House:
ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (Informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Friday at 10 a.m. (Formal)

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker

The Latest on COVID-19

  • Walsh Watching Uptick in Cases 5:15 PM Thu
  • Two Key Metrics on the Rise 3:57 PM Thu
  • New Fund Aims to Help Schools Prepare 3:56 PM Thu

Last update:

Survey: Only 57 Percent Would Get COVID-19 Vaccine, if Available

While companies and governments around the world race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19, a survey designed by a group at Tufts University found that just 57 percent of Americans said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if one were available today.


A Century Later, Common Loons Bonding Again in Southeastern Mass.

There is nothing common about the common loon chick that hatched this spring in Fall River. It was the first time in more than 100 years that a loon had hatched in southeastern Massachusetts, state environmental officials said.


Brady’s Signature Appeal Case on SJC Docket Friday Afternoon

The state's highest court will hear arguments Friday over whether Republican Congressional candidate Helen Brady should have her name printed on the Nov. 3 ballot or remain ineligible as a separate panel deemed her last month.


West Nile Detected as House Passes Mosquito Control Bill

About 15 minutes after the House of Representatives voted unanimously to give the executive branch new powers to run a statewide mosquito control response when the threat of mosquito-related diseases is high, public health officials announced that West Nile virus has been found in a Massachusetts mosquito for the first time this year.


Nearly 27,000 Filed Initial Unemployment Claims Last Week

Another 26,619 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and while that total represented a decline from the prior week, claims were up in several industries, including construction.


Cape Officials Highlight Racial Disparities in Virus Data

Black Barnstable County residents have contracted COVID-19 at a rate three times as high as the county's white residents, an "alarming" trend that Cape Cod leaders said warrants passage of emergency sick time legislation and dedicating more resources toward data collection.


CCC: Marijuana Tax Structure Not Worth Disrupting

Changing the way Massachusetts taxes legal marijuana could produce more revenue for the state, but it could also disrupt the fledgling cannabis industry here and undo some of the work to convert consumers from an illicit market to the state's regulated and taxed market, a report found.


Kennedy Calls for a Rethinking of U.S. Economy

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III called for a massive public works and federal hiring program on Wednesday to help steer the country out of the economic hole dug by the COVID-19 pandemic, calling the public health crisis an opportunity to "refashion" the American economy.


Auto Repair Question Opponents File to Disqualify Question

Opponents of a proposed ballot question that would increase access to automobile data formally objected to its eligibility Wednesday, echoing an argument that has so far blocked a congressional candidate from making the ballot in a separate case.


Data Shows Virus Spread in Nursing Homes Down Sharply

The positive COVID-19 test rate in long-term care facilities remains above the state average, and a public health official said Wednesday that the gap is closing. Katherine Fillo, the Department of Public Health's director of clinical quality improvement, gave an update to the Public Health Council on the state's response to COVID-19 in nursing homes.


Mosquito Control Bill on Path for House Vote Thursday

A new version of Gov. Charlie Baker's mosquito control bill is moving through the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, and it adds more members to a task force proposed in the Senate's version of the bill.


House Leaders Lower Expectations for Annual Budget

A special committee of House members met Wednesday to begin poring over some of the bills that lawmakers filed to help workers through the pandemic and as the economy reopens, but many members of the committee cautioned that it would be foolish to embrace new programs or benefits before they have a better idea of just how ugly the state budget picture is.


Virginia Joining Regional Power Sector Emissions Compact

The 10-state compact formed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector will soon have an eleventh member.


Baker: Investigation Active Into Commissioner Florio

Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday his administration has "no tolerance for intolerance," but said it was too soon to decide whether Steven Florio, the commissioner of the state’s Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, should lose his job over a report that he dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and made Nazi salutes while a member of fraternity in college.


Suit Seeks to Block Fed Policy on International Students

In a case with implications across Massachusetts, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have asked a court to step in and block a new federal policy that would prohibit international students from staying in the United States if they take online-only courses this fall.


Casino Patrons Return to Temperature and ID Checks

Slot machines are not meant to be turned off for four months at a time, as it turns out.


Senate Deliberations on Police Reform Bill Pushed to Friday

[Story Developing] The Massachusetts Senate met for more than six hours Thursday, but was unable to make much progress on a bill calling for policing reforms, a measure pieced together in recent weeks following outrage over police violence and racism.


Baker: Tech Industry Capital Has Made “Big Difference”

Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday urged members of the high-tech field to continue using their resources to combat COVID-19.


Kennedy Seeks Urgent Clarification on Vote-by-Mail Expenses

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is calling on federal elections commission officials to provide an urgent clarification as the state's top election official butts heads with voting rights advocacy groups over the permissible use of federal funds to send out vote-by-mail applications.


Walsh Warns of Possible Midyear Cuts to City Budget

[Story Developing] After trimming its budget by $65 million to cope with pandemic impacts, the City of Boston may need to impose additional cuts during the year if the economic outlook remains bleak, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Thursday.


State Report Sheds Light on Troubled Hospital Finances

All 21 hospital health systems included in a new state analysis reported negative operating margins for the quarter ending March 31, a period that includes the early weeks of the COVID-19 emergency in Massachusetts.


COVID-19 Data Among Black Cape Residents Underscores Need for Emergency Sick Time

[Story Developing] Black Barnstable County residents have contracted COVID-19 at a rate three times as high as the county's white residents, an "alarming" trend that Cape Cod leaders said warrants passage of emergency sick time legislation and dedicating more resources toward data collection.


Black-Latino Caucus Mindful of Additions to Policing Bill

As the Senate prepared to debate a sweeping reform of policing in Massachusetts on Thursday, the head of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus was urging Democratic leaders in the House and Senate and Gov. Charlie Baker to remain "focused and committed" to the the core reforms the caucus requested at the start of the conversation over how to address systemic racism in law enforcement.


Gov. Charlie Baker announced a "Stop the Spread" initiative Wednesday with a focus on increased COVID-19 testing in eight cities through mid-August. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Eight Mass. Communities Targeted for COVID-19 Testing Blitz

Across Massachusetts, the fight to control the spread of the coronavirus is one that Gov. Charlie Baker believes the state is winning. But in some pockets, the disease's spread has remained stubbornly challenging to control.


Public Health Veterinarian Offers Update on Diseases Transmitted by Ticks

As the mosquito-borne virus season ramps up in Massachusetts and officials remind residents to wear bug spray and take other precautions, the state's public health veterinarian on Wednesday offered an update on another warm-weather outdoor health risk — diseases transmitted by ticks.


Ongoing Investigation Has So Far Found 58,000 Fraudulent Claims

Investigators have so far detected more than 58,000 fraudulent unemployment claims in Massachusetts amid an alleged national criminal scheme, but state officials still have not disclosed how much money paid out in error.


Harvard, MIT Sue ICE Over Foreign Student Rule

[Story Developing] Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are seeking immediate judicial relief from a controversial new federal policy that would bar all international students from remaining in the United States if they take only online classes this fall.


Kennedy, Markey Campaigning in Boston Wednesday

With 56 days left until their Sept. 1 primary contest, Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and Sen. Edward Markey bring their U.S. Senate campaigns to the streets of Boston on Wednesday.


New Super PAC to Spend $900,000 Promoting Markey

A new super PAC formed by environmental advocates backing U.S. Sen. Edward Markey's reelection campaign plans to spend $900,000 on a new television and digital ad campaign in July that will cast the incumbent as a progressive leader who recognized the challenges of the times -- climate change, opioid abuse and access to health care - before they became national crises.


Uncaptioned image for story:Healey: ICE Student Policy Intended to "Punish Immigrants"

Healey: ICE Student Policy Intended to “Punish Immigrants”

Calling the policy cruel and illegal, Attorney General Maura Healey is preparing a lawsuit to stop federal regulations that would force international college students to leave the country unless they take courses in-person.


Read more in the Front Page Archives

SHNS Campaign Tracker

  • Morse Targets Neal After SCOTUS Tax Decision 1:51 PM Thu
  • Kennedy Returns to the Trail 1:07 PM Mon
  • Cyr Wades Into MA04 For Mermell 8:53 AM Thu

Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 4 p.m. Thursday.
Individuals tested920,002
Confirmed cases105,138
Deaths8,268

Of Interest

The Massachusetts Almanac

FREE throughout 2020 for SHNS subscribers!
Click here to learn more

Twitter

 
State House News Service