Women’s political caucus, bilingual education vote, pregnant-workers rights bill signing
The four-day National Women's Political Caucus biennial convention brings caucus members and others from across the country to Boston for a series of trainings, receptions, panel discussions and votes, Hilton Boston Back Bay, 8:30 a.m. ... Attorney General Maura Healey holds a press conference to announce what is described as a major settlement involving debt collection practices, Attorney General's Office, One Ashburton Place, 20th Floor, 11 a.m. ... The Senate plans to meet in a formal session to debate legislation that includes legislation overhauling how English language learnersare taught in public schools, Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m. ... Proposals are due for clean energy generation not derived from offshore wind, keeping with requirements of the state’s 2016 energy law, 12 p.m. ... U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano is a scheduled guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m. ... Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, State Sen. Joan Lovely and members of the Legislature gather for the signing of the pregnant-worker rights bill, Room 157, 1:30 p.m. ... The Massachusetts State Retirement Board meets, One Winter Street, 8th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m. ... Gov. Baker attends the Northeast Seafood Coalition's annual fundraiser, Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers St., Gloucester, 6:15 p.m. ... The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will close down auto traffic surrounding the work site of the Commonwealth Bridge restoration project, Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, Boston, 7 p.m.
Immigration wrangling, Part I: Baker crafting counter-response to SJC detention ruling
Gov. Charlie Baker is crafting legislation that would partially counter a recent Supreme Judicial Court detention ruling and restore State Police’s ability to hold some immigrants on federal detainers after they’ve posted bail on other criminal charges, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy(pay wall). The Republican governor’s spokewoman, Lizzy Guyton, was blunt about the administration’s goal: “Governor Baker does not support a sanctuary state and believes the administration’s policy is an important public safety tool to keep our communities safe."
The governor’s office stressed that they’re only in the exploratory stages of drafting legislation and that Baker will not seek to change the past policy that prevented State Police from holding someone on an ICE detainer if they were taken into custody for a minor civil infraction, Murphy writes.
Immigration wrangling, Part II: Protesters disrupt Republicans’ rollout of detention bill
While the Baker administration quietly tries to draft a counter-response to the SJC’s ICE-immigration ruling, local Republicans leaders announced their own tougher legislative plan to reverse the high court’s ruling – though their State House press conference was disrupted yesterday by pro-immigrant activists who shouted "Keep hate out of our state," as reported by Andy Metzger at SHNS (pay wall) and Gintautas Dumcius at MassLIve.
Immigration wrangling, Part III: Lawmakers poised to undo voters’ restrictions on bilingual education
On another immigration front: The Boston Globe’s James Vaznis and SHNS’s Andy Metzger (pay wall) have big stories this morning on how Beacon Hill lawmakers are now on the verge of rolling back portions of a 2002 voter referendum that slapped restrictions on most bilingual education programs in Massachusetts. The Senate is scheduled to vote today on a proposal that would allow schools to teach students in their own languages if they’re not fluent yet in English, rather than through English-immersion programs, a move expected to impact nearly 100,000 students across the state, writes Vaznis. The House has previously passed a similar version of the plan.
Another GOP candidate mulls challenge to Warren: Beth Lindstrom
Beth Lindstrom, a former aide to Mitt Romney and manager of Scott Brown’s successful senatorial campaign, tells the Globe’s Jim Sullivan she’s weighing a challenge to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Seen as a moderate closely aligned with Gov. Charlie Baker’s politics, Lindstrom would join three other Republicans who have indicated they’ll get into the race. They are: Rep. Geoff Diehl, GOP businessman John Kingston and entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai.
As expected, the Democratic-controlled House yesterday voted to reject Gov. Baker’s efforts to revamp the state’s Medicaid program to save money, making it now likely that a new $200 million employer assessment to pay for Medicaid won’t be accompanied by any reforms of the massive health-care system, according to reports by the Associated Press at WBUR and Priyanka Dayal McCluskey at the Globe. Democrats plan to hold more hearings on Baker’s plans and other ideas on controlling health-care costs.
Baker and other governors urge end to ‘skinny repeal’ push
On another health-care front: Gov. Baker has signed a letter along with nine other governors urging U.S. Senate leaders to abandoned the latest “flawed” attempt to repeal ObamaCare, as the Senate debates a “skinny repeal” proposal to roll back the Affordable Care Act, reports Danny McDonald at the Globe.
Is there light at the end of the summer-session tunnel?
It may seem busy at the State House these days, but House members sure looked and sounded like they were ready and eager for a summer recess. “I think so,” said Rep. Mary Keefe about yesterday being the final formal session until September, reports Michael Norton and Matt Murphy at SHNS (pay wall). Senators have a formal session scheduled for today, the last scheduled formal session until September, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said.
Kraft to Trump: It’s OK to tax the rich a little more
President Donald Trump is getting tax reform advice from, of all people, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, a Trump pal who recently urged the president to tax the rich to help “take care” of other Americans, according to a report at the Wall Street Journal, Martin Finucane at the Globe reports.
Local reactions to Trump’s transgender military ban
The reaction of local leaders to President Trump’s tweet call yesterday for a ban on transgender people in the military was sure and swift. U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton called the move “despicable,” reports WGBH’s Tori Bedford, who has a separate piece on Attorney General Maura Healey’s condemnation of the proposed policy. The Globe’s Sara Salinas has the less-than-thrilled reactions from U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said Trump’s move “makes clear that he cares more about extreme ideology than military readiness.”
But the reaction of the day comes from the Herald’s editorial board, which described Trump’s tweet as “another case of President Trump vomiting out a major policy directive via the internet — and creating utter confusion in the process.”
Philips goes all-in while Friedman gets sworn in
Ted Philips says he will quit his State House job as an aide to state Rep. Louis Kafka today so he can focus his attention full-time on trying to win the state Senate seat vacated by James Timilty, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports.
Meanwhile, a day after easily winning the race to fill the vacant seat of the late Sen. Ken Donnelly, Democrat Cindy Friedman was sworn in by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yesterday. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg thanked Secretary of State William Galvin's office for expediting the certification process so Friedman could be sworn in for yesterday and today’s formal sessions, reports Matt Murphy at SHNS (pay wall).
Bottoms up: Total Wine wins total victory on discount liquor sales
From the Globe’s Dan Adams: “A Boston judge has ruled that Massachusetts alcohol retailers can legally sell booze at deep discounts when they order it in bulk, rebutting state regulators who said the practice can violate a state law that prohibits selling alcohol at less than cost.” The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by the country’s largest alcohol chain, Maryland-based Total Wine & More, against the state, writes Adams.
As part of its ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign, State Street goes after firms with no female board directors
From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “State Street Corp. has voted against the re-election of board members at 400 companies this year because the firms do not have a single female director, part of a campaign for gender diversity symbolized by its ‘Fearless Girl’ statue near Wall Street.”
Meanwhile, the Globe’s Shirley Leung had a piece the other day on Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s own investment push to get more women on corporate boards.
North Station to Seaport ferry service: Anchors away?
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has plans all set to start a commuter ferry service between North Station and the Seaport District, but will businesses chip in to make it a reality? The BBJ’s Greg Ryan has details on the proposed service, which could reduce reliance on current North Station-Seaport bus shuttles.
All in the family: Defendant pleads guilty to cigarette trafficking with his pa
From Buffy Spencer at MassLive: “The son of a man charged in a mult-state illegal cigarette-selling operation pleaded guilty Wednesday in his own related case, with his attorney telling a Hampden Superior Court judge the illicit ‘family business’ is all his client has known. Pedro Dejesus Perez, 22, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to possession with intent to sell over 12,000 unstamped cigarettes, conspiracy to sell the unstamped cigarettes, possessing a counterfeit excise stamp and tax evasion.”
Don’t look now but another nurses strike may be on the horizon. This time, the location is Pittsfield, where nurses at the Berkshire Medical Center voted to authorize a walkout if talks, which are set to resume next week, don’t bear fruit, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Nurses have recently held separate one-day strikes in Greenfield and Boston.
First response: Marlborough lands a brewpub
That was fast. A couple weeks after dangling economic development incentives specifically to attract a brewpub to the city, Marlborough officials say Walden Woods Brewing will open on Main Street this fall, Jeff Malachowski of the MetroWest Daily News reports. The brewery’s owners say the cash the city dangled was a factor in their decision and officials say others have expressed interest in following suit.
Boston’s fire and building commissioners say they will study ways to make wood-framed buildings safer during construction after a spate of recent blazes, Karen Hensel of NBC Boston reports. Officials emphasize that the buildings are safe once construction is done and fire-suppression systems are in place.
As ‘lost grave’ of Revolutionary War soldier is rediscovered in Danvers …
The ‘lost’ grave of a Revolutionary War solder -- Army Pvt. Jonathan Waitt, who served in the 8th and 3rd Massachusetts Regiments between 1781 and 1783 – has been rediscovered at an old Danvers burial ground, after a three-year search that eventually found Waitt’s broken and illegible headstone, reports Mary Byrne at Wicked Local. Officials will rededicate Waitt’s new headstone at High Street Cemetery, originally known as Porter’s Burial Ground. He died in 1821.
… the remains of Wilbraham sailor killed at Pearl Harbor are finally identified
Meanwhile, the remains of Navy Yeoman 3rd Class Edmund T. Ryan, 21, of Wilbraham have finally been identified, via DNA and other tests, nearly 76 years after he was killed in the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, reports Conor Berry at Wicked Local. The remains of Ryan, who was assigned to the USS Oklahoma when his ship was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, will be returned to his family and buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.