ADJOURNED 'til Monday at 11 a.m. (No Calendar)

Hillman, White Nominations Confirmed

The District Court's general counsel, Zachary Hillman, will join the robed judges he has advised since 2017 after the Governor's Council confirmed Hillman on Wednesday for a judgeship.

Redistricting Bills On The Move

[Coverage Developing] The House and Senate appear to be working Thursday with the collective goal of delivering to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk bills redrawing the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts and 160 House districts.

Email Campaign Aims To “Shut Down” Incinerators

After blasting the Baker administration's approach to solid waste reduction, environmental advocates are now launching an email campaign urging regulators to cut new trash-burning capacity out of the picture.

Milford Attorney Tapped For District Court Posting

Private practice attorney Pacifico DeCapua will appear before the Governor's Council in November seeking confirmation to become a district court judge after Gov. Charlie Baker nominated the Milford lawyer on Wednesday.

Audit: RCC Improperly Charged High Schools For Track Use

Roxbury Community College failed to perform sex offender checks on some athletic center workers, made employee overpayments of nearly $29,000 over a two-year period, and improperly charged public high school track leagues $96,450 for the use of its track, according to audit results released Thursday.

Senate Agrees To Plan Reshaping Its 40 Districts

State senators approved new maps for their districts on a 36-3 vote Wednesday, with two of those who voted in opposition raising concerns about both their individual districts and the process behind the changes.

Senate Session Summary - Wednesday, Oct. 27

The Senate approved new constituency maps for themselves and their successors on a bipartisan 36-3 vote Wednesday, and also agreed to the House's new representative district maps which were passed last week in the other branch.

Senate Approves Redrafted Redistricting Plan

[Story Developing] State senators approved new maps for their districts on a 36-3 vote Wednesday, with two of the senators who voted in opposition raising concerns about both their individual districts and the redistricting process.

MBTA Vague About Compliance With Vaccine Mandate

MBTA officials will not specify how many of their workers complied with a vaccine mandate, saying only that the "vast majority" of employees either attested that they are immunized against COVID-19 or sought an exemption.

Reps Look To Load Up $3.65 Billion Spending Bill

Despite being given just a day to file amendments to House leadership's $3.65 billion federal relief spending plan, House lawmakers managed to file 1,126 amendments proposing to spend an additional $5.8 billion, according to an analysis done by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and confirmed by House leadership.

Bill Would Phase Out Shelter-Based Emergency Housing

Advocates for people experiencing homelessness and elected officials are hoping to capitalize on pandemic-era experiences in an effort to shift the state's shelter system to non-congregate settings, a move they say would more effectively help people towards permanent housing opportunities.

Sustainable Funding On Mind Of New MBTA Board Chair

Leaving many of its substantial short-term decisions to a later date, a new MBTA governing body took its first steps Wednesday toward reviving dedicated oversight of the agency and navigating the numerous pitfalls exacerbated by COVID-19.

Disabilities Commission Set To Review First Report

The state's new permanent commission charged with advancing the cause of and improving the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Massachusetts is preparing to file its first annual report and is already looking ahead to the work it wants to undertake in the next year.

UMass Amherst Using $93 Mil to Fuel Computing Push

UMass Amherst is eyeing growth opportunities fueled by a pair of major financing initiatives.

Twelve Indicted In Alleged Lottery Scheme

A dozen people and three stores were indicted Friday by a statewide grand jury in connection to what Attorney General Maura Healey's office called "an ongoing scheme to rob the state of tax revenue by laundering lottery winnings and lying under oath on numerous lottery claim forms."

Senator: No Easy Solutions To Emergency Department Boarding

One challenge that policymakers face as they look to address the rise in the numbers of behavioral health patients waiting in hospital emergency departments for a bed to become available is that none of the underlying problems have easy solutions, Sen. Julian Cyr said Tuesday.

Baker Wishes For “Magic Combination” To Boost Vaccinations

As he stood by the vaccine mandate he has imposed for executive branch workers, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday said he is not angry at the roughly 1,500 holdouts and wishes he "knew the magic combination" that would convince them to get vaccinated.

Kids' Shots To Come In Local Settings, Baker Says

For many parents looking to vaccinate kids as young as 5 years old against the coronavirus in the coming weeks, they might need to look no further than wherever their child last got a flu shot, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that the Massachusetts cybersecurity industry "has a clear employee talent gap" and called on municipalities to adopt a minimum set of digital security policies. [Screenshot]

Digital Boom Sparking Crime Wave, Job Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways that businesses operate and people interact, but the shift towards even greater reliance on digital technologies has created new opportunities for cybercriminals and highlighted the state's need for more skilled workers in the cybersecurity field.

Docs Pitch Rx Dispensing Pilot Program

Massachusetts doctors can provide their patients with intravenous or intramuscular medication, but when it comes to an oral drug, the Bay State is one of only seven where doctors are prohibited from dispensing what they prescribe.

Amendment Lobbying in Full Swing Ahead of ARPA Debate

With debate on a $3.65 billion relief spending bill slated for the afternoon, House lawmakers on Thursday morning have been meeting virtually to discuss and advocate for the 1,126 amendments filed to the bill.

A tree uprooted by high winds overnight Tuesday left Highland Avenue near downtown Cohasset impassable on Wednesday afternoon. [Michael P. Norton/SHNS]

Fierce Nor'easter Leaves 500,000 Without Power

About half a million Massachusetts households, mostly on the South Shore and down onto Cape Cod, remained without power Wednesday afternoon as Gov. Charlie Baker and utility officials warned that restoration efforts could take a few days.

Bessie King of Massachusetts Restaurants United said during a briefing hosted by the Coalition for an Equitable Economy Wednesday that small businesses "desperately" need relief funds. [Screenshot]

Small Biz Backers Disappointed In House ARPA Bill

Members of a coalition that's been advocating for the use of federal relief dollars to support small businesses -- particularly those that are minority- or women-owned or have not benefited from earlier grant programs -- voiced disappointment Wednesday with a House plan to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds and outlined details of an amendment they said would improve it.

Rider Numbers Still Down, But Crowds Popping Up On MBTA

Ridership on the MBTA still remains well below the norm from before COVID-19 upended the world, but after about eight months of steady gains, the agency's head said Wednesday that some returning commuters might be surprised by the size of crowds aboard trains and buses.

Baker Clears Schedule as Storm Cleanup Begins

[Coverage Developing] Gov. Charlie Baker has wiped the scheduled events off his calendar for Wednesday and could later in the day address the widespread damage and power outages that occurred overnight as a nor'easter cycled through the region.

Probation Review Panel Preparing Final Report

Lawmakers who have spent the last five months closely studying disparities that communities of color face in the state's probation system are preparing to pull together hours of testimony to prepare a report and legislative recommendations by the end of the year.

Records Bill Would Aid Pursuit Of “Truth Telling”

A bill that would unseal all public records after 90 years would unlock the stories of generations of Massachusetts residents who lived in state institutions with mental and physical disabilities, according to academics and legislators trying to strike balance between privacy and the public interest.

Single-Payer Backers Say Trends Underscore Urgency

As supporters of a government-based, single-payer health care system made their case to the Health Care Financing Committee that adopting such a model in Massachusetts could simplify the medical experience, help other families avoid hardships they'd faced and generate economic benefits, the committee's Senate chair cautioned against viewing the policy as a silver bullet.

Asset Forfeiture Reformers Eye Scope of Seizures

With civil asset forfeiture laws coming under scrutiny in Massachusetts and around the country, lawmakers and advocates pushed Tuesday to force law enforcement agencies to document how much they are seizing and how it is being spent in an effort to better understand the system before reforming it.

Uncaptioned image for story:Baker Calls Reelection Choice "Very Complicated Issue"

Baker Calls Reelection Choice “Very Complicated Issue”

Gov. Charlie Baker is not merely waiting to announce whether he will seek a third term in office next year, he said Tuesday, as he described the decision as "a very complicated issue ... for all kinds of reasons."

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Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
New Confirmed Cases153248
Total Confirmed Cases766,883
Total Deaths18,729
Full Vaccinations4,653,822

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State House News Service