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
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” .
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
supporters gain strength on Beacon Hill – but apparently not enough
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.
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.