House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash take part in Nonprofit Awareness Day, Great Hall, 10 a.m.
Budget conference committee
The legislative conference committee that is tasked with negotiating a final version of the state's $40 billion budget meets this morning to begin work, 11 a.m., House Ways and Means office.
Blue Hill Ave. station groundbreaking
Gov. Charlie Baker joins Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and MBTA Chief Administrator and Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve for remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Blue Hill Avenue commuter rail station, 30 Regis Rd., Mattapan, 11 a.m.
The Ancient and Honorable
The 379-year-old tradition continues as the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts holds their annual drumhead election and change of command ceremony on Boston Common, Boston Common, 1:15 p.m.
MBTA Control Board
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to discuss recruitment and retention resources, commuter rail locomotives, the Silver Line to Chelsea, ferry service and other issues, Transportation Board Room 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 1 p.m.
Joint Committee on the Judiciary holds a hearing on nearly 100 bills dealing with criminal procedures, including major criminal-justice reforms pushed by lawmakers and activists, Rooms A-1 & A-2, 1 p.m.
Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito meet behind closed doors for a semi-regular leadership meeting, Senate President's office, 2 p.m.
Lynch on the air
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is a guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.
Senate plan would extend on-duty death benefits to all public employees
This a big deal for public employees across the state, via Andy Metzger at SHNS: “If a teacher, building inspector or any other public employee is killed in the performance of his or her duties, the deceased's family would be entitled to a one-time $300,000 death benefit, under a budget amendment adopted by the Senate last week. Firefighters, correction officers and other public safety employees' families are already entitled to the line-of-duty-death benefit.” Sen. Eric Lesser filed the amendment to assist the family of a Longmeadow public works employee who was recently killed when a plow train struck his truck.
In the wake of the latest terrorist attacks in London, Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker are once again vowing to take security steps to hopefully prevent similar attacks here. But what struck us about Laurel Sweet’s coverage in the Herald is how both Walsh and Baker have personal ties to Britain, especially the mayor, whose cousins live in London. “I called my mother to check that they’re OK,” Walsh said. “They’re just scared. They’ve been in England for a long time and there used to be some bombings years ago in the ’70s and ’80s, but I don’t think it was like this.”
Except for Adam Reilly’s piece at WGBH about the stinging criticisms aimed at Gov. Baker by the three Democratic gubernatorial candidates, the rest of the local media focused on how there was little or no mention, let alone criticism, of the popular Republican governor by other speakers at this past weekend’s Democratic Party State Convention. From the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan: “Markey, Warren, Secretary of State William F. Galvin, Attorney General Maura Healey, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and Auditor Suzanne Bump all refrained from taking on the governor. SHNS’s Matt Murphy at New Boston Post has more on the left-leaning, Trump-bashing focus at the convention, as does Jordan Graham at the Herald and the Associated Press at WBUR.
‘Progressives Demonize Speaker DeLeo At Their Own Peril’
Peter Ubertaccio at WGBH goes after the progressive purity police (our words, not his) who loathe House Speaker Robert DeLeo for not supporting every progressive provision jammed into the state party platform. He says the 3,298 delegates at this past weekend's Democratic convention simply aren’t representative of the approximate 1.487 million other Massachusetts Democrats who didn’t attend the convention.
Judiciary hearing to tackle criminal justice reform today
For those pushing for criminal-justice reforms, today’s a big day on Beacon Hill, as the Judiciary Committee tackles a number of bills, including the Act For Justice Reinvestment (S791 and H2308), filed by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Rep. Mary Keefe, MassInc reports in an email alert sent last evening.
Speaking of criminal-justice reform, Benjamin Forman, research director at MassINC, has gotten hold of some talking points circulated by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association and says they’re nothing but a rehash of old views meant to “prop up the outmoded tough-on-crime-era sentencing laws.”
Trade group prepares legal challenge to state’s new online sales-tax plan
If successful, this could punch a pretty big hole in the state budget that Senate and House conference committee members are now trying to craft: NetChoice, a trade group that represents Overstock.com, eBay, PayPal and other e-commerce firms, is preparing to file a legal challenge to block the state from collecting sales taxes from out-of-state online retailers, starting next month, a move the group says is unconstitutional, reports Christian Wade at the Newburyport News.
Baker: Millionaire’s tax has already been spent ‘six ways to Sunday’
Gov. Baker isn’t saying (yet) whether he’ll oppose the proposed ‘millionaire’s tax’ if it ever reaches the 2018 ballot. But this much is clear: He’s no fan of new taxes and thinks pols have “spent that millionaire's tax six ways to Sunday already and it hasn't even made it to the ballot yet,” Baker said over the weekend on WCVB-TV’s On the Record, as reported by Michael Norton at SHNS (pay wall). We couldn’t find the video, but here’sWCVB’s On the Record site.
Governor’s zig-zagging triangulation commits state to U.S. Climate Alliance
He started off last Friday initially noncommittal about whether Massachusetts would join the newly formed U.S. Climate Alliance. But by the end of the day, Gov. Charlie Baker was on board in joining with other states in the new post-Paris-accord alliance, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at WBUR. The move is basically stealing a page form the Clintons’ old triangulation playbook. There’s the Wikipedia definition of triangulation and then there’s our definition: The Republican governor is blunting criticism by stealing/borrowing/embracing ideas of Democrats. Fyi: The Globe has more on the alliance move, as does the Herald’s editorial board and WMPI’s Matt Szafranski.
Baker zigs to the left with labor secretary appointment
More evidence of the administration’s triangulation at work: Gov. Baker has appointed banker and anti-Trump progressive Rosalin Acosta as his new secretary of labor and workforce development, reports Matt Stout at the Herald. We’re curious to learn what the business community thinks of this. We already know what the conservative Howie Carr thinks of Baker in general. But conservative shouldn’t fret too much: Baker is zigging left for the time being, but he’s due to zag back to the right any moment now, on some issue or other. Hey, it works.
At Dartmouth Town Hall, there's no waiting time for drug drop-offs
Riddle us this: What can you accomplish at your local town hall in just a few seconds? In Dartmouth, the longtime answer was, allegedly, a drug deal. Detectives in the SouthCoast town say a water department employee would drive to Town Hall every Thursday—which happens to be payday for municipal employees—to drop off part of his suboxone prescription and pick up cash, Curt Brown of the Standard-Times reports.
Turns out lots of people want to be Framingham’s first-ever mayor: Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports that 10 residents have now pulled nomination papers, with a full month left before the field will be finalized, though two of the 10 have already said they’re not actually going to go through with filing the required 500 signatures to get on the ballot.
Leave it to Lawrence to turn politics-as-pugilism metaphors into reality. Mayoral candidate—and fired police officer—William Green will take on longtime social media critic Debo Brown as part of the “The Rumble in the Merrimack Valley” boxing card in August, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Plymouth sheriff (not to be confused with Bristol sheriff) leery of immigration bill
From the Herald’s Matt Stout: Plymouth County’s sheriff is wading into the debate over a proposed bill targeting his and other lawmen’s pacts with federal immigration officials by warning the legislation could have “unintended consequences” on his ability to screen out dangerous criminals for release.” A lot of other people, including Dem lawmakers, are also leery of the bill.
A lot of attention is being heaped on what individual states and big cities are doing to fight climate change, now that the Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. But the leaders in smaller Massachusetts cities, such as Salem and New Bedford, are also making their own post-Paris-pact plans, reports Gerry Tuoti at MetroWest Daily News.
Who would have thought that the long-sought new business model for newspapers would involve Donald Trump getting elected president? OK, maybe it’s not a new business model. But Trump’s election is doing wonders for the Globe’s circulation numbers, reports Don Seiffert at the BBJ.
Summers: Last week may have been a ‘hinge in history’ moment
Larry Summers, the Harvard economist and former Harvard president, thinks last week’s events – from the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate accord to President Trump butting heads with European allies – my well be remembered as the moment “the United States and the world started moving on a path away from the peace, prosperity and stability that have defined the past 75 years,” as he writes at the Washington Post. Fyi: Summers takes issue, as have other pundits left and right, with a now widely read and debated WSJ op-ed by H.R McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, on the administration’s ‘America First’ doctrine.
Summers is busy on another op-ed front today, writing with Emily McCann at the Globe about the Trump administration’s proposed elimination of federal funding for after-school and summer programs known as 21st Century Community Learning Centers. They’re not happy with the move.
Seaport failures: Are we doomed to repeat development history at Allston Landing and Suffolk Downs?
Writing at CommonWealth magazine, James Aloisi lists all that went wrong in the development of the new Seaport District – and he hopes city and state leaders can learn from past mistakes and not repeat them at Allston Landing and Suffolk Downs.
New Westover commander and C-5M Super Galaxy fly in together
With more than 5,000 employees and Air Force personnel, it’s a big deal when a new commander takes over at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, as Jeanette DeForge reports at MassLive. But it’s an even bigger deal when his arrival is accompanied with the first flights of the newly reconditioned C-5M Super Galaxy transport planes, reports George Graham at MassLive. Why? "It's quiet.,” said Master Sgt. Andrew S. Biscoe. “What's happening today is one of the most significant aviation milestones in the 77-year history of the base.”
The Berkshire County Regional Employment Board is warning that businesses in the region are facing pressure from a shrinking labor force as population and demographic trends threaten economic growth, Tony Dobrowoiski of the Berkshire Eagle reports. One employer, General Dynamics Missile Systems, has had as many as 175 job openings at times over the last three years.
Former Gov. Deval Patrick occasionally finds himself on speculative lists of potential 2020 presidential candidates, but in western Massachusetts, he’s generating buzz for his newfound beekeeping prowess, Nicole Fleming of the Globe reports.