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Today on Beacon Hill

9:00am Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents Day, Great Hall & Grand Staircase, State House, Boston

11:00am Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, Public Hearing

11:00am House Session, Full Formal Session

12:00pm Forum: Reducing Maternal Health Disparities in the Commonwealth, House Members Lounge, State House, Boston

1:00pm Joint Committee on Election Laws, Public Hearing

1:30pm Haitian Flag Day at the State House, Nurses Hall, State House, Boston

6:00pm Re-Election Campaign Kickoff for Worcester City Councilor Sean Rose

6:30pm Community Conversation with Sen. Jason Lewis: Combatting the Teen Vaping Epidemic, Americal Civic Center, 467 Main Street, Wakefield

6:30pm Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Public Hearing, Field Headquarters, Richard Cronin Building, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough

Last day for convening of the Constitutional Convention

Must-Reads

Baker administration pledges major reforms for troubled foster care system » Boston Globe The plan, presented as a joint agreement between the state’s Department of Children and Families and SEIU Local 509, the union that represents foster care workers, promises to boost the number of so…

State Police destroyed key records in OT probe » Boston Globe A year into an internal audit of overtime abuse, the Massachusetts State Police destroyed years-old traffic citation records, key evidence that federal prosecutors now say prevents them from examining…

Tuesdays becoming too much to take in on Beacon Hill » State House News Service Tuesdays tend to be the busiest day for committee hearings on Beacon Hill. The House typically holds its formal sessions on Wednesdays, the Senate holds most of its formals on Thursdays and lawmakers …

Wage, loan supports eyed to lift human service workers » State House News Service It is especially important to retain and attract workers as the human service industry is expected to have 25,000 more jobs by 2024 but the working population in the state is expected to decrease by 4…

Beacon Hill housing debate centers around local control » Commonwealth Magazine “I feel that it’s a day late and a dollar short,” said Rep. Alan Silvia, a Fall River Democrat, criticizing the governor’s incremental approach. “We need to do much more.” …

A Dark Money Group Is Running Stunningly Racist Elizabeth Warren Ads in Order to Kill a Casino » The Daily Beast A racist ad targeting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and an obscure bill to allow a Native American tribe to open a casino in Massachusetts is connected to a longtime conservative, dark money operative,…

Massachusetts workers pay more for health insurance, but coverage lacking » Wicked Local Often overlooked, however, is the rising cost but also diminishing quality of health insurance offered through employers, even though commercial insurance covers about three in five Massachusetts resi…

Alabama Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in the State » New York Times The legislation bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison. It includes an exception fo…

Exclusive poll: Biden’s Iraq War vote could haunt him in Dem primary » Politico (N)early 3 in 10 Democrats said they were turned off by his Iraq War vote, and more than 40 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 29 said his record on the issue made them less likely to …

Rep. Neal Fires Back Against Accusations Of Pay-To-Play Politics » WBUR Federal Election Commission filings show that right after Neal took the gavel of the Ways and Means Committee, he spent tens of thousands of dollars on fancy dinners and posh events, all to woo wealth…

“Let’s start with first things first, which is if you don’t do something to change the way the local process works so that a simple majority can make decisions around the future of a community’s housing production plan, you’re not going anywhere,”

Governor Charlie Baker

Taking a stance on lessening the hurdles in local government for new housing.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

The Passion of the Pence » Boston Globe Vice President Mike Pence is a man whose ironclad belief in his own piousness is surpassed only by his devotion to a mendacious and depraved president.…

Biden defends 1994 crime bill on final N.H. stop » Boston Globe Former vice president Joe Biden wrapped up his first campaign swing in New Hampshire on Tuesday with a defense of his 1994 crime bill, which has since then been criticized for leading to mass incarcer…

Elizabeth Warren to Fox News: ‘Hard pass’ on town hall invite » Boston Globe Senator Elizabeth Warren announced Tuesday that she is refusing an invitation to appear on President Trump’s favorite TV channel, bucking the trend of Democratic 2020 hopefuls appearing on Fox News …

Voters have a message for the foreign policy elite » Boston Globe So far, 22 Democratic candidates have thrown their hats in the presidential ring — and few of them have had much of anything to say about America’s place in the world. International affairs, it se…

43% Of Mass. Adults View Sen. Warren Favorably, WBUR Poll Finds » WBUR About just as many Massachusetts adults view U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren favorably — 43% — as view her unfavorably — 42% — according to a new WBUR poll.…

'A hate-for-profit racket': Warren refuses Fox town hall invite » Politico The Massachusetts senator sets herself apart from Bernie Sanders and other Democrats who've played ball with the network. …

Elizabeth Warren Deserves Your Undivided Attention » GQ On Tuesday, Massachusetts Senator and 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren told Americans that she was turning down invitation to hold a town hall over on FOX News. The reason she gave for giving that networ…

Business

Arming Boston’s next wave of civic leaders » Boston Globe One of the most enduring criticisms of Boston’s business community is a simple one: It’s still largely controlled by older white men.…

Cowan to replace Klee as GE’s Boston operations exec » Boston Business Journal Ann Klee, the General Electric Co. executive who has overseen the company’s buildout of a Boston headquarters, plans to step down from the conglomerate in September.…

P&G, Related Beal close on Fort Point land sale next to GE HQ » Boston Business Journal Real-estate development company Related Beal has acquired of 6.5 acres of waterfront property immediately adjacent to the General Electric Co. headquarters campus from The Procter & Gamble Co., the co…

House Plans To Alter Voter-Approved 2016 Animal Cruelty Law » WGBH The law put in place by voters in 2016 that mandated larger enclosures for egg-laying hens would be rewritten under a provision passed by the House in its annual budget.…

Engaging regionally to advance Massachusetts’ economic development plan (Viewpoint) » The Republican While the Commonwealth has always been an economic force, recent years have brought unprecedented success. Massachusetts’ longstanding strength in education has helped create a vibrant ecosystem for…

Civil Rights

Civil Rights Activists Push Back On Gov. Baker's Dangerousness Bill » WBUR Civil rights activists told lawmakers Tuesday passing Gov. Charlie Baker's bill to make it easier for police and the courts to detain defendants deemed a risk to the community would be taking a step b…

Education

Drawing an ethical line on sports endowments » Boston Globe The college admission scandal currently playing out in federal court in Boston is also shining a harsh light on the everyday practices at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, raising …

Urban parents urge focus on educational quality » South Coast Today Urban parents turned out in the rain Tuesday to demand improvements in the quality of public education, not just an increase in state aid to schools.…

Springfield $445M school budget includes added funds for arts, pre-K seats » The Republican The School Committee has approved a new $445.1 million budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1, that includes expanding the number of music and art teachers, increasing classroom supplies, a…

Meehan talks tuition freeze with Spilka » Commonwealth Magazine AFTER ACCUSING SENATE leaders of blindsiding university officials with a budget proposal to freeze tuition and fees next year, UMass President Marty Meehan met with Senate President Karen Spilka in he…

Our college sports system is broken. Do we have the guts to fix it? » Boston Globe From big-money Division I football and basketball to the privileged niche sports caught up in the Varsity Blues scandal, campus athletics needs a complete overhaul. Could this bold idea work?…

Harvard Lampoon apologizes following condemnation of Anne Frank imagery as anti-Semitic, misogynistic » Boston Globe The Harvard Lampoon, the student-run humor magazine at the Ivy League university, has apologized after imagery featured in the latest issue was condemned as anti-Semitic and misogynistic.…

Lynn’s Yoscairy Raymond among state Dept. of Higher Education’s 29 Who Shine » Lynn Daily News Item Yoscairy Raymond is a shining star among her Salem State University peers. The Lynn native and soon-to-be SSU graduate received the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine” …

Worcester school policy changes would back away from zero tolerance on banned substances » Worcester Telegram A new proposal before the School Committee would back away from zero tolerance language in the district policy handbook for students found with drugs or tobacco on school grounds.…

A show of support: In anticipation of teacher layoffs, students send a message to the State House » Gazette Net As South Hadley anticipates teacher layoffs in the wake of a significant budget shortfall, students have blitzed the State House with more than 750 letters calling for greater support of school distri…

Amherst-Pelham district towns back regional school assessments » Gazette Net All four towns that make up the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District have agreed to the formula that calculates the share of the fiscal year 2020 budget for which each community is responsible.…

New Bedford Educator Named MA's Teacher Of The Year » Brookline Patch A New Bedford High English teacher is the 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. State education officials announced Wednesday that Takeru Nagayoshi is the top educator in Massachusetts.…

Environment

Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Markey rally for Green New Deal: No ‘middle ground’ on climate change » Boston Globe Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied support for the Green New Deal on Monday night, with the New York congresswoman saying there should be ‘‘no middle ground’’ when i…

'Net Zero' proponents say science supports new emissions goals » Wicked Local Weymouth With scientists warning that the challenge of preparing for and slowing climate change will get more difficult every year, legislators and climate activists pleaded with leaders on Beacon Hill Tuesday…

Shrewsbury designated as Green Community by the Department of Energy Resources » Shrewsbury Post Earlier this year, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that a group of 30 Massachusetts cities and towns were designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, a prog…

Erving, Montague get grants for hazardous material cleanups » The Recorder Erving and Montague were among 13 projects which received over $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Fund grants to support the environmental assessment and cleanup across the state.…

The Shark Attack That Changed Cape Cod Forever » Boston Magazine Last summer, Arthur Medici went surfing off the coast of Cape Cod. He never made it back alive. As the region’s shores increasingly become a hotbed for great white sharks, is it finally time to be a…

Get ready for another biomass battle » Commonwealth Magazine REMEMBER THE BIG FIGHT about biomass as renewable energy in Massachusetts in the mid-2000s? We’re in the middle of another one.…

Protestors bolster case against compressor station » State House News Service Activists renewed their demand Wednesday that the Baker administration revoke an air-quality permit issued for a proposed natural gas compressor station, gathering outside the headquarters of state en…

Health Care

Closing of 5 South Coast facilities leaves state with fewer nursing home beds » Boston Globe A court-appointed receiver is working against a May 24 deadline to find new living quarters for residents of five South Coast nursing homes that are shutting down this month. The closures are the late…

Editorial: Even Politicians Are Beginning to Support Medicare For All in Mass » Valley Advocate Earlier this week, both Holyoke and South Hadley overwhelmingly passed municipal resolutions in support of Medicare for All legislation. A few weeks earlier, Boston’s City Council did the same. They…

Housing

All-Or-Something Dynamic Swirls Around Housing Debate » WGBH The housing production legislation Gov. Charlie Baker refiled this session includes elements lawmakers added the last time around to track progress toward goals and prompt new construction near public…

Governor’s bill to tackle state’s housing crisis is cheered, jeered at legislative hearing » Boston Globe A State House hearing Tuesday highlighted the broad support for a bill that Governor Charlie Baker says is key to tackling Massachusetts’ housing crisis. But it also illustrated the narrow political…

Is sea rise wrecking coastal home values? Maybe » The Eagle Tribune For sale: waterfront property with sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean. Waves erode beach regularly. Flooding gets worse every year. Saltwater damage to lawn.…

Mass. Gov. Baker Pushes Bill to Help Ease States Housing Crunch » NECN Gov. Charlie Baker is urging lawmakers to make it easier for cities and towns to approve new housing developments.…

Lawmakers grapple with Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to address housing ‘crisis’ » The Republican Residential Mortgage Services, a housing lender in Southern New England, has 534 applicants who were approved for loans but can’t find a house, said vice president of underwriting Terri Sicilia.…

Advocates blast gov’s housing bill » The Bay State Banner Housing advocates came to the Massachusetts State House for a hearing Tuesday morning to speak against a bill that Governor Charlie Baker says will create more housing in the state.…

Human Services

Closing of 5 South Coast facilities leaves state with fewer nursing home beds » Boston Globe A court-appointed receiver is working against a May 24 deadline to find new living quarters for residents of five South Coast nursing homes that are shutting down this month.…

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, union announce reforms to improve troubled foster care system » The Republican Amid ongoing problems with the state’s foster care system, the Department of Children and Families on Tuesday announced an agreement with the union representing the agency’s workers to review staf…

Gov. Baker And Social Worker Union Announce Reforms For Child Welfare Agency » WBUR The Baker administration and leaders of the social workers union on Tuesday announced reforms to improve the foster care process and increase staffing in the state’s overburdened child welfare syste…

25 Investigates: Dozens of high-risk youth escaping treatment facilities each year » Fox 25 News In the quiet Central Massachusetts town of Barre, the evening calm is often disrupted by the sound of reverse 911 calls and state police helicopters flying overhead.…

‘Treehouse’ kids put the spotlight on foster care at the State House » Boston Herald Young people involved in the foster care system put on a performance yesterday for state legislators on Beacon Hill to help them better understand their experiences. …

Judiciary

Charlie Baker’s dangerousness bill under fire » Boston Herald Critics Tuesday blasted Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill to allow judges to consider a person’s criminal history when deciding whether they’re too dangerous to be let out, saying it would be a “step …

Gov. Baker Pushes To Expand Need For Dangerousness Hearings After Violent Crimes » CBS Boston Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker pushed legislation before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Tuesday that would keep dangerous defendants behind bars.…

Labor

As Everett casino hires many, other businesses feel a pinch » Boston Globe The Encore Boston Harbor, recently cleared to open in late June, is rushing to finish filling 5,500 positions — luring employees from hotels and restaurants, from the airport and convention centers …

AG’s office fining three Saugus families nearly $450,000 for underpaying domestic help » Boston Globe The attorney general is fining three Saugus families nearly $450,000 for underpaying live-in domestic workers who cooked, cleaned, and took care of their children, sometimes wiring money to the worker…

Mass. lawmakers make push for wage theft bill » Milford Daily News A former wage investigator in the attorney general's fair labor division, Rep. Daniel Cullinane has been chased and threatened by contractors and used to set out at 2 a.m. to arrive at worksites early…

Local Government

Hatfield TM unable to vote on budget, board expansion » Gazette Net Municipal and school budgets in Hatfield will not be ready for voters' consideration until next month, after town officials at annual Town Meeting Tuesday argued against taking up most spending articl…

State legislators talk about economic development, education funding in Chicopee forum » MassLive State senators and representatives agreed more money must be spent on education from kindergarten through college, but said finding the proper way to fund it is where the hard work begins.…

Cambridge leaders consider removing Massachusetts state flag from city hall » WCVB One of Massachusetts biggest cities is taking a stand against the state flag and seal, calling it offensive.…

Quincy Mayor Koch to run for 6th term » Patriot Ledger Mayor Thomas Koch is seeking a sixth term in office, saying he would use another four years in city hall to focus on traffic, affordable housing, the environment and replacing the city’s aging infra…

Stoughton will ask state for 6 liquor licenses to revive downtown » Patriot Ledger Day three of this suburb’s annual town meeting saw representatives approving a petition for six additional liquor licenses in Stoughton Center, a measure that officials hope will breathe fresh life …

Chatham voters reject funds for Oyster Pond shark barrier » Cape Cod Times “No one has focused on the placard above my head and the irony in this discussion,” Town Moderator William Litchfield said, gesturing at the Monomoy Sharks banner on the gymnasium wall behind him.…

Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Get You Fired? Depends on the State. » Governing Less than half of the states where the drug treatment is legal protect patients from employment discrimination. Courts have generally sided with employers -- until recently. …

Politics

Massachusetts pols took $40G in donations from pharma companies sued by AG » Boston Herald The Bay State congressional delegation pocketed more than $40,000 in donations from pharmaceutical companies that have been accused of fixing generic drug prices in a scheme that allegedly bilked nee…

Two councilors to run for Braintree mayor » Wicked Local Braintree Two members of the Braintree Town Council, Tom Bowes, Councilor for District 3, and Sean Powers, Councilor-at-Large, became the first to indicate they would run to replace Joseph Sullivan as mayor on …

Public Health

Vaping is a generational health threat, critics say » Patriot Ledger Lawmakers, health officials, student advocates, school officials and the state's top law enforcement official have one thing to say to the vaping industry: Your days are numbered.…

Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley seeks more restrictions on e-cigarettes » Boston Herald Calling the increased use of vapes and e-cigarettes among young kids a “public health crisis,” City Councilor Matt O’Malley is asking his colleagues and city officials to engage in a “tough co…

Deaths from opioids drop as cocaine, benzo overdoses tick up » Boston Business Journal Opioid overdose deaths appear to be dipping in 2019, an indication that the state’s efforts to rein in the opioid epidemic are working so far this year.…

New Concerns Emerge In State OD Data: Women, Coke, Meth And Death Clusters » WBUR Massachusetts is reporting a 4% decline in opioid-related overdose deaths from 2016 to 2018, according to new state data released Wednesday. There were 2,100 fatalities in 2016, and an estimated 2,050…

Opioid overdoses killed 497 people in Mass. during first quarter » WCVB A total of 497 people, or more than five a day, died of confirmed or suspected opioid overdoses in Massachusetts during the first three months of 2019, according to the Department of Public Health.…

Public Safety

Rachael Rollins in Europe junketeering for social justice » Boston Herald Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins has joined progressive prosecutors from across the nation on a two-week junket to Germany and Portugal to study “second chances” and decriminalization of …

Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood fires Daniel Cintron, suspect in child rape, robbery cases » The Republican Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood announced Tuesday that she has fired Daniel Cintron, a 3-year officer who is awaiting trial for separate allegations of child rape and robbery. …

Lynn Police chief warns city council that public safety hangs in the balance with budget constraints » Lynn Daily News Item Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary said he understands the city’s financial difficulties, but warned the City Council that if his staffing levels continue to be limited by budgeting constraints, that…

State Medal of Valor awarded to two Hampden County Sheriff’s Department corporals » The Republican Two corporals from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department were awarded the state Medal of Valor on Tuesday for courageous actions which likely saved the life of a distressed person in the departmen…

State Government

Baker picks four Worcester leaders for Mass. Economic Development Planning Council » Worcester Business Journal Four Worcester business and higher education leaders have been named to a new Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council by Gov. Charlie Baker.…

Taxation

State leaders consider higher gas tax for road repairs » Lowell Sun With Gov. Charlie Baker eyeing traditional borrowing to meet the state's transportation infrastructure needs, one prominent House Democrat is calling himself a "zealot" for additional financial resour…

Tax credit pitched to support unpaid caregivers » State House News Service More than 800,000 people in Massachusetts act as unpaid family caregivers for an ill, aging or disabled loved one, and legislation filed by a state lawmaker from Winchester aims to ease the financial …

Transportation

JOHN DONOHUE: Hands off that cellphone, drivers » Wicked Local Massachusetts is a pioneer among many civic, scientific and technological advancements, yet we lag behind many of other states in creating safer roads. We must pass legislation to ban texting and driv…

Legislators to vote on hands-free cellphone bill » Boston Globe The Massachusetts House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would ban the use a hand-held cellphones while driving and add new language to traffic tickets that could allow officials to track th…

Opening of I-93 carpool lane draws criticism » The Eagle Tribune The carpool lane is opening along a busy section of Interstate 93 south to all traffic to help alleviate congestion caused by the Tobin Bridge project, but the move is drawing criticism from transit a…

Hinds seeks to get funding on track for Berkshire Flyer rail pilot » Berkshire Eagle State Sen. Adam Hinds has filed budget amendments seeking state funding for a 2020 pilot run of the Berkshire Flyer, a proposed train route connecting Pittsfield and New York City. …

Our Opinion: Separate track approach to exploring rail links » Berkshire Eagle Establishing passenger rail links between the Berkshires and both New York City and Boston would be of great potential to the county. The questions have been — where and how? The NYC track has taken…

South Shore commuter rail trains to start late-night service » Patriot Ledger This fall the Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth and Middleboro/Lakeville lines will all have trains leaving Boston at 11:20 p.m. or later, something advocates say will allow public transit riders to enjoy …

National study: Logan ranked 5th-worst for summer flight delays » Boston Herald Logan International Airport has been ranked fifth-worst nationally in summertime flight delays — holding its tardy position from last year.…

Rep. Muratore supports road, bridge repair bill » The Enterprise State Rep. Mathew Muratore, R-Plymouth, is supporting legislation that will provide $1,556,679 in funding assistance to Plymouth for local road and bridge repairs under the state’s Chapter 90 progra…

Boston Traffic So Bad It Has Become A ‘Public Safety Hazard’ » CBS Boston If you hate sitting in traffic, imagine trying to get a patient to a Boston hospital during rush hour. EMT’s took WBZ-TV for a ride in an emergency response vehicle through East Boston and the Sumne…

Utilities

Longmeadow Town Meeting voters approve restrictions on natural gas facilities » The Republican An article adding safety requirements for natural gas facilities to the town’s bylaws passed in a nearly unanimous vote during the annual Town Meeting Tuesday night.…

"Generally reliable" gas system features leak-prone pipes » State House News Service Emergency response preparedness and safety have to become greater points of emphasis at most every level of utility companies and the Department of Public Utilities, a panel reviewing the physical int…

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Recipe of the Week

Ingredients

Pan-Roasted Asparagus

4 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

1 medium garlic clove (minced)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)

kosher salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)

flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1.  

    Prepare pan-roasted asparagus. After transferring the asparagus to a platter, wipe out the pan, then heat 4 tablespoons salted butter and ½ cup walnuts (chopped) over medium. Cook, stirring, until the milk solids at the bottom are deep golden brown and the mixture has a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2.  

    Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 medium garlic clove (minced),1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped), and a pinch of kosher salt, followed by 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and ¼ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped). Pour over the asparagus and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (optional).

Tip: Don't use extra-thick asparagus, as it requires longer cooking. Look for spears that are no larger than ½ inch in diameter. But don't use ultra-thin asparagus, either, which will end up overdone.



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