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Today on Beacon Hill

12:00am Senate Committee on Ways & Means, Public Hearing

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

6:30pm Virtual Town Hall with Sen. Eric Lesser, Via Zoom

Must-Reads

Two Decades After the ‘End of Welfare,’ Democrats Are Changing Direction » New York Times A quarter-century ago, a Democratic president celebrated “the end of welfare as we know it,” challenging the poor to exercise “independence” and espousing balanced budgets and smaller governme…

Cannabis industry mostly white as diversity plans draw scrutiny » Boston Business Journal The Massachusetts cannabis industry has struggled with diversity, with recent data showing that 73.5% of staff at marijuana companies identify as white, and 34.3% of staff at recreational facilities i…

FL: ‘I’d much rather be in Florida’: Focusing on the bright side in the sunshine state » Boston.com Yet Florida’s death rate is no worse than the national average, and better than that of some states that imposed more restrictions, despite its large numbers of retirees, young partyers and tourists…

Baker seeks tax break for business owners » The Salem News Gov. Charlie Baker wants to tax certain businesses to help their owners skirt a federal cap on deductions of state and local taxes. Tucked into Baker's preliminary budget is a proposed "workaround tax…

State’s housing assistance program posts big gains » Commonwealth Magazine THE STATE’S EMERGENCY housing assistance program is upping its game, pushing more money out the door and helping more people struggling to avoid eviction.…

Magic mushroom advocates following cannabis playbook » Commonwealth Magazine ALEXANDER KARASIK, a 31-year-old engineer living in Somerville, first tried using “magic mushrooms” while traveling in Thailand. He said his experience with the illicit hallucinogenic drug opened…

St. Vincent Hospital strike day 7: Tensions high as nurses crossing picket line concerned about 'bullying' by striking workers, supporters » Worcester Telegram A Facebook message identifying a nurse as "scab of the day" was posted Saturday, and nurses Jennifer Porter and Rebekah Pack said strikers on the picket line have carried blown up photos of their face…

Kamala Harris Carves Out a Role of Her Own » US News & World Report Vice President Kamala Harris is in the spotlight as she navigates her job – and the potential of becoming the leader of the free world.…

Legislature calls Baker to second COVID-19 oversight hearing, this time to probe scrapped emergency plans » Boston Globe The March 23 hearing will explore what lawmakers called the rollout’s “technology infrastructure” as well as the public health and emergency response plans the state had spent two decades and mi…

Concern about Republican vaccine hesitancy is growing » Axios Driving the news: Nearly half of Republican men — 49% — say they won't choose to be vaccinated if a vaccine is available to them, according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.…

Massachusetts’s Governor Is Playing an Ugly Game of Covid Politics With Teachers’ Lives » The Nation Governor Charlie Baker’s attack on education unions for wanting vaccines for teachers recalls Scott Walker’s crude anti-labor politics.…

"Nearly half of Republican men — 49% — said in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey, conducted March 3-8, that they won't choose to be vaccinated when they're allowed. 41% of all Republicans said the same. By contrast, 6% of Democratic men said they wouldn't get the shot."

Caitlin Owens, health care reporter for Axios

Polling and public officials are increasingly sounding the alarm about one group of Americans that remains stubbornly resistant to the idea of receiving a coronavirus vaccine: Republicans.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Goldberg: How long will Biden remain immune to satire? » Boston Herald There’s a difference between saying something can’t be done and recognizing that you can’t do it. For instance, I can’t run a marathon — at least not without some profound lifestyle changes.…

Editorial: President takes heavy-handed approach to reopening » Boston Herald Last Thursday marked one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown in the United States. It is a grim anniversary that our president commemorated with his first primetime address to the nation…

Biden declines to call for Cuomo to resign, awaits probe » Boston Globe President Joe Biden on Sunday passed up an opportunity to join other Democrats calling for the resignation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is under investigation after multiple allegations of sexua…

White House weighs new cybersecurity approach after failure to detect hacks » Boston Globe

Biden, Harris and others to promote relief plan’s benefits » Boston Globe President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening an ambitious, cross-country tour this week to highlight the benefits of his $1.9 trillion plan to defeat the coronavirus…

It’s Daylight Saving Time again, and Ed Markey wants to make your clock change permanent » Boston Herald The Massachusetts senator and a bipartisan group of colleagues reintroduced legislation this week that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent — meaning sun-starved Bay Staters who suffer through …

An Iconic JFK Portrait — On Loan From The MFA — Now Hangs Inside Biden's White House » WBUR An iconic portrait of John F. Kennedy has made its way from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to the White House. You might be familiar with the ethereal image American artist Jamie Wyeth created of JFK…

‘Most influential voice’: Warren’s network spreads throughout Biden administration » Politico Wall Street was relieved when Sen. Elizabeth Warren was passed over for the leadership of the Treasury Department. But now the financial industry faces another threat: President Joe Biden is enlisting…

Business

When are we going back to the office? Big employers set timelines but remain cautious » Boston Globe After scrambling to shut down their offices last March, many top executives told their staffs that normal commutes would probably resume by sometime in September, if not earlier. But Labor Day 2020 ev…

Phase 4 Expected to Start Next Week in Mass.: Here's What Can Reopen » NBC Boston In one week, Massachusetts is expected to move into the final phase of its reopening following last year's coronavirus shutdowns.…

Working hard but hardly working: Pandemic wreaks havoc on service industry » Patriot Ledger After working side by side as executive chef and general manager for two years, Joe DiFrancesco and Dan Wilder were left unemployed in October when Kingston’s Bar Rustic closed due to the financial …

Civil Rights

'Racism Is A Virus': Bostonians Gather For Stop Asian Hate Rally » WBUR When Harvard Student Ryan Doan Nguyen saw surveillance footage of the fatal attack on 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee last month, he closed his laptop and didn't know what to do with his anger.…

Education

As teacher vaccinations ramp up in Boston, a full return to school in sight for fall » Boston Herald Nearly one year after Massachusetts schools closed their doors to students and teachers as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the state, Boston Public Schools staff visited a vaccination clinic to …

Opinion: Biden wants to cancel $10,000 in student debt. That’s not enough. » Boston Globe Wiping out $10,000 would help many people, but it won’t thwart inequities that the student debt crisis exacerbates.…

Opinion: Student loan debt relief should be targeted to those who need it » Boston Globe The federal student loan system is a disaster. The federal government makes loans to students who enroll in programs that it knows many won’t finish, and those who do finish probably won’t find a …

Mass. school officials eye summer as a chance to help students hard hit by pandemic » Boston Globe After a year turned upside down by COVID-19, some Massachusetts school districts are looking ahead to summer and how they can use the traditional time off as a chance to expand educational opportuniti…

Attleboro area state rep hoping to delay school openings » The Sun Chronicle State Rep. Jim Hawkins D-Attleboro, and State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa D-Northampton, filed a bill on Thursday to delay the return of students to full time in-person learning so all teachers and others w…

Teachers union leaders back emergency legislation delaying students’ return to school buildings » Boston Globe The leaders of three Massachusetts teachers unions are backing emergency legislation filed by state lawmakers that would require the education commissioner to give districts more time to prepare for t…

School superintendents call for suspending MCAS this year in opposition to federal edict » Boston Globe As public school systems statewide rush to meet new reopening deadlines, an association representing superintendents is urging the state to cancel MCAS and language proficiency testing this year, argu…

Billed for a college class she never took » Boston Globe Like thousands of other students at American University in Washington, Maya Hazarika was abruptly ordered to evacuate campus last year when the pandemic first hit.…

Mass. Education Commissioner Reflects On A Year Of School Closures And Moving Students Back To Classrooms » WBUR One year ago, Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all schools and child care centers closed for three weeks, in hopes of slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.…

One year later: students look forward to returning to classroom in April » News 22 WWLP.com Whether it was hybrid, in-person or virtual learning, this has been a challenging year for children. April could be when things get closer to normal for many.…

Northeastern University plans to hold 'graduation double-header' at Fenway Park » WCVB Graduates will sit in seats spaced throughout the outfield and stands at Boston's historic Fenway Park for a graduation ceremony "double-header" in May.…

Environment

Nearly Half Of Revere's Public School Staff Receive Vaccine Shots In One Day » WGBH The race to get Massachusetts teachers vaccinated ahead of mandated April re-openings for in person learning kicked into high gear this week. And on Friday, the city of Revere took a major step forwar…

3 Miles from Martha’s Vineyard Is an Empty Island Full of Bombs » The Atlantic The island of Nomans Land, Massachusetts, is unusual for the heavily populated New England coast. It could have ended up like a miniature version of Martha’s Vineyard, the upscale vacation destinati…

Health Care

Cell and gene therapy startup raises $525M » Boston Business Journal ElevateBio, the Cambridge-based cell and gene therapy company founded by former executives from Alexion Pharmaceuticals and bluebird bio, has raised $525 million in a Series C round as it plans to exp…

Housing

Editorial: A wave of evictions is not inevitable. It’s a policy choice. » Boston Globe When it comes to housing, the pandemic recession prompted a demonstrably different government approach than previous economic downturns. As millions of people began losing their jobs last March, payin…

Human Services

With stimulus, federal government makes a massive investment in child care » Boston Globe Child-care providers, whose shoestring survival has been tested by the pandemic conditions of the past year, are not only getting a belated lifeline from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan but als…

Child care affordability, funding challenges concern Berkshire providers, state lawmakers » Berkshire Eagle For child care centers and families, the past year has been a difficult one. Many parents unable to afford child care during the coronavirus pandemic, especially women, have left the workforce to look…

Questions raised about homeless shelter » The Eagle Tribune Some city officials are raising questions about the continued use of the Days Inn as an emergency shelter for homeless people affected by COVID-19, saying that residents and business owners in the nei…

Immigration

Supporters celebrate Lucio Perez leaving sanctuary after 3½ years » Gazette Net After three and a half years, Lucio Perez can leave the First Congregational Church without the risk that he will be deported.…

Labor

COVID rescue package gives failing pension plans a $86 billion bailout, stirring hope and criticisms » Boston Globe In the shadow of stimulus checks and extra unemployment aid, Democratic lawmakers extended another hand in the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package: a long-sought bailout for failing private pension …

Local Government

Peter Gay: The day it all began » The Sun Chronicle North Attleboro’s new town manager emailed me a year ago last week asking if I would moderate a panel discussion with himself and the town’s department heads in response to the World Health Organi…

State Awards Methuen and Lawrence Nearly $400,000 Each for Improved Pedestrian Access » WHAV Methuen and Lawrence are among a dozen communities across the state to share nearly $4.5 million in Complete Streets grants designed to improve travel for bicyclists, pedestrians, public transit users…

March 8 Select Board meeting: Patton announces second recent WPD complaint; board hires search firm for town manager » The Williams Record At the Williamstown Select Board’s March 8 meeting, Select Board Chair Jane Patton announced that two recent complaints have been “brought up” in the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). While …

‘It is surreal’: Kim Janey, nearing mayoral history, reflects on her life in Boston » Boston Globe Things have changed quite a bit on Roxbury’s Norfolk Street and across Boston since Kim Janey’s youth. The cream-colored duplex with black trim, where Janey lived sometimes as a child and teenager…

Westhampton OKs $4.3M safety complex by 350-186 vote » Gazette Net Voters approved a $4.3 million facility for the police and fire department in a special election Saturday. Residents voted 350 to 186 in favor of a Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion override to finance t…

Northampton Arts Council awards $22K to local artists, groups » Gazette Net It's been a difficult year for artists and art organizations, with the pandemic shutting down the vast majority of live performances. But the Northampton Arts Council is doing what it can to keep arti…

State to launch Local Rapid Recovery Planning program to help cities and towns » Sentinel & Enterprise More than one-third of all communities in Massachusetts will be paired by the Baker administration with a consultant to develop town-specific plans for dealing with the economic effects of the pandemi…

Marblehead Awarded $400K Grant For Rail Trail Street Crossings » Marblehead Patch The state grant through the Complete Streets program will go toward improvements at Mohawk/Pleasant, Smith Street and West Shore Drive.…

Politics

OTR: Mayoral candidate John Barros reveals he was vaccinated » WCVB Boston mayoral candidate John Barros is pushing for more community access to the Covid-19 vaccines and in an interview for WCVB's On The Record, he revealed that he has already gotten the shot.…

Public Health

After receiving second dose, Yo-Yo Ma transforms waiting period into performance at Pittsfield vax clinic » Berkshire Eagle After Yo-Yo Ma received his second jab of a COVID-19 vaccine at Berkshire Community College Saturday, he transformed his 15-minute observation period into a concert for the newly inoculated.…

Rep. Katherine Clark agrees with Rachel Maddow, says: ‘Blame the rollout’ » Boston.com On Thursday, MSNBC host and Massachusetts resident Rachel Maddow took to Twitter to rebuke Gov. Charlie Baker’s rebuke of local teacher union officials’ requests regarding vaccine distribution in …

Fauci says vaccine hesitancy among Republicans poses a risk: ‘I just don’t get it’ » Boston Globe Reluctance among certain parts of the population to receiving a vaccine is one of the biggest risks to coronavirus control efforts, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said.…

Massachusetts reports 1,508 new COVID cases, 30 deaths Sunday as state reaches 908,553 residents fully vaccinated » The Republican Massachusetts public health officials on Sunday reported that 1,508 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and another 30 have died from the virus.…

Attleboro joins other cities in effort to establish regional vaccination clinic » The Sun Chronicle The city is joining with four other municipalities in an effort to create a regional coronavirus vaccination clinic that would inoculate 750 people a day.…

Cape Cod's death rate for those with COVID-19 higher than state average » South Coast Today One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics show that it has hit Cape Cod hard, with a case-fatality rate higher than the state average and a second wave of winter deaths that peaked higher than l…

Springfield Set to Go Vax to the Future, at Long Last » Western Mass Politics and Insight After weeks of pleading, the city Health & Human Services Department here will soon have its own clutch of COVID-19 vaccine to distribute to neighborhood residents.…

‘Exhausting’: MassLive readers describe the past year during the COVID pandemic in one word » The Republican This past year was exhausting, challenging and relentless. Those are just a few words MassLive readers used when asked to describe this past year in one word.…

Public Safety

Two Boston churches vandalized again: ‘It’s unsettling’ » Boston Herald Two more Catholic churches in Boston have been vandalized yet again, an “unsettling” pattern of incidents that police are investigating.…

Police shrugged off the Proud Boys, until they attacked the Capitol » Boston Globe A protester was burning an American flag outside the 2016 Republican convention in Cleveland when Joseph Biggs rushed to attack. Jumping a police line, he ripped the man’s shirt off and “started p…

Twenty-one first-degree murderers set free under state’s new compassionate release law » Boston Globe John Stote was serving a mandatory life sentence for the 1995 murder of a Springfield restaurant owner when he was released in January on medical parole. At the time, the 61-year-old was hospitalized …

State Government

Governors evade sunshine laws to keep records from public » AP News Massachusetts’ exemptions can be traced to a 1997 ruling in a case seeking access to a questionnaire completed by the governor’s nominee to the state’s high court. The ruling denied the request …

Transportation

The MBTA is making more cuts — are the savings worth it? » Boston Globe That glow at the end of the pandemic tunnel isn’t bright enough to prevent the MBTA from cutting more transit services this weekend.…

‘I Don’t Think So’: Massachusetts Congressional Delegation ‘Furious’ About MBTA Cuts » CBS Boston Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch said the state’s delegation is “furious” about cuts at the MBTA, saying it does make sense after the organization received $1 billion in federal funding.…

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The Week Ahead

Monday - 3/15

12:00am Senate Committee on Ways & Means, Public Hearing

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

6:30pm Virtual Town Hall with Sen. Eric Lesser, Via Zoom

Tuesday - 3/16

10:30am Joint Committee on State Administration & Regulatory Oversight, Public Hearing

12:00pm Worcester Emerging: Civic & Cultural Life, Via Zoom

1:00pm Joint Committee on Ways & Means, Budget Hearing

6:30pm Common Start Virtual Rally, Via Zoom

Wednesday - 3/17

4:00pm Discussion on Zoning Changes with Sen. Will Brownsberger, Via Zoom

Thursday - 3/18

Birthdays: Rep. Timothy Whelan

11:00am House Session, Full Formal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Full Formal Session

2:00pm Women's Network featuring Michal Preminger, Ph.D. hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Via webcast

Friday - 3/19

11:00am Moving Forward with Immigration Reform: State and Local Priorities hosted by NCSL, Via Zoom

1:00pm Special Joint Oversight Committee on the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke COVID-19 Outbreak, Oversight Hearing

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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