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Today on Beacon Hill

10:00am Joint Committee on Veterans & Federal Affairs, Public Hearing

11:00am Thirty on Thursday: Tax Incentives for Real Estate Expansion Projects During the Pandemic and Beyond presented by AIM, Free, registration required

11:00am House Session, Informal Session

11:00am Senate Session, Informal Session

12:00pm Special Joint Oversight Committee on the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke COVID-19 Outbreak, Public Hearing

1:00pm COVID-19 Digital Divide in Western Massachusetts hosted by Sen. Eric Lesser, Via Zoom

Birthdays: Rep. John Rogers

Must-Reads

Baker Admin Hopes to Avoid Layoffs in Budget Reckoning » State House News Service Baker has said he'd like to have the budget finished by Thanksgiving, and he filed a $5.4 billion interim budget Wednesday to cover spending beyond Oct. 31, but legislative Democrats have not given a …

After 41 years, Hunt stepping down as head of Mass. League of Community Health Centers » Boston Globe Hunt will be succeeded by Michael Curry, 52, who joined the trade group in 2008 and is now deputy CEO and general counsel.…

Mitt Romney says he didn’t vote for Trump » Boston Globe Romney wouldn’t say if he voted for Democrat Joe Biden or wrote someone else in, CNN reporter Manu Raju tweeted.…

Baker to send tens of millions to help small businesses and Main Streets » Boston Globe Baker plans to announce the new grant program Thursday as part of a multipronged economic rescue strategy with a total price tag approaching $775 million, funded by a mix of federal and state dollars.…

MassHealth enrollment surges during pandemic » Commonwealth Magazine MassHealth, the state Medicaid program, is meant to cover the lowest income individuals in Massachusetts but in fact, it covers more than a quarter of the state’s population.…

Budget’s Very Late But Spilka Sees “Wisdom in Waiting” » State House News Service While she praised the Massachusetts Senate's bipartisanship, Democrats hold super-majorities in both branches and Spilka shed no new light on why Democrats haven't been able to strike deals on major p…

Rudy Giuliani caught in humiliating bedroom scene in new Borat movie » YouTube Rudy Giuliani says 'Borat' is attempting to distract voters from Hunter Biden's scandal after Sacha Baron Cohen tricked him into going to hotel room with a young actress.…

Obama delivers blazing critique of Trump in 2020 campaign trail debut » Washington Post Former president Barack Obama delivered a lacerating critique of President Trump in his debut on the 2020 campaign trail Wednesday, denouncing his successor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic an…

Massachusetts is moving forward to allow a controversial new type of marijuana delivery business » Boston.com During a three-hour meeting Tuesday, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission approved some “contentious” changes to its draft regulations, allowing standalone recreational marijuana retailers wi…

NH: Mike Pence rallies supporters in N.H., voters say presidential race is ‘tighter’ than polls show » Boston Herald Pence: ‘The road to victory goes right through New Hampshire’…

Right Turn: The Mass. GOP Goes All In On Trump » WGBH The last time a Massachusetts Republican was elected to Congress, it was January 2010, and the win was national news. Scott Brown, a formerly obscure state senator, topped then-Attorney General Martha…

“The case numbers made the decision clear for me today, that preventing a surge has to be our priority,” Walsh said in an interview with GBH News. “The uptick we’re seeing in the last few weeks is continuing and potentially, potentially accelerating. That’s a problem.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

Boston Public Schools are returning to an all-remote learning schedule Thursday as the city’s seven-day positive test rate for the coronavirus climbs to its highest point since last May..

News By Category
Beltway Politics

President Trump has a habit of bashing women who challenge him — here’s a look back » Boston Globe “So, can I ask you to do me a favor?” President Trump said to a raucous crowd in Pennsylvania last week. “Suburban women, would you please like me? Please, please."…

US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters » Boston Globe Iran is responsible for emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple states aimed at intimidating the recipients into voting for President Donald Trump, U.S. officials said Wednesday night in calling …

Presidential debate round two: Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden face-off will have mute button » Boston Herald After the first presidential debate went off the rails, Americans will now get their final chance ahead of the election to see President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden face off.…

Mike Pence rallies supporters in N.H., voters say presidential race is ‘tighter’ than polls show » Boston Herald Vice President Mike Pence knocked Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s health and tax plans and touted the economic gains under the Trump administration as he rallied voters just 13 days before Election D…

The presidential campaign ends Thursday night » Boston Globe You can debate precisely when the 2020 presidential campaign began. Was it on Jan. 20, 2017, when President Trump’s campaign filed for reelection mere hours after he was sworn in as president? Does …

Report: Mitt Romney says he didn’t vote for Trump » Boston Globe Mitt Romney, the US senator from Utah who once was governor of Massachusetts, said he has cast his ballot in the presidential election — and he didn’t vote for his fellow Republican, President Don…

GOP-led Senate panel advances Amy Coney Barrett despite Democrats’ boycott » Boston Globe The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate as Republicans powered past Democrats' boycott of the session.…

Trump’s big challenge in the final debate with Biden: Staying out of his own way » Boston Globe Over the past seven days, President Trump has railed against a variety of perceived foes: Dr. Anthony Fauci, news anchors Lesley Stahl and Savannah Guthrie, and the nonpartisan Commission on President…

Election night clarity from... Florida? Early counting of mail-in ballots could help » Boston Globe In a cavernous warehouse decked out in red, white, and blue, masked workers sorted the two pages of completed ballots into piles and counted the sheets.…

Editorial: Justice Department officials must stand up for democracy » Boston Globe Public servants must do what’s right and not interfere in the election, even if it means standing up to Attorney General William Barr.…

Business

Advocates say small businesses need help quickly » The Eagle Tribune With additional federal relief uncertain, business leaders are looking to Beacon Hill to help buoy Main Street merchants struggling to survive amid the continued economic fallout of the coronavirus.…

Some small PPP recipients waited three times longer than bigger bank customers, report says » Boston Business Journal Small-business owners with the smallest Paycheck Protection Program loan applications sometimes waited more than three times longer for the money than the largest borrowers.…

Baker to send tens of millions to help small businesses and Main Streets » Boston Globe As debate over an additional federal stimulus package drags out in Congress, Governor Charlie Baker is unveiling a plan to deploy nearly $51 million from a previous round of federal aid to small busin…

Castle Rock’s impact called significant » Commonwealth Magazine A STUDY BILLED as the first of its kind indicates the initial season of Hulu’s Castle Rock television series received $14.6 million in film tax credits from the state and generated $69 million of to…

Salem businesses react to closings, restrictions » The Salem News Businesses are caught in a tough spot by the situation playing out in the Halloween-related announcements made by city and state officials Wednesday afternoon.…

Newton OKs Riverside transit-oriented development » Boston Business Journal The Newton City Council this week unanimously approved a 13-acre, 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development adjacent to the MBTA Riverside station at the end of the Green Line's D branch in Newton. …

Editorial: Give your employees flexibility to vote on Nov. 3 » Boston Business Journal Four years ago, voter turnout for the presidential election was the lowest it had been since Bill Clinton ran against Bob Dole in 1996 — just 55.4%. This year, employers nationwide should do everyth…

Civil Rights

Opinion; Statewide coalition has been fighting to ensure inmates’ voting rights » Boston Globe De facto disenfranchisement of incarcerated eligible voters is alive and well in Massachusetts (“The real forgotten voter is sitting in jail,” Abdallah Fayyad, Opinion, Oct. 20). A statewide coali…

Advocates 'cautiously optimistic’ over pope’s comments on same-sex civil unions » Boston Globe As Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse civil unions for same-sex couples, local LGBTQ advocates on Wednesday embraced his new stance as a significant, if partial, step toward inclusion an…

Education

Framingham State Reports Zero Coronavirus Cases » Brookline Patch After a spike in positive tests in early September, Framingham State's coronavirus cases have dropped off.…

Boston School Committee votes to drop admissions tests for city’s exam schools for one year » Boston Globe After a marathon meeting, the Boston School Committee early Thursday morning unanimously voted 7-0 to approve a controversial proposal to drop admissions tests for the city’s prestigious exam school…

Boston teachers and students ask for ‘better, safer’ plan as district goes remote amid rising coronavirus cases in city » Boston Herald Boston teachers and students are pushing for a safe and sustainable plan to provide services for high-needs students as in-person learning has switched to remote amid rising COVID-19 levels in the cit…

State to audit 2 school districts; 22 new COVID-19 deaths » The Associated Press (AP) Massachusetts education officials have made good on a promise to audit school districts that have not updated their timeline for bringing students back for in-person instruction despite community coro…

‘Missing a year affects us a lot’: Families respond with anguish after Boston public schools cancel in-person learning » Boston Globe After another jump in Boston’s coronavirus positivity rate, the city’s public school district said it has canceled in-person instruction for thousands of high-needs students — the only group to …

Boston Schools Will Go Fully Remote, Walsh Says » WGBH Boston Public Schools will return to an all-remote learning schedule Thursday as the city’s seven-day positive test rate for the coronavirus climbs to its highest point since last May.…

Amherst, Pelham schools returning to remote learning » Gazette Net All public school students in the Amherst and Pelham schools will return to entirely remote instruction Monday after just seven days back in the classrooms.…

Environment

Holland awarded funds to repair water runoff that affects Hamilton Reservoir » News 22 WWLP.com The Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $1.4 million in grants to support six projects targeting water pollution from stormwater runoff and erosion across the Commonwealth. The grants, whi…

Health Care

Families: Protect our ‘heroes on the hill’ at the Soldiers’ Home » The Recorder Susan Kenney first heard about a coronavirus outbreak at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke on the evening news in late March. The Ware resident's 78-year-old father, Charles Lowell, lived at the home.…

Heartbreaking stories underlie Holyoke Soldiers’ Home COVID-19 outbreak » News 10 On one day in early March, Susan Kenney had been on the phone with her father’s case manager at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home trying to set up a Zoom call with her dad, a 78-year-old veteran of the A…

Biogen ends two key drug trials, raising stakes for Alzheimer’s drug » Boston Business Journal Biogen has discontinued work on two drugs candidates that could have helped stabilize eroding product revenues, heightening the stakes for its potential Alzheimer's drug that will be reviewed by FDA o…

Housing

Habitat breaks ground on first Athol home building project » Athol Daily News Early next year, some deserving local family will move into a brand new home built by North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity. Groundbreaking for the construction project at 326 Old Keene Roa…

Healey concerned eviction relief may be months away » WHDH With her calls for Gov. Charlie Baker to extend the moratorium on evictions having gone unanswered, Attorney General Maura Healey has turned her focus to making sure supports for tenants and landlords…

Trial Court promises public dashboard to track mounting eviction filings as Massachusetts moratorium ends » Boston Herald The Trial Court has promised a public-facing dashboard to provide transparency and track eviction filings as a temporary ban expires, creating a situation one critic likened to “turning on the evict…

Rally hosted in Boston to stop evictions and foreclosures across Massachusetts » Amherst Wire Chants of “do your job” erupted around the Boston Common fountain two weekends ago to the rhythmic tolling of the Park Street Church bells and the beating of makeshift bucket drums on the ground.…

Last-minute push for eviction protections » The Bay State Banner Gov. Charlie Baker’s new Eviction Diversion Initiative, which promises $171 million in total aid, some of which has already been allocated, is receiving backlash from activists and legislators. Whil…

AG Healey: Eviction relief for tenants not yet in sight » Berkshire Eagle With her calls for Gov. Charlie Baker to extend the moratorium on evictions having gone unanswered, Attorney General Maura Healey has turned her focus to making sure supports for tenants and landlords…

Human Services

Opinion: Let’s do even more to ensure Chelsea pilot cash-relief program succeeds » Boston Globe Re “Chelsea to test bold cash relief plan” (Page A1, Oct. 18): The City of Chelsea and the Shah Family Foundation deserve recognition for helping Chelsea residents in need. A total of 2,074 famili…

Labor

Another 787,000 file jobless claims as layoffs persist » Boston Globe The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels.…

National Temp Agency Resolves Attorney General’s Investigation Into Wage and Hour Law Violations » Chelse Record A temporary employment agency with more than 2,000 temp workers in Massachusetts will pay $221,180 in restitution and penalties to resolve allegations that it violated the state’s wage and hour laws…

Union members in Berkshires vow to strike if Trump interferes with election outcome » Berkshire Eagle A labor group with members in Berkshire County is pledging to take nonviolent action to defend the democratic process, “if Donald Trump and his GOP enablers attempt to obstruct, subvert, sabotage, o…

Local Government

No Vote To Remove Braintree Councilor From Veterans Committee » Brookline Patch Councilor O'Brien wanted Councilor Julia Flaherty removed from the veterans committee over a Facebook post some argued belittled veterans.…

Salem BOOting visitors out for Halloween » Commonwealth Magazine SALEM MAYOR Kim Driscoll and Gov. Charlie Baker urged the public to stay away from the city until Halloween is over to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and announced a series of weekend measures …

Salem Will Be Hard to Get Into on Halloween, Halloween Jr. Weekends This Year » NBC Boston Restrictions on Halloween in Salem will include early shutdowns, closures of parking areas and the curtailment of trains to keep the coronavirus from spreading…

Charlie Baker joins Salem in efforts to shut out visitors for rest of October » Boston Herald Salem is shutting down streets and enforcing an 8 p.m. curfew for business to restrict Halloween-driven tourist access to the Witch City over the next two weekends, the mayor and governor announced.…

Push On to Scare People Away from Witch City » State House News Service The crowds in Salem are smaller this month than they would normally be, but the number of people visiting the Witch City is still "more than we feel comfortable having," Mayor Kim Driscoll said Wednes…

Worcester City Council backs boosting pay for diversity chief » Worcester Telegram City councilors have come out in strong support of the city manager's proposal to create a new Executive Office of Diversity and Inclusion and boost the salary for the chief diversity officer to a Cab…

Push On to Scare People Away from Witch City » State House News Service The crowds in Salem are smaller this month than they would normally be, but the number of people visiting the Witch City is still "more than we feel comfortable having," Mayor Kim Driscoll said Wednes…

Easthampton adopts comprehensive plastic use ban » Gazette Net The city is banning the use of a number of nonreusable plastic items within its borders, including single-use plastic checkout bags, in what supporters say is a comprehensive measure designed to help …

Holyoke waives license fees for businesses, will set up temporary shelter » Gazette Net Many Holyoke businesses whose activities continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will have their license renewal fees waived this fiscal year.…

Politics

What you need to know about Question 3 on the Greenfield ballot » News 22 WWLP.com This election, Greenfield voters will decide if the city should take part in the Community Preservation Act.…

Judge says, yeah, no, failed Senate candidate isn't going to get any money, let alone $1.2 billion, from Bill Galvin » Universal Hub Hours after failed Republican Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai sued Secretary of State William Galvin over what he claims is massive election fraud, a federal judge schooled him - and his lawyer - in …

Over 1 Million Mass. Residents Have Voted Early in the 2020 Election » NBC Boston Early voting began Saturday in Massachusetts, and more than 1 million residents have already cast their ballots in person or by mail.…

Opinion: A vote for Rep. Susannah Whipps » The Recorder A registered Independent, more progressive than many Democrats, I do not hesitate supporting a once-Republican who is ethical, a diligent worker for her constituency and a visionary: I will vote for R…

New Jersey sends mail-in ballot to Massachusetts watchdog » Boston Herald In the latest ballot blunder, New Jersey is asking anyone who received a mail-in voting form who no longer lives in the Garden State to simply “rip it up.”…

Opinion: Ex-reporter transitions to political partisan » Commonwealth Magazine A YEAR AGO, I was a nonpartisan political reporter in Massachusetts, happy to give people from either side of the spectrum due credit or due comeuppance. No longer. Now I am a full partisan in a battl…

Opinion: If You’re Fighting Climate Change, You Must Also Fight Voter Suppression » WBUR Black and brown communities in Georgia are being forced to wait up to 11 hours to vote. Voters in Harris County, Texas — home to Houston, the most populous city in Texas — have one location to dro…

Latest Letters To The Editor: Robertson-DiFruscia Race » Brookline Patch Tewksbury and Wilmington residents have written in to Patch with their views on the upcoming 19th Middlesex District state representative election, between incumbent Democrat Dave Robertson and Republ…

Sen. Dean Tran and challenger John Cronin have economic priorities » Worcester Telegram In the Worcester and Middlesex District, incumbent state Sen. Dean A. Tran, R- Fitchburg, is being challenged by political newcomer John J. Cronin, a Democrat from Lunenburg.…

Election 2020: Total number of mail-in ballot applications, early votes cast in Massachusetts tops 2 million » The Republican More than 1.17 million Massachusetts voters have cast their ballots for the Nov. 3 election, according to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office.…

Nearly 1.2 million people have already voted in Massachusetts. The disparities are stark » Boston Globe One of every four registered voters in Massachusetts — and nearly 1.2 million in total — have already cast a ballot for the Nov. 3 election, underscoring a surge in early action that’s highest i…

Letter: Baker no hero for his non-stance on presidential race » The Eagle Tribune Once upon a time a U.S. senator from Massachusetts (and his speechwriter) wrote a book titled "Profiles in Courage." It praised several U.S. senators who took decisive actions that imperiled their pol…

Former staffer for Boston mayoral candidate City Council President Michelle Wu sentenced to federal prison for selling cocaine, fentanyl as part of ‘Operation Landshark' » The Republican The former director of constituent services for Boston City Council President Michelle Wu, who is running for mayor, was sentenced to serve several months in federal prison for selling nearly 350 gram…

Cape police, poll workers on alert for Election Day » Cape Cod Times A contentious political climate, mail-in voting, and social distancing and mask protocols put in place because of COVID-19 promise to make this presidential election different from all the rest.…

Public Health

EDITORIAL: Recognizing hues in Massachusetts’ coronavirus color codes » Lowell Sun Towns that felt unfairly labeled high risk — including Middleton and North Andover — due to positive cases recorded in restricted or isolated locations like jails and colleges, will finally have t…

Massachusetts communities with major coronavirus clusters in nursing homes, colleges, jails will get asterisk » Boston Herald Massachusetts cities and towns that have significant coronavirus clusters in long-term care facilities, college campuses or correctional facilities will get an asterisk next to their names in future w…

Here's How the Mass. Coronavirus Risk Map Will Look Different This Week » NBC CT Now being released Thursdays instead of Wednesdays, the coronavirus risk map will include details on isolated outbreaks that push communities into the high-risk category.…

This Thanksgiving ‘might be a good year not to travel’ due to COVID pandemic, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says » The Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is encouraging Massachusetts residents to think about not traveling this Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus pandemic.…

Opinion: Charlie Baker’s wife doesn’t want to find needles outside her home — neither does anyone else » Boston Globe No one wants to walk outside and find used needles dumped in front of their house. But most people who face that ugly reality can’t get a judge to stop it from happening, as Lauren Baker did.…

Thanksgiving 2020: ‘Home Alone’ edition » Boston Globe This year, the operative number isn’t how many people are coming to your Thanksgiving but how many are not.…

Massachusetts reports 646 new COVID cases, 22 deaths on Wednesday as week-over-week numbers rise » MassLive State health officials confirmed another 646 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the statewide tally to 142,941. That’s based on 12,722 new molecular tests, according to the Department of Publi…

Mass. reports 646 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 22 new deaths » Boston Globe The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 22 to 9,559, the Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 646, bringing the tot…

Public Safety

Gun violence up at least 50% in some Massachusetts cities after lull during COVID pandemic, U.S. Attorney says » The Republican Gun violence is up at least 50% in some cities across the state following a lull in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.…

State Government

Kennedy Statue On the Move 30 Years After Its Unveiling » State House News Service The bronze statue of President John Kennedy on a little-used corner of the State House lawn is taking a stroll back into the limelight.…

Shelley Edmundson Is Appointed to State Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission » Vineyard Gazette Dr. Shelley Edmundson has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, making her the first Vineyarder to serve on the influential nine-member commission …

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey highlights more than 200 actions taken against President Donald Trump’s administration over environmental protections » The Republican Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday has released a report that details more than 200 actions her office has taken against the administration of President Donald Trump in response …

‘No fun size’: Charlie Baker shares 9-year-old’s humorous COVID-19 safety tip for Halloween » Boston.com Gov. Charlie Baker says that outdoor trick-or-treating, if done with precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, “is actually a lot safer” than many of the indoor alternatives this Halloween seas…

Child writes to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker thanking him for not canceling Halloween, encourages giving out large candy bars » The Republican Trick-or-treating is considered high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year during the coronavirus pandemic but one Massachusetts 9-year-old has an idea to make it a little l…

Taxation

Mass. governor answers question about NH lawsuit over income taxes » WMUR Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was asked Tuesday about the U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit New Hampshire is filing against the Bay State over income taxes being taken from Granite Staters who are working…

Transportation

Construction on South Coast Rail New Bedford stations expected to start this winter » South Coast Today For many New Bedford residents the construction of South Coast Rail has long been a pipe dream they scoff at, but now work is scheduled to ramp up at station sites at the end of the year and everythin…

Our View: A better commute but at what cost? » The Eagle Tribune if you're among the people still commuting for your job — or you’re anticipating a return to the office in the near future — the pandemic brings this modicum of relief: Not only is your traffic …

Utilities

Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year » State House News Service Utility company executives behind the project that would deliver clean power from Hydro-Québec to the Massachusetts and New England power grid said Wednesday construction should start before the end …

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