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Today on Beacon Hill

11:00am House Session, Full Formal Session

1:00pm Senate Session, Full Formal Session

5:00pm Close of Comment Period for Department of Housing & Community Development Regulatory Changes, Submit to Francia Nova at francia.nova@mass.gov

7:30pm Basic Black on Activism & Protests, WGBH 2

Must-Reads

Email About Frat Prompts Officials to Defend Kennedy » State House News Service (Markey campaign manager John) Walsh also suggested that Kennedy's decision with his college fraternity brothers to disaffliate last summer looked like part of a pattern of Kennedy trying to clean up …

Markey launches ad featuring AOC » Boston Globe Ocasio-Cortez notes that Markey was an original cosponsor of Medicare For All and wrote the Green New Deal with her, which has become the signature legislative issue for both lawmakers.…

Police reform advocates appeal for change as lawmakers battle over qualified immunity » Boston Herald Police reform advocates say police abuse does occur in Massachusetts, pushing back on claims by law enforcement groups that the Legislature’s efforts to increase accountability is a “knee-jerk rea…

Historic Legislative Session To Continue Beyond Traditional Deadline » State House News Service Massachusetts likely faces a revenue shortfall of $2 billion to $8 billion below previous estimates, which could precipitate either unpopular tax hikes or massive cuts to the public sector. Those coul…

Police Union Cheers Reps Who Opposed Reform Bill » State House News Service The state's largest police union is asking all 4,300 of its uniformed officers and members of the public to support the 66 House legislators who voted last week against a sweeping policing reform bill…

'A lasting difference': Michael Durkin ends 43-year run at United Way » Boston Business Journal Michael Durkin, president and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, will retire Friday. Bob Giannino, who served as chief executive of local nonprofit uAspire, will take his pla…

FL: DeSantis’ popularity plummets in another Florida poll » Orlando Sentinel The survey of 625 registered Florida voters found 45% approved of the governor, while 49% disapproved and 6% were unsure. In March, the same poll found much better numbers for DeSantis, with 62% who b…

Senate votes to ban government non-disclosure agreements » Commonwealth Magazine “This is a huge win for employees to help prevent harassment, discrimination, and abuse, and a big win for transparency and accountability,” tweeted Sen. Diana DiZoglio of Methuen, who sponsored t…

Mass. economy shrank by 44% rate in second quarter » Boston Business Journal The Bay State’s real gross domestic product declined significantly more than the country’s as a whole, as U.S. GDP dropped by an annual rate of almost 33% during the same time period, according to…

In the Endorsement Battle with Joe Kennedy, Ed Markey Is Winning » Boston Magazine A guide to who's with whom in the closely watched U.S. Senate race.…

“It is our hope that by the end of October we will have enough information, enough certainty on what the feds are going to do to provide us relief, on what the economy looks like - the rebound of the economy - and what’s going to happen with the virus and the trajectory of this virus,”

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Michael Rodrigues

Speaking about a potential timeline for the fiscal 2021 budget.

News By Category
Beltway Politics

‘Elections Need to Happen': Baker Responds to Trump's Suggestion About Delay » NECN "We've had elections in the midst of world wars, in the midst of the Civil War, at many times in this country during terrible, awful circumstances," the governor said Thursday…

Why Trump Might Quit » Politico Fellow Americans, I know I am a disruptor, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict. I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is w…

Anonymous email stirs emotions in Senate race » Commonwealth Magazine ON A TUESDAY EVENING two weeks ago, a lengthy email landed in the inboxes of Democratic Party officials around the state from someone claiming to be Stephen Acab, a concerned citizen from Natick who i…

Whether Or Not Biden Picks Warren As His Running Mate, She Will Have Major Clout In Washington » WBUR As Joe Biden prepares to announce his running mate in the next few days, he's under a lot of pressure to pick a woman of color. Even so, Elizabeth Warren is believed to be among the top contenders and…

Trump slams mail-in voting as Republicans reject suggestion to ‘delay’ November election » Boston Herald President Trump expounded on his suggestion Thursday to “delay” the Nov. 3 election over claims mail balloting could make it the most “fraudulent election in history” — an idea swiftly rebuk…

For the first time in 2020, Democrats are projected to retake the US Senate » Boston Globe For the first time, you don’t have to squint to see it: Democrats have a plausible path to retake the US Senate majority this year. If they do, it may mean they’ve hit the trifecta.…

Opinion: Trump questions election safety, draws hypocritical blowback » Boston Herald Delay the election because of the coronavirus? Treasonous. Illegal. Cravenly political. But if the Democrats wanted to do it? Not so far-fetched then.…

Trump’s attack on election is about his fear of losing » Boston Globe For several years, it has been the stuff of his opponents’ nightmares: that President Trump, facing the prospect of defeat in the 2020 election, would declare by presidential edict that the vote had…

Opinion: The GOP’s moral trap » Boston Globe The Republican Party has shattered the longstanding norm that political power should be used with restraint rather than weaponized and taken to its lawful limits. It’s about to pay the price.…

Trump Has Suggested Delaying The 2020 Election, But He Doesn't Have The Power To Do So » WBUR In a tweet Thursday, President Trump suggested that the 2020 election should be delayed, to allow for more safety and to avoid universal mail-in voting, which he asserts will result in an inaccurate o…

Business

Polar Beverages goes nationwide in blockbuster deal with Keurig Dr Pepper » Boston Globe The Worcester company's seltzers with quirky flavors will soon appear in markets across the country…

Opinion: The economy cratered as never before in April. What comes next is hard to say » Boston Globe The Commerce Department made it official Thursday: Shutting down the country in a desperate bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic sent the US economy into its steepest nose dive since mod…

UPS surges most since 1999 on delivery boom spurred by virus » Boston Globe United Parcel Service Inc. climbed the most in more than 20 years as the courier’s results easily topped Wall Street’s expectations on pandemic-induced demand for e-commerce deliveries, health car…

Office workers are increasingly being told to wait until January before they return » Boston Globe Office towers in Boston remain largely empty this summer, with occupancy rates around 5 percent.…

Dunkin’ to close 350 more stores » Boston Globe Dunkin’ Brands Inc. expects to close up to 800 underperforming US stores this year as it tries to shore up its portfolio in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The company had previously announced…

Boston's former John Hancock HQ could become lab space » Boston Business Journal John Hancock’s former North American headquarters, which has sat vacant in Boston’s Seaport District for more than a year, could eventually be home to biotech employees in lab coats instead of off…

Tripadvisor CEO calls for 'enforcement of competition' after Big Tech hearing » Boston Business Journal The chief executive of one of the largest public technology companies in Massachusetts is taking the side of Congress on some of the anti-competitive practices that were discussed during this week's "…

Cannabis

Commentary: Dorchester deserves its share of cannabis revenue reinvestment » Dorchester Reporter When we wrote Question 4 to legalize and regulate the sale of cannabis in Mass., the drafting committee intentionally included provisions to support local entrepreneurs and invest in communities ravag…

Education

State school aid level-funded » Commonwealth Magazine IT WAS SUPPOSED to be the first year of a new school funding formula that was going to vastly increase public school spending.…

Tufts to Begin Moving Students in Next Month on Staggered Basis » NECN Tufts University students will begin returning to campus on Aug. 16.…

Opinion: This is the wrong time to cut arts education » Commonwealth Magazine IN TIMES of great financial strain and uncertainty, arts education is often the first thing cut from the school curriculum. Indeed, several school districts across the Commonwealth have already laid o…

Parents Are Considering 'Homeschool Pods' For Fall, But Some Educators Warn Of Inequities » NEPM As school districts in Massachusetts submit their fall proposals to the state, many parents are coming up with their own contingency plans.…

Teachers rally outside Massachusetts education offices, push to keep kids at home this fall » Boston Herald More than 100 teachers rallying outside the Malden headquarters of the state Department of Education Thursday afternoon demanded students be kept at home this fall until safe conditions inside school …

Multiple school districts weigh-in on options for students this fall » Western Mass News Springfield Public Schools announced the first day of school has officially been pushed back from August 31st to September 15th, kindergarten has been pushed back to September 21st, and preschool to S…

Jones, Tarr Support Breakfast After The Bell Initiative » Brookline Patch House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) recently supported passage of the Breakfast After the Bell initiative, which provides…

Union 38 teachers: In-person instruction a risk » Gazette Net Parents and teachers in the Union 38 School District expressed further concern this week with students returning to in-person instruction in the fall, with many advocating in favor of a “robust” r…

Fearing surge in COVID cases, Massachusetts Teachers Association pushes for remote learning in schools for 2020-2021 school year » The Republican As Massachusetts school districts continue to form reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year, educators are pushing to return to the classroom remotely.…

Even As Diversity Grows, Mass. Schools Remain Segregated » WBUR Even as Massachusetts grows more diverse, a growing number of its public schools are becoming “intensely segregated.”…

Environment

‘Please don’t plant them’: Baker issues warning to Mass. residents who received suspicious seeds » WHDH Gov. Charlie Baker issued a warning Thursday about suspicious seeds that have been getting sent to Massachusetts residents and several others across the country.…

Federal

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” » Vanity Fair This spring, a team working under the president's son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control. So why did th…

Gaming

Sports Betting Momentum Dies in Mass. Senate » State House News Service The Senate kept legal sports betting out of the economic development bill it passed Wednesday night, but key senators said they still plan to eventually consider the issue that's been under study for …

Health Care

Filings Drag out—and Muddy—Status of Soldiers’ Home Super » Western Mass Politics and Insight The employment status of Bennett Walsh, the Superintendent of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home (HSH) at the dawn of the facility’s COVID-19 outbreak, remains up in the air. A hearing on a temporary inju…

Six employees at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home have retested positive for coronavirus » Boston Globe Six employees at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home retested positive for COVID-19 this week, prompting the state-run facility, which cares for aged and infirm veterans, to close its doors to visitors, poss…

Six Employees At Holyoke Soldiers' Home Test Positive For Coronavirus » WBUR Two days after the Executive Office of Health and Human Services announced that a “clinically recovered” veteran at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tested positive for the virus again, an agency spok…

Brigham president resigns from Moderna board after conflict of interest questions raised » Boston Globe Dr. Elizabeth Nabel's hospital is participating in the Cambridge biotech's trial of a COVID-19 vaccine. She recently sold stock in it worth nearly $6.5m.…

CDH reports uptick in positive COVID-19 tests » Gazette Net More coronavirus tests have been coming back positive at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The COVID-19 positive test rate - the percentage of total tests that come back positive - more than doubled recently…

Massachusetts Senate clears bill to license midwives who provide out-of-hospital care » The Republican The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would license midwives in Massachusetts, which Sen. Becca Rausch said would reduce costs and improve health outcomes in births.…

Housing

Legislative Watch: Addressing America's Eviction Crisis » Governing COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and citizens can't shelter in place if they're evicted. Legislators in some states are proposing moratoriums on evictions for as long as a year after the end of the hea…

Lawyer: COVID-19 moratorium on evictions is ‘potentially devastating’ to landlords » Boston Herald A lawyer for a group of landlords asked a Suffolk Superior Court judge on Thursday for a preliminary injunction blocking the state’s moratorium on almost all evictions and foreclosures during the CO…

Judiciary

Editorial: One judge we trust won’t elude justice » Lowell Sun It appears a certain state jurist will have her day in court, despite her defense team’s best efforts to spare her that fate.…

Labor

At a time of racial unrest, Black workers’ union campaign becomes a battleground » Boston Globe College Bound Dorchester has a progressive mission: paying gang members a weekly stipend to get off the streets, go to college, and turn their negative influence into a positive one.…

Legislative

Senate agrees to extend legislative session » Commonwealth Magazine THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE on Thursday officially voted to extend the legislative session.…

Lawmaker’s amendment would have mandated training for his colleagues on muting their phones » Boston Globe State Representative Smitty Pignatelli, a Lenox Democrat, has been working from home for months during the pandemic, conducting business with colleagues through conference calls and on Zoom.…

Local Government

After coronavirus spike, Nantucket makes restaurants that serve alcohol close by midnight » Boston Globe With COVID-19 cases climbing on Nantucket amid the crush of summer tourists, restaurants that serve alcohol for on-site consumption will have to close at midnight starting Friday.…

Politics

Seth Moulton suggests red states are ‘getting what’s coming to them’ with coronavirus » Boston Herald U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is taking flak for suggesting that “we” Northeasterners think the populations of conservative “red states” are “getting what’s coming to them” with a surge in coro…

Kanye West won't appear on Massachusetts ballot » Gloucester Times Rapper Kanye West won't appear on the Massachusetts presidential ballot this fall, according to the office of Secretary of State William Galvin.…

Fourth Congressional District candidates ramp up campaigns » The Sun Chronicle Here’s the latest on the race for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Joseph Kennedy III. The district includes the 10-community Sun Chronicle circulation area. The primary election…

Joe Kennedy came out in support of legalizing marijuana before Ed Markey. So why is Markey hammering him for it? » Boston.com Rep. Joe Kennedy III announced his support for legalizing marijuana at the federal level more than 600 days ago.…

Markey calls for massive stimulus efforts in sit down with Sun editorial board » Lowell Sun U.S. Sen. Ed Markey called for payments of $2,000 per month to American families, for billions in aid to state and local governments, and for infrastructure spending similar to that of the New Deal as…

Super PAC funded by Auchincloss’s parents officially rides into 4th District, spends $180K on ads backing him » Boston Globe An enigmatic super PAC that took tens of thousands of dollars from the parents of congressional candidate Jake Auchincloss is now leaping into his Fourth District primary, dropping nearly $180,000 in …

Public Health

Nantucket records a growing number of coronavirus cases as people head to island for vacation » The Republican Nantucket Cottage Hospital reported 39 positive cases of the virus on Tuesday and has been seeing a sharp increase in the number of cases since mid-June. The hospital has tested 3,732 people since Mar…

Massachusetts lawmakers seek extended waiver of at-sea monitoring » National Fisherman [Massachusetts state legislators submitted a July 23 letter to Neil Jacobs, NOAA’s acting undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere, NMFS Director Chris Oliver, NMS Greater Atlantic regional administ…

Baker blames careless individuals for COVID runup » Commonwealth Magazine GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Thursday that the recent runup in Massachusetts COVID-19 cases is occurring not because the state is reopening too quickly but because some individuals are becoming careless…

Cape Cod officials rip house parties for rise in coronavirus cases » Boston Herald Cape Cod officials are taking to task the “disrespectful” maskless revelers whose private house parties are contributing to an uptick of coronavirus cases in the region.…

Charlie Baker mulls cutting party sizes as coronavirus numbers creep up in Massachusetts » Boston Herald Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is “talking about” whether to change current limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings after private parties have spurred several high-profile outbreaks in recent d…

Partiers Prompt Baker to Review Gathering Limits » State House News Service With upticks in positive COVID-19 testing rates linked to larger social events, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that his administration is reviewing the state's guidance on gathering sizes, but blame…

Public Safety

Police reform advocates appeal for change as lawmakers battle over qualified immunity » Boston Herald Police reform advocates say police abuse does occur in Massachusetts, pushing back on claims by law enforcement groups that the Legislature’s efforts to increase accountability is a “knee-jerk rea…

Special prosecutor to investigate alleged beating of man inside Lynn police station » Boston Globe Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett announced Thursday the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that a white Lynn police officer beat a Black man held in custody…

State Finance

State Commits to Hold Local Aid Amounts Level in Pandemic » State House News Service In a development welcomed by cities and towns, the Baker administration and the Legislature are committing to maintain fiscal 2021 local aid and school aid at last year's levels, and to provide an add…

State Government

13 Questions About Voting By Mail In Massachusetts, Answered » WGBH If you are a registered voter here in Massachusetts, chances are you’ve received a folded-up card in the mail in recent weeks with the words “Official 2020 Vote by Mail Application” emblazoned o…

Galvin urging residents to complete Census as deadline nears » Western Mass News The 2020 Census is underway and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin made a stop in Springfield on Thursday to make sure western Massachusetts is not, in his words, the tail of the dog.…

Trump’s ‘bogus’ suggestion to delay the election falls flat with Mass. leaders » Boston Globe The President of the United States’ overt suggestion Thursday to delay an election that polls show him losing was waved off by Massachusetts’s top elected leaders as a predictable, “bogus,” an…

'Bogus:' Galvin reacts to Trump's comments on mail-in ballot security » WCVB With the president raising fresh concerns with voting by mail and floating the idea of delaying the 2020 election, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said that if the Civil War and two world wars didn't s…

Baker's COVID-19 travel restrictions panned » The Salem News Strict rules for visitors to Massachusetts are aimed at preventing a resurgence of the coronavirus, but critics say new restrictions will be hard to enforce and don't fully protect the state.…

Transportation

Salisbury receives $100K rehab grant for Gerrish Road bridge » Newburyport News The state announced its latest round of Municipal Small Bridge Program Grant Awards last week, including a $100,000 grant for the rehabilitation of the bridge on Gerrish Road across Small Pox Brook.…

Social Media Spotlight

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Charlie Baker

@MassGovernor

Senator Becca Rausch

@BeccaRauschMA

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@RepKClark


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The Week In Review

New laws enacted this week:

HB4334 - An Act authorizing the city of Fitchburg to grant 1 additional license for the sale of all alcoholic beverages not to be drunk on the premises

HB4589 - An Act authorizing the town of Hadley to convey certain a certain parcel of land dedicated for park purposes

HB4833 - An Act authorizing the town of Hadley to convey a conservation restriction on certain parcels of land

HB4845 - An Act providing for the terms of certain bond for transportation improvements to be issued by the Commonwealth

HB4819 - An Act relative to the conveyance of a certain parcel of land in the city of Lowell

Most read bills of the week:

HB4879 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

SB2842 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

HB4888 - An Act to promote resilience in our health care system

HB4912 - An Act creating a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving Commonwealth

HB4887 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

HB4860 - An Act relative to justice, equity and accountability in law enforcement in the Commonwealth.

SB2796 - An Act putting patients first

HB4854 - An Act enabling partnerships for growth

HB4905 - An Act making certain appropriations for fiscal year 2021 before final action on the General Appropriation Bill

SB2500 - An Act setting next-generation climate policy

House Actions This Week: 280

Senate Actions This Week: 21


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