Three takes on Lottery move

There are three ways to look at the Massachusetts Lottery’s decision to move its headquarters from Braintree to Dorchester.

From an economic perspective, the move is expected to hike costs. The new lease is $15.2 million over 10 years, or an average of $1.5 million a year. The expiring Braintree lease is $2.2 million a year, but the building also houses a warehouse and regional office. Lottery officials hinted those operations would remain in Braintree, presumably in new spaces with new leases. Michael Sweeney, the Lottery’s executive director, predicted  the new lease arrangements will cost significantly more.

From a strategic perspective, the move has pros and cons. Treasured Deborah Goldberg, the chairman of the Lottery Commission, said she likes the new location on Mt. Vernon Street because it’s a short walk from the JFK/UMass Red Line station. She said the average age of Lottery employees is pretty high, and she wants to be in a location that can attract younger workers as the state gambling operation makes an expected move online. The current offices in Braintree are 2.5 miles from the nearest Red Line stop.

On the other hand, it seems likely the move will split operations between Dorchester and Braintree, which some in the business world think is a bad idea. (See John Hancock decision to move its HQ back to the Back Bay.)

From a political perspective, the move is very intriguing. Back in 2016, when the Legislature was fashioning the state’s marijuana law, there was speculation that the key House negotiator, Rep. Mark Cusack, was steering control of pot regulation away from Goldberg because of her desire to move the Lottery’s headquarters out of Braintree. Cusack, who represents Braintree, dismissed the speculation, but the Legislature nevertheless did strip away much of the oversight given to Goldberg’s office by a voter-approved ballot measure.

Goldberg went ahead with the Lottery move on Tuesday, leaving a lot of bruised feelings in her wake. Cusack said he needed more information on the decision, noting the higher lease costs would reduce the amount of local aid the Lottery provides to cities and towns. “There has to be some basis why they think this is in the best interest of the Commonwealth,” he said.

Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan, who used to run the Lottery himself, said he was disappointed with the decision to move  “It is the treasurer’s prerogative,” he said. “This move was a Treasury decision.”

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Do you know who I am: State Sen. Michael Brady of Brockton was arrested in Weymouth and charged with drunken driving. The police report said Brady identified himself as a state senator when asked to perform field sobriety tests, which he failed. (The Enterprise)

Shirley Leung says Gov. Charlie Baker is AWOL when it comes to showing passion on important issues. (Boston Globe)

Lawmakers form the Cape and islands want an amendment to the short-term rental bill that would add a 2.75 percent excise tax earmarked for the $4 billion wastewater cleanup the region is facing. (Cape Cod Times)

Sen. Eileen Donoghue was named Lowell city manager. (Lowell Sun)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Public and private investment in Springfield since the tornado of 2011 totaled $3.76 billion, according to chief development officer Kevin Kennedy. (MassLive)

Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno’s crackdown on a church providing sanctuary to a Peruvian woman prompted City Councilor Adam Gomez to call Sarno “mayor Trump.” (MassLive)

The Pittsfield City Council is looking for answers as the costs associated with its paid parking program rise. (Berkshire Eagle)

The New Bedford City Council wants Mayor Jon Mitchell to include more money in the next fiscal budget dedicated to road repairs. (Standard-Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

A Herald editorial argues that President Trump has actually been tougher on Russia than his predecessors.

At least 12 states, including Massachusetts, are considering a suit to stop the Census Bureau from asking questions about citizenship in the 2020 census. (New York Times)

ELECTIONS

At a campaign event in Provo, Utah, US Senate candidate Mitt Romney insisted he is a mainstream conservative. On some issues, he said, he is more conservative than President Trump. Romney specifically mentioned deficits and immigration. “I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the president. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally,” he said. (Daily Herald)

Keller@Large says Gov. Charlie Baker has so far been able to ride out bad news but if the Registry’s woes and long lines continue, that may be his undoing.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

John Hancock will relocate 1,000 employees from the Seaport to the Back Bay, the insurance company’s longtime home, including to the original Hancock building on Berkeley Street, but not to the glassy tower on Clarendon that was its one-time headquarters. (Boston Globe)

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau is looking for a COO, and its widely assumed the person hired will be poised to take over as CEO when the office’s longtime CEO, Pat Moscaritolo, who is 73, retires. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

The Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education voted to reject President Trump’s call for arming teachers. (WBUR)

Brockton School Superintendent Kathleen Smith said there’s been an increase in marijuana-related incidents at the city’s schools since the statewide legalization referendum passed in 2016, including several cases of students suffering severe effects from eating too many medical pot-infused gummy bears. (The Enterprise)

Wellesley College plans to overhaul a center funded by the Koch brother billionaires to bring conservative voices to campuses, but the school’s isn’t saying exactly what that means. (Boston Globe)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

The shutdown of hospital maternity programs in the state is leaving some expectant mothers will longer trips to deliver babies. (Boston Globe)

A former nurse at UMass Medical Center filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, alleging harassment by male doctors. The hospital says it investigated her complaints and found no evidence of wrongdoing. (Telegram & Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION

Braintree’s Licensing Board has issued 40 taxi licenses for the year, down from 60, after one company went out of business. Town officials are considering a permanent cap of 40 at the request of cab owners in the wake of Uber and Lyft upending the business. (Patriot Ledger)

One day after the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole ferry returned to service, it was once again removed because of mechanical issues. (Cape Cod Times)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

No word yet on the state’s multi-billion-dollar clean energy procurement. The state’s three utilities were supposed to decide whether Northern Pass was a go or whether to proceed with backup Central Maine Power by Tuesday, but no decision was announced. (CommonWealth)

John Shue of FirstLight Power defends the pumped hydropower storage facility at Northfield, which was recently portrayed as a threat to the Connecticut River. (CommonWealth)

Dealing with the effects of climate change is non-negotiable, says Mayor Marty Walsh, in the face of estimates that it could cost Boston as much as $2.5 billion to mitigate its effects. (Boston Herald)

Some Charlton residents want to hit the pause button on new solar installations, which have proliferated in the community and become a huge source of income. (Telegram & Gazette)

CASINOS/MARIJUANA

Brockton city councilors, upset at the accelerated timing, voted to table a zoning proposal by Mayor Bill Carpenter that would have expanded where medical marijuana dispensaries can operate and smooth the way for retail recreational pot sales.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The State Police will now pay officers in F Troop who patrol Logan Airport directly following disclosure that payroll records, including huge overtime payouts, were not shared for years with state officials. (Boston Globe) Howie Carr goes after the State Police and Gov. Charlie “Tall Deval” Baker, who he says isn’t exactly riding roughshod to get to the bottom of all the statie woes. (Boston Herald)

Police are investigating whether a Texas couple arrested at a Tewksbury motel with an arsenal that included an AR-15 with a grenade launcher and bump stock were staking out last Saturday’s March for Our Lives demonstration against gun violence. (Boston Herald)

MEDIA

Joe Nocera offers some interesting insights on Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that bought the Boston Herald. He suggest its newspaper assets may be in a death spiral, all to support questionable investments in other companies, including General Electric. (Bloomberg)

Ken Doctor has a good story on Facebook and the news business. (Nieman Journalism Lab)