House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

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The Latest on COVID-19

  • Warren to Give Federal Update 9:07 AM Mon
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D Branch Green Line Work To Be Accelerated in June

The MBTA will shut down train service on the Green Line's D Branch for a total of 18 days in June, the latest step in the transit agency's efforts to accelerate maintenance work while ridership is low because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Senators-elect John Velis of Westfield and Susan Moran of Falmouth greeted each other with an elbow-bump before the start of their socially-distanced swearing-in ceremony Thursday morning at the State House. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Too Close For Comfort

The global pandemic that has brought state economies to their knees may wind up being more than just a trim off the top. If the hope was for something akin to Gov. Charlie Baker's once-a-year charity buzz cut, the reality might look more like a shave with a rusty Bic razor.


Housing Committee Votes Big for Rent Control Bills

A Beacon Hill committee has endorsed two bills that would clear the way for rent control to return to Massachusetts more than two and a half decades after voters narrowly banned the practice statewide. The Joint Committee on Housing favorably recommended the legislation on Thursday, advancing it with support from three-quarters of its members as it faces certain opposition from Gov. Charlie Baker.


Uncaptioned image for story:Encore Taking Advantage of Everett Payment Extension

Encore Taking Advantage of Everett Payment Extension

Thousands across Massachusetts have benefited from extensions on the deadlines for municipal tax payments, and the $2.5 billion Encore Boston Harbor resort casino in Everett is among them.


Haitian Pastors Urge Advancement of Immigration Bill

Ahead of a Monday deadline, Haitian pastors are urging lawmakers on the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee to endorse a bill that would limit state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.


Marathon Canceled As Boston Preps For Summer Of Distancing

The Boston Marathon has been run in some form every year since 1897, withstanding the 1918 influenza pandemic, two world wars and other disruptions. But with the state's path through the COVID-19 era still uncertain, the marathon will not take place in 2020.


Baker Reflects on “Enormous Tragedy” at Nursing Homes

Describing COVID-19's impact on nursing homes as "terribly difficult" and an "enormous tragedy," Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said new measures the state has put in place at such facilities have helped bring about declines in both the positive test rate and death rates. Those measures, Baker said during a visit to Lowell, include required testing for residents and staff and a "comprehensive" infection control program.


Energy Sector Confident About Pandemic Operations

The energy sector, like all segments of the economy, is adjusting to business in the age of COVID-19, but industry leaders said Thursday that their workforces are just as productive and major projects remain on track.


MTF: Slow Climb From Economic Mess Will Take Years

Long-shuttered stores may be unlocking their doors. And manufacturers are starting to hire employees back to the assembly lines. But the economic recovery might not be a quick one, a state fiscal watchdog group warned Thursday.


Still High, But New Jobless Claims Are Slowing Down

New unemployment claims continued their gradual downward trend last week from a mid-March high, but still outstripped pre-pandemic records as the national and state economic outlooks remain grim.


Senate Session Summary - Thursday, May 28, 2020

The House and Senate on Thursday agreed on final details of a bill to increase COVID-19 reporting requirements at the Department of Public Health and extend the data collection umbrella to include places like the Holyoke and Chelsea soldiers' homes and intermediate care facilities.


House Session Summary - Thursday, May 28, 2020

After several weeks of back and forth, the Legislature sent Gov. Charlie Baker a sweeping COVID-19 data reporting bill (H 4672) that overhauls much of the state's reporting on the virus.


Coast Guard Favors Turbine Corridors Sought by Energy Developers

The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded that the best way to maintain maritime safety and ease of navigation in the offshore wind development areas south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket is to install turbines in a uniform layout to create predictable navigation corridors.


Poll: Support Still High for Transpo Revenues, TCI

With gas prices low but the economy strained, a significant public majority still supports state action to raise new revenue for transportation investments and to join a multi-state roadway fuel cap-and-trade program, according to recent poll results.


College Presidents Offer Potential Path Back to Campus

Access to COVID-19 testing will be a critical piece of how college and universities repopulate campuses in Massachusetts, according to a reopening framework released Wednesday by a group of 14 college presidents.


Flow of Money Complicates Student Travel Refunds

A bill that seeks to secure full refunds to families for school trips canceled during a state of emergency met pushback Wednesday from representatives of tour companies, who argued it does not reflect the realities of their business.


Uncaptioned image for story:Moran, Velis Ready to Join Senate on Thursday

Moran, Velis Ready to Join Senate on Thursday

Massachusetts' two newest state senators are slated to take office Thursday morning at a State House swearing-in ceremony.


Lawmakers Offer Vast Expansion of Voting Options

Every registered voter in Massachusetts would receive an application by mid-July to request a ballot to vote by mail in the 2020 elections under a plan released Friday by House and Senate Democrats intended to create more options for voters to safely participate in the electoral process during the coronavirus pandemic.


Advances - Week of May 31

Calls from progressive groups and economists for higher taxes are growing louder on Beacon Hill where budget writers are watching the state's tax revenue base implode and wondering how much aid they can reliably expect from the federal government.


Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said she and Gov. Charlie Baker are working with the Legislature to "streamline the process for local permitting" for restaurants that did not previously place tables outside. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Guidance Lets Restaurants, Lodging Prep for New Normal

The restaurant and hospitality industries will need to wait another week to learn when they can reopen or expand pandemic-affected operations, and once they do, business will look significantly different.


Senate President Karen Spilka spoke at a Thursday swearing-in ceremony for new Sens. Susan Moran and John Velis. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Senators: More Fed Aid Needed to “Weather This Crisis”

Almost the entire state Senate wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, saying that the Bay State needs more help from the federal government to weather the COVID-19 crisis and outlining priorities for a future stimulus package.


Several hundred people made their way to the South End Friday afternoon in support of George Floyd and to protest police brutality. [Photo: Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS]

Baker “Outraged” By Death of Minneapolis’s George Floyd

Gov. Charlie Baker said he was "outraged" by video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of an unarmed black man who died after being restrained, an incident that has sparked nationwide protests.


Senators-elect John Velis and Susan Moran raised their right hands to take the oath of office Thursday, officiated by Gov. Charlie Baker at the foot of the State House's Grand Staircase. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Moran, Velis Join Senate in Trying Times

Senate President Karen Spilka offered this advice to the chamber's two newest lawmakers: work hard. "Just work hard," she said. "Work hard and, you know, they know what to do. They've already been doing it."


Uncaptioned image for story:Brockton Faith Leader Worried About Impact Of Menthol Ban

Brockton Faith Leader Worried About Impact Of Menthol Ban

A Brockton community leader is pushing for the state to delay the start of new restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol cigarettes, arguing that a one-year delay would allow communities of color and lawmakers to "craft a meaningful plan to address very real community issues that will be made worse" by the new tobacco prohibitions.


Chamber Chief Hopes Cape Will Get June Jolt

Preparing for a summer business rush that will be both shorter and "muted," officials on Cape Cod said Thursday that the workforce that typically relies on a seasonal peak faces an uncertain future.


Spilka Hopes to Wrap Up COVID-19 Reporting Bill

As the Baker administration expands its daily reporting on COVID-19, a bill outlining the state's virus data collection and reporting requirements is back in play, and Senate President Karen Spilka is hoping for a final agreement Thursday.


Turnover in Jail Population Creates Constant Challenge

As with nearly every household and business in the state, the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for Massachusetts sheriffs and jails. At the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction in Billerica, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian is managing turnover among the incarcerated population and finding opportunities to do things differently.


Gov. Charlie Baker peered down the tracks Wednesday at the Maverick Square Blue Line station. [Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe/Pool]

Baker Touts Expedited Work to Improve Blue Line

Not everything has ground to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito spoke with Boston Magazine Editor Chris Vogle Wednesday and said many of the administration's pre-pandemic priorities have been tabled to deal with the virus. [Photo: Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS]

Polito: Hard to Put “Hopes and Dreams” on Hold

The dual public health and economic crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have consumed virtually all of Beacon Hill's attention, shifting many of the Baker administration's pre-pandemic priorities to the back burner or off the stove altogether, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Wednesday.


Gov. Charlie Baker visited Maverick Station in East Boston Wednesday to tour MBTA construction on the Blue Line. [Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe/Pool]

Crowding Thresholds to Dictate MBTA Pandemic Operations

As more people begin returning to the office and venturing onto the subway or commuter rail to get work, the MBTA is exploring ways to communicate with riders about crowding and making alternative modes of transportation available if trains or buses become too full for passengers to safely distance from one another.


Read more in the Front Page Archives

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Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Tests conducted592,853
Confirmed cases96,965
Deaths6,846

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