04/21/2017 07:06 AM EDT

By Lauren Dezenski (ldezenski@politico.com; @laurendezenski) with Rebecca Morin (rmorin@politico.com; @RebeccaMorin_)

HAPPY FRIDAY, MASSACHUSETTS. April showers in store today with rain and patchy fog expected.

WARREN KNOCKS BAKER OVER HEALTH CARE METTLE - In a sit-down interview with me yesterday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren critiqued Gov. Charlie Baker over his handling of the Republican health care bill, saying he could have done more to fight it.

"The question, I suppose, is how hard is he fighting? How hard is he pushing his fellow Republicans not to knock the legs out from hard working people here in Massachusetts? Look at the opioid crisis," Warren said. "Trumpcare would have taken billions of dollars out of opioid treatment, out of mental health treatment. That has direct effects right here in Mass. I think that all of us should be fighting as hard as possible against that."

Her criticism rings hollow by lumping Republican Baker in with blame for House Republicans, especially since this is a specific issue where Baker broke with them. He went public back in January saying a plan needed to be in place should they move forward with a repeal (and offering suggestions for other fixes) and then came out against the House GOP plan once it was released in March. Baker did say he was willing to work with the administration to figure out a better option for health care - but when federal health care subsidies constitute so much of your already tight state budget, wouldn't you?

She also noted that criticism over Baker's handling of the opioid epidemic, something bubbling from some Democrats in the state, is fair game. "It is the governor's job to help lead in a crisis like this. So I think people are right to ask questions about what he's doing."

Warren also weighed in on whether Maura Healey should run for governor, what Dems need to do to beat Baker, and, of course, 2020 READ MORE

Have a tip, story, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for the Playbook? Get in touch: ldezenski@politico.com.

TODAY - Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao is in town to tour the National Transportation Systems' Volpe Center in Kendall Square - Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester and state and city officials to celebrate Dorchester's Codman Academy Charter Public School teacher Sydney Chaffee being named the 2017 National Teacher of the Year (the first-ever Massachusetts teacher to receive the honor) -- Sen. Ed Markey holds a round-table discussion on protecting net neutrality with digital economy leaders

DATELINE BEACON HILL

- "Massachusetts Democrats weigh competing Israel-Palestine resolutions that threaten to divide party," by Shira Schoenberg, Springfield Republican: "The debate thrusts the state political party into a heated and divisive international conflict, raising questions about whether Massachusetts Democrats should take a stance on Israeli-Palestinian relations and, if so, what that stance should be. It mirrors a debate that occurred last summer in the Democratic Party nationally, with the progressive wing of the party generally taking a more critical view of Israel than party centrists."

- "Marijuana panel chair's goal: kill black market - fast," by Joshua Miller, Boston Globe: "Pot dealers, beware. The state senator in charge of rewriting Massachusetts' voter-passed recreational marijuana law believes quickly "killing the black market" for cannabis should be Beacon Hill's top pot priority."

- "The next recession could make the state budget deficit explode," by Evan Horowitz, Boston Globe: "Massachusetts has a serious budget problem. Year after year, the state struggles to cover the cost of public services - roads and schools, health care and child protection, law enforcement and the courts. It's happening now, with Governor Charlie Baker racing to fill a hole in the current budget with just a few months left in the fiscal year. And while the troubles are partly about lower-than-expected tax revenue recently, the real problem goes a lot deeper."

- "Bar associations ask governor to put Western Massachusetts person on state Supreme Judicial Court," by Buffy Spencer, Masslive.com: "Bar associations in Hampden, Hampshire, Berkshire and Franklin counties have asked the governor to put someone from Western Massachusetts on the state's highest court. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker sent earlier this month, the four bar association presidents said they were writing with regard to the nomination and confirmation of the four most recent justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court."

- "Timilty hailed from a political dynasty," by Jim Hand, Sun Chronicle: "State Sen. James Timilty says he grew up hating politics and wanting nothing to do with it. Which is a bit odd, since politics was the family business. His great-grandfather, 'Diamond Jim' Timilty, was a state senator in the early 1900s and was friendly with Governor and then President Calvin Coolidge."

TRUMPACHUSETTS

-- EVEN ON THE POD, THERE'S ALWAYS A MASSACHUSETTS CONNECTION -- "'We'll do it live,'" by Pod Save America: "Chaffetz and O'Reilly take extended vacations, Ossoff heads to a runoff, and the 2018 map looks bluer. Then, Governor Deval Patrick sits down with Jon and Dan to talk politics and the future of the Democratic Party, and Ana Marie Cox joins to ponder the Case of the Missing Aircraft Carrier." Patrick's segment begins at (49:00)

- CLIFFNOTES FOR FRIENDS OF THE POD: Patrick on breaking into politics: "Politics in Massachusetts, for all the focus on how blue it is ... It's a very tight and inward looking and closed political establishment ... The only way in for me was to come in through the grassroots."

- On his decision to leave government: "I ran not realizing I was going to run headlong into a global economic collapse. One of the biggest challenges was my predecessor signed bill on universal health care that went into effect the day I took office ... We didn't get it all right, by any means. But there's a lot of wear and tear on those jobs. ... I like the old-fashioned notion that you can come in and out of public life. ... I felt it was time to get reacquainted with my friends and family."

- Would he run for office again? "Maybe. If the time is right and if I have something to offer."

- "Cape congressmen urge activism in 'upside-down' world," by Geoff Spillane, Cape Cod Times: "Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., paid a visit to the Cape for a town hall-style meeting, attracting more than 500 people to Nauset Regional Middle School. The event was billed as a 'discussion on the Trump administration and how it impacts Massachusetts.' Markey was joined by U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., during the 90-minute event and was introduced by state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, and state Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown."

- "Bipartisan support for Ex-Sen. Brown's nomination as New Zealand ambassador," by Jim Hand, Sun Chronicle: "Former Sen. Scott Brown is getting bipartisan support for his nomination by President Donald Trump as ambassador to New Zealand. Even Brown's former bitter political opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is backing him for the post. She sent out a tweet Thursday afternoon congratulating Brown. 'You have my support & I'm sure you'll make the people of MA proud,' she tweeted."

- "'Sanctuary city' is a 'political term,' and 'values' statement for communities, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says," by Gintautas Dumcius, Masslive.com: "Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Thursday defended communities adopting the 'sanctuary cities' moniker, saying it's a 'political term.' ... For many communities, it's a 'values statement,' Healey added."

ON THE STUMP --

- "Walsh's campaign is paying his new political consultants $16,000... a month," by Meghan E. Irons, Boston Globe: "Mayor Martin J. Walsh's political campaign is paying $16,000 a month for top Democratic strategists Stephanie Cutter and Teddy Goff, his campaign confirmed Thursday. Walsh told the Globe earlier this month that he hired Cutter and Goff, both partners at Precision Strategies, to join his bid to secure a second term this year. Both will help shape the narrative about the Walsh administration's accomplishments in its first three years, the mayor has said."

- "Legault announces 2018 state Senate run," by Dustin Luca, Salem News: "Resident and past City Councilor William Legault has indicated that he's running for state Senate in 2018. State Sen. Joan Lovely, D-Salem, who represents the Second Essex district, said Legault's announcement is close to a year early, but she's joining him with a commitment to run herself."

WOOD WAR - Herald: "THERE FOR US" "ISIS CLAIMS PARIS ATTACK." - Globe: "Prison death is ruled a suicide," "AN OPENING FOR THE CHURCH," "Trump picks Brown as New Zealand ambassador," "Democrats in state wary of resolution on Israel," "A class of her own: Teacher is first in Mass. to win national award."

THE LOCAL ANGLE

- "Shire City Herbals announces $1.2 million expansion in Pittsfield," by Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle: "Shire City Herbals has found the place it needs to expand - and a distributor to sell its products nationally. The Pittsfield-based company, which makes vinegar-based health tonics including the popular Fire Cider brand, announced on Thursday that it plans to build and operate a new $1.2 million production facility in a former warehouse at 15 Commercial St."

- "Healthy food hard for some to get in local cities," by Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune: "Millions of low-income people live in 'food deserts' in Massachusetts, lacking access to fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy groceries, according to a report that is spurring calls for state and private investment to fix the problem. The report by the nonprofit Massachusetts Public Health Association cites a lack of grocery stores and farmers markets in cities such as Lawrence, Lynn and Revere, where residents are more likely to shop at convenience stores that lack fresh food."

- "WRTA votes to raise fares, cut service to balance budget," by Cyrus Moulton, Worcester Telegram: "The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted Thursday to raise fares and cut service in order to overcome a roughly $785,000 deficit for the next fiscal year. The moves will yield roughly $1 million in increased revenue and savings."

-"'Inclusion' panel gets life as anti-sanctuary status petitions grow," by Dustin Luca, Salem News: "As petitions against the City Council's sanctuary ordinance continue to go around, an 'inclusion' committee created by it is almost ready for prime time. ... Though it's borne of the 'Sanctuary For Peace' ordinance awaiting final affirmation from the City Council next week, the commission itself targets any and all types of people in the city who can be disenfranchised, according to Ward 5 City Councilor Josh Turiel."

- "Boston Chef Barbara Lynch Makes Time's List Of 100 Most Influential," by WGBH News: "Lynch, who has built a seven-restaurant empire, is the only chef to make the list this year."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to POLITICO Europe, which turns two today.

HAPPY BIRTHWEEKEND - to former Mass GOP chairman and state Rep. Brian Cresta and former state Rep. and Mass Bio head Bob Coughlin, who celebrate Saturday, and to Northwind Strategies VP Alex Goldstein, Massport director of Maritime Security and Police Chief Joe Lawless, Rep. Brian Ashe, and Rep. Geoff Diehl who all celebrate on Sunday.

DID THE HOME TEAM WIN? Yes! - The Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1.

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