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Today on Beacon Hill

9:30am Executive Office of Health & Human Services Public Hearing, Via Webex

10:00am Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, Public Hearing

7:30pm Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on GBH's Basic Black, GBH 2 and Facebook Live

Must-Reads

State officials refer senator, MassGOP chief to prosecutors for potential campaign finance violations » Boston Globe Massachusetts’s top campaign finance regulator on Thursday told prosecutors he has evidence that a state senator, his wife, and the head of the state Republican Party, among others, may have violate…

Stimulus spending gets scrutiny from lawmakers » The Eagle Tribune On Thursday, members of the House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight grilled Finance Secretary Mike Heffernan over what they described as a lack of communication from the Baker adminis…

Boston City Council Endorses State 'Millionaires Tax' » WGBH All three of the councilors vying for the mayor’s seat — Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell and Annisa Esabi George — voted in favor of the measure, which would levy a four percent surtax on annual in…

Early voting by mail challenged by Republicans » Commonwealth Magazine Former congressional candidates John Paul Moran and Caroline Colarusso, state Senate candidate Steven Hall, and state representative candidates Ingrid Centurion and Craig Valdez filed suit in Worceste…

FL: Florida GOP Wants To Take On ‘Cancel Culture’ By Secretly Recording Professors » HUFFPOST House Bill 233, which now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for consideration, would require schools to survey the personal political views of faculty and students on their campuses and produce an annual…

The Tragic Mediocrity of the U.S. Congress » Politico The leaders and reprobates in Congress might get the headlines, but the real story lies in its boring, unimpressive middle.…

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS JUST GOT A TROVE OF DOCUMENTS THAT COULD NAIL DONALD TRUMP » Vanity Fair Things are not looking good for the ex-president re: staying out of prison.…

Form D Friday: 65 investors bet on Beverly cannabis startup » Boston Business Journal The early-stage companies we tracked between April 5 and April 9 raised over $144 million. Together with larger biotech rounds, one company that attracted investments this week is Medicinal Genomics C…

Hodgson Leads Hundreds Of Sheriffs In Calling For Restoration of Trump Immigration Policies » WGBH Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson spearheaded a coalition of 275 sheriffs that sent an open letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, criticizing his handling of illegal immigration at the U.S.-…

"I didn't see that reaching out, getting our input, getting input from the leadership -- both the prior House leadership and the present leadership -- and that was concerning," Barrett said. "I don't want to feel like the red-headed stepchild as a member of the Legislature and left out of this, and I'm sure my colleagues don't want to feel [that way] about it. And I don't think we're going to anymore, hopefully."

Representative John Barrett

Making it clear that House lawmakers want to have a greater voice in discussions about how federal stimulus money is spent.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal calls President Joe Biden’s gun regulations ‘suitable public policy’ » The Republican President Joe Biden’s executive actions on guns — including tighter restrictions on homemade firearms and more resources for the prevention of gun violence — are “suitable public policy,” U.…

Lawmakers say they’re not ‘puppets’ signal their ready to take on greater oversight role » Boston Herald Lawmakers said they are done being “puppets” and are ready to take on a greater oversight role in how the Baker administration is spending federal stimulus dollars with another $40 billion expecte…

Editorial: Keep the US Capitol open to the public » Boston Globe While law enforcement need to better protect the Capitol, new security measures should not prevent public access to the building. Doing so would be a loss for American democracy.…

Opinion: GOP lawmakers’ rejection of Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue plan doesn’t add up » Boston Globe Why would Congressional Republicans continue to scorn President Biden’s courtship if it would so clearly help their constituents?…

A filibuster work-around with long-term implications » Boston Globe Here’s a safe bet: When the coronavirus pandemic finally ends and cocktail parties become a thing again, most of us won’t be leaning in to catch every word from the process wonk holding forth abou…

Business

US floats tax compromise targeting 100 international firms » Boston Globe The Biden administration has floated a compromise proposal to counterparts around the world that would apply a new international tax code to, at most, 100 global corporate giants.The Biden administrat…

Eastern-Century deal could put Boston back on the banking map » Boston Globe For nearly two decades, the musical chairs of deal-making in the financial industry left Boston without a major independent bank to call its own.…

Local ride-hailing drivers group criticizes Uber's $250M stimulus » Boston Business Journal A local nonprofit that advocates for more benefits and pay for drivers at ride-hailing companies is criticizing a recent initiative by Uber Technologies Inc. that would temporarily boost drivers' earn…

AG's lawsuit seeks driving school refunds for 1,500 » The Haverhill Gazette Residents, mostly teens, from Haverhill and elsewhere in the the Merrimack Valley, comprise the 1,500 students who paid more than $1 million to a driving school that abruptly shut down after its owner…

Civil Rights

For those in Boston watching Chauvin case, ‘it’s like racism is on trial’ » Boston Globe Though it was often painful, they paid attention last week as witness after witness, including a 9-year-old girl, recounted what it was like to watch the death of George Floyd, his neck pinned for mor…

'It Just Stays With You': The Corrosive Health Effects Of Decades Of Anti-Asian Violence » WBUR Fear opens with the front door for Lisa Wong.…

Education

Kristen Smidy named Gateway Regional School District superintendent » Gazette Net The Gateway Regional District School Committee has named Kristen Smidy, the principal of Hampshire Regional High School, as the district's next superintendent.…

The pandemic has upended college admissions with more surprises and more wait lists » Boston Globe Each spring, high school seniors hope for joy but brace for heartbreak when colleges send out admissions decisions. But this year the pandemic has made the nerve-wracking process even more unpredictab…

University of Massachusetts Amherst plans to fully reopen dorms for ‘return to normal operations’ this fall » The Republican The University of Massachusetts campus may be a bit more crowded come August.…

821 students, 157 staff members positive for COVID in Massachusetts schools as full-time learning begins for grades K-5 » The Republican A total of 978 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Massachusetts schools as elementary students across the state have started learning in-person five days a week, education officials said.…

UMass Boston Reverses Policy On Withholding Transcripts For Any Debt Owed » WGBH The University of Massachusetts Boston has relaxed its policy on withholding student transcripts from anyone who owes the school money after a GBH News investigation, according to a top administrator.…

Environment

Landowners withdraw Mount Tom housing plans for now » Gazette Net The landowners who have proposed building five houses on their property at the base of Mount Tom are at least temporarily withdrawing their request due to uncertainty whether the land is on a public w…

Gaming

MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge park continue to draw well below 40% capacity under COVID restrictions » The Republican Massachusetts Gaming Commission staff said Thursday that the state’s casinos remain well below the 40% occupant capacity limits allowed under coronavirus pandemic restrictions.…

Health Care

St. Vincent Hospital says nurses' strike has not affected patient care; union has 'no comment' » Worcester Telegram As the nurses’ strike at St. Vincent Hospital reaches the one-month milestone Thursday, the hospital reported that increasing patient volumes show the strike has not affected its ability to care for…

Housing

State Officials Awards $5 Million in Grants to Area Communities Committed to Housing Production » Lynn Journal Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy joined Speaker of the House Ronald  Mariano, Senator John Keenan, and Quincy …

Human Services

Oversight Hearing On David Almond’s Death Set For May 4 » WGBH The Legislature will convene an oversight hearing on May 4 to examine the death of a Fall River teenager and missteps at the Department of Children and Families leading up to the tragedy, lawmakers an…

Immigration

Number of kids alone at border hits all-time high in March » Boston Globe The U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, authorities said Thursday, the largest monthly number ever recorded and a major test for Presid…

Insurance

Auto insurers profited unfairly from pandemic and should return money to consumers, AG says » Boston Globe Attorney General Maura Healey says auto insurers reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in extra profits during the pandemic and that most of that money should now be returned to drivers in the form o…

Judiciary

Worcester Superior Court Assistant Clerk Magistrate Courtney Price selected for clerk magistrate of Leominster District Court » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker picked two more prospective clerk magistrates Wednesday, making a total of four nominees currently in the pipeline for lifetime postings at Massachusetts courthouses.…

Labor

Massachusetts Dems insist on keeping municipal workers in COVID leave program » The Republican Putting them at odds with Gov. Charlie Baker and a municipal trade group, House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka intend to preserve eligibility for municipal employees in an emerg…

Some Massachusetts employers still face major tax increases due to COVID-related unemployment claims » The Republican When the state Department of Unemployment first updated its employer contribution rates for 2021, Suzanne Murphy thought she spotted a mistake.…

Legislative

Beacon Hill to the Berkshires | Budget on horizon as Legislature eyes child welfare reform » Berkshire Eagle The coronavirus pandemic and vaccine rollout continue to command much of state lawmakers’ attention, but the budget process will pick up pace this month as the Legislature prepares to set funding pr…

Local Government

Marion Projects Receive Federal, State Aid » The Wanderer The Town of Marion hopes it is turning a fiscal corner after Representative William Straus presented its delegates with a $250,000 check on April 2, part of a $2 million commitment from the state to a…

Shirley Water District controversy may have ended » Lowell Sun Selectmen at their meeting Monday evening again took up a topic that has been on replay for some time. But the ongoing back and forth with the Water District appears to have ended.…

Hampden County retirement board member Laurel Placzek resigns following critical audit, citing need for a ‘new set of eyes’ » The Republican A second member of the Hampden County Regional Board of Retirement has resigned, according to letters obtained by The Republican.…

Holyoke City Council will choose acting mayor April 12 » The Republican The Holyoke City Council will hold a special meeting Monday at 6 p.m. to appoint a new acting mayor.…

Lynn raises the flag for organ donors » Lynn Daily News Item Mayor Thomas M. McGee and other elected officials raised a flag over Lynn City Hall Thursday morning to honor organ donors and encourage others to sign up to be donors.…

Money for Weymouth incinerator removal approved » Patriot Ledger The town council has approved taking down an old trash incinerator plant using nearly $1 million of the money from the energy company that owns the natural gas compressor station on the banks of the F…

Facebook posts by Braintree School Committee members renew controversy » Patriot Ledger A social media policy for school committee members is being written after the latest controversy over Facebook comments by committee members.…

‘We have no intention of paying ransom,’ Haverhill mayor declares after computer network attack that closed city schools » Boston Globe The Haverhill Public School will partially reopen for in-person learning Friday, a day after the district closed due to a ransomware attack that hobbled the department’s computer network, and Mayor …

Politics

Sullivan refers Fattmans, Lyons to AG » Commonwealth Magazine THE STATE’S CHIEF campaign finance regulator on Thursday referred evidence to Attorney General Maura Healey that he believes indicates Sen. Ryan Fattman, Worcester County Register of Probate Stephan…

Four in running for two South Hadley School Committee seats » Gazette Net With town elections approaching next Tuesday, four candidates are vying for two open seats on the School Committee.…

Massachusetts Republicans slam ‘political hit job’ as outgoing campaign finance director lobs allegations of wrongdoing » Boston Herald State Republicans under scrutiny for alleged campaign finance violations raised by outgoing Office of Campaign and Political Finance Director Michael Sullivan are calling it a rushed “political hit …

Public Health

77 Massachusetts cities and towns at high risk for coronavirus transmission, continuing to rise » Boston Herald The number of cities and towns at high risk for COVID-19 transmission rose for the fourth consecutive week, with 77 communities landing in the “red” zone as local officials keep close tabs on infe…

Boston coronavirus positive test rate back up over ‘threshold for concern’ » Boston Herald Boston is now back up above its “threshold for concern” for the coronavirus positive test rate as the latest uptick continues.…

Whether Gov. Charlie Baker likes it or not, Massachusetts wades into COVID vaccine passport debate » The Republican A hazy vision of post-pandemic society is coming into view, and it could involve “fast lanes” at concerts, a selective guest list on cruise ships and exclusive dining nights at popular restaurants…

The coronavirus variants are spreading in Mass. How worried should you be? These charts offer clues » Boston Globe It’s been nearly three months since the first coronavirus variant case was confirmed in Massachusetts, and variants have been spreading insidiously through the state since.…

Baker says no to vaccine passport proposals in Mass. » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker was clear when reporters asked him if state officials plan to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine passport for residents inoculated against the virus, an initiative being tried in New Y…

Too soon to consider vaccine passports for Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker says » WCVB As more people become vaccinated against the coronavirus, some states are debating a so-called "vaccine passport" system to help speed up the reopening process.…

Massachusetts lawmakers to quiz epidemiologists on coronavirus variants next week » Boston Herald Massachusetts lawmakers charged with overseeing the state’s response to the coronavirus emergency will switch gears next week to learn about COVID-19 variants infiltrating the state, according to an…

NH to open vaccine appointments to everyone, regardless of residency on April 19 » WCVB Starting on April 19, New Hampshire will begin allowing anyone over age 16 to make appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of residency, Gov. Chris Sununu announced.…

1,938 confirmed cases, 8 deaths, and 92,825 vaccinations: See today’s new COVID-19 data from Mass. » Boston Globe The Department of Public Health said 35,149 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 735 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.…

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell and Sen. Barry R. Finegold: State, feds must coordinate to make vaccine passes viable » Berkshire Eagle We are writing today to urge you to work together to develop a robust framework for implementing vaccine verification systems, or “vaccine passes.”…

FEMA offering to reimburse families for COVID-19 related funeral costs » News 22 WWLP.com The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA is now offering reimbursement for funeral costs due to COVID-19.…

Is Massachusetts’ latest COVID surge slowing? Data shows new cases dipped last week » The Republican Active COVID infections in Massachusetts rose to 35,149 on Thursday, up from 35,075 on Wednesday, according to the latest data from the Department of Public Health.…

Public Safety

‘We’ve got a long way to go’: Biden unveils actions on guns, says much more needed » Boston Globe President Joe Biden, calling gun violence in the United States “an international embarrassment,” took a set of initial steps on Thursday to address the problem, starting with a crackdown on the pr…

State Government

Barrett, other lawmakers want more cooperation from Baker on federal funds » Berkshire Eagle House lawmakers made clear to the Baker administration Thursday that they want more information about how the discretionary portion of $71 billion in one-time aid that’s already come to Massachusett…

Flood of Fed Funds Fuels Tension Over Decisions, Information » State House News Service House lawmakers made clear to the Baker administration Thursday that they want more information about how the discretionary portion of $71 billion in one-time aid that's already come to Massachusetts …

Transportation

Howie Carr: The wheels are coming off the RMV » Boston Herald The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is capable of halting global warming – just ask them.…

Amtrak Vermonter train returning with stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield » The Republican Amtrak’s Vermonter, which has Massachusetts stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield, returns to service with its old frequency and daily schedule July 19.…

Utilities

DPU is too cozy with utilities it regulates » Commonwealth Magazine MASSACHUSETTS SAW an important milestone earlier this year with the passage of the Next Generation Roadmap bill, a much-needed update to the state’s evolving response to the climate crisis. The bill…

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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB99 - An Act concerning the acting mayor of Holyoke

SB33 - An Act directing the city of Boston Police Department to waive the maximum age requirement for police officers for Daryle Lamonica

Most read bills of the week:

HB4586 - An Act to further address challenges faced by municipalities, school districts and state authorities resulting from COVID-19

House Actions This Week: 7

Senate Actions This Week: 1

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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