Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at Comptroller Thomas Shack's annual Leadership Summit, with Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg also expected to attend, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 9 a.m.
Health Policy Commission
Health Policy Commission holds a joint meeting of two committees to discuss accountable care certification and Patient-Centered Medical Home PRIME certification, 50 Milk St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.
Mass. Caucus of Women Legislators and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito host the first Denim Day to highlight that "no matter what you are wearing, no one deserves to be sexually assaulted," with Speaker Pro Tem Patricia Haddad and Reps. Elizabeth Poirier and Natalie Higgins expected to speak, Third Floor, Staircase in front of the State Library, 10 a.m.
Governor's Council holds its weekly meeting with votes expected on Gov. Baker's nominations of Susan Oker to the Middlesex Juvenile Court, Joseph Ditkoff to the Appeals Court, and Daniel Dilorati to the Circuit District Court, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.
Democracy in a divided nation
Former Boston newscaster and current host of ABC News' ‘World News Tonight’ David Muir sits down with WCVB-TV anchor Maria Stephanos for a talk on ‘Democracy in the Face of a Divided Nation,’ hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston College Club, 100 Federal St., 36th floor, Boston, 12 p.m.
Brain Builders Award
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg presents a Brain Builders Award to early childhood educator Barbara Black, sponsored by the United Way of Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley, Room 428, 2:30 p.m.
Constitutional amendments deadline
Legislative committees must report by today on proposals for amendments to the state constitution, with lawmakers having filed 12 proposals for legislative amendments.
Kasich at Harvard
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate last year, speaks at a JFK Jr. Forum moderated by Harvard Kennedy School professor David Gergen, Harvard Kennedy School, JFK St., Cambridge, 8 p.m.
House wraps up budget debate after rejecting GOP Medicaid reform plan
In a surprise move, it took only two days for House members to debate and dispatch 1,210 budget amendments before approving a new $40 billion state budget last night, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at MassLive. The 159-1 vote came after Democrats blocked a Republican plan to limit Medicaid cost growth and place the state's largest program under the oversight of a control board, reports Michael Norton, also at the indispensable SHNS (pay wall).
Pampers Bill: Lawmakers seek diaper subsidies for low-income families
We’ll let Christian Wade at the Salem News explain this non-rash decision: “Lawmakers are pitching controversial plans to help the state’s poorest families with an expensive, albeit messy necessity — diapers. A proposal filed by Sen. Joan Lovely and Rep. Paul Tucker, both Salem Democrats, asks health officials to study creating a diaper subsidy for low-income families with children under 2 years old. ‘There’s no question that diapers are an absolute health necessity for babies, and some parents can’t afford it,’ Lovely said. ‘This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed.’”
Doug Robinson, nephew of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has tossed his Republican hat into the gubernatorial ring in Colorado, after apparently winning the blessing of his famous uncle, the Denver Post reports. Robinson’s candidacy sets up a likely dynastic fight between two powerful GOP families, as a relative of former President George H.W. Bush is also eyeing a probable run for governor in Colorado, the Post reports.
Emma Green, staff writer at the Atlantic and writing at the Washington Post, gives a big thumbs down to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new book, ‘This Fight is Our Fight,’ complaining about the “faux folksiness” that winds through the book and Warren’s passionate ideology that prevents her from seeing how others view issues. “She never truly grapples with why Democrats lost, why middle-class voters would choose Trump or whether their anger might be about more than the economy. Warren sees the world through the narrow lens of economic interests, ignoring the deeply held values and beliefs that often determine people’s politics. This attitude is condescending, but more important, it limits Warren’s understanding of America — and why her party has failed so badly.”
Also at the Washington Post: Democrats may gloat over the low polls numbers for President Trump, but WaPo’s James Downie takes a look at Democrats’ poll numbers, specifically how only 28 percent of surveyed voters think the party is “in touch” with average Americans. “Worse, it’s likely that the collapse has mostly come among independents and Democrats themselves,” Downie writes. “Politics should not be about blindly following poll numbers, but when so many of your own supporters are rejecting the direction Democrats are moving, they may want to reconsider the course.”
Politico’s Garbrial Debenedetti sees the same poll number and many of the same problems facing Dems. But he suggests that the progressive grass-roots surge of late may end up helping Dems. Yet U.S. Rep. Chris Hines, who chairs the moderate New Democrat Coalition, says Dems won’t win “until we get pretty tolerant of each other’s ideological diversity,” reports the Globe's Scot Lehigh.
Walsh, Curtatone hail judge’s sanctuary city ruling
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone are praising a California judge’s decision to temporarily block President Trump’s plan to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities, reports the Globe’s Travis Andersen. “Today’s injunction shows that Boston, along with other cities and towns from across the nation, will not be intimidated,” Walsh said. “As one of a number of cities nationally that signed an amicus brief in support of the Santa Clara lawsuit, we’ll be paying close attention to how this continues to proceed through the courts,” Curtatone said. Meanwhile, Concord Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved a warrant making the town a “welcoming community” for illegal immigrants, after a “contentious debate by town residents pro and con,” reports O’Ryan Johnson at the Herald.
Statewide stings go after the johns, not just the pimps
A series of statewide stings aimed at curbing demand for the illegal sex trade has netted 29 sex buyers across the state, from Cambridge to the Cape, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson and Matt Stout, as part of the paper ongoing series on illegal sex-trafficking in Massachusetts.
Barring comet slamming into earth, Rep. Chris Walsh is running for mayor of Framingham
State Rep. Christ Walsh, a Framingham Democrat, is running to become Framingham’s first-ever mayor, after the largest town in Massachusetts recently voted to convert to city government, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). “Personally, I've made up my mind. There's one or two things that could stop me – a comet, nuclear war, but other than that we're good,” Walsh said. Meanwhile, Charlie Sisitsky, a Framingham selectman who opposed converting the town into a city, is also “strongly considering” running for mayor, writes SHNS’ Andy Metzger at the Worcester Business Journal, while former selectman and state representative John Stefanini is also weighing his options, according to published reports. Patch’s Jenna Fisher has more on the looming mayoral race in the state’s newest city.
The Amherst Charter Commission has dropped a much-mocked plan to create the country’s largest town council, with as many as 60 members, and instead will recommend the town create a government with a 13-member council and an elected mayor, Diane Lederman of MassLive reports.
‘No Boston Olympics’: The book that Marty can put down
Chris Dempsey, one of the founders of No Boston Olympics, and Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economist, are running excerpts at CommonWealth magazine from their new book ‘No Boston Olympics: How and Why Smart Cities Are Passing on the Torch,’ highlighting a few of the monumental political screw-ups that doomed Boston’s Olympics bid two years ago. It’s a little jarring how they refer to themselves in the third person, but they have some good insider stuff, sort of a trip down outraged memory lane.
Mayor Marty Walsh is already panning the tome. "I think a couple opportunists jumped on this and I guess they are writing a book now,” he tells NBC Boston. “I'd like to know where the profits of the book are going to go. There are some falsehoods in that book that they wrote about. It seems to be that they're doing it for their own personal gain, which is fine.”
Lynch: Flynn probe ‘may implicate the White House’
Revelations that ex-National Security adviser Michael Flynn failed to disclose his Russian dealings and payments could lead to a broader probe by the House Oversight Committee, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a member of the committee, as reported by the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins. “It could be a much wider investigation. It may implicate the White House. I’m not sure — we need to follow the evidence where it leads,” Lynch said.
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday made clear he’s now going under the assumption that there will be a sizable budget shortfall this current fiscal year and his administration is drafting “reasonable and appropriate” responses, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Lowell Sun. Ruling out dipping into the state’s rainy day fund, Baker was otherwise mum on what might be done, though he’s recently indicated drastic cuts are a “last resort” and that “nipping and tucking” might suffice.
Gonzalez reluctantly admits that, yes, he’d work with Trump, sometimes
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez, an outspoken critic of President Trump’s policies, says that, well, some of the times, he’d be duty bound to work with the Republican president to secure federal funding for Massachusetts, as he tells the Herald’s Jordan Frias. “I’m not about grandstanding for grandstanding’s sake,” said the former Patrick administration budget chief. “As governor, I would have to work collaboratively with the Legislature, with other stakeholders and with the federal government, with the Trump administration and with Congress.”
From Universal Hub: “An Uber driver who picked up a woman in Boston raped her, then dropped her off at Boston College, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office charges. Luis Baez, also known as Pedro Valentin, had bail set at $2,500 today at his arraignment on three counts of rape in Newton District Court, the DA's office reports.” The incident occurred before the state implemented its new background checks on ride-sharing drivers. The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald have more.
Meanwhile, self-driving car tests expand to Seaport and Fort Point
After reading about the rape charges against an Uber driver, self-driving cars couldn’t come soon enough, at least on the ride-hailing front. From Zeninjor Enwemeka at WBUR: “Self-driving cars will soon hit more roadways in Boston. The city of Boston has given approval for Cambridge-based startup nuTonomy to test its autonomous vehicles on roadways in the Seaport District and Fort Point. This expands the city's year-long pilot program with the company.”
GOP seeks crime lab audits after Annie Dookhan disaster
From Christian Wade at the Eagle-Tribune: “A bill expected to be filed Wednesday by the Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr on behalf of the GOP caucus would require a ‘comprehensive audit’ of all state forensic labs by Sept. 1. ‘The justice system was compromised because a so-called scientist with falsified credentials lied about her work for years,’ said Tarr, R-Gloucester. That so-called scientist, of course, is none other than Annie Dookhan.
Liberal lawmakers may be pushing for major overhauls of the criminal justice system this session, but House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he wants to limit what lawmakers do this year to what's already been agreed upon, for the time being, reports Mike Deehan at WGBH. "I think some of it is going to require some real discussion and some real debate, public hearings,” DeLeo said. “So we want to make sure we get it right.”
Casino mogul Steve Wynn told financial analysts he is still recovering from a case of sticker shock over the construction costs for his Wynn Boston Harbor resort in Everett, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. The project’s cost has ballooned to $2.4 billion, a bottom line Wynn said will not go up further despite struggles to find construction bids that came in on budget. “We were surprised,” Wynn said.
The Easthampton School Committee is working with an outside consultant to investigate claims of racist behavior at the city’s high school and develop a long-term plan for changes, Caitlin Ashworth of the Hampshire Gazette reports. The Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton is already interviewing students and is expected to have a report for the committee before the school year ends.
A week after being named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune Magazine, Politico’s Ben Strauss explores how Theo Epstein’s curse-reversing magic might translate to the national political stage. Strauss interviews former Barack Obama strategist David Axelrod about how Epstein might make the leap from baseball executive to presidential material and the similarities between Epstein and Obama.