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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Special Legislative Commission to Study and Examine the Civil Service Law, Virtual Hearing

10:00am Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management, Public Hearing

10:00am Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Public Hearing

12:00pm Special Joint Committee on Redistricting, Public Hearing

1:00pm Special Legislative Commission on Structural Racism in Correctional Facilities of the Commonwealth, Virtual Hearing

Must-Reads

State budget scraps 'ineffective' tax breaks » Newburyport News A controversial subsidy for filmmakers was set in place as part of the state budget, even as lawmakers retired several other tax breaks.…

Report Details Crisis In Boston Early Childhood Programs, Suggests Intervention » WBUR Boston families with young children may have had a harder time accessing key child development screening and services during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new report.…

NY: NY releases some rent aid, but lawmakers say it’s too little » AP News New York state has sent out just $117,000 in coronavirus pandemic rent relief money to help bail out struggling landlords and tenants as of Thursday, and lawmakers say that is far too little as the ex…

FL: Coronavirus cases in Florida are rising ‘at an alarming rate,’ surgeon general warns » Miami Herald Coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate across Florida as the Delta variant races through the state, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned on Thursday.…

Italy says it will require proof of vaccination or a negative test for many social activities » New York Times The Italian government announced on Thursday that it would require people to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test in order to participate in certain social activities, including indoor …

Mississippi Argues Supreme Court Should Overturn Roe V. Wade » HUFFPOST The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the o…

Opinion: Is a New York Times Columnist Seriously Running for Governor? » Politico “We need new leadership from outside the broken political system,” Kristof told Willamette Week, presumably in straight-face mode, sounding exactly like a candidate. “I’m honestly interested i…

Still no answer for Massachusetts businesses forced to shoulder $7 billion in pandemic unemployment costs » Boston Herald Business groups are accusing lawmakers of turning a blind eye to the festering insolvency of the state’s unemployment trust fund and saddling the debt on businesses rather than paying it down with t…

Funds for forests: Campaign ramps up to improve state's rural lands payments » Berkshire Eagle Communities with large tracts of state land are being stiffed financially. That’s what a top Massachusetts official thinks — and she’s coming out Friday to say it again.…

Details on FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh prompts questions about vetting process » Boston Globe Nearly three years after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation to the Supreme Court, the FBI has disclosed more details about its efforts to review the justice’s background, leading a …

Editorial: Giving a boost to nonprofits in their time of need » Boston Globe If ever there was a year to lend a hand to the state’s nonprofits — everything from community centers and homeless shelters to pandemic-shuttered arts organizations — this is it.…

College sports betting, esports, diversity mandate: Here’s what’s in the Massachusetts House’s sports betting bill » MassLive The Massachusetts House on Thursday passed a sports betting legalization bill, backing wagers on collegiate sports, esports and fantasy contests.…

Boston Council Demands "Information Justice" From Beacon Hill » State House News Service The Boston City Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging the state Legislature "to reconsider efforts to expand transparency and information justice through its decision-making," citing recent H…

What, exactly, is going on with the Transportation and Climate Initiative? » Boston.com Massachusetts needs other states to officially join in order to launch the effort to reduce vehicle emissions. And for now, that's somewhat of a waiting game.…

Boston community college, jobs and recovery programs may see $2.3M boost after push from Rep. Ayanna Pressley » MassLive A trio of community programs in Boston may see a boost of more than $2 million in the next fiscal year, Rep. Ayanna Pressley announced this week.…

Mass. Bill Would Boost Pensions For Pandemic Government Workers. Critics Say It Would Cost Billions » WBUR Critics say a measure to reward government workers in Massachusetts for their service during the pandemic could wind up costing billions of dollars and drain state and local pension funds.…

“Allowing for casinos and existing online gaming apps to monopolize yet another multi-billion dollar industry will only further widen the income gap,” Ramos said Thursday, “because I’m certain there are no Black- and brown-owned casinos in Massachusetts and, to my knowledge, there are no major Black and brown-owned sports apps.”

Rep. Orlando Ramos

After six hours yesterday the Massachusetts House passed a sports betting bill. Freshman Rep. Ramos had his amendment adopted adding diversity requirements to a feasibility study on betting kiosks.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Pelosi says ‘deadly serious’ Jan. 6 probe to go without GOP » Boston Globe Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Thursday that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will take on its “deadly serious…

Business

Massachusetts lawmakers are eyeing a repeal of the state’s happy hour ban. Charlie Baker isn’t so sure. » Boston.com Call him a “stick in the mud,” but Gov. Charlie Baker says he’s not on board with the sudden energy around repealing the ban on happy hours in Massachusetts.…

Bookkeeper who stole more than $1 million from small businesses sentenced to three years in federal prison » Boston Globe Patricia Lindau, whose firm provided payroll and payroll tax services to small businesses from Cape Cod to Maine, was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to wi…

After searching for a new home, CommonWealth Kitchen works out deal to stay put in Grove Hall » Boston Globe The food-business incubator will buy its Dorchester property for $7 million, with help from city-controlled funds.…

For airlines, it’s looking more like 2019 again » Boston Globe A summer travel bonanza is exceeding expectations, helping airlines earn profits again and brightening the outlook for the rest of the year. It’s a welcome relief for a battered industry and a sign …

Five Massachusetts restaurants received $10 million from Restaurant Revitalization Fund » MassLive The economic impact of COVID on Massachusetts restaurants was severe. A federal program offered nearly a billion dollars in relief.…

EcoTarium receives $1.1M in federal pandemic aid » Worcester Business Journal Worcester science museum the EcoTarium received $1.1 million in funding from the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, the nonprofit announced Thursday.…

Area Consumer Complaint Office, Now in Newburyport, Receives Grant from Attorney General » WHAV The local agency handling consumer complaints is sharing in nearly $2 million awarded by Attorney General Maura Healey for local consumer mediation programs.…

Hill says sparklers should be legalized » Salem News Every summer, state Rep. Brad Hill sees a problem play out on every beach around the region. His solution involves legalization, but fire chiefs seem steadfast in disagreement. Hill, alongside state S…

Cannabis

Marijuana company tried to bust union forming at Hanover dispensary » Patriot Ledger A national marijuana company with a medical dispensary in Hanover broke the law when three of its top executives tried to hamper unionization efforts at the local dispensary, authorities say.…

Civil Rights

Satanic Temple suit against Boston moves forward » Boston Herald The Satanic Temple’s lawsuit against Boston has more than a snowball’s chance in hell, a federal judge has ruled.…

Education

Janey Appoints Two Latina Members To Boston School Committee » WBUR Acting Mayor Kim Janey has appointed two immigrant, Spanish-speaking women to fill temporary vacancies on the Boston School Committee.…

Editorial: Student loan debt reset » Lowell Sun With the moratorium on federal student debt payments scheduled to expire on Oct. 1, state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has assembled a team to deal with any questions or concerns borrowers…

Boston students will wear masks this fall, bucking state guidance » Boston Herald Boston students will continue to wear masks at school in the fall, according to Acting Mayor Kim Janey, which goes against state guidance that all masking and social distancing requirements will be li…

Janey Names Two Latina Activists To The Boston School Committee » WGBH Acting Mayor Kim Janey named two veteran Latina activists to the Boston School Committee Thursday, replacing two Latina members who resigned after sharing inappropriate text messages during a highly c…

As Supreme Court Weighs Harvard Admissions Case, Two Asian Americans Speak Out And Allege Bias » WGBH Harrison Chen doesn't like to brag, but the 21-year-old son of Chinese immigrants graduated at the top of his high school class and logged almost perfect scores on the SAT. Still, Harvard rejected his…

Environment

Rains wreck havoc on Royalston roads » Athol Daily News Heavy rains this past weekend caused extensive damage to roadways throughout the region, including Royalston. At the Selectboard meeting Tuesday, July 20, Chair Deb D’Amico praised the town’s emer…

Western Massachusetts Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. asks Gov. Charlie Baker to declare a state of emergency after summer flooding » MassLive State Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. has written a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker asking for a state of emergency to be declared over the historic levels of rainfall in Western Massachusetts.…

Gaming

MA Sports Betting Passes House, But Will Senate Stall Again? » Legal Sports Report The MA sports betting story took a familiar step Thursday, gaining House approval and putting the onus on the Senate.…

House again votes to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts » Boston Herald House lawmakers played a hand of deja vu on Beacon Hill as they voted to legalize sports betting for the second time in so many years.…

Massachusetts House passes sports betting bill; deal with Senate before fall unlikely » MassLive Massachusetts lawmakers and gambling analysts found themselves in familiar territory Thursday night as the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to legalize sports betting.…

House Approves Sports Betting, Again, With Bipartisan Vote » State House News Service The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts on Thursday evening, but even before the vote, the question of whether to allow wagers on college sports emerged as…

Health Care

State auditor faults MassHealth for improperly paying for hospice care » Boston Business Journal The state auditor says that MassHealth improperly paid for an estimated $45 million in hospice services over nearly four years that should have been paid for by the federal government.…

Biogen defends Aduhelm approval process, says ‘misinformation’ is fueling controversy » Boston Globe Biogen on Thursday vigorously defended its actions that led to the approval of its controversial new Alzheimer’s drug and said negative media coverage was misleading patients who might benefit from …

Amid COVID-19 surge, calls mount for mandatory Cape nursing home staff vaccinations » Cape Cod Times With an 88-year-old husband living at a Harwich nursing home, Katie O’Connor of Orleans said she welcomes the news that state public health officials are now requiring all long-term care facilities …

Housing

Cooling Aid Shifts From Luxury To Necessity For Some In Mass. » WBUR The applications poured into Chelsea City Hall this month. More than 700 for 73 free air conditioners. Josefa Mendez filed one, with the help of her 16-year-old son.…

Human Services

Probe Clears Former Fitchburg Shelter Director Of Assaulting Homeless Clients » WBUR An independent investigation has found "insufficient evidence" that the now-former manager of a Fitchburg homeless shelter operated by Our Father's House sexually and physically assaulted people seeki…

Dorchester Youth Collaborative reopens — under new agency » Commonwealth Magazine AFTER SURVIVING BATTLES with both colon and prostate cancer in recent years, Emmett Folgert knows something about rebounding when things aren’t looking great. So he insisted it wasn’t time to writ…

Judiciary

Howie Carr: Clerk magistrates in hack heaven at $155,084 a year for life » Boston Herald There’s an old saying at the State House about lifelong payroll patriots like Sal Paterna: Forgotten but not gone.…

Healey deputy, SEC lawyer nominated for judgeships » News 22 WWLP.com Gov. Charlie Baker nominated a prominent Securities and Exchange Commission trial lawyer and the deputy chief of Attorney General Maura Healey’s criminal bureau for judgeships on Wednesday, setting …

Labor

MMTA workforce solutions amendment passes state budget » Boating Industry Last week Governor Baker signed the 2022 state budget, which included $150,000 in funding for workforce development and career technical education initiatives within the recreational boating industry.…

As stresses build, lifeguarding becomes an anxious grind » Boston Globe The view from the lifeguard’s chair ― bronzed faces bobbing in the water, toddlers packing sand into pails and dusting off seashells — takes in the easy fun of summer at the New England shore.…

Local Government

Muni Matters: Remote Meetings Leave Questions, Hurdles for Small Towns » State House News Service Shutesbury Town Clerk Grace Bannasch was taking a quick shower recently when the bells started going off. Her home phone, cellphone and email notifications all began pinging her at once, alerting her …

Boston City Council backs vote-by-mail, same-day registration for city elections » Boston.com Boston city councilors on Wednesday approved two home rule petitions that, if supported by state lawmakers, will allow eligible voters to register on Election Day and continue early voting and vote-by…

Hard-hit cities seek long-term changes with federal recovery money » Commonwealth Magazine WHEN COVID-19 HIT Revere, so did hunger for many residents. City officials had decades ago given a building to a nonprofit which no longer needed it. So the city set up a food distribution center ther…

Politics

Kim Janey won’t be ‘incumbent’ on Boston ballot » Boston Herald Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s benefitted from her big new office to help propel her toward the front of the mayoral-race pack — but she’s not going to have any assistance on the actual ballot, which …

Jugs of urine with racial slur, political messages poured in Brockton candidate's driveway » The Enterprise Gallon-sized jugs containing urine with handwritten racial and political messages on them were poured out on the driveway of homeowner Marlon Green Tuesday, which he sees as an extreme response to his…

Public Health

Cambridge urges all residents to mask up after breakthrough infections reported » Boston Herald Cambridge health officials are urging all residents, whether vaccinated or not, to mask up after the city reported more than 30 coronavirus breakthrough infections this month, as Massachusetts officia…

Charlie Baker has no plans to change Massachusetts coronavirus restrictions » Boston Herald As COVID-19 cases have tripled in Massachusetts this month over last month, Gov. Charlie Baker remains steadfast in his decision to keep pandemic restrictions as they are — virtually nonexistent.…

Rising COVID-19 cases spur action on face coverings » Boston Globe In one of the first signs the resurgence of COVID infections is causing concern among officials, Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey on Thursday said all public school students in the city will be required …

477 confirmed cases, 6 deaths, and 9,232 vaccinations. See today’s COVID-19 data from Mass. » Boston Globe Massachusetts on Thursday reported 477 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 6 new confirmed coronavirus deaths, and another 9,232 vaccinations administered, the Department of Public Health said.…

Top Massachusetts doctor concerned about ‘exponential’ coronavirus growth that previously led to shutdowns » Boston Herald The former head of the Massachusetts Medical Society is “incredibly concerned” about recent coronavirus case growth, noting that such trends in the past have led to shutdowns.…

Cambridge sees 42 percent ‘breakthrough’ COVID cases » Boston Globe City officials in Cambridge are reporting a rise in new COVID-19 cases and are urging residents, whether they are vaccinated or not, to wear masks and practice social distancing “where transmission …

Biden is soon facing the biggest test of his presidency: will he bring back the masks? » Boston Globe In the coming weeks, the Biden administration faces probably the toughest decision yet of the presidency, presenting a possibly unexpected test of his COVID-19 response just weeks after celebrating Am…

Baker: No Plans to Bring Back Mass. COVID Restrictions Despite Rising Cases » NBC Boston Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that he has no plans to bring back coronavirus restrictions in Massachusetts as two communities on Cape Cod have issued mask advisories amid a spike in cases.…

Equity gaps in vaccine rates narrowing » The Eagle Tribune About two-dozen low-income communities with large minority populations — including Lawrence, Haverhill, Methuen, Revere and Lynn -- still lag other cities and towns in getting shots into peoples' ar…

Cases tick up in Valley towns — some despite vaccinations » Gazette Net COVID-19 cases are rising in the state and in the region, but medical experts say the high level of vaccinations in Hampshire County is likely keeping in check a corresponding increase in hospitalizat…

Public Safety

Attleboro mayor plans to hire 13 firefighters » The Sun Chronicle Mayor Paul Heroux has decided to hire 13 new firefighters which will bring staffing levels up to 18 per shift, something the firefighters union has been pushing for years.…

‘Constant barrage’: Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno urges state Legislature to crackdown on fireworks » MassLive Mayor Domenic Sarno submitted written testimony to a state legislative committee this week, urging passage of a bill intended to help crack down on the “constant barrage of fireworks across our city…

From Hilltowns to Lebanon: Surplus gear donated to firefighters in need » Gazette Net The Middle Eastern country of Lebanon is a long way from the Hilltowns, but thanks to the internet, a bagel company and an enthusiastic young firefighter, firefighters in the capital area of Beirut ar…

State Government

In Massachusetts, a path for permanent mail-in voting emerges » MassLive A $261.6 million supplemental budget that restores mail-in voting for the public until December is headed to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.…

Transportation

Clark Delivers $4 Million for Wonderland Connector » Revere Journal Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) visited the site of the future Wonderland Multimodal Connector July 14 to tour the facility and discuss the economic and social benefits of the project.…

Winchester to receive $517,246 in Chapter 90 road repair funds » Daily Times Chronicle Representative Michael Day and Senators Jason Lewis and Patricia Jehlen worked together to help pass legislation that will provide the Town of Winchester with $517,246 to help fund local transportatio…

Regional transit advocates seek funding boost, clarity » News 22 WWLP.com More than half of Massachusetts residents live within the coverage of the state’s 15 regional transit authorities, but the uncertain funding outlook for each RTA renders them unable to offer enough …

New proposed MBTA board still doesn’t have a Boston seat » Boston Herald MBTA boards may come and go, but one thing appears to be forever: the lack of a Boston-specific seat on the influential body, as has long chagrinned Hub residents and officials.…

Utilities

Salem newcomer to offshore wind conversation » Commonwealth Magazine SALEM IS NOW in the conversation as one of a handful of Massachusetts communities that could be key players as the state vies to become a hub for offshore wind development.…

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The Week In Review

Most read bills of the week:

House Actions This Week: 451

Senate Actions This Week: 48

Press Releases

MassEquality Responds to The ReFounder’s Day Event in Auburn » MassEquality Education Fund

Trahan Votes to Uphold U.S. Promise to Afghan Interpreters and Allies » Office of U.S. Representative Lori Trahan (MA-3)

The future of work… includes child care » Strategies for Children

Conservation advocates call on Commerce Secretary to save right whales » Environment Massachusetts

Senators Markey, Merkley and Reps. Beyer, Garamendi Lead Colleagues in Urging President Biden to Reduce Military Role of U.S Nuclear Weapons in Upcoming Nuclear Posture Review » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Senators Markey, Van Hollen and Rep. Meng Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Close the Homework Gap, Ensure Students Continue to Receive Needed Internet Access After the Pandemic Ends » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Urges CDC to Track, Share Information on COVID-19 Breakthrough Cases » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Statement from MassDems Chair Gus Bickford on Charlie Baker’s Attendance at Republican Governors Association » MassDems

Moulton Addresses Colleagues Ahead of Vote to Protect America's Afghan Partners » Office of U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (MA-6)

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Announces 2021 Low Plate Lottery  » MassDOT

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) Celebrates 35 Years of Service Delivery, Education, and Advocacy » MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $5 Million for Local Dredging Projects to Enhance Maritime Economy » Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million to Support Trail Improvements Across the Commonwealth » MA Department of Conservation and Recreation

AG Healey Awards $1.9 Million in Funding for Local Consumer Mediation Programs » Office of MA Attorney General Maura Healey

Massachusetts Weekly Unemployment Claimant Data 07-22-21 » MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

They’re not doing their jobs - Call Them Out! » Incorruptible Mass

Friday 7/23: Somerville and MIRA Celebrate Immigrant Contributions with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley » Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition


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