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Today on Beacon Hill

12:45pm Senate President Karen Spilka on GBH's Boston Public Radio, 89.7 FM or gbhnews.org

4:00pm Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Public Hearing

Must-Reads

State to pay $56 million to settle lawsuit brought by families of veterans who got COVID-19 at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker has agreed for the state to pay $56 million to the families of veterans who contracted COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in the spring of 2020 in one of the nation’s mo...

‘We need this’; Free school meals on the chopping block as child hunger returns in Mass. and pandemic-era federal food programs disappear » MassLive One of the “last lines of defense” against rampant child hunger — which skyrocketed amid the pandemic — is on the chopping block as the universal free school lunch program reaches its expirati...

Budget amendment would create Harmony Montgomery Commission » Commonwealth Magazine A week after the state Office of the Child Advocate issued a report about the failure of the child welfare system to protect missing 4-year-old Harmony Montgomery, a state senator is hoping to use the...

Gov. Charlie Baker laughs off possibility of serving in U.S. Cabinet role: ‘I’m not thinking about stuff like that at all’ » MassLive In a missed bromance opportunity with former Boston mayor and now U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday laughed off the possibility of wanting to serve in the U.S. Cabinet o...

The housing divide is pulling Massachusetts apart » Boston Globe As a general rule, if you hold most of your wealth in diamonds, you do not want the market to be flooded with diamonds....

Trade groups are backing a new bill to further protect employees in the workplace » Boston Globe It’s not every day that the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association ask for more regulation in the workplace....

'The nurses have had it': Morton Hospital healthcare workers authorize three-day strike » Taunton Gazette Nearly 400 registered nurses and healthcare professionals at Steward's Morton Hospital voted overwhelmingly to have a three-day strike if administrators refuse "to bargain over issues that currently a...

Michelle Wu rolls out $2 billion Boston Schools ‘Green New Deal,’ wants every building redone in next decade » Boston Herald The latest attempt to fix the many longstanding woes of the city’s beleaguered school system is a $2 billion “Green New Deal” from Mayor Michelle Wu, who said she wants to see every school build...

Sarah Kim, interim Cannabis Control Commission chair, says she won’t seek position full-time » MassLive Interim Cannabis Control Commission Chair Sarah Kim said she does not plan to seek the position full-time as the group looks to fill out a leadership post following the departure of former Chairman St...

State offering free telehealth option for residents to gauge their eligibility for COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid » Boston Globe The Baker administration on Wednesday launched a telehealth program to help Massachusetts residents determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid....

RI: Advocates blast McKee for not moving faster on housing crisis and expiring shelter beds » The Associated Press (AP) Luz Arroyo has been sleeping in her car since January. That’s around the time she was evicted from her Pawtucket apartment, following the death of her husband....

NH: After Roe leak, abortion becomes hot election issue in N.H. and elsewhere » WBUR U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and other prominent Democrats converged on Planned Parenthood in Concord, New Hampshire, earlier this week to sound the alarm about abortion rights....

ME: Abortion-rights advocates warn a resurgent GOP could overturn Maine laws protecting access » Maine Public Maine has some of the most lenient abortion laws in the country, including one that would protect access to the procedure if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade....

NY: How a New Pro-Israel Group Aims to Sway N.Y. Elections » New York Times The organization, the New York Solidarity Network, views itself as a counterweight to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the Democratic Socialists of America....

PA: The ‘knives are coming out’ for Kathy Barnette as Republicans, and Trump, scramble to stop her » Philadelphia Inquirer The frenetic moment was embodied by a statement from former President Donald Trump, who urged Republicans to support Mehmet Oz, but also predicted a bright future for Barnette....

PA: Surging GOP candidate Kathy Barnette has long history of bigoted statements against gays and Muslims » CNN Surging Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Kathy Barnette has a history of anti-Muslim and anti-gay statements. In many tweets, Barnette also spread the false conspiracy theory that former President Ba...

NC: ‘He’s Not OK’: The Entirely Predictable Unraveling of Madison Cawthorn » Politico A string of embarrassing incidents has led many to question whether the young congressman from North Carolina was really ready for the job....

GA: Bucking Trump, Pence to rally with Georgia Gov. Kemp this month » Washington Post Today, former vice president Mike Pence announced that he will hold a rally with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on the eve of the state’s contested May 24 GOP gubernatorial primary....

LA: Louisiana House guts controversial abortion bill, removes murder penalties for moms » The Advertiser Louisiana's state House gutted a controversial abortion bill that could have charged women who abort their pregnancies with murder, removing language that criminalized mothers and instructed the state...

CA: Six ways Democrats need to start talking — and thinking — about crime » San Francisco Chronicle Democrats have a dangerous predilection for getting bogged down in statistics, defensively pointing at facts — treating political disagreements like Oxford-style debates. If they don’t shift gears...

Businesses face major benefits questions amid Roe uncertainty » Axios Corporate America is facing a flurry of questions about how it provides health benefits in the wake of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft that indicates the federal right to abortion could be overturne...

How Every Senator And Governor Ranks According To 'Popularity Above Replacement' » FiveThirtyEight Based on Morning Consult’s approval ratings for every senator and governor in the country (now updated for the first quarter of 2022), PARS and PARG attempt to measure how much stronger (or weaker) ...

Republicans Need a New Leader. They’re Looking to Florida. » New York Times Two weeks ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida appeared with the Fox News host Laura Ingraham for a town hall that lasted the full hour of her prime-time show. That kind of airtime tends to be reserved o...

“They’re going to storm Cinderella’s castle before this is over.”

President Joe Biden

On Florida Republicans' efforts to penalize Disney for what some party leaders say is an overly progressive agenda.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy, other lawmakers » Boston Globe A House panel issued subpoenas Thursday to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers in its probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, an extraordinary step that has little ...

Business

Crypto meltdown unmasks some truly risky products » Boston Globe Alongside the crash in technology stocks, cryptocurrencies have been tumbling dramatically. And, as has happened in every previous financial crash, the meltdown has exposed some once-hyped investments...

Boston is seeing a slowdown in proposals by developers » Boston Business Journal There’s increasing talk of a recession. Construction costs have exploded. And the city has a new mayor planning a major shakeup in how Boston does planning and development. Is the city in for a sust...

Massachusetts gas prices reach new record high for fifth straight day » CBS Boston Gas prices in Massachusetts reached a new record high for the fifth day in a row Friday, according to AAA. The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the state is now $4.47....

'I don't want to be a Wal-Mart fisherman': Scallopers sound off about permit leasing » South Coast Today The New England Fisheries Management Council held a scoping meeting Wednesday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on its proposed Scallop Fishery Management Plan adjustment....

Civil Rights

Report: Mass. Muslims continue to face egregious discrimination at home, at school, even at the post office » WGBH A woman wearing a niqab — a cloth veil worn by some Muslim women — was refused service by a clerk at her Boston-area post office last year. A neighbor of a Muslim family filed a police report alle...

Baker, Lawmakers In Talks About Abortion Action » State House News Service Reproductive health funding that state lawmakers are proposing in next year's state budget is a "good place to start," according to Gov. Charlie Baker, who said Thursday that he has talked with lawmak...

Massachusetts must step up for abortion care if Roe is overturned, Gov. Charlie Baker says » MassLive Massachusetts and other states with firm abortion protections must help non-residents seeking reproductive health care if the Supreme Court ultimately moves to overturn Roe v. Wade, Gov. Charlie Baker...

ACLU sues after counterprotesters ticketed in Lynn » Salem News The Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU has filed suit against the state police on behalf of two people ticketed and ordered to leave during a counter-protest in Lynn last November....

Education

Wu to launch a new era of school construction, pledging $2 billion to revamp city’s school facilities » Boston Globe Mayor Michelle Wu pledged Thursday to spend $2 billion to overhaul Boston’s deteriorating school facilities, under an ambitious effort that would begin with 14 new school buildings or major renovati...

Hispanic-serving colleges in Mass. support Latino students, but some schools fall short » WGBH When Jennifer Reyes emigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2016, she wanted to make a better future for herself. Upon entering the United States, she listed a few of her goals: to continue her educa...

Racist emails to caricatures: UMass Amherst campus reports 42 incidents of hate bias this school year; more than any other academic year » MassLive Racist caricatures sketched on a whiteboard, students taunting disabled individuals and a racist email that referred to Black students on the UMass campus as “animals” are just a select few of the...

A Mattapan mother says her son was in medical distress but BPS delayed calling 911 » Boston Globe There was little doubt in Alishia Hicks’s mind that her 17-year-old son was having a stroke as a staffer at the Henderson Upper School in Dorchester conveyed his symptoms to her over the phone: The ...

Boston schools student threw ‘boiling hot’ water on teacher’s face — but school didn’t call 911, cops say » Boston Herald A Boston Public Schools teacher had to take herself to the doctor and then the police station after a student threw “boiling hot” ramen-noodle water on her face — and the school’s principal wo...

As Biden drags his feet on student loan forgiveness, Dems get more frustrated » Boston Globe President Joe Biden is agonizing over ordering a sweeping cancellation of student loan debt, despite pressure from Democrats -- including Vice President Kamala Harris -- eager for a political win befo...

Mass. reports uptick in new school coronavirus cases: 13,380 among students and 4,043 among staff » Boston Globe For the eighth consecutive reporting week, Massachusetts public schools have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases among students and staff....

UMass Chan reinstates mask mandate less than three months after lifting it » Worcester Business Journal UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester reinstated its indoor mask mandate on Thursday morning, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Worcester. Sarah Willey, media relations manager at UMass Chan, con...

Environment

In Chelsea, cooling an urban heat island one block at a time » WBUR A city block just behind the industrial waterfront in Chelsea is typical for urban heat islands across the U.S. Nearly every foot is covered by a roof or pavement. There’s a Boys & Girls Club at one...

Holtec temporarily pausing plans to dump radioactive water in Cape Cod Bay. Here's why » Cape Cod Times Holtec International, the company decommissioning Plymouth's Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, has agreed not to release radioactive water from the plant into Cape Cod Bay until a third-party environment...

Federal

Silverglate: Supreme Court leak upends foundation of secrecy » Boston Herald The front pages of newspapers, television news programs and social media are consumed by reports that some unknown person has leaked to the public a draft of an opinion authored by conservative Suprem...

Human Services

For families of fallen Soldiers’ Home vets, relief along with the anguish » Gazette Net When Kara Kapinos' 91-year-old father, Ted, was dying of COVID-19 in 2020, she wasn't able to get into the Soldiers' Home, where he lived, to say goodbye....

Children’s advocates want universal free school lunches to continue » Boston Herald Advocates are calling on state lawmakers to extend free meals at schools, a program that came into place during the pandemic and is even more important now with food insecurity rates even higher than ...

State’s $56 million settlement at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home can provide ‘closure’ to victims’ families, Gov. Charlie Baker says » MassLive Hours after Massachusetts reached a $56 million settlement agreement for the COVID-19 outbreak at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Gov. Charlie Baker said he hopes the families of veterans who succumb...

Senator Velis reacts to Holyoke Soldiers’ Home settlement » Western Mass News A $56-million settlement has been reached between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and victims of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home deadly COVID-19 outbreak, that claimed the lives of 84 veterans in 2020....

‘Terrible tragedy’: Baker announces $56M settlement with families affected by COVID outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home » WHDH

Judiciary

William Allen released from prison after life sentence commuted » WBUR After serving almost 28 years of a life sentence on first-degree murder charges, Allen, now 48, left the Old Colony Correctional Center last week....

Labor

Reshuffling of labor force boosts workers; frustrates employers » Newburyport News It’s being called the great resignation: Millions of workers quitting their jobs or leaving the workforce entirely amid the tightest labor market in decades....

Legislative

U.S. legislators of Portuguese descent gather in Lisbon to discuss bilateral opportunities » The Herald News Renewable energy, climate change, the Ukraine war and the Lajes Air Base were some of the issues brought to the table as 19 U.S. lawmakers of Portuguese ancestry gathered in Lisbon on May 2 and 3 and ...

Local Government

Proposal for new Worcester school committee districts, meant to make Latino, Black voters voices heard, up for public input » MassLive The public will have a chance to comment on proposed school committee districts, meant to ensure the voices of Latino and Black residents are heard, at five upcoming public hearings in the city....

Pummeled at the pump: Towns see huge increases in fuel budgets amid record-high prices » Patriot Ledger As gas and diesel prices continue to reach record highs, South Shore municipalities are feeling the pinch as they move money around to pay for drastically more expensive fuel....

Editorial: Will ARPA funds come to the rescue? » Lowell Sun With municipalities across the state in line to receive a second infusion of American Rescue Plan Act funding, the question still remains whether the city of Lowell can use a substantial portion of th...

Holyoke City Council advances Tourism Advisory Committee proposal » MassLive The City Council moved closer to forming a Tourism Advisory Committee, which would highlight the city’s cultural and historical assets....

Brockton outlawed panhandling in 2019. Here's why City Council just repealed the ordinance » The Enterprise Brockton City Council voted to remove a 2019 ordinance that outlawed panhandling in various public spaces, including busy streets, ATMs and public parks....

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia touts improved financial climate in State of the City address » MassLive Mayor Joshua A. Garcia says Holyoke is heading in the right direction despite COVID-19′s grip the last two years, experiencing growth and new development....

Politics

Three contested races on Hatfield ballot Tuesday » Gazette Net Three contested races, including for a three-year position on the School Committee that features an incumbent against a challenger, will be decided in the town election Tuesday....

AG Maura Healey says Fall River is 'poised to soar' as locals endorse her bid for governor » The Herald News Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey traveled to Fall River on Thursday to collect unanimous endorsements from members of the state delegation and Mayor Paul Coogan in a gubernatorial campaign ...

Healey takes campaign to the South Coast, snags endorsements » Boston Globe Attorney General Maura Healey hit the campaign trail here Thursday, visiting a slice of the waterfront to announce endorsements from South Coast elected officials and talk up her pitch to boost public...

Campbell, Liss-Riordan make Mass. AG pitches to Berkshire Democrats » WAMC Two candidates in this year’s Democratic primary for Massachusetts Attorney General spoke with Berkshire County Democrats at a virtual meeting Wednesday night....

Healey receives endorsement of 4 city leaders during visit to Fall River Pier » Fall River Reporter Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Maura Healey visited the Fall River City Pier today. In conversations with local elected officials and community leaders, Healey emphasized the need for investmen...

Public Health

Parents are grappling with an ‘impossible’ baby formula shortage » Boston Globe The safety shutdown of major infant formula plant, coupled with supply chain issues, has shelves empty and families worried....

Biden urges world leaders to add financial fire to COVID fight, as Congress stalls aid » Boston Globe President Joe Biden urged countries to spend more to help combat COVID-19 in a virtual summit that resulted in billions of dollars in pledges on Thursday, even as the president has been unable to conv...

Most of Mass. Now at High Risk for Community Transmission of COVID » NBC Boston All but three of Massachusetts' 14 counties are now considered high risk for community transmission of COVID-19, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

Public Safety

Howie Carr: So many unanswered questions in case of State Police colonel’s son » Boston Herald It’s going to be a very busy morning May 24 for Chuck Ardito, the clerk-magistrate of the Barnstable District Court....

City Council meeting on police budget keeps focus on overtime and mental health » Boston Globe As it reviews Mayor Michelle Wu’s $4 billion budget proposal, the Boston City Council on Thursday peppered police officials with questions about the department’s policies and priorities, from redu...

State Government

Baker on 'welcome' federal MBTA inspection, abortion rights and pandemic leadership » WBUR Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker joined WBUR's Radio Boston Thursday to talk about a number of issues, including safety concerns and a dire financial situation for the MBTA, as well as a new settlemen...

Transportation

Baker: FTA Can Bring “National Knowledge” To MBTA » State House News Service Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that he welcomes a nearly unprecedented safety investigation the Federal Transit Administration will launch into the MBTA, an agency under the governor's watch....

MBTA $12.6M over fuel budget due to spiking diesel prices » Boston Herald Spiking fuel prices driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put a wrench in the MBTA’s budget projections for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30....

Editorial: A Real ID gives motorists more license to travel » Sentinel & Enterprise Starting on May 3, 2023, the standard Massachusetts driver’s license will no longer be accepted as a valid ID for boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings....

MBTA board member raises safety questions » Commonwealth Magazine A MEMBER of the MBTA’s oversight board on Thursday questioned whether all of the people being hired by the transit authority to address safety issues are actually improving safety....

Service suspension on Blue Line extended after construction cart derails » Boston Herald The Blue Line service suspension between Airport and Bowdoin stations will continue through next Tuesday due to a construction cart derailment that occurred earlier this week, the MBTA announced....

Baker welcomes federal safety inspection of T » Boston Globe Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday that the sweeping federal safety inspection of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority currently underway is “a good thing” that will bring national exp...

Utilities

Opinion: To ensure every American has access to water and the Internet, stop selling utility data to ICE » Boston Globe Over the past few months, efforts have been underway to implement President Biden’s plan to strengthen America’s electrical grids, expand access to drinking water, and deliver broadband Internet t...

Attorney General's office investigating Solar Wolf for scamming Yarmouth solar customers » Cape Cod Times Residents who signed up with Solar Wolf to have solar panels installed as part of the town’s energy saving campaign were blindsided Tuesday night with news that the company had gone “silent.”...

Social Media Spotlight

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The Week In Review

Most read bills of the week:

House Actions This Week: 141

Senate Actions This Week: 34

Press Releases

Delaware Governor John Carney Vetoes Simple Cannabis Legalization Bill; Advocates Call for an Override » Marijuana Policy Project

ARL Sees Steady Demand for Temporary Pet Housing Initiative » Animal Rescue League Boston

MassHousing Closes on $21.4 Million for the Refinancing and Extension of Affordability at the 103-Unit Wilkins Glen in Medfield » MassHousing

MassHousing Closes on $38.5 Million for the Refinancing and Renovations at Two Brockton Affordable Housing Communities » MassHousing

 Budget Process Underway, Gobi Continues To Elevate Central Mass Needs » Office of MA State Senator Anne Gobi

The Arc, Other Organizations Send Letter To Senate Regarding Preserving Current Medicaid Rates for AFC, Day Hab Programs » The Arc of Massachusetts

BTU Response to 5/23 DESE Report » Boston Teachers Union

Sheriff Koutoujian meets with Attorney General Garland, Federal Law Enforcement Leaders » Middlesex Sheriff's Office

Statement from MassBio’s Executive Leadership Regarding Supreme Court Case on Reproductive Rights » Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

Lawmakers pledge to hold special sessions to ban abortion following Supreme Court ruling » Planned Parenthood

Legislative Update: Week of May 23, 2022 » Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

Senator Bruce Tarr Serves Up Outdoor Table Dining » Office of MA State Senator Bruce Tarr

Day Before Senate Debates Budget – MA Gas up 13 Cents from Last Week » Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Announces New Medal of Liberty License Plate » MassDOT

More Than $800,000 Awarded to 120 Local Artists and Creative Workers Through the Opportunity Fund » City of Boston

Several Local and State Legislative Updates to Be on Lookout For » Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Study Removal of Dams to Benefit Natural Resources Impacted by National Fireworks Site Contamination » MA Department of Environmental Protection

State Agricultural Officials Ask Public to be on Alert for Hatching of Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Eggs » MA Department of Agricultural Resources

Markey Joins Shaheen Letter Urging Relief Around Abbott Baby Formula Contract Constraints for New England States Amid Shortages » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Markey, Trone Urge President Biden to Act on Opioid Crisis by Enacting Recommendations from Opioid Commission Report » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

Transport Pup with Chronic Skin Condition Still Seeking New Home » Animal Rescue League Boston

Mass General Brigham honored with Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award » Mass General Brigham and Women's

President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative Promises to Tackle Climate Injustice – But It Needs to Do Better for Communities of Color » Conservation Law Foundation

Delegates Elect Page as Next MTA President » Massachusetts Teachers Association

News Roundup — May 21, 2022 » Progressive Massachusetts

EPA opens applications, announces guidelines for $5 billion Clean School Bus Program » Environment Massachusetts

Baker-Polito Administration Opens Spray Decks Early For Children and Families to Enjoy » MA Department of Conservation and Recreation

What MA is doing to help families during the national shortage of infant formula » MA Department of Public Health

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Boosters Available for Children Ages 5-11 » MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Baker-Polito Awards More Than $1 Million in Grants to Increase Access to STEM Learning Across the Commonwealth » MA Executive Office of Education

Senators Markey and Romney Call on China to Provide Unfettered and Unsupervised Access for Top UN Human Rights Official in Visit to Country » Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey


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