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The Latest on COVID-19

  • Almost 600,000 Shots in Last Week 4:18 PM Fri
  • Logan Travel Volumes Unlikely to Rebound for 3-5 Years 3:39 PM Fri
  • N.H. to Allow Shots for Out-of-Staters 12:15 PM Fri

Last update:

Upgrades Will Wait Under Transportation Contract

One of the two regional transit agencies contracted by the Baker administration to manage transportation for thousands of low-income and disabled health service recipients told its vendors in February that it will be at least a year before they're required to comply with some required technology and vehicle upgrades touted in the new contract.

Only 23 “Green” Communities as Vaccinations Plod Along

The number of cities and towns that meet the Department of Public Health's criteria for the red high-risk category increased 40 percent from last week, has now climbed for four consecutive weeks and has more than doubled in two weeks.

Enbridge Elaborates on Latest Gas Release at Weymouth Station

A Tuesday incident at the Weymouth compressor station vented more than 11,000 standard cubic feet of natural gas into the surrounding area, significantly less than the two emergency shutdowns last fall, an Enbridge spokesperson said Thursday.

Early College Investment Pitched to Narrow Equity Gap

Seven mayors, a host of K-12 and higher education officials, and business and community leaders wrote to state lawmakers Thursday, calling for them to boost funding for early college programs in next year's state budget.

Who’s On The Move? Check The Personnel File

... Eversource Energy named its next CEO ... Mayor Janey filled a Cabinet position focused on equity and inclusion in Boston ... the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education selected its first-ever membership director ... several State House aides are on the move ... Boston's Inspectional Services commissioner will step into a chief of operations role ...

Oversight Hearing on David Almond’s Death Set for May 4

The Legislature will convene an oversight hearing on May 4 to examine the death of a Fall River teenager and missteps at the Department of Children and Families leading up to the tragedy, lawmakers announced Thursday.

State Awaits Overdue Health Equity Recommendations

Health care disparities illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic spurred lawmakers last year to launch a task force to come up with a series of recommendations to address inequities, but getting the work to completion has proven a big challenge.

New Toolkit Lays Out Substance Use Recovery Options

For many individuals with substance use disorders, finding accurate information about how or where to seek treatment poses an enormous challenge. A new online toolkit developed by Rize Massachusetts aims to eliminate those barriers.

Senate Session Summary - Thursday, April 8

The Senate gaveled out for the weekend without taking any action on the child protection bill (H 88) that's been caught in a procedural dispute between the two branches.

House Session - Thursday, April 8

The House formally acknowledged the swearing-in of its newest member in brief session on Thursday and adjourned for the week without acting on Gov. Charlie Baker's amendments to a proposed COVID-19 emergency paid leave proposal. Rep. Jeffrey Turco, a Winthrop Democrat, took the oath of office Wednesday after topping a four-way Democratic primary and then the March 30 special election to fill the 19th Suffolk District seat last held by former Speaker Robert DeLeo.

Variants Contributing to Anxiety on Cape Cod

The springtime COVID-19 outbreak on Cape Cod "remains a deep and urgent worry" for officials in the region, particularly given the rising presence of more highly infectious variants across the country.

Dems to Insist on Keeping Muni Workers in COVID-19 Leave Program

Putting them at odds with Gov. Charlie Baker and a municipal trade group, House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka intend to preserve eligibility for municipal employees in an emergency COVID-19 sick leave program that the Legislature is working to finalize and return to the governor's desk.

Baker Swears Turco, the House’s Newest Democrat

The Governor's Council unanimously confirmed Gov. Charlie Baker's pick of attorney Kevin Smith as a Land Court justice Wednesday, and finalized the voters' pick of Jeffrey Rosario Turco as state representative for the Winthrop-Revere House seat.

Baker Deflects Talk of Vaccine Passports

With over 1.5 million people in Massachusetts fully vaccinated, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that his administration has no plans to follow the lead of states like New York and implement a vaccine pass system to expedite the reopening of large sports and entertainment venues or to allow for larger conferences and social gatherings.

Baker Picks Nominees for Hingham, Leomister Courts

Gov. Charlie Baker picked two more prospective clerk magistrates Wednesday, making a total of four nominees currently in the pipeline for lifetime postings at Massachusetts courthouses.

COVID-19 Committee Plans Hearing on Virus Variants

Having already held two oversight hearings to question Baker administration officials about the state's vaccine rollout, the COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management Committee is now planning to hold an informational hearing about COVID-19 variants.

Ehrlich Moderating Discussion of Race With Gov. Patrick

Former Gov. Deval Patrick will join a synagogue in Gov. Charlie Baker's town of Swampscott to discuss race in America during a virtual event moderated by Rep. Lori Ehrlich on Wednesday evening.

Pre-Registration System Will Capture Appointments at Two Regional Collaboratives

Residents who pre-registered for a vaccine appointment through the state will have access to appointments through the Amherst-Northampton and Marshfield regional collaboratives beginning this week, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday from Revere where he was touring a vaccination clinic.

Report Details Income Inequality in Cambridge

Cambridge has the highest share of residents employed in high-tech, biotech, engineering and life sciences jobs among 25 "innovation cities" nationwide, and is also home to sizable and widespread income inequality, according to a new report.

Advances - Week of April 11

The state budget landscape has changed dramatically since late January, when Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a $45.6 billion spending plan, and next week's proposed House budget is likely to reflect some of the shifting circumstances. In addition to state tax collections that have continued to trend much higher than forecasts and the presence of historic amounts of federal aid that were pending but not approved when Baker filed H 1 more than two months ago, Baker's assumptions about spending in the largest program in the budget, MassHealth, have also been upended by federal changes that will substantially push up total spending, and covered populations, under the health care safety net program.

House Likely to Pass New Holyoke Home Bill Next Week

Legislative leaders on Friday outlined plans to advance a $400 million bill funding the construction of a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home but it's unclear if their timeline will be fast enough to quickly secure federal funding.

He's gotta wait 15 minutes, just like everybody else . . .  Gov. Charlie Baker waits in the observation area after receiving his first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday. [Matt Stone/Boston Herald/Pool]

Weekly Roundup - A Strained Partnership

For years, with both Democrats and Republicans in the corner office, the leadership of the Legislature has basically been able to do what it wants.

Total consumer spending in Massachusetts in March was about 10 percent higher than in January 2020, but it remained 15 percent below that level for restaurants and hotels and 45 percent down for entertainment and recreation, according to data that Undersecretary of Business Growth Mark Fuller presented at a Friday committee hearing.

Tourism, Hospitality Sectors Appeal for More State Help

The tourism and hospitality sector has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, facing sharp declines in business that will be slow to recover without additional state action, industry leaders told lawmakers on Friday.

Rep. John Barrett of North Adams (right) told Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan that lawmakers "almost feel like we're being left out of the process" of directing and spending federal aid. [Screenshot]

Flood of Fed Funds Fuels Tension Over Decisions, Information

House lawmakers made clear to the Baker administration Thursday that they want more information about how the discretionary portion of $71 billion in one-time aid that's already come to Massachusetts has been spent and want to have greater say around how another $40 billion in federal stimulus money that's on the way will be spent.

Boston Mayor Kim Janey took questions from "Boston Public Radio" hosts and listeners during her inaugural "Ask The Acting Mayor" appearance on the GBH News show. [Screenshot]

Janey Sees Fed Aid as Path to Fare-Free Bus Rides

Free public transportation "would be great," according to Boston's acting mayor, who also said Thursday that she hopes state officials are looking at ways to use federal aid to make transit more equitable.

Muni Matters: Constitutional Edits | DLS Shakeup | Fill Your Pools, Framingham

  • Proposal Would Strike "Selectmen" from Constitution
  • Division of Local Services Losing a Majority of Bureau Chiefs
  • Remote Work Contributes to Framingham Tax Hike
  • Municipal Assoc. Moves Closer to State House
  • State Funds Available for Climate Change Preparedness

[Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

Infection Data Shows Impact of Vaccines on Older Residents

In the three-plus months since Massachusetts first began administering COVID-19 vaccines with a phased rollout targeting vulnerable populations, the highly infectious virus's impact on older residents has dropped considerably.

MassHealth Enrollment Change by Year [Mass. Taxpayers Foundation]

Shifting MassHealth Dynamics Driving Up Costs by $1.4 Billion

A week ahead of the House's expected fiscal year 2022 budget reveal, the Baker administration said it has worked up new spending projections for the single largest budget item to account for a federal-level change that could drive up costs by more than $1.4 billion while providing additional revenue to offset most or all of the extra spending.

Uncaptioned image for story:House, Senate Leaders Agree on School Aid Increase

House, Senate Leaders Agree on School Aid Increase

An agreement announced Wednesday by legislative budget-writers would steer more state dollars to local schools than the $45.6 billion fiscal 2022 spending plan that Gov. Charlie Baker put forward in January.

Longtime Mass General Hospital President Slavin Will Step Down

After nearly two decades as president of Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Peter Slavin said Wednesday that he plans to step down from his role.

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Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 5 p.m. Friday.
New Confirmed Cases2,184
Total Confirmed Cases615,947
Total Deaths17,376
Full Vaccinations1,676,961

State House Takeout Podcast

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