ADJOURNED 'til Tuesday at 11 a.m. (Formal)
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (Formal)

FMCB Has Overseen a Tripling of T Capital Spending

After its nearly six years of work featuring multiple meetings per month to examine and vet virtually every decision at the MBTA, one of the Fiscal and Management Control Board's most "dramatic achievements" has been a threefold increase in how much the T spends on maintenance, reliability and capital projects, according to the agency's top official.

Sheriffs Agree to Shave Costs of Phone Calls for Inmates

Every sheriff's department in Massachusetts has agreed to provide people incarcerated at county jails and houses of correction with at least 10 minutes of free phone calls each week and to reduce the cost of subsequent calls, the Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association announced.

GLX Service to Medford Pushed Back Five Months

[Story Developing] The MBTA will delay the targeted start date for passenger service on one portion of the under-construction Green Line Extension by five months, pushing the expected opening of the Medford branch back until May 2022 amid "schedule pressure" inflicted by the pandemic.

More Data Sought on Disparities in Mental Health Care

The state's Health Policy Commission would be required by a bill filed this session to issue an annual report on the prevalence of mental health disorders and accessibility to treatment based on demographics in an attempt to identify and eliminate racial and gender disparities.

Senate Leaders Offer Plan for New MBTA Oversight Board

The Senate later this week will debate a $261.6 million spending bill that does not include House-backed election reforms and takes a similar, but not identical, approach to future MBTA oversight that could put the branches on track to enter formal negotiations over another time sensitive piece of legislation.

Potential There To Reach Peak Power Demand Monday Evening

There was a chance for demand on the New England region's power grid to hit its annual peak between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council said in an alert telling municipalities to reduce their consumption Monday afternoon and evening to save money on their electric bills.

MassDOT Official: Traffic Back to 2019 Levels, 'Adjustment Period' Coming

Stadiums and ballparks are welcoming fans back at full capacity. Restaurants can seat guests indoors and outdoors with no minimum spacing requirement or maximum party size. And in yet another sign of the state's progress after more than a year in a state of emergency, roadway congestion is once again crushing commuters across the region.

As Opposition Rallies, Peabody Power Plant Plans Community Forum

The public on Tuesday night will get to hear an update and ask questions about a new gas-fired power plant proposed for Peabody that is being designed to help an array of municipal light plants meet their energy capacity requirements.

Guv Files Stopgap Budget for July

Gov. Charlie Baker filed a $5.41 billion interim budget Monday that would keep state government funded and operating beyond July 1 should the Legislature and his administration not agree in time on an annual spending plan for fiscal year 2022.

Advances - Week of June 20

This is the time of year when the first indication of a likely overdue annual budget comes in the form of an interim budget filed by the governor and quickly approved by the Legislature to give negotiators more time to hammer out a final spending bill.

Masks Still Required For Students in Summer School

Massachusetts students will still be required to wear masks in summer school programs in the coming months, the Baker administration clarified on Friday after Gov. Charlie Baker said he does not believe that practice is necessary.

Pace of Mass. Job Gains Continued to Slow During May

Massachusetts employers added 9,200 jobs in May and the statewide unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.1 percent, labor officials announced Friday.

Equity Coalition Pressing Ed Board on Vocational Schools

New state regulations around vocational school admission policies are teed up for a Tuesday vote, and advocates are calling for changes before then to address what they see as shortcomings around access and equity. Ahead of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education vote on the regulations, the Vocational Education Justice Coalition has been meeting with board members.

Baker Outlines $2.8 Billion Rescue Act Spending Bill

In an attempt to end the battle over who gets to spend nearly $5.2 billion in federal relief money, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday pitched a plan that would see him cede much of his control over the aid to the Legislature, as long as lawmakers agree quickly to spend more than half on priorities such as home ownership assistance, substance abuse treatment and job training.

Out-of-State, Illegal Markets Scooping Up Mass. Sports Wagers

While Massachusetts lawmakers have been slow-walking proposals to legalize sports betting here over the last three years, the revenue and jobs that the activity could provide has passed Massachusetts by as legal sports betting proliferates around the country and in nearby states, supporters told the Joint Committee on Economic Development on Thursday.

Cape Services Expected to Suffer Due to Housing Shortage

The lack of affordable housing on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket exacerbated an already-dire year during the pandemic, forces island fire departments to rely on firefighters who commute by ferry, and will lead to scaled-back business services in the upcoming tourist season, local officials and experts said Thursday.

Green Line Service to Medford Delayed Five Months

Passenger service on most of the long-awaited Green Line Extension will not begin until five months after the original target amid what officials described as "schedule pressure" inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and two cities that helped foot the project bill are in line to be credited tens of millions of dollars each.

Senate Session Summary - Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday was an agenda-setting day in the Senate. During a brief session, senators teed up two bills that the full Senate plans to debate in greater detail Thursday.

House Session - Monday, June 21, 2021

The House gave initial approval on Monday to legislation directing $200 million to a municipal road and bridge maintenance program and $75 million total to three other infrastructure programs, teeing it up for a vote when representatives convene in a formal session on Tuesday.

Road Repair $$$ Advancing Toward Tuesday House Vote

Legislation directing $200 million to an annual road and bridge maintenance program and another $75 million to other transportation infrastructure is on the move in the House on Monday ahead of a vote expected Tuesday.

CDC Reports State Hit Vaccination Goal

There's a good chance Massachusetts has reached the governor's goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million people against COVID-19, but it could depend on how you count vaccinations and who you ask.

Ed Commissioner Clarifies Summer School Mask Policy

State education officials will recommend, but not require, that students and staff wear masks and follow other COVID-era safety protocols during summer school programs, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley clarified over the weekend.

Former Veterans Secretary Finds New Role in MassGOP

Former Veterans' Services Secretary Francisco Urena is taking on a role at MassGOP where he will "help lead" the party's Veterans Coalition, the party announced Sunday evening

Rep. Chynah Tyler, chair of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, speaks at a flag raising ceremony in honor of Juneteenth, which is now a state and federal holiday. [Courtesy/Brandon Iizuka/Office of Rep. Chynah Tyler]

Weekly Roundup - No Emergency Here

Pick your poison. An Old Fashioned and a historical commission meeting? A Manhattan and city council?

Businesses Taking Some Positives Out of Pandemic

Is there a silver lining to the pandemic? It depends on who you ask. For Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Michael Bobbitt, it's the "forced" use of digital art spaces, a tool he said artists and cultural centers didn't capitalize on before the pandemic.

Janey, Baker to Mark Juneteenth at Friday Nubian Square Event

Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey are scheduled to speak at an inaugural in-person Juneteenth celebration on Friday featuring music, speakers, and a film premiere, according to organizers.

Baker Rebukes Legislature, Proposes Spending $2.8 Billion in ARPA Funds

[Story Developing] The battle over who gets to spend nearly $5.2 billion in federal relief money raged on Thursday with Gov. Charlie Baker refusing to sign a bill that would give full control to the Legislature, and instead proposing a plan to spend more than half on priorities such as home ownership assistance.

Legislature Calls For Aug. 14-15 Sales Tax Holiday

State lawmakers on Thursday agreed to schedule this year's sales tax holiday for the weekend of August 14 and 15. A 2018 law that put the state's minimum hourly wage on a gradual path to $15 and created the paid family and medical leave program also made the holiday, when the 6.25 percent sales tax is waived for many purchases, an annual fixture and tasked the Legislature with picking an exact date each August.

Senate Session - Thursday, June 17, 2021

Two days after its deadline for selecting an exact date, the Senate adopted a resolution on Thursday declaring Saturday, Aug. 14 and Sunday, Aug. 15 as this year's sales tax holiday weekend.

House Session Summary - Thursday, June 17, 2021

The House on Thursday agreed to a resolution setting this year's sales-tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 14-15.

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Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
New Confirmed Cases82
Total Confirmed Cases663,048
Total Deaths17,957
Full Vaccinations4,042,011

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State House News Service