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Political Happy Hour: March 31, 2016

Here’s your afternoon Fireball fifth of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

SENATE UNVEILS CHARTER BILL, via David Scharfenberg on BostonGlobe.com: “... The bill would require charter teachers to be certified and move to rein in the schools’ sometimes strict discipline practices, which have come under sharp criticism in the state and across the country. It would also mandate that charter schools reserve slots for parents and teachers on their boards. The measure pairs the charter school changes with roughly $1.4 billion in new funding for all public schools — charters and traditional alike — over seven years. ... Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who strongly supports charter schools, suggested in a statement that the bill’s charter school expansion does not go far enough. ...” http://bo.st/1Y2vNN0


THE BILL: http://1.usa.gov/22Sgi0W

REAL TALK: This faces long odds and probably won’t become law.

BIG NEWS OUT OF CALI TODAY, via Liam Dillon of the LA Times reporting from Sacramento: “California’s minimum wage increase to $15 an hour over the next six years passed its most critical legislative test Thursday morning, with the state Assembly approving the deal, sending it on a path to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk by the end of the day. ...” http://lat.ms/1UvtILo

WILL MASSACHUSETTS BE NEXT ON $15 MIN WAGE? is the question I wondered reading this editorial in the New York Times today: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo clearly wants New York to be the first state to enact a statewide minimum wage of $15, but if so, he and the State Legislature will have to move fast to beat California, where on Monday state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown reached a deal on a higher minimum. Mr. Cuomo has included a statewide minimum of $15 in his latest budget. But with an April 1 deadline for the budget, he has an uphill fight to sway Republicans who control the State Senate. His challenge now is to get them to go along without giving too much away. ...” http://nyti.ms/1SpwR9p


THE NEW ENGLAND FIGHT AGAINST THE SCOURGE OF OPIOID ABUSE, MAINE EDITION, via an article the Portland Press Herald’s Steve Mistler posted this afternoon: “Maine is close to joining roughly 30 other states to allow the overdose reversal drug naloxone – commonly known as Narcan – to be sold without a prescription following key votes in the House and Senate on Thursday. ...” http://bit.ly/1Rsjd9h

NEW ENGLAND POT WATCH, CONN. EDITION, via the Associated Press in Hartford: “The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday on whether a state employee who was fired for smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should be reinstated. Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state vehicle. He had no previous disciplinary problems since being hired in 1998 and had received favorable job evaluations, according to his labor union. ...” Link via the Seattle Times: http://bit.ly/1SpxYGl

UNENDING SUFFOLK U BOARD DRAMA, by Joe Battenfeld on page 3 of today’s Boston Herald: “In a new escalation of the nasty war over control of Suffolk University, the school’s trustees are launching an independent probe into allegations of misspending by President Margaret McKenna after she balked at cooperating with an internal investigation, sources told the Herald. ...” http://bit.ly/21UJqyL


PRIEST DEFROCKED, via Andy Rosen on BostonGlobe.com: “The Vatican has defrocked a priest after a church investigation found that he was ‘guilty of abuse of a minor,’ the Archdiocese of Boston said Thursday.Thomas H. Maguire, who was ordained nearly 40 years ago, had in the past bemoaned the personal and spiritual effect that the church sex abuse scandal had taken on his colleagues and the archdiocese. ...” http://bit.ly/1RPSy8d

PRESIDENTIAL POLLING — TRUMP AND CLINTON UP IN NY, via press release today: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have the home-court advantage in New York State’s Democratic and Republican primaries as Clinton tops Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont 54 - 42 percent while Trump leads among Republicans with 56 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 20 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 19 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. ...” http://bit.ly/1X0pARw

WHEN NEWS FROM D.C. MAKES THE RED LINE LOOK GREAT, via Robert McCartney on WashingtonPost.com: “Metro’s top officials warned Wednesday that the transit system is in such need of repair that they might shut down entire rail lines for as long as six months [!!!] for maintenance, potentially snarling thousands of daily commutes and worsening congestion in the already traffic-clogged region. ...” http://wapo.st/1PHLlQ1

LINK I CLICKED ON BECAUSE, well, who wouldn’t: “The Santa Barbara Zoo has unveiled its new baby Masai giraffe, which was born last weekend. The calf does not have a name yet.” 30 seconds raw video from the AP which is neither more nor less compelling than you might imagine: https://youtu.be/TtdJth4pOMw


Back tomorrow.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.