05/19/2017 07:19 AM EDT
GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Another warm, sunny day with highs in the mid-80s. Keep an eye out for early afternoon thunderstorms.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? - If you go to one of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's speeches, chances are you'll hear about a bipartisan bill she's excited to push alongside Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley that would open the market to over-the-counter hearing aids. The pitch is simple enough, as Warren puts it, an example of how members of Congress on both sides of the aisle can come together to support a bill that can make a difference in people's lives.
But storm clouds are brewing. Over the last few weeks, conservative groups like Gun Owners of America and coalitions including the Center for Freedom and Prosperity and the National Tax-Limitation Committee are pushing House Republicans to kill the bill - they don't support the new regulations the bill would create, but the subtext, as one Republican consultant told me yesterday, is that they don't want the Republicans supporting this bill to give Elizabeth Warren a political win ahead of her presumed presidential run.
"A handful of partisan operatives apparently care more about scoring cheap political points than improving the lives of more 40 million people devastated by untreated hearing loss," Warren spokesperson Lacey Rose said to me yesterday.
The bill still has a clear path forward. It enjoys a healthy amount of support and the House version of the bill (co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Kennedy III) passed an important subcommittee vote on the Hill yesterday. Either way, the intent to highlight and organize against Warren's role shows just how far some Republicans are already willing to go to hold the line against the progressive icon ahead of 2020.
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TODAY - Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and representatives from Forbes make an announcement in Boston's Seaport district - Attorney General Maura Healey delivers the keynote speech to the Women in Law conference at Northeastern University - US Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivers the commencement speech at Wheelock College and receives an honorary degree.
- ON SATURDAY: US Rep. Seth Moulton will hold a town hall in Newburyport at the Rupert A. Nock Middle School's auditorium at 1 p.m. - Potential gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren hosts a block party outside of his Newton home where he will address the next steps of his career at 3 p.m. He is widely expected to officially announce his run for governor.
DATELINE BEACON HILL -
- "Health care law changes would reduce tax credits," by Christian M. Wade, Salem News: "Health care advocates say the elimination of the so-called 'premium tax credits' would make medical coverage for low- and moderate-income individuals more expensive. 'These changes would hurt a lot of people,' said Brian Rosman, policy director at the Boston-based nonprofit Health Care for All. 'People need to understand just how damaging these changes would be to the health care system in Massachusetts.'"
- "Raising The Age To Buy Tobacco To 21 Appears To Now Rest With The Mass. House," by Mike Deehan, WGBH News: "The minimum age for buying tobacco products in Massachusetts could rise to 21 if House Speaker Robert DeLeo were to allow a vote on a bill. Supporters of raising the age say they have the support of Gov. Charlie Baker, which leaves the House of Representatives as the final hurdle in limiting access to underage smoking. While the State Senate would have to vote again this year, it last year supported a similar measure."
- "State senator seeks money for sex-trafficking victims from horse racing funds," by Matt Stout, Boston Herald: "The state's 'grossly underfunded' trust for sex-trafficking victims could see a surge of funding under a new budget proposal that would come at the expense of the struggling horse racing industry, which has become a popular target in Beacon Hill's search for cash."
- "Cape presence felt as bikers 'storm' Statehouse," by Andy Metzger, State House News Service: "Clad in leather and star-spangled bandanas, motorcyclists descended on the Statehouse on Thursday asking for government to take a more hands-off approach toward helmet use and step up enforcement of dangerous driving. Rick Gleason, of South Yarmouth, the legislative director of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, said one reason bikers want to be able to ride helmet-free is the feel of the wind in their hair, and he said ditching the helmet allows bikers to 'hear and see a lot more.'"
- "Mass. lawmakers impatient with chaos, lack of action in D.C.," by Joshua Miller, Boston Globe: "There's anger. There's agitation. But most of all there is impatience, as Massachusetts' top politicians watch the Trump-driven drama unfolding in Washington and lament the serious work of federal governing that is not getting done. They responded Thursday to the unrelenting barrage of Trump administration revelations with a mixture of worry, wit, and fatigue, eagerness to learn the facts, and support for the Department of Justice naming a special counsel to oversee the investigation into potential links between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign."
- "Moulton says special counsel not enough," by Paul Leighton, Salem News: "The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign is an 'important step in the right direction' and 'long overdue,' according to Congressman Seth Moulton. But the Democrat from Salem also said it doesn't go far enough. Moulton, who has been among Trump's harshest critics, said Thursday Congress should form an independent bipartisan commission to conduct its own investigation."
- "AG issues immigration enforcement guidance," by Cynthia McCormick, Cape Cod Times: "State Attorney General Maura Healey on Thursday issued guidelines for health care providers and school officials on dealing with immigration enforcement issues involving patients and students. In both cases, Healey urged organizations to protect the privacy of their patients and students, and said medical facilities and schools are not normally subject to surveillance, searches and arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
- "Milford's Maloney set to testify at Statehouse hearing," by Zachary Comeau, MetroWest Daily News: "State lawmakers, immigration advocates and critics are poised for a lengthy debate at the Statehouse next month as the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security is holding a public hearing on the Safe Communities Act. The law, sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, would essentially make Massachusetts a so-called 'sanctuary state.' The mother of Milford resident Matthew Denice, who was killed in a motorcycle crash by an undocumented immigrant, is expected to testify."
ON THE STUMP -
- "Warren thinks he can sway Trump voters, beat Baker, but Cantabrigians not so sure," by Genevieve DiNatale, Cambridge Day: "Maurice Cunningham, a lifelong Cambridge resident who teaches politics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, said Setti's likelihood of beating Baker is low because Baker has 'protected himself well.' 'The Democrats don't have a lot against Baker,' Cunningham said. Though, 'if they tie Trump around his neck, he will drown.' Warren said he was unfazed by Baker's popularity."
- "Gonzalez supports soda tax, but says income surtax is his priority," by Matt Murphy, State House News Service: "When Democrat Jay Gonzalez tried to goad the governor into a position earlier this week on the "millionaires' tax," Republican Party officials wondered aloud where the gubernatorial candidate stood on another tax - the proposed excise tax on soda. It probably comes as little surprise that Gonzalez supports it. 'I've always supported the idea of a soda tax from a public health perspective,' Gonzalez told the News Service."
WOOD WAR - Herald: "'BRAVE' SON TURNS IN DEALER DAD," "SHAQ IS BACK" - Globe: "Trump denounces inquiry as witch hunt," "A bump for Walsh on city's mean streets," "TO BEACH OR NOT TO BEACH," "Lawmakers from Mass. impatient with chaos in D.C.," "Ailes turned news with a view into TV gold."
THE LOCAL ANGLE -
- "Minority residents in Lowell file federal suit alleging unfair elections," by Michael Levenson, Boston Globe: "The lack of minority representation is not a fluke, according to a federal voting rights lawsuit filed against the city Thursday. ... Rather, the lawsuit argues, it is the direct result of Lowell's system of electing every member of the City Council and School Committee through at-large, or citywide, elections, instead of district elections that represent various parts of the city. The lawsuit points out that under a winner-take-all-system, 51 percent of the electorate can control every seat and win every election."
- "Franklin group: 'Hate has no home here,'" by Christian Yapor, MetroWest Daily News: "Chanting "Immigrants are welcome here, say it loud and say it clear," and holding up signs that read 'Hate has no home here,' about 20 protesters gathered in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars building to support immigrant communities. The demonstration was initially planned to protest a discussion on immigration hosted by director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Jessica Vaughan that would have taken place in the building Thursday night. However, the event, sponsored by the Franklin Republican Town Committee, was cancelled during the afternoon after Larry Bederian, commander of the VFW Post 3402, refused to host political events under the VFW's roof."
PLEASE CLAP - "Jeb Bush's return," by Jim O'Sullivan, Boston Globe: "Jeb! is back. Sort of. ... Former Florida governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush will speak at Boston College on June 8 to an annual finance conference."
- "Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up," by Mary Ann Bragg, Cape Cod Times: "As three offshore wind energy developers move closer to preparing construction plans for areas south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, each will spend time this summer exploring where to install transmission cables to connect their turbines to the grid. 'We started mobilization last week,' Bay State Wind permitting project manager Pernille Hermansen said Tuesday at a regional stakeholder task force meeting in Falmouth. 'That was one vessel, and we just mobilized another vessel yesterday.'"
CHANGING CITY - "Southie home tied to 'Whitey' Bulger on the market," by Laurel J. Sweet, Boston Herald: "A South Boston residence steeped in mob nostalgia is up for sale, in a pricey symbol of the neighborhood's ongoing evolution. ... Assessed by the city at $57,900 in 1985, 36 Thomas Park, a deeded three-family Victorian with roof deck overlooking the city and historic Dorchester Heights, is on the market for $1.4 million."
WHEN PROTEST IS STILL THE NEW BRUNCH - Education advocates including the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Boston Teachers Union will rally on the Boston Common on Saturday at 2 p.m. "to defend public education," according to the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance. "Participants will call for full funding for public education, pre-K through college, debt-free public higher education, less testing and more learning, and equitable access to quality education for all students."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to NBC Boston political reporter Alison King, State House News scribe Katie Lannan, Eagle-Tribune beat reporter Kiera Kathleen Blessing, Emerge Massachusetts' Haley McFarland.
HAPPY BIRTHWEEKEND - to Rep. Chris Walsh of Framingham, Dorchester's own Erin Murphy, Government Relations Group owner Joseph Giannino, Joe Schatz (father of POLITICO States Editor Joe Schatz) out in Acton, and POLITICO's Rebecca Morin who all celebrate Saturday and to Sunday birthday-er Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's John E. McDonough.
DID THE HOME TEAM WIN? No! - The Red Sox fell to the Oakland Athletics 3-8.
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