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11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

Must-Reads

Momentum builds on Beacon Hill for PPP tax fix, but time’s running out » Boston Globe Congress decided that forgiven PPP loans would not be subject to federal taxes. Because of a quirk in tax law, the tax amnesty carries through at the state level for businesses structured as corporati…

With A Focus On Inequality, Democrat Ben Downing Starts His Campaign For Governor » WBUR Among the most troubling symptoms of the disparities that plague Massachusetts, according to Downing, is "increasing hunger and food insecurity in so many of our communities."…

Local nonprofits join Uber, Lyft in new coalition for 'app-based workers' » Boston Business Journal The Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work went public Wednesday to support what it calls "app-based workers" at a time when the debate over the status of such workers is being examined in court…

February Tax Haul Shatters State’s Expectations, With Collections Rising Nearly 25% » WBUR Tax collections exceeded the Baker administration's expectations by $372 million in February and surpassed the total of collections in February 2020, a development that positions the state to end this…

Boston mayoral candidates stock up on political consultants » Boston Herald For City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who entered the race in September, Juanita Tolliver and Adam Webster are serving as her top political advisers — and received $5,000 and $6,000, respectively, for…

Calls for ranked-choice voting in Massachusetts renew after 19th Suffolk primary » Boston Herald Jeffrey Turco of Winthrop, a self-proclaimed “Reagan Democrat,” won 36.2% of ballots cast while ideologically more progressive candidates split the rest of the vote, according to unofficial tallie…

The Zoom public meeting: Revealing, civically engaging, and sometimes appalling » Boston Globe In her own Zoom cube, Representative Nicole Klein Knight let her jaw drop, slapped her cheeks with both hands, and emitted a disbelieving “WHA?” She maintains her over-the-top reaction was authent…

N.H.’s Maggie Hassan is the most vulnerable Senate Democrat up for reelection next year » Boston Globe If you thought Maine’s Senate race between Collins and Gideon was big, just wait for this top race with a 50-50 Senate…

Biden Calls State Decisions to End Mask Mandates ‘Neanderthal Thinking’ » New York Times Recent announcements by the governors of Texas and Mississippi have health officials pleading for Americans to continue social distancing and mask-wearing.…

Kennealy Cheers "Easier Path" to More Housing Production » State House News Service Baker started his push in December 2017 to make zoning changes easier to accomplish, saying that the higher threshold stalls many projects that could add to the state's insufficient housing supply.…

Republican governors loom over precarious Senate » Axios At 78, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the only Republican senator over 70 who comes from a state (Kentucky) where a Democratic governor would make an appointment.…

HR 1 overhaul would set new holiday and new rules for lobbyists, elections and justices » Roll Call The HR 1 measure totaled some 800 pages and included 60 pieces of legislation, according to chief author Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland. It would reshape how congressional candidates may fund their ca…

State Police colonel tasked with reform is accused of breaking rules to promote his allies » Boston Globe Lawsuit alleges colonel rushed process to promote his driver, who’s accused of cheating…

UMass Memorial opposes Mass General Brigham Westborough proposal » Worcester Business Journal UMass Memorial Health Care has filed paperwork opposing Mass General Brigham's planned outpatient facility in Westborough, saying the Somerville-based health network hasn't demonstrated a need for the…

CA: GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra » The Hill Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots group, announced Wednesday a $500,000 ad campaign in West Virginia and Arizona opposing Xavier Becerra’s nomination to serve as secretary of Health and Hum…

"The last thing -- the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,"

President Joe Biden

Sharply criticizing states such as Texas and Mississippi for lifting Covid-19 restrictions and mask mandates.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Reaction to Capitol riot sours outlook for return to White House » Boston Herald He walked out on the stage and the crowd was cheering, the music was blasting “I’m proud to be an American,” and former President Donald Trump did look proud, very proud. This was despite a lost…

With Biden’s backing, Democrats revive bill to overhaul policing » Boston Globe Cheered on by President Joe Biden, House Democrats hustled Wednesday to pass the most ambitious effort in decades to overhaul policing nationwide, able to avoid clashing with moderates in their own pa…

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition » Boston Globe House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation Wednesday over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the US election law in at le…

Editorial: How to get away with murder » Boston Globe What will it take to close the books on the murder of the Saudi journalist and US resident assassinated and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul? And what of the dozens of other journalists …

Business

Strega founder, Wynn exec propose 21-story Everett tower and restaurant » Boston Business Journal The restaurant group that formerly owned the Strega restaurant brand has partnered with a former Wynn Resorts executive on plans to build a 21-story residential tower in Everett that would include a t…

Pandemic Forces Planners to Rethink Everything » State House News Service The COVID-19 virus arrived last year as the Metropolitan Area Planning Council was in the middle of developing its next big long-term plan for economic development in the region -- MetroCommon 2050. T…

AG wins settlement in tech scam case » Boston Globe A married couple that ran a tech support business from their Melrose home will pay $145,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Maura Healey that accused them of preying on seniors by char…

Opinion: To close digital equity gaps, US should endow a private Digital Futures Foundation » Boston Globe Auctions of government-owned airwaves produce a lot of revenue. A chunk of it should go toward closing digital equity gaps.…

Lockheed Martin closing Marion facility next year » Boston Globe Aerospace and defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. said it is closing its Marion facility next year. The company is planning to move its Rotary and Mission Systems out of state in 2022 and said …

'Codfather' Carlos Rafael officially a free man, according to federal record » South Coast Today Carlos Rafael, who went to federal prison in November 2017 after pleading guilty to over 20 offenses, including false labeling of fish and falsifying federal records, may be spending his first day out…

After 6 weeks of new COVID cases dropping, Massachusetts leveled out last week; State reports 1,553 new cases, 66 deaths Wednesday » The Republican COVID-19 data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows the state’s steady week-over-week decline in new cases leveled out last week following six straight weeks of decline.…

Education

State Flags Problems at Worcester’s Becker College » State House News Service Worcester's Becker College is facing a precarious enough financial situation that officials at the Department of Higher Education believe the school "is unlikely to sustain full operations through the…

Mass. teachers added to vaccine eligibility list » Boston Business Journal Massachusetts will allow teachers to move to the front of the class for vaccine distribution, allowing 400,000 more people to receive the vaccine starting Monday, March 11.…

Education Commissioner Seeks Emergency Authority Over Learning Models » State House News Service In another sign of the push to return to traditional in-person schooling, the state Board of Education is scheduled to vote Friday on emergency regulations granting the state education commissioner au…

Mass. Teachers Now Eligible For Vaccines on March 11 » State House News Service Starting March 11, teachers, early educators and school staff members will be able to try to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments through any of the state's 170 vaccination sites and mass vaccina…

Vaccinating educators is a start, but more challenges ahead on reopening schools » Boston Globe Many educators around Massachusetts were elated after Governor Charlie Baker announced on Wednesday that they will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, but they say many other challenges remain…

Massachusetts teachers celebrate ‘joyful day’ following Charlie Baker announcement to vaccinate educators » Boston Herald Teachers will now be able to get in line for a coronavirus vaccine beginning March 11, Gov. Charlie Baker announced in what was described as a “joyful day” for Bay State educators.…

Boston advocacy groups will argue to keep policy in lawsuit challenging new exam school admissions process » Boston Herald A coalition of Black, Asian and Latino advocacy groups will intervene in a lawsuit brought on by Boston parents that challenges a new admissions process for entry into the city’s elite exam schools,…

Speedy Trial Set In Challenge To Boston Exam School Admissions » WGBH A federal judge on Wednesday set an expedited schedule for a trial on a discrimination lawsuit filed by Asian and white parents challenging temporary changes to how Boston admits students to its three…

Alleging ‘racially hostile environment’, white former Smith College employee Jodi Shaw files discrimination complaint; school calls claims ‘baseless’ » The Republican In what she describes as a first step toward filing a lawsuit, a white former Smith College employee has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination over claims of a rac…

Lawrence legislators and mayor push for in-person school, say remote learning has ‘severe impact’ on student well-being » Boston Globe Keeping students in long-term remote learning in Lawrence, rather than bringing them back for in-person classes, will “exacerbate the achievement gap” between the city’s students and those in we…

Environment

A better forecast for ‘climate tech’ » Boston Globe After a lull, more investors are putting money into innovative companies focused on sustainable energy.…

AG's office backs legality of executive sessions on 'Rest of River' cleanup deal » Berkshire Eagle Five South County towns have been cleared of complaints that their officials violated the state’s open meeting law by discussing the current Housatonic River PCB cleanup plan in private sessions a y…

Why Michelle Wu Wants to Bring a Green New Deal to Boston » The Appeal The mayoral candidate’s plans would reimagine life for Boston's working-class residents—and has earned an endorsement from Senator Elizabeth Warren.…

Health Care

Departing CEO Joanne Marqusee praises CDH staff, cites growth during tenure » Gazette Net Cooley Dickinson Hospital's physicians and staff, almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to work daily to deliver the best care to the public, says outgoing President and CEO Joanne Marqus…

Cooley Dickinson’s interim president an Amherst native » Gazette Net Massachusetts General Hospital's chief of emergency medicine, and a 1981 Amherst Regional High School graduate, will assume the role of interim president and chief executive officer at Cooley Dickinso…

Housing

Springfield official, organizations describe deep need for rent and utility assistance during COVID pandemic » The Republican City officials and organizations that help the homeless and poor said this week there remains a dire need for financial assistance and guidance as families cope with rent arrears and the threat of evi…

Human Services

Pandemic Served New Lessons in Caring for Homeless » State House News Service A group of shelter, health care, and emergency services providers for people experiencing homelessness is asking the state to level fund their services in the upcoming fiscal 2022 budget.…

Labor

Independence, Benefits at Crux of App-Based Worker Debate » State House News Service Four months after California voters approved a company-backed worker classification overhaul for app-based drivers, a similar debate that pivots on the interests of drivers and employers is coming int…

Decision Time Nears on Unemployment Insurance Rate Hikes » State House News Service When a bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker to limit unemployment insurance rate increases on employers in 2021 died on the vine in the frenzied finish to the legislative session in early January, it didn…

Local Government

Next in line for School Committee, Dominik Lay’s residency in question » Lowell Sun When Lowell School Committee member Robert Hoey resigned last week following his use of an anti-Semitic slur on TV, city officials scrambled to fill his seat as quickly as possible, but that task is p…

Dwight ending long run on Northampton City Council » Gazette Net After nearly 20 collective years of being on the City Council, at-large member William Dwight announced he's not seeking another term this fall. “It really is the most important thing I've done,” …

David Murphy eyes return to Northampton City Council » Gazette Net A longtime former city councilor is returning to run for an at-large position. David Murphy announced his candidacy after at-large City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra announced a mayoral campaign Tuesd…

Hampden County retirement board hosts ‘chaotic’ phone meeting over audit findings; heckler asks, ‘$400 ... to stay at your own house?’ » The Republican The Hampden County Regional Retirement Board came under heavy fire from municipal leaders and members during its first public meeting since the release of a brutal state audit questioning a range of a…

Boston Equity Chief Karilyn Crockett Resigns » WGBH Karilyn Crockett, Boston's equity chief and a potential mayoral candidate, is resigning her post. Crockett, 47, submitted her letter of resignation to Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday.…

With Alex Morse taking Provincetown job, Holyoke City Council president Todd McGee will serve as acting mayor » The Republican City Council President Todd McGee will accept the role of acting mayor when Mayor Alex. B. Morse leaves the post for his new job as town manager in Provincetown.…

Politics

John Barros to run for mayor of Boston » Boston Herald Barros announced the run in a news release Wednesday evening in advance of his formal announcement Thursday morning in front of the restaurant his family has long owned.…

Calls for ranked-choice voting in Massachusetts renew after 19th Suffolk primary » Boston Herald Calls for ranked-choice voting are rising from the ashes of last year’s failed ballot measure after the victor in Tuesday’s 19th Suffolk District Democratic primary won with little more than a thi…

Progressive loss in State House primary resurfaces debate over ranked-choice voting » Boston Globe Massachusetts progressives have seen it before: a number of liberal candidates split the vote in a Democratic primary, and a conservative candidate with a lane to himself ekes out a win.…

Opinion: The Democratic Party’s tent is big, but not this big » Boston Globe My sympathy to the good people of Winthrop and Revere. They had a couple of really good candidates to fill the seat left vacant by former House speaker Bob DeLeo. They also had a couple that were not …

Bernie backing means little in middle-of-the-road Winthrop » Commonwealth Magazine IT TURNS OUT Bernie Sanders has little sway with voters in Winthrop and Revere when it comes to choosing their next representative. The same goes for former US housing secretary Julian Castro. And, fo…

Walsh’s former economic development chief enters Boston mayor’s race » Boston Business Journal John Barros, who has served as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s economic development chief, is formally entering the race to replace his former boss.…

Jeff Turco says he’s a ‘moderate Democrat.’ Reproductive rights groups say he’s a ‘threat.’ » Boston.com The Democratic nominee in the special election to replace Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and opposes abortion. One local pro-choice group is already looking for a…

Public Health

Opinion: Massachusetts should pay people to quarantine » Boston Globe Paying people to stay home isn’t ‘unaffordable.’ In fact, supported quarantine is both affordable and a good investment of public resources.…

Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine slots all booked at Fenway, Gillette, Reggie Lewis Center; CVS portal reads ‘sit tight’ » Boston Herald Mass vaccine sites at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and the Reggie Lewis center are now all booked with smaller venues also filling up fast, the state announced this morning.…

Fewer getting tested for COVID-19, which is a problem, experts say » Boston Globe After a winter of long lines, frustrated test-takers, and extended wait times for results, some COVID-19 testing centers in the Boston area say they are now experiencing an eerie quiet.…

Essential workers not given vaccine priority asking 'why not us too?' » WCVB Massachusetts teachers can now circle next Thursday, March 11 on their calendars, marking the day they'll first become eligible to schedule vaccine appointments.…

Mass COVID Vaccination Sites To Have Fewer First Dose Appointments Next Week » CBS Boston It will be more difficult to find an appointment for a first dose COVID vaccine in Massachusetts next week. The state announced fewer first dose appointments will be made available at mass vaccination…

No Plans To End Mask Mandate In Massachusetts, Baker Says » CBS Boston Texas made headlines nationwide on Tuesday when Gov. Greg Abbott announced he’s ending the statewide mask mandate, citing the coronavirus vaccine rollout and declining hospitalizations. In Massachus…

1,553 confirmed cases, 66 deaths, and 54,855 vaccinations: See today’s new COVID-19 data from Mass. » Boston Globe The number of coronavirus vaccinations administered in Massachusetts rose by 54,855 to 1,868,847, state officials reported Wednesday.…

Move to vaccinate Mass. teachers intensifies competition for limited shots » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker bowed to federal pressure Wednesday and made about 400,000 teachers, school staffers, and child care workers eligible to book COVID-19 shots at Massachusetts vaccination sites o…

A complicating factor in combating Covid hot spots: Heat » Politico Last summer, just as cases of Covid-19 began to surge in Southern California, so did the heat.…

After offering unused vaccines to civilians at State Police facility, Baker says state ‘shouldn’t’ do it again » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker said his administration should not again resort to inviting civilians to be vaccinated with unused doses at state sites reserved for first responders, suggesting Wednesday that …

Second vaccine dose may be late — but is coming — after state cuts off supply to Taunton » Taunton Gazette Now that Gov. Charlie Baker has cut off giving first vaccine doses to most municipalities, including Taunton, seniors may be wondering how they will get their second dose.…

Taxation

February Tax Haul Shatters State's Expectations » State House News Service Tax collections exceeded the Baker administration's expectations by $372 million in February and surpassed the total of collections in February 2020, a development that positions the state to end this…

Utilities

Peterson Oil in Worcester agrees to pay $450,000 after delivering heating fuel that violated state contracts » The Republican Peterson Oil Service, Inc, a Worcester fuel company, has agreed to pay $450,000 after knowingly delivering fuel to cities and towns in Massachusetts that contained eight times the percentage of biodie…

Energy efficiency plan would hike surcharge » Gloucester Times A plan to boost energy efficiency could hike surcharges for low-income consumers while benefitting other customers.…

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Press Releases

Massachusetts Weekly Unemployment Claimant Data 06-10-21 » MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Senate Passes Post-Retirement Work Waiver Extension » Massachusetts Retirees

Tremont Strategies Group Welcomes New Additions To Government Affairs Team » Tremont Strategies Group

$4.6 Million Rapid Reemployment Grant Program Launches in Massachusetts » MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Reminder: Summer Road Safety » MassDOT

Upcoming Wellington Circle Study Virtual Public Meeting » MassDOT

MassDEP Assesses Penalty to Sira Naturals for Environmental Violations at its Milford Manufacturing Facility » MA Department of Environmental Protection

What a Week It’s Been » Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance

Led by Sen. Lewis, Fair Share Amendment Advances to the Ballot » Office of MA State Senator Jason Lewis

MMA urges House to protect local control of municipal reprecincting process » Massachusetts Municipal Association

New Measures to Boost Home Ownership, Wages, and Economic Equity in Boston » City of Boston

Boston Police Department Police Reform Policy Update » City of Boston

On the Anniversary of 1982 Nuclear Weapons Freeze Rally in Central Park, Senator Markey and Rep. McGovern Reintroduce Expansive Legislation to Halt Dangerous 21ST Century Global Nuclear Arms Race » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Senator Markey Reintroduces Legislation to Protect Dr. Anthony Fauci, Research Institute Heads From Politically Motivated Termination » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

AG Healey Sues Orthodontist for Illegally Charging MassHealth Patients for Missed or Cancelled Appointments » Office of MA Attorney General Maura Healey

Drawing Democracy Coalition Urges MA Senate to Pass Reprecincting Bill to Ensure Equitable Redistricting Process: » Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Drought Conditions Improve in Some Commonwealth Regions, Worsen in Others » Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency


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