Time to scrap the Bottle Bill? Trump fears rattle GOP; Puppy mill bill unleashed

 

Today: Guv at White House

 

Gov. Baker joins other governors visiting Washington for a meeting with President Obama, followed by a press conference. 10:30 a.m.

 

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg joins Jim Braude and Margery Eagan in studio for an interview on Boston Public Radio. WGBH-FM 89.7 and 1 Guest St., Brighton, 11 am.

 

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board reviews a report on bus maintenance — an area T officials have already highlighted as a cost driver – receive an update on an audit of MBTA overtime and hear an update on the commuter rail vendor’s improvement plan. 10 Park Plaza, 2nd floor conference rooms, Boston, 12 pm.

 

U.S. Senator and Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hosts a rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. According to an advisory, topics Sanders plans to discuss include “getting big money out of politics, combating climate change and making college affordable.” William D. Mullins Memorial Center, University of Massachusetts, 200 Commonwealth Avenue, Amherst, 4:30 pm.

 

Trump Effect stirs GOP fears

As Donald Trump continues to cruise toward the Republican nomination, others in the GOP are beginning to worry about the damage that could be left in his wake with other contests on the state level. “Polls have shown him performing poorly among women and minority voters, two groups the party needs to attract in greater numbers than it has in recent elections,” reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan from Washington, where national governors associations were meeting this weekend. http://bit.ly/1Q4bkTk

 

Legalization lessons from Colorado

Legalization of marijuana is a mixed bag, reports Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe, who recently spent some time in Colorado, where the substance, in various forms, has been legal since 2014. Legalization brought in $135 million in tax revenue last year in Colorado while the state has the highest youth rate of marijuana use in the country. And there’s been an uptick in the number of kids admitted to the ER for accidentally eating THC-infused marijuana. http://bit.ly/1RW6dcu

 

IndyCar racing infrastructure arriving

The controversial IndyCar race, tentatively scheduled to roar through South Boston over Labor Day weekend, already has begun storing large barriers as Grand Prix of Boston prepares for the event. The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports the organizers have secured a short-term lease at the Marine Industrial Park in South Boston to store the concrete barriers.

http://bit.ly/1Q5e5Ue

 

Baker lags in implementing nursing home regs

The track record of nursing home company Synergy Health Centers, the New Jersey based firm that operates 11 nursing homes in Massachusetts, has made clear the need for additional regulations, writes blogger HesterPrynne. But the Baker administration has been slow in producing them as the administration continues its regulatory review. …“It was difficult to avoid the conclusion that protecting Synergy Health Centers from meddlesome governmental regulators was more important to the Baker administration than protecting elderly and disabled nursing home residents from Synergy Health Centers.” http://bit.ly/20PRhNw

 

New container bill would do away with Bottle Bill
The food and beverage industry endorses a new bill that would end the 5-cent bottle bill and replace it with a 1-cent container bill, one that would generate an estimated $135 million per year to go towards expanding curbside recycling. However, environmental groups say it would have a negative impact on municipal recycling programs. “Supporters of the measure, which is backed by the food and beverage industry, say the changes would boost recycling by more than 30 percent, reduce landfill waste and create more than 3,000 new jobs while reducing carbon emissions,” the Christian Wade, State House reporter for the Newburyport Times, reports. However, not everyone is as certain the new program would work. “The reality is the bottle deposit system is the most effective recycling tool in the state, if not the country,” executive director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Janet Domenitz said.
http://bit.ly/1RhIoK2

 

Puppy mills target of pet sale bill
Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley wants to ban pet stores from selling puppies, kittens and bunnies. The ban is intended to stop pet stories from selling animals from breeding mills. O’Malley said there are 120 municipalities that have a similar ban including Chicago and Los Angeles. Not everyone agrees with the ban. “I don’t see the logic here,” said Jim Gentile, owner of The Pet Shop in Brighton said to Brian Dowling of the Boston Herald. “I don’t see it helping. Does Weymouth or Cambridge sell bunnies? Are you pushing customers over the city limits?”
http://bit.ly/1mSlkGI

 

Financial engineering costing the T

The MBTA carries over $5 billion in debt, some of it at floating rates that it has hedged with derivatives called swaps, which basically are insurance against a sudden rise in rates. Those swaps, given the low interest rate environment, are costing the T about $26 million per year extra in interest, reports the Globe’s Beth Healy. The T is considering exiting some of its swap deals with Deutche Bank, which would cost $30 million. http://bit.ly/1TzZaY8

 

EPA orders costly cleanup in Charles River towns 

The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to issue regulations forcing communities along the Charles River to spend millions to prevent contaminated runoff, David Abel of the Globe reports. While the Federal government says it will help defray some of the costs, municipalities are expecting to spend millions to comply with the new rules. Franklin alone expects to spend $62 million over the next 20 years.  http://bit.ly/1OpBnlG

Towns lament ABCC overrules

Several towns in Central Massachusetts say their attempts to punish liquor license holders for selling alcohol to minors are being thwarted by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, which often overturns local rulings on appeal, sometimes twice in the same case, Susan Spencer of the Telegram reports. The ABCC says the communities have overreached in cases where violations are identified through sting operations. http://bit.ly/1XHJmSk

Is history in Brian Joyce’s corner? 

Amid calls for the expulsion of Sen. Brian Joyce, Matt Stout of the Herald reports in his Pols and Politics column that the Massachusetts Senate rarely forces its members out, last doing so in 1977 and only then acting after the senator was convicted of extortion. Before that, the most recent example of state senators throwing one of their own out dates to 1913.  http://bit.ly/1Tu7I1n

Making the case for Deval 

WGBH’s Callie Crossley lays out reasons why Gov. Deval Patrick makes sense to be President Obama’s choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. Crossley: Some of her arguments: Patrick has never openly coveted a court seat, which would allow him to “keep his cool” during tough confirmation hearings. And even if the Senate rejected him, the experience could help raise his profile nationally.  http://bit.ly/1QtfMtY

Is a Romney endorsement coming? 

Reports that circulated over the weekend that former and two-time presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney would endorse Marco Rubio are being called “false,” Boston.com’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa of Boston.com reports. Rubio himself said no endorsement was in the offing—though he said he’d welcome it — and others report that Romney will likely wait until later in the nomination contest to anoit a candidate.  http://bit.ly/1QUPT6W