Under a law signed last year by Gov. Baker, May 1 marks the beginning of an official month of kindness in the Bay State.
100 Days of Trump
Novus Group will release the results of a poll on President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office at an event, sponsored by UMass Boston, featuring U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and moderated by CBS Boston political analyst Jon Keller, UMass Club, 1 Beacon St., 32nd floor, 8 a.m.
The Supreme Judicial Court hears two impounded cases and Scott Phillips v. Equity Residential Management, LLC; Commonwealth v. Dasheem Dew; and Commonwealth David Lydon, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
About 45 bills dealing with property taxes and local tax policy will be up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Revenue, Hearing Room B-2, 10 a.m.
Attorney General Maura Healey kicks off a statewide tour announcing grant funding for substance use prevention programs with a roundtable discussion, with Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Sen. Walter Timilty, Rep. Mark Cusack, Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan and others participating, South Middle School, 348 Pond St., Braintree, 10 a.m.
Clean energy tour
Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change chairman Marc Pacheco will hold a press conference to announce details of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour, a ‘statewide committee initiative on clean energy, climate change and constituent engagement,’ Room 428, 11 a.m.
Immigration rights rally
Immigrant advocacy groups and labor unions mark International Workers' Day with a rally outside the State House, with speakers including Sen. Jamie Eldridge, State House steps, 11:45 a.m.
MBTA Control Board
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets in Boston, Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, 12 p.m.
Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones meet for their semi-regular leadership meeting, Senate President's office, 2 p.m.
‘Good Guy’ award
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be the recipient of the Good Guy award bestowed by the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, with House Speaker Robert DeLeo also attending as a special guest, Omni Parker House, 6 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is among a host of young Democrats the New York Times says could become standard bearers of the party heading into the 2020 presidential election cycle. One of several younger Democrats listed as potential candidates, Moulton, the NYT reports, has “not ruled out running in private conversations” and stands across a sharp age divide in the party from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, would be more than 70 years old by the time ballots are cast in 2020.
Medical Society: Let opioid addicts shoot up under supervision
The idea is already raising alarms among law enforcement officials. From Michael Levenson at the Globe: “Massachusetts, devastated by thousands of opioid-related deaths in recent years, should take the unusual step of opening clinics where drug users could inject under medical supervision, according to the Massachusetts Medical Society. The society’s governing body voted overwhelmingly Saturday to adopt a resolution urging Massachusetts to set up a pilot program that would allow up to two such clinics in the state.”
The idea is being described as “counterintuitive’ – and they’re right. It is counterintuitive. But other intuitive ideas haven’t been working so well. So why not at least try it?
Last stop: Bridj abruptly shuts its once promising shuttle bus service
Bridj, the upstart Boston shuttle bus service that drew comparisons to transit-app pioneer Uber, unexpectedly called it quits last night after a deal with a major car company fell through at the last minute, reports Dylan Martin at BostInno. With 50 employees and operations in Boston, Washington, Kansas City and Austin, Texas, Bridj had raised $4 million in venture capital. The BBJ’s David Harris has more on the sudden closure.
Maine House votes to abolish twice-a-year time changes – if Mass. and N.H. go along
That seemingly crazy idea to eliminate the “fall back” and “spring forward” clock changes twice a year in Massachusetts? It’s now no longer that crazy sounding, after the Maine House voted to go with just one Daylight Saving Time, if Massachusetts and New Hampshire do the same, reports Joe Lawlor at the Portland Press Herald, via Universal Hub. The Maine idea still has to pass the Senate and win approval from the governor there, not to mention pass in two other states. But it’s clearly a small step/spring forward for a once much mocked idea.
Fourteen years after the Globe’s Spotlight Team investigated how many families and others use charitable foundations as personal piggybanks, Sacha Pfeiffer takes a peek at one N.H. foundation that employs the daughters of its benefactor – and how they’ve raked in $5.3 million in compensation over the past 18 years while the charity donated $6 million to the “same dozen or so organizations,” including the family’s alma maters.
Novel approach: A referendum that would lower sales tax for most, but raise it for others
This is an odd, and intriguing, referendum strategy under consideration by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts: Offering voters the opportunity to slash the state’s sales tax rate for the majority of people, but eliminate the current sales-tax exemptions for soda and purchases made by charitable and educational organizations, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. Such a move would offset some of the tax revenue the state would lose if the sales tax rate is cut, though it strikes us as being too clever by half if its alienates one of the most powerful industries in the state, i.e. non-profit education institutions.
On anti-doxxing principle, Brianna Wu defends Trump donors
Brianna Wu, a Democrat who’s running against U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch of South Boston, knows a thing or two about being harassed by nameless and faceless cyber thugs, after her Gamergate ordeal. That’s why she’s now criticizing @EveryTrumpDonor’s controversial practice of publicly tweeting the names of any and all Trump donors, big or small, even though she intensely dislikes Trump, reporters the Washington Post’s Callum Borchers. “It is very clearly doxxing and harassing small-dollar donors,” Wu said of @EveryTrumpDonor’s actions.
Sen. Eldridge: Independent pot board wouldn’t be accountable
Count state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, a Democrat who favors legalization of marijuana, as among those opposed to creating a new independent board to oversee marijuana regulatory matters in Massachusetts, reports the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. “An independent commission has little accountability and will further delay recreational sales,” said Eldridge, a member of the legislative Committee on Marijuana Policy. “I strongly believe marijuana regulation should stay under the treasurer to maintain strong accountability under an elected official and to ensure the state meets its deadline.”
Lawrence Mayor: ICE ‘totally incapable’ of performing its duties
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who’s no fan of turning his city into an official sanctuary city, says the feds want and need local law enforcement help on immigration matters because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) simply doesn’t have enough personnel to perform its own duties. "The reality is - and it's kind of like the dirty secret and no one talks about it this - is that ICE is totally incapable and uprepared to do any of this stuff," Rivera told WCVB's ‘On the Record’ over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Rivera faces tough re-election amid surge in crime in Lawrence
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera may question ICE’s law-enforcement effectiveness, but many in Lawrence are starting to question Rivera’s own law-enforcement record. Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune takes a deep dive into the crime statistics and realities facing the city as Rivera, who was first elected on a law-and-order platform, seeks re-election. An increasingly crowded field of challengers, including a former mayor, are making it clear they plan to make the surge of violence plaguing the city a central issue between now and the November vote.
From the AP at the Sentinel & Enterprise: “The high-tech whiz kids are starting to flex their political muscles on Beacon Hill, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into lobbying aimed at appealing to state lawmakers and helping craft public policy. Last year, 77 high-tech companies spent about $5.4 million on lobbying — more than double the 48 companies that spent $2.4 million a decade ago, according to an Associated Press review of lobbyist reports filed with the state secretary's office.” Do you think the disastrous “tech tax” proposal of a few years back might have something to do with this?
Markey: ‘Trump is gambling with possible nuclear war’
U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey says President Donald Trump is taking huge risks with his administration’s confrontation with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, reports the Herald’s Laurel Sweet."President Trump is gambling with possible nuclear war when he doubles down on threats of a major, major conflict with North Korea. We don't need tough talk from President Trump, we need tough diplomacy.”
Return to sender: The Congressional delegation’s misdirected letter?
Jim Stergios and Charles Chieppo at the Pioneer Institute think the state’s Congressional delegation, which recently sent a letter to Gov. Baker expressing concerns about privatization moves at the MBTA, could have better used their time dashing off a letter about how to save the financially troubled MBTA Retirement Fund.
With Mayor Martin Walsh way ahead in the polls and with far more campaign cash than rival Tito Jackson, is it time to start thinking of another mayoral dynasty in Boston, sort of like the long reign of his predecessor, Tom Menino? Walsh says he not thinking about it. “I focus my life one day at a time,” Walsh told the Herald’s Antonio Plana. “Who knows what the situations will be. Where I’m focusing on — running the city right now and getting re-elected.”
No, DeLeo didn’t slam the door on more criminal-justice reforms
Late week, we ran a post saying House Speaker Robert DeLeo had “politely, but definitively, slammed the door on activists calling for more comprehensive criminal-justice reforms this year,” based on a prior report by another news outlet. But the speaker’s office sent us a recording of an interview that made clear that, while he’s more cautious than many progressive legislators about more reforms this year, he didn’t outright slam the door on additional bills and is open to discussion on “other pieces of legislation relative to criminal justice reform.” We hadn’t heard that tape before and therefore mischaracterized his stand. Now, we hope, we’ve got it cleared up.
If it appears Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez can be in two places at the same time, it’s because his wife, Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, has emerged as a sort of star campaign surrogate, writes the Herald’s Matt Stout. Matt has the details.
Theo on getting into politics: ‘This stuff is ridiculous’
Theo Epstein, the boy wonder of Major League Baseball, is absolutely, positively dismissing, mocking and ridiculing reports that he may have a political future ahead of him, the Globe reports: “This stuff is ridiculous, all these articles. I think I need to go do something really ill-advised or commit a felony or something. I can put a stop to it in a hurry. ... But people who know me would just laugh at that. I barely can get out of bed and get my job done the right way in the morning most of the time.”
Now we know how to torture him: Keep bringing up the subject, over and over and over again.
Supporters of the Mashpee Wampanoag’s efforts to build a casino in Taunton say that project remains viable even though the U.S. Department of the Interior last week dropped its appeal of a court decision that found the feds erred when they allowed the tribe to take the land into trust, Rebecca Hyman of the Taunton Gazette reports.
With talks over between the Kraft family and UMass Boston about bringing a soccer stadium to the site of the former Bayside Expo Center, Adam Vaccaro and Jon Chesto of the Globe went hunting for alternative locations and say the team owner’s options are dwindling as developers scoop up viable properties for other, potentially more profitable uses.