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

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker

SHNS Coronavirus Tracker

The Latest on COVID-19

  • Lindstrom Tries to Help O'Connor With Signatures 6:13 PM Wed
  • State Reports 77 New COVID-19 Deaths 5:03 PM Wed
  • MBTA Workers' Union Demands Hazard Coverage 4:57 PM Wed

Last update:

AG Healey Will Also Investigate Holyoke Home

Attorney General Maura Healey launched her own investigation Wednesday into the state-run Holyoke Soldiers' Home, where at least 25 veterans have died since late March amid an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Lawmakers to Field COVID-19 Liability Legislation

Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to file legislation Wednesday afternoon that would extend liability protection to health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic to address a fear of some front-line medical personnel who are being asked to work in abnormal conditions, according to an administration source.

Pandemic Model Offers Range of ICU Bed Needs

Massachusetts will need to build out more intensive care beds to meet peak coronavirus demand expected in the coming weeks, with existing capacity insufficient, according to a new model launched Wednesday.

Fed Moves to Facilitate Wells Fargo Lending

A growth restriction imposed in 2018 by the Federal Reserve Board on Wells Fargo due to the bank's compliance and operational breakdowns will be modified to enable the bank to make small business loans to businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Mass. Census Response: Above Average, But Not Among Leaders

Massachusetts remains above average in response rates to the 2020 U.S. Census as Secretary of State William Galvin prepares for the next phase in the decennial population count.

Report: Mass. Jobless Rate Could Hit 25 Percent

The Massachusetts unemployment rate could race up to more than 25 percent by June, according to a new policy brief that suggests large federal block grants are the state's best hope for staving off a severe budget crisis.

CCC Approves Supply Chain Changes

With recreational marijuana shops closed until at least May and the number of people seeking medical marijuana cards surging, the Cannabis Control Commission on Tuesday told certain non-medical growers that they can now transfer their crops to the medical supply chain.

Gov. Baker Taking Steps To Prevent Food Store Overcrowding

The Baker administration plans to call for the number of people allowed in a grocery store at one time to be limited to 40 percent of the store's capacity in an additional step aimed at helping people stay safe while out of their homes, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Tuesday.

Rep. Naughton Leaving House to Join New York Law Firm

Rep. Harold Naughton confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he would not be seeking re-election to fourteenth term in the House in November after accepting a job with a New York law firm that will allow him to work from his home in Clinton.

Guidance Laid Out for Life-Saving Care Decisions

In preparation for the potential that hospitals may run out of life-saving supplies to treat every COVID-19 patient that shows up at their door, state public health officials released guidance Tuesday to help providers make the grim choice about which patients to prioritize, advising the doctors treat the young and most likely to survive first.

Reporting in Works on Virus Impacts by Race, Ethnicity

As data from other states begin to paint a picture of racial and ethnic inequities among COVID-19 patients, Massachusetts health officials said Tuesday they will soon begin reporting the incomplete race and ethnicity data they have.

Pandemic Seen as Fueling Urgency Around Climate

Sen. Ed Markey and actress Jane Fonda drew a link Tuesday between the COVID-19 crisis and climate change, saying there are lessons to be learned from the response to the pandemic. Fonda, who has been hosting a weekly series of "Fire Drill Fridays" climate protests that have now moved online, joined Markey by video for a live broadcast on his campaign Facebook page.

Cultural Nonprofits Updating Estimate of Virus Impacts

A two-week-old survey that found arts and cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts have lost tens of millions of dollars during the coronavirus outbreak is already outdated and needs to be updated with what is likely even more harrowing data, the Massachusetts Cultural Council's executive director said Tuesday.

Morgue Capacity Expansion Planning Underway in Boston

As an anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients and deaths approaches, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Tuesday that the city is prepared to work with its hospitals to expand the capacity of their morgues.

Naughton Aide Prepping Run for Seat He Currently Holds

In an election year that will see the departure of many House veterans, Rep. Harold Naughton appears to be the latest to decide not to seek re-election after his State House aide opened a committee Monday to run for his Worcester County seat.

Employer Confidence Takes Historic Nosedive

Already worried to start the year about the possibility of an economic slowdown, the confidence of Bay State employers in the economy in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic plummeted in March to near Great Recession levels as unemployment soared and commerce ground to a halt. Economic advisors to the state's largest business trade group predict a recovery is still three to six months away and could be slow.

DeLeo: Pandemic, Aftershocks Loom Over Budget

House Speaker Robert DeLeo won't even hazard a guess these days as to when or how his chamber might debate an annual budget for the state, let alone a climate change bill. But almost a month into the new reality of legislating from a safe distance, the Democrat said Monday he's not giving up on everything lawmakers thought they'd be working on this spring and summer before the coronavirus upended daily life.

Mass. Urged to Unlock Pool of Foreign Care Workers

Lawmakers are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to let health care professionals trained in other countries join the state's COVID-19 fight, and a recent Board of Registration in Medicine move will allow some international medical graduates who've also trained in the U.S. to receive temporary licenses here.

Med Marijuana Registrations Spike as Adult-Use Stores Close

The global coronavirus pandemic has upended significant swaths of the economy in Massachusetts and the relatively-young legal marijuana industry is no exception.

Delegation: Fed Ventilator Shipment “Grossly Insufficient”

One day after Gov. Charlie Baker revealed Massachusetts has only received a fraction of the ventilators it requested from the national stockpile, the state's congressional delegation slammed the federal response as "grossly insufficient."

Who’s On The Move? Check The Personnel File

... The HPC has a new pharmacy pricing official ... A veteran early education official is moving on to a health care post in Rhode Island ... Congresswoman Trahan has a new communications director ... the Boston Housing Authority has a new special advisor ... the Mass. Public Health Association has a new public policy specialist ... and National Grid has a new president of its U.S. Business ... Please enjoy the latest Personnel File ...

"We see evidence that we're still on the upward slope of this pandemic," Gov. Charlie Baker said at his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. [Photo: Matt Stone/Boston Herald/Pool]

Mass. Still Climbing “Upward Slope” of Pandemic

With the surge of coronavirus infection weeks, if not days, away from washing over Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday said the state had not yet seen the peak and urged residents not to grow "complacent" as he announced a new mobile testing site in West Springfield and legislation to protect health care workers from lawsuits.

Uncaptioned image for story:Spilka: State Exploring "New Ways" to Pass Budget

Spilka: State Exploring “New Ways” to Pass Budget

Bills aimed at providing protections for renters and homeowners are among the Senate's short-term COVID-19 response plans, and beyond that, Senate President Karen Spilka is looking at ways to keep the body running with most senators working remotely amid the ongoing public health crisis.

Uncaptioned image for story:Mass. Residents Turning to Public Assistance Programs

Mass. Residents Turning to Public Assistance Programs

A flood of new applications surged into state social safety net programs in recent weeks, another piece of evidence reflecting widespread economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2018]

After Going Remote, Public Higher Ed Faces Uncertain Future

While still grappling with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, state higher education officials on Wednesday looked ahead to the longer-term challenges expected to face public campuses and their students.

[Photo: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe/Pool]

State Redirecting $800 Million More To Health Care Providers

The Baker administration will direct another $800 million to the Massachusetts health care industry, supplementing $840 million in previously announced assistance as the state works to bulk up its front line of defense against the forthcoming COVID-19 surge.

Rep. Angelo Scaccia (right) testified at a hearing in 2019 alongside Rep. Patrick Kearney. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2019]

House Dean Scaccia Leaving Beacon Hill

The most senior member of the House of Representatives has joined a growing list of veteran lawmakers who are not seeking another term on Beacon Hill.

Sen. Michael Rodrigues (left), Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (right), and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg (on screen) waited while staff tried to fix a failed livestream of the "virtual roundtable" about COVID-19's impact on state revenues. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Tech Fail Trips Up Major Economic Hearing

In an embarrassing setback as legislators work to understand the full economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, legislative leaders and the governor's top budget official were forced to postpone by a week a virtual roundtable discussion with top state economists due to a technological snafu.

Uncaptioned image for story:Public Safety Secretary Turco Positive for COVID-19

Public Safety Secretary Turco Positive for COVID-19

The state's public safety secretary has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Monday night, and is working from home.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new statewide COVID-19 Relief Fund on Monday at Eastern Bank's headquarters in Boston's Financial District. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Data Suggests Mass. Residents Taking Orders Seriously

The data show that the measures Massachusetts has taken to combat the spread of the coronavirus -- closing schools, shutting down large chunks of the economy and asking people to limit trips outside -- could be working, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday, but those measures must continue to be adhered to as the state prepares for an expected influx of COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalized.

Read more in the Front Page Archives

Latest COVID-19 Figures in Mass.

Data as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Confirmed cases15,202

The Massachusetts Almanac

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

State House Takeout Podcast


State House News Service