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Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MASSterList: Baker's pick | Holiday cheer? | Green for Greenway

By Jay Fitzgerald and Keith Regan

Baker's pick | Holiday cheer? | Green for Greenway

Happening Today
Baker off to biotech conference
Gov. Charlie Baker travels to California for the BIO International Convention, including a visit to Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceutical's research and development site in San Diego and evening receptions at the convention including one hosted by MassBIO.
Single-payer rally
Single-payer health care advocacy group Mass-Care will hold a rally in support of two bills being heard before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing later in the day, State House steps, 10 a.m.
Salem State president vote
Board of Higher Education meets to decide whether to approve the Salem State University Board of Trustees' recommendation to name former state Rep. John Keenan the school's next president, Bunker Hill Community College, Health and Wellness Center gymnasium, 250 New Rutherford Ave., Boston, 10 a.m.
LGBTQ Commission
Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Senate President Stan Rosenberg conduct a swearing-in ceremony for the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, State House, Room 341, 10:30 a.m. 
Single-payer hearing
Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds a hearing on bills dealing with single-payer health care and alternative payment systems, Room B-1, 11 a.m.
UMass board meeting
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees will meet to approve tuition and fees at UMass Medical School and may vote to oppose a Department of Higher Education Revised Procedures for New Academic Program Proposals, UMass Club, One Beacon St., Boston, 12 p.m.
Wage theft hearing
Legislation dealing with wage theft will be up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Hearing Room B-2, 1 p.m.
Sales tax holiday hearing
Dozens of bills dealing with the state's sales and excise taxes get a hearing before the Joint Committee on Revenue, including proposals to revive a sales tax holiday weekend in 2017, Hearing Room A-2, 1 p.m.
Energy bills
The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee will hear testimony on two proposals to place a fee on the carbon-emitting fuels used to heat homes and power cars, Gardner Auditorium, 1 p.m.

Today's News
So much for not picking winners and losers: Baker pledges $500M to biotech
Gov. Charlie Baker is not known as a big fan of the state picking “winners and losers” when it comes to economic-incentive packages, but yesterday he placed a relatively safe $500 million bet on a proven winner – the state’s booming biotech industry. The five-year package, which extends former Gov. Deval Patrick’s $1 billion commitment to the biotech sector, was confirmed yesterday as Baker prepared to jet off to a major biotech convention in San Diego today. The Globe and the BBJ and the Herald have more on the initiative, which places a heavier emphasis on workforce training issues. Asma Khalid, who originally broke the funding story at WBUR, has a piece on how Boston became the “best place in the world” to launch a biotech company.
Feds vote to block DraftKings-FanDuel merger
On any other day, this would be the top local business story, if it wasn’t for a certain biotech announcement by the governor. Via Kelly O’Brien at the BBJ: “The U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted on Monday to block the merger of daily fantasy sports rivals DraftKings (of Boston) and FanDuel (of New York), arguing that the combined company would control more than 90 percent of the market and lead to ‘anticompetitive effects.’” The good news: Though DraftKings had vowed to remain in Boston post-merger, there can now be no doubt: Boston will remain its home, assuming the FTC decision is legally approved.
Funeral arrangements set for late Rep. Cariddi
State and national flags will fly at half-staff until sunset Thursday, the day of late Rep. Gailanne Cariddi’s funeral at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in North Adams, reports SHNS’s Sam Doran (pay wall). Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church at 70 Marshall St., North Adams, and the funeral will be held at the same church at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Despite budget squeeze, Baker open to sales tax holiday this summer
Even though the state is facing a half-billion-dollar budget shortfall, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday said he’s open to the idea of resurrecting a sales tax holiday for shoppers in August. "I think we should take a look at it and consider doing it,” Baker said. “It's very tough to be in retail these days and I think it's something that's worth consideration.” SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.
SHNS (pay wall)
Santander Bank among companies pushing for carbon tax
In a Washington Post op-ed, Harvard economist Larry Summers and former Secretary of State George Shultz reveal that Santander Bank and Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist and president emeritus at Cambridge’s National Bureau of Economic Research, are among the founding members of a new bi-partisan, corporate-backed Climate Leadership Council pushing for a carbon tax.
Washington Post

State House leaders confident pot compromise can be reached
After a roller-coaster ride late last week and over the weekend, State House debate over new marijuana taxes and regulations seemed to calm down yesterday, as Gov. Baker and legislative leaders expressed confidence that a compromise bill can be hammered out by the end of this month, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at WBUR. Meanwhile,  the Dig’s Dan McCarthy unloads on the ‘Beacon Hill Cannabis Follies’ and the six months of procrastination that's  led to the recent rush and rancor to pass legislation.
Jill Stein calls it a ‘great honor’ that she’s still mentioned in the news
Lexington resident and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein isn’t taking the blame for helping to tip key Midwestern swing states to Donald Trump last November, Ben Schreckinger reports in Politico. In fact, Stein not only isn’t apologizing, she calls it a ‘great honor’ that her party’s role in the election is still being debated months later. 
Greenway funding deal is contingent on businesses getting their act together
This should have been done years ago. But better late than never: A new deal has been reached to fund Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, with the state, city and abutters kicking in funds to operate the crown jewel of the Big Dig project. But there’s always a catch, as CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl notes: “The owners of about half the properties along the Greenway agreed to try to form a Business Improvement District that would contribute $1.5 million a year to the park.”
Is a Georgia election today a Scott Brown-beats-Martha-Coakley moment for Dems?
Scott Brown’s shocking special-election victory over Martha Coakley in 2010 galvanized Republicans and arguably helped launch the conservative Tea Party movement. David Bernstein at WGBH wonders if today’s special Congressional election in Georgia might be a Brown-like moment in reverse for Democrats yearning to dethrone President Trump and Congressional Republicans.
Vennochi: Good old Mr. Flip-flopper is flip-flopping again in Georgia
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi notes how former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, once one of the harshest Republican critics of Donald Trump, is now going all out in support of the Republican candidate in today’s big special election in Georgia – and defending Donald Trump. And, while she’s at it, Joan wonders why former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, recently encouraged Romney to run for the US. Senate in Utah.
Boston Globe
NIMBY alert: Opposition grows to supervised-injection site
You knew this would happen: City councilors and residents are raising concerns about a proposed supervised injection site for drug users in Boston, according to reports by Milton Valencia at the Globe and Dan Atkinson at the Herald. This doesn’t bode well for putting injection sites across the state to combat the opioid-abuse crisis.
Good-bye, old presses and Dorchester
As the Globe officially moves its digs from Dorchester to downtown Boston this week, the Globe Magazine ran a big spread over the weekend about the closing of its long-time printing presses on Morrissey Boulevard – with some cool photos and printing stats. Meanwhile, a Globe editorial this morning bids farewell and thanks to its neighbors in Dorchester.
T pension finances ‘deteriorating rapidly’
The fiscal health of the T’s pension fund is “deteriorating rapidly” and its unfunded liability now tops $1.2 billion, far higher than previous projections, the MBTA’s interim general manager warned yesterday, as reported by the Herald’s Matt Stout.
Boston Herald
Could Supreme Court gerrymandering case impact Massachusetts?
This could be big for minority-party Democrats nationwide – and conversely for majority-party Democrats in Massachusetts, via the Washington Post: “The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted.”
Washington Post
Richard Neal still taking it on the chin in western Massachusetts
The latest broadside against U.S. Rep. Richard Neal: A major piece in the Valley Advocate rehashing all the complaints about how Neal is allegedly ignoring his rural constituents in western Massachusetts. Neal is adamantly denying he’s been missing in action.
Valley Advocate

You can take the boy out of Maine but …
If U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Maine Republican, thought he’d enjoy a quiet morning public-policy chat at a New England Council event in Boston, he was wrong. Maine Democrats yesterday followed him to Boston to protest his vote earlier this spring to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzler (pay wall). This isn’t the first time he’s been hounded by those upset with his vote, as Fox News reported last month.
Lesser’s magical east-west mystery tour
Gotta hand it to him: State Sen. Eric Lesser’s “whistle stop tour,” via train yesterday from Boston to Springfield to promote a state study of east-west high speed rail, was a simple, old-fashioned publicity stunt -- and it worked. Gintautas Dumcius has the details (and an accompanying video).
NRC details Pilgrim’s waning-days woes
As its winds down its operating life, Pilgrim Station Nuclear plant in Plymouth ranks tops among the nation’s reactors in incidents or conditions that could lead to core damage, a division of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, as reported by Christine Legere at the Cape Cod Times. The plant says some of the incidents were weather-related and out of its control. 
Cape Cod Times
Lowell dorm project caught in town-gown tussle
A would-be private dorm project in Lowell finds itself smack in the middle of tensions between the University of Massachusetts’ efforts to boost student housing and concerns among surrounding neighbors about parking and traffic, reports Todd Feathers at the Lowell Sun.
Lowell Sun
Unfrozen raw lobster, anyone?
The state’s lobster industry plans to use today’s Lobster Day at the State House to push a bill backed by Sen. Bruce Tarr that would expand processing of live lobsters in the state, Sean Horgan of the Gloucester Times reports. A budget amendment approved by the Senate would allow wholesalers to process unfrozen raw lobsters, something Tarr argues would give the industry a needed boost.  
Gloucester Times

Today's Headlines
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