Happening Today

House and Senate sessions, Celts restart season, and more

— The Massachusetts House holds a formal session at 11 a.m., while the the Massachusetts Senate holds a formal session at 1 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley joins colleagues on the House Task Force on Aging and Families on a press call to mark the 55th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, 11 a.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh hosts a media availability to share updates relating to COVID-19 in the city of Boston, 12 p.m. 


— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joins Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and Danvers Town Manager Steve Bartha for Boston Area Research Initiative’s ‘What Cities Need Now’ virtual panel, 3:30 p.m.

— The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks resume their season in Orlando where the NBA has sequestered its teams in a bubble with the goal of completing the pandemic-disrupted season, 6:30 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 15 new deaths, 8,375 total deaths, 304 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Extended session’s agenda: Budget, police reform, transportation, climate change, etc.

The House and Senate made it official yesterday: The current legislative session will be extended beyond today through the end of the year, thanks to the pandemic crisis. And that means a lot of major legislative items will be resolved, hopefully, in coming weeks and months unless lawmakers miraculously reach agreement on some matters today. Among the items on the extended session table: The budget, health-care and police reforms, the economic-development bill, transportation, climate change and more. SHNS has all the details.

Btw, from SHNS: “Rodrigues Sees Info For Full Budget by October.”  

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Guaranteed: State commits to level school and local aid funding

Amid all the budget unknowns out there, state officials yesterday wanted to reassure local folks about at least one thing: Local government and school aid funding for the new fiscal year will remain at current levels. CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) have more on the largely welcome news for cities and towns, though some will be unhappy that extra funds called for under the state’s landmark school-aid reform law won’t be forthcoming, at least initially.

Delaying the presidential election? Trump’s suggestion quickly rebuffed

Gov. Charlie Baker had one of the best responses (see below) to President Trump’s polling-panic suggestion that this fall’s elections should be delayed due potential fraud tied to expansion of voting by mail, as SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports (pay wall). And from the Washington Post: “McConnell and other top Republican officials rebuff Trump suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election.” Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s reaction to the delay idea, via MassLive: ‘Ridiculous.’

Re Baker’s response: “We’ve had elections in the midst of world wars. We’ve had an election in the midst of a civil war. We’ve had election in many times in this country during terrible, awful circumstances. But the elections need to happen, and there’s no reason why this one can’t happen,”

Party bashers: Baker eyes crackdown on large virus-spreading events

Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t saying what his administration can and will do to prevent large parties, booze cruises and beach gatherings that many, including the governor, believe have contributed to the small spike in coronavirus cases across the state. But he did say yesterday the state is “talking about” changes to emergency rules governing the size of outdoor and indoor events. The Herald’s Erin Tiernan and MassLive’s Steph Solis have more on possible party-bashing actions

Separately, from the Cape Cod Times’ Cynthia McCormick and Doug Fraser: “Cape health departments struggle with enforcing local state COVID-19 regulations.” And from the Island & Mirror: “Closing time: Nantucket orders restaurants to close at midnight.”

Meanwhile, six staffers at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home test positive again

The tragic Holyoke Soldiers’ Home saga is far from over. MassLive’s Patrick Johnson reports that six employees at the facility, where scores of veterans have perished, have tested positive again for the coronavirus after previously recovering from the virus and cleared to return to work. More cases of people re-catching the virus? Something’s not right here.


State’s largest teachers union urges all-remote classes at start of school year

We seem headed toward a major school reopening showdown this fall if safety concerns aren’t resolved. The latest evidence: The Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest school union, is pushing for full-remote learning at the start of the school year. Not a hybrid start. Not some grades this and some grades that. Full remote. Carrie Jung at WBUR has the details.

Btw: Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage tells WGBH’s Joe Mathieu that the “hybrid’ reopening model is “probably among the worst” options out there – and he makes a convincing case why.


Setting a record: State’s economy contracted by an astounding 44 percent in second quarter

It’s not the type of record you like to see smashed. From the BBJ’s Greg Ryan: “The Massachusetts economy shrank at a staggering pace in the second quarter, plummeting by an annual rate of nearly 44 percent, the biggest decline on record, according to an estimate from MassBenchmarks economists on Thursday. The Bay State’s real gross domestic product declined significantly more than the country’s as a whole, as U.S. GDP dropped by an annual rate of almost 33% during the same time period.”


Office towers, RIP?

Speaking of the economy, the biggest question among commercial-real-estate types these days is: What’s the future of office buildings in general now that remote working has proven so popular and successful during the pandemic? Based on a report by the Globe’s Tim Logan, the prospects don’t look bright, as major downtown employers are now telling office workers they can continue working from home until next year.

So that means large swaths of the Financial District, Seaport etc. will continue to resemble weekday ghost towns for a while longer.

Boston Globe

Legislative updates: Non-disclosure contracts, Baker’s housing bill, midwives

Due to the planned extension of this year’s legislative session, it’s not as busy on Beacon Hill this week compared to past end-of-session blowouts. But it’s still busy, so here are some quick summaries and headlines on what’s happening at the State House. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and Michael Norton (pay wall) report that both the Senate and House have now approved Gov. Charlie Baker’s “Housing Choice” legislation and the measure is headed to conference committee along with other times in the chambers’ respective economic-development bills. … From CommonWealth magazine’s Sarah Betancourt: “Senate votes to ban government non-disclosure agreements.” … From SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall): “State Would License Midwives Under Advancing Legislation.

Brigham president resigns from Moderna board after lucrative ties questioned

The Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman reports that Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, announced she’s resigning from the board of Moderna “after the Globe inquired about whether her position at the Cambridge biotech company conflicted with her hospital’s leadership role in a large study of Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine.”

And what type of connections are we talking about? For starters, 73,975 connections, in the form of Moderna shares she sold on July 15 worth nearly $6.5 million.

Boston Globe

Dunkin’ to require store customers to wear masks

Attention Dunkie coffee addicts: MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports that Dunkin’ (which we still have trouble writing without adding ‘Donuts’ at the end) is going the route of Walmart by requiring all in-store customers to wear protective face masks, starting Monday. 


Casinos: Can we have craps and roulette games back?

MassLive’s Jim Kinney reports on how the state’s casinos have fared since their respective reopenings – and how they now want to resume craps and roulette games at their facilities. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) also has more.

Thanks, mom and dad: Auchincloss campaign gets boost from parents’ PAC

A Super PAC controlled by the parents of 4th Congressional District hopeful Jake Auchincloss will drop $180,000 on ads supporting his candidacy, Matt Stout at the Globe reports. The Experienced Leadership Matters PAC formed in May is largely funded with donations from Auchincloss’ mother, father and step-father. 

Kennedy’s email frat flap

Has the less-than-stirring U.S. Senate race really come to this? A flap over an anonymous email about Joseph Kennedy’s fraternity affiliations while in college? Yep. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has the details, including how some are rushing to Kennedy’s defense over an email that Ed Markey has adamantly disclaimed.

In other U.S. Senate race news, from Boston Magazine: “In the endorsement battle with Joe Kennedy, Ed Markey is winning.” And from the Lowell Sun: “Markey calls for massive stimulus efforts in sit-down with Sun editorial board.”

Moulton: Red states are ‘getting what’s coming to them’ with coronavirus

Great issues are being debated in yet another state election. From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is taking flak for suggesting that ‘we’ Northeasterners think the populations of conservative ‘red states’ are ‘getting what’s coming to them’ with a surge in coronavirus cases.” 

Boston Herald

Hingham firefighters ceremoniously lower the ‘thin blue line’ flags

In the end, they did it themselves. After weeks of resistance, firefighters in Hingham on Thursday removed the ‘thin blue line’ flags from the town’s fire trucks, Audrey Cooney at the Patriot Ledger reports.

Patriot Ledger

Sunday public affairs TV: Craig Sandler, Mike Kennealy and Orlando Patterson

Keller at Large, WCVB-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: State House News CEO Craig Sandler, who talks with host Jon Keller about the extended legislative session, police reform, state reopening policies, and black staffers speaking out on Beacon Hill

This Week In Business, NECN, 10 a.m. NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper talks about professional sports leagues and their different approaches to the COVID pandemic; Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas on U.S. cyber vulnerability; and the BBJ’s Doug Banks on the record collapse of the state and nation’s GDPs, COVID complacency, and other issues.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Slavery and Reparations in New England, with Harvard historian and sociologist Orlando Patterson.

Beyond Recovering: Preparing your business for new directions and growth

It’s impossible to ignore the long-lasting effects Covid-19 will have on your business. Small- to mid-sized businesses are working twice as hard to adapt for the rest of 2020 and the unforeseeable future. But you don’t have to do it alone. Understanding the difference between temporary disruptions and fundamental changes is key to planning for what’s next.

Boston Business Journal

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Brigham president resigns from Moderna board after conflict-of-interest questions raised – Boston Globe

12th Suffolk candidate’s online event targeted by racist, explicit ‘Zoom-bombing’ – Dorchester Reporter


Polar Beverages goes national with Keurig Dr. Pepper deal – Telegram & Gazette

Cape health departments struggle with enforcing local, state Covid-19 regulations – Cape Cod Times

For UMass Memorial Health Care, a decision not to lay off employees during coronavirus pandemic helped with financial recovery, CEO says – MassLive


Millions to lose $600 weekly jobless aid amid Senate stalemate – Politico

GOP lawmakers rebuff Trump’s musings on delaying election – Washington Post

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