Meanwhile, from SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall): “Committee recommends interlock for first-time drunk drivers.” … And SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports on a rally yesterday by those pushing the Baker administration to come up with specific steps for achieving aggressive emissions-cutting goals by 2050.

No qualified immunity for vote: Collins faces heat for opposing police reform bill

State Sen. Nick Collins represents a so-called “majority-minority” district in Boston – and his recent “no” vote on the Senate police-reform bill is drawing more than a little attention, reports CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt. It all comes down to that sticky “qualified immunity” issue.  


Is Healey also scared of State Police?

After taking shots at Gov. Charlie Baker over his handling of the State Police OT scandal, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi sets her sights on Attorney General Maura Healey, who may have a zeal for taking on Donald Trump but maybe not as much zeal for taking on state troopers.

Boston Globe

Five-year plan: DOT hopes to stick to strict schedule for Cape bridge redos

They’ll try. State transportation officials tell Ethan Genter at the Cape Cod Times they still hope to start construction on new Cape Cod Canal bridges starting in 2025, though they acknowledge everything will have to go right for that time frame to be met. MassDOT envisions a three-phase construction schedule for the project, 

Cape Cod Times

Even better? Boston could boost turnout by dropping odd-year elections

Stop being odd. Bill Walczak at the Dorchester Reporter has a not-so-modest proposal he says could instantly boost voter turnout in Boston and save the city as much as $1.5 million per election cycle: Just move the city elections from odd-numbered years to even numbered ones to line them up with state and national elections. 

Dorchester Reporter

Public shaming: Methuen councilors shine light on police chief’s refusal to take furlough

Come on, everybody’s doing it. The Methuen City Council is trying to use public pressure to convince Police Chief Joseph Solomon to join every other department head in town in taking an unpaid 10-day furlough to help balance a red-stained budget ledger, Bill Kirk at the Eagle-Tribune reports. 

Eagle Tribune

The hard way: Campbell says she’ll mount write-in campaign against Pressley

Days after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Republican Congressional hopeful Rayla Campbell lacked the signatures required to put her name on the primary ballot, the Randolph pol says she’ll mount a write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Joe DiFazio at the Patriot Ledger reports. Campbell also slammed the SJC’s ruling, claiming she faced extra hurdles to ballot access because she is a black conservative.

Patriot Ledger

CX Summer Nights

This month we’re welcoming Oompa and Cliff Notez to the big screen. More details to come! This event is free, virtual, and all are welcome.

Cambridge Crossing

Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard (Day 1)

Join us for our Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard hosted by Amplify Latinx, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Gastón Institute, in collaboration with our partner organizations.

Amplify Latinx

Getting to the Point on Elections in Massachusetts

Join the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for a conversation with Massachusetts State Senator Barry Finegold (D-Second Essex and Middlesex) and Massachusetts State Representative John Lawn (D-10th Middlesex), Chairs of the Committee on Election Laws, about the preservation and expansion of voting in the upcoming primary and general elections.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Legislators, civic leaders to discuss how Massachusetts can go 100% renewable

As the scheduled end of the legislative session draws closer and key clean energy bills still pending, state officials and community leaders will gather virtually to discuss the Legislature can put Massachusetts on track 100% renewable energy.

Environment Massachusetts

Smart ways small business can manage and spend money

Ramon Ray hosts Rhonda Abrams to help your small business navigate tough times and plan a money management strategy for the long term.

Verizon Small Business Webinar Series

Virtual 2020 Race Ahead: Moving Forward Together

Join the Boston Business Journal for a virtual discussion on how we can affect real change in our community and move forward together.

Boston Business Journal

Impact of COVID-19: What Area Colleges are Planning for the Fall

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges for each of us. But one enormous challenge we’re all adjusting to is the complete shift in the way we interact with one another. The North Shore Chamber takes social-distancing very seriously and will be abiding by the Governor’s instructions for Massachusetts to remain safe while reopening at this Special Breakfast.

North Shore Chamber of Commerce

For Real Estate: Why Constant Contact is the Smarter Choice for Online Marketing

In this free, one-hour webinar, you’ll get an overview of the tools that Constant Contact offers.

Constant Contact

Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard (Day 2)

Join us for our Virtual Amplify Conference – Nuestro Impacto: Be Counted, Be Heard hosted by Amplify Latinx, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Gastón Institute, in collaboration with our partner organizations.

Amplify Latinx

Greater Milford Democratic Congressional Debate

The first debate between the Democratic candidates vying to replace Congressman Kennedy, featuring questions from you, the voters and broadcast live on Milford TV! (To protect the health and safety of the candidates and organizers, the event will be held remotely.)

Democratic Town Committees of Bellingham, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medway, Milford and Norfolk

Today’s Headlines


How a famous Harvard professor became a target over his tweets – New York Times

New England Aquarium reopens after four months – Boston Herald


Here’s what coronavirus testing on college campuses in Massachusetts might look like this fall – Boston Globe

Study: Number of uninsured Mass. residents has nearly doubled during pandemic – Worcester Business Journal

Worcester schools amend dress code to allow more headwear – Telegram & Gazette


Georgia governor overrides all local mask orders in state – The Hill

Trump shakes up re-election staff – New York Times

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