State Capitol Briefs — Monday, March 30, 2015

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House and Senate leaders are still negotiating a midyear spending bill but plan to resolve their differences “soon,” according to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Rosenberg, emerging from a meeting in Speaker Robert DeLeo’s office, was unable to say when Democratic legislative leaders would agree on a bill, but both branches plan to return on Tuesday to try to hammer out a deal after spending all day Monday trying to reach consensus. State funding for emergency shelters that serve homeless individuals is scheduled to run out Tuesday night, with tens of millions of dollars for shelters tied up in the larger bill. Baker administration officials say shelters will remain open, but acknowledge they have no funds to continue operations. Democratic legislative leaders last week sent spending bills to a conference committee for resolution. On Monday, mindful that shelters are running out of money, lawmakers tried to pass streamlined versions of those spending bills. After the Senate adjourned on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr said both bills have a “lot of moving pieces,” adding, “I don’t think it would be fair to say any one thing is a particular issue.” “I think there was a hope and an expectation that it would happen today but obviously there’s more discussion and more negotiation that has to happen,” Tarr said, adding, “I think that we’re on a very tight schedule to be able to get this done before the lack of some spending document has some adverse consequences for state services in some way, shape or form.” – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS

Backers of the bid for Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics privately briefed Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders Monday on the bid’s costs, venues and revenue projections. Boston 2024 CEO Rich Davey, chief administrative officer Joe Rull and private equity investor Stephen Pagliuca emerged from House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s office just before 4 p.m. after a meeting that got underway sometime after 2:30 p.m. Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics and a former candidate for U.S. Senate, said the meeting focused on “where we are” in the process and was part of an effort to keep state officials “informed every stop of the way” on the bid. Pagliuca said Olympics officials believe revenues from television will be up while the cost will be lower. “They want to leave cities better off,” he said. The meeting came days after Boston 2024 officials last week delivered briefings to top Baker administration officials and state senators. A potential ballot question on the bid did not come up during Monday’s meeting, according to Davey. Boston 2024, the private nonprofit seeking to bring the Olympic Games to Boston, last week said it would gather signatures for a statewide referendum on the bid. Asked how much Boston 2024 was willing to spend on a ballot campaign, Davey said, “We’re not there yet.” Boston 2024 chair John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, also participated in the meeting. Evan Falchuk, a former gubernatorial candidate and head of the United Independent Party, has said he plans to pursue his own ballot question to make sure no taxpayer dollars can be spent on the games. Davey said Boston 2024 has not yet spoken to Falchuk, who called on Baker and legislative to stop meeting privately with bid organizers. “The voters of Massachusetts are tired of the lack of transparency around this Olympic bid, and suspicious of the coziness between this cadre of connected insiders and our elected officials. For a group that says it doesn’t want any taxpayer money, they sure are spending a lot of time meeting in private with the people in charge of deciding how taxpayer money is spent,” Falchuk said in a statement. – Gintautas Dumcius and Matt Murphy/SHNS


Congressman Joe Kennedy will be the featured speaker Thursday morning at the Irish International Immigrant Center’s 6th Annual Business Leaders Breakfast in Boston. Organizers say Kennedy will discuss issues of concern to immigrant communities and ways that immigrant communities can help shape the economy. Businessman Dave Greaney of Synergy Investments and Jeannie Kain of the American Immigration Lawyers Association are also expected to offer remarks, as well as two college students from Brazil. Kain plans to discuss President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration issues. The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Boston Harbor Hotel and is open press. – Michael Norton/SHNS
Copyright 2015 State House News Service

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