10 a.m. | Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a virtual Opioid Task Force meeting.
12:15 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker delivers remarks at the Age-Friendly Institute’s Revolutionize Conference at the Boston Seaport Hotel.
1 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey hosts a climate summit featuring remarks from White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, as well as panel discussions focused on clean energy and jobs.
Good morning. It’s Friday. That means you survived House budget week and can look forward to a sunny weekend and the start of the Celtics’ next playoff series against the Bucks.
The Green are favored in the first home matchup against the defending champs, but you won’t be able to bet on the game just yet. At least not legally from Massachusetts. But Massachusetts took a step closer to legalized sport betting Thursday when the Senate finally took up and passed legislation to allow casinos, the state’s slot parlor and online betting companies like DraftKings to offer sports wagering.
For supporters, it should have been cause for celebration. But something felt a bit off. If you’re setting the odds on whether this becomes law before the end of July, it might still be a risky bet.
For starters, Senate President Karen Spilka had a curious response when asked before the conclusion of the debate whether she supported the measure. “It doesn’t matter whether I support it,” Spilka said. “It matters whether the senators and the Senate as a whole supports it. Let’s see what happens with the vote today.”
Of course, the outcome was never really in doubt. Nothing ever reaches the floor without the votes to pass. But if you were looking for a strong show of support, it wasn’t there. Sen. Eric Lesser ultimately withdrew his request for a roll call vote on the bill, and the Senate passed it on a voice vote allowing senators to slip out of the building without formally going on record. Not only does no one know where Spilka stands, but a lot of other senators as well – including gubernatorial candidate Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.
Sen. Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, also withdrew his three amendments that would have added some form of betting on college sports to the legislation. He told MASSterList that he negotiated with Democratic leaders “for a bit” but couldn’t move them. “My hope is that college sports gaming will be part of the final bill,” he said.
House Speaker Ron Mariano has basically drawn a line in the sand on college sports being included in a sports betting market in Massachusetts, and it’s possible the Senate’s position and reluctance to take roll call votes is a strategy to improve its bargaining position with the House. If a solid number of senators backs college betting it would have severely undercut leadership’s position. But none of this breeds optimism for a deal by the end of the session.
The State House News Service’s Colin A. Young has more on yesterday’s debate and where the negotiations between the House and Senate could get tripped up over the next three months.
CAMPBELL “MISSPOKE” ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
The three Democrats running for attorney general sat down together for a policy forum hosted by the Boston College Law School’s Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy, and it was clear before, during and after that former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell – who has led in early polling – was the target.
As expected, Quentin Palfrey, a former assistant attorney general and U.S. Commerce Department general counsel, pushed his pledge to keep corporate money out of the race by rejecting super PAC spending through a “People’s Pledge,” something labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan has agreed to in principle, but Campbell has not. Campbell was supported with $1.6 million in spending by a still-open super PAC in her race for mayor last year.
But after the debate, Liss-Riordan took aim at Campbell’s position on charter schools, accusing her of flip-flopping from her past support for charter school expansion. “Where does Andrea Campbell stand on the issue of lifting the cap on charter schools,” Liss-Riordan asked. “The answer is that it seems to depend on the day and on the audience. Voters deserve the truth from candidates, not word games and hiding the ball.”
Campbell supported a failed 2016 ballot campaign to lift the cap on charter schools, and told Progressive Massachusetts in a candidate questionnaire last month that she does not support keeping the current cap.
But that’s not what came across when the topic came up Thursday.
Campbell’s campaign said after the event that she had “misspoke,” but has remained consistent on her support for charter schools. “My position on charter schools has not changed in this race. I continue to stand with every family, including our Black and Brown families, to ensure their kids have access to high quality education, without demonizing the choice they ultimately may make,” Campbell said.
The Talk Shows
Talking Politics, GBH-TV, Ch. 2, 7 p.m.: Host Adam Reilly, GBH report Saraya Wintersmith and the rest of the panel break down former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson’s return to politics, the state of the race for attorney general and the progress being made on Beacon Hill toward legal sports betting.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: First of a two-part interview by Jon Keller with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, where she discusses her view of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top Republicans as “traitors,” her call to forgive student debt and the economy’s inflation problem.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the guest with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican analyst Andrew Lelling.
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