Window Into The State House

Go Bruins!   As the Globe’s Tara Sullivan writes, the only thing better than a Game 7 is a Game 7 at home – and Boston is most definitely bracing for the huge Bruins-Blues showdown tonight for the Stanley Cup. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that tickets for the game are now approaching Super Bowl-level prices. The Herald’s Tom Keegan reports that the Bruins are focusing on only one thing: Winning the Stanley Cup, not winning a third championship in one year for Boston. But Boston fans are certainly hoping for both – and all the glorious let-’em-hate-us bragging rights that would come with a victory tonight.  
  Governor and legislative leaders agree to delay paid-leave tax   They have a deal. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and the Globe’s Jon Chesto report that Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo have reached an agreement to delay for three months the implementation of the new paid-leave tax, after the business community, unions and paid-leave activists all agreed that starting the employer tax on July 1, as planned, would likely lead to confusion. The Senate could vote on the delay as early as today. The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius has more.   MBTA to launch third-party probe after the latest T derailment   MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak announced yesterday that he wants an outside agency to investigate the agency’s recent rash of train derailments, the latest being yesterday’s Red Line debacle that caused commuter havoc across the region, reports the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and Brooks Sutherland and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall). There’s actually a lot of T derailments that need investigation — 43 of them over the past five years, to be precise, for one of the worst derailment records in the nation, reports the Globe’s Vernal Coleman and Matt Rocheleau. Still, Gov. Charlie Baker remains confident that the T is headed in the “right direction” with long-term fixes on the way, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout and Christina Prignano. Other headlines following yesterday’s Red Line disaster: “Boston chamber head calls transit issues a ‘crisis’” (Boston Business Journal) and “MBTA general manager defends July 1 fare hikes” . Can anything put a dent in Baker’s popularity?   One would think the latest T-derailment controversy might hurt Gov. Charlie Baker – and the Herald’s Howie Carr certainly hopes so, in a column this morning headlined “Charlie Baker fits this state to a T.”  Still, we found it interesting that a new Suffolk/Globe poll, released earlier this week, shows that Baker’s popularity remains sky-high in Massachusetts and that two-thirds of voters say he should run for a third term in 2022, something the governor is mulling. Granted, the poll was conducted before the latest T debacle. But we doubt it would have made much of a difference. SHNS’s Michael Norton and Chris Lisinski have more on the Suffolk/Globe poll data in general.     The pro-impeachment movement: Is it losing steam?   Amid all the survey data about the presidential race and education funding contained in the recently released Suffolk/Globe poll, there was this nugget tucked in Christina Prignano’s Globe piece: About 49 percent of Massachusetts voters say the House shouldn’t seriously consider impeaching President Trump, while 42 percent say they’re in favor. And now comes the Washington Post, which reports that “pro-impeachment Democrats are struggling to make their case for ousting President Trump to a wary public.” Among other things, it seems that a recent trip-down-memory-lane hearing focusing on the “historical lesson” of Watergate didn’t help matters. Seth Moulton: The Kamikaze Kid Bill Beuttler at Boston Magazine has a big piece on U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s quixotic bid for the White House. From Beuttler: “Moulton may well have gone from being the right guy at the right moment to being the white guy at the wrong moment. Worse still, observers predict the ghost of Nancy Pelosi will come back to haunt Moulton on the campaign trail. Across the country, that’s the only thing most voters know about him, if they know him at all.”   Lawmakers seek relief from frivolous record requests   There are actually two problems: A.) Frivolous public-record requests. B.) Non-frivolous public-record requests denied or delayed by public officials. Lawmakers yesterday focused on the former, as reported by SHNS’s Kaitlyn Budion.     Bay State man donates letters from Anne Frank’s father to Holocaust Museum   The AP’s Philip Marcello reports that Ryan Cooper, a 73-year-old antiques dealer and artist in Massachusetts, has donated to the Holocaust Museum in Washington dozens of post-war letters he received over the years from the father of Anne Frank, the young Holocaust victim immortalized by her moving diary entries written before her capture by Nazis during World War II.     The white elephant of all white elephants: Firm tapped to re-develop long abandoned tech building along Pike   The long vacant “Boston Tech Center” – that sad and lonely looking facility sitting along the Pike – may soon, finally, get redeveloped. The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock reports Harvard University has tapped Berkeley Investments to redevelop the Lincoln Street property that’s sat mostly empty for nearly 20 years, setting some sort of white-elephant record, we assume. Hopefully, the project includes a bulldozer. Single-payer supporters gain strength on Beacon Hill – but apparently not enough strength   WGBH’s Mike Deehan and the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey report on the single-payer health debate on Beacon Hill, which included a hearing on the issue yesterday. The bottom line: Support for a single-payer health system (and/or “Medicare for All”) may be growing on Beacon Hill, but it’s also getting solid push-back from lawmakers – even from those who say they back the idea.     The latest cannabis-industry entrant: Celtics legend Paul Pierce   Former Boston Celtics start Paul Pierce is shooting for new glory, partnering with Eaze Wellness to launch “The Truth CBD Remedies.” CBD is short for cannabidiol, a “non-psychoactive cannabis plant extract that can be used to treat trouble sleeping, stress and pain relief,” reports Michael Bonner at MassLive.