St. Vincent strike support, child-care relief, and more
— Office of the Child Advocate hosts a virtual meeting of the Mandated Reporter Commission, tasked with reviewing the state’s mandated reporter laws, with Middlesex DA Marian Ryan attending, 10 a.m.
— Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern visit nurses on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, with Kennedy planning to go at 11 a.m. and Warren and McGovern at 3 p.m.
— Attorney General Maura Healey and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey are expected to participate in an event to honor the memory of Brian Donaghue Simpson, who died of an overdose in 2018 and was the son of Democratic super-organizer Kate Donaghue, 11 a.m.
— Treasurer Deborah Deb Goldberg is a panelist on “Framework for Inclusive Capitalism: The Role of Institutional Investors,” hosted by BU Law in partnership with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, 12:45 p.m.
— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, and Senate President Karen Spilka visit the MetroWest YMCA early education facility to highlight the $40 billion in funding for child care in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, 1 p.m.
For the most comprehensive list 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.
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: 42 new deaths, 16,218 total deaths, 1,589 new cases
WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.
No octopus spotted: State’s new pre-registration system starts today
The state’s new vaccine pre-registration system is scheduled to go live today. We can’t tell if it’s working or not. But we don’t see anything resembling a four-legged octopus at the new site. So … MassLive’s Steph Solis and NBC Boston’s Mary Markos report on the planned rollout of the new pre-registration system.
Vaccine war: Baker rips teacher unions, Mariano and teacher unions rip Baker
As the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and Erin Tiernan report, the long-simmering tensions between Gov. Charlie Baker and teacher unions reached the boiling point yesterday – and it was rhetorical war for most of the day. Gov. Charlie Baker accused teacher unions of effectively trying to elbow elderly people out of the way in order to get educators vaccinated. Teacher unions – along with House Speaker Ron Mariano – fired back that the Baker administration’s effectively created the policy mess by demanding the full reopening of schools, starting early next month.
GBH’s Mike Deehan, SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg have more on yesterday’s all-out vaccine debate. And MassLive’s Steph Solis has more on Mariano’s criticism of the administration. Meanwhile, the pundits are weighing in this morning – Jeneé Osterheldt at the Globe and Joe Battenfeld at the Herald. Neither has kind things to say about the governor.
‘Do the math’: So we did – and they’re both right
At some point during yesterday’s rhetorical brawl over teacher vaccinations someone said to “do the math” regarding who’s right in the debate. So we did the math, or, more accurately, checked the stats.
And, yes, the Baker administration is right to say that the elderly are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and thus most in need of vaccines. The average age of those currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Mass. is 64, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. We couldn’t find the state’s fatality stats, but CDC data confirms the obvious: It’s still the elderly who are mostly dying as a result of the virus.
But here’s the math supporting teacher unions’ arguments about vaccinations: It takes a minimum of a month to become fully immunized using Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines. Meaning: If an elementary teacher got a shot on Monday, he or she wouldn’t be fully immunized by mid-April, or about ten days after the start of Baker administration’s reopening goal of April 5.
Bottom line: They’re both right about the math. Bottom line, II: Would you like to be making today’s tough life-and-death policy decisions?
Biden calls for all adult Americans to be eligible for vaccines by May 1
President Joe Biden is pressing states to make everyone eligible for vaccinations by May 1, reports the AP at MassLive. Well, states technically could make everyone eligible right now. But that doesn’t mean everyone will get shots right now. Gov. Charlie Baker is definitely right about one thing: It all come down to supplies.
Stark reality: Latinos lagging in shots in hard hit cities
The numbers are stark all right. The Globe’s Deanna Pan reports on the wide disparities on who is and who isn’t getting shots in the state’s hardest hit cities during the pandemic. Example: “In Lawrence, where 82 percent of the population is Latino, just 2 percent of Latino residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared with 47 percent of white residents, who make up just 12 percent of the population.”
Coming this weekend: $1,400 direct deposits
President Biden on Thursday signed the massive $1.9 trillion economic relief package, a day earlier than expected so desperate Americans can get relief payments as soon as possible – and as soon as this weekend for those with direct deposit accounts with the IRS, the Washington Post reports.
Crime and punishment? Businesses cited for violating coronavirus rules end up getting funds from state
The Globe’s Matt Stout reports on how a number of establishments caught violating various emergency pandemic rules ended up getting state pandemic recovery funds, including one bar owner who initially had boasted that “no government is going to tell me how to run my business.” State Sen. Eric Lesser isn’t happy.
Roaring back: Data shows traffic returning in a hurry
It’s not your imagination. Katie Thompson at WCVB reports automated traffic counters are showing a spike in vehicles back on the road after a lengthy pandemic lull, with the early morning commute traffic up more than 25 percent in a single week.
As the House passes UI, PPP and paid-leave relief package …
The Massachusetts House yesterday unanimously approved a pandemic relief package that would freeze unemployment-insurance rates for employers, exempt PPP funds from state taxes and expand paid-leave for laid-off workers, reports the Herald’s Erin Tiernan and MassLive’s Steph Solis. But things weren’t running so smoothly in the Massachusetts Senate yesterday. See post below.
… Republicans delay vote on climate bill in Senate
It was all teed up for a vote yesterday in the Senate and then … Republicans demanded time to actually read the revised climate-change bill that Democrats had hoped to approved yesterday. Now they’ll likely have to wait until early next week to vote on the legislation. SHNS’s Matt Murphy and CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl have more.
But the Senate did approve an extension of mail-in voting to cover this spring’s municipal elections, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan.
The Mayor That Wouldn’t Leave
Not to be confused with The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave, folks at Boston City Hall are wondering when Mayor Marty Walsh will finally leave for D.C. so people can proceed to the next phase of their political lives. It’s “like a fog that won’t lift,” reports the Globe’s Matt Stout.
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi was wondering roughly the same thing the other day.
Post-election audit finds few tabulation errors in Mass.
Unless conspiracy theories emerge about the post-election auditing process, this will hopefully put to rest lingering fringe conspiracy theories about widespread mail-in voting fraud in the state’s presidential election last fall. SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk has more on the audit that found “minimal errors” in ballot counting.
Round 3: State seeks bids for third offshore wind contract
The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the Baker administration has kicked off the third round of bidding for offshore wind contracts – and this round could be the biggest yet in terms of how much power it could produce.
Have politics replaced religion in America?
After we ran a post yesterday on the debate over the authenticity of an alleged biblical manuscript (NYT), a MassterList reader picked up on the religious theme and sent us a new piece by Shadi Hamid at The Atlantic on whether ideologies – i.e. Woke-ism on the left and “Trump-centric ethno-nationalism” on the right – have filled the void of declining religious faith in America. The local angle? None that we can see, except the fact The Atlantic used to be based in Boston.
Re the NYT’s biblical-manuscript piece, there is a stronger local angle than we originally thought, as another ML reader points out: the scholar at the center of the debate is now apparently at Harvard.
Good bet: DraftKings’ Robbins is state’s newest tech billionaire
Welcome to the club. He’s only taking $1 in salary this year, but thanks to surging stock values, DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robbins is now officially the third member of the state’s tech-startup billionaire club, Lucia Maffei at the Boston Business Journal reports.
Martha’s Vineyard tribe appeals court ruling that says it has to follow local rulings
They’ll take their chances in court. The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head says it will seek additional review of an appeals court ruling that it must follow town rules and regulations as it pursues construction of a bingo hall in Aquinnah, George Brennan at the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports. The tribe says the latest ruling undermines federal law.
Summer thoughts: Wave of Cape pot shops get green light
Good timing. As the weather heats up, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission has issued final permits to four cannabis businesses on the Cape and islands, including adult-use retail outlets in Provincetown, Wellfleet and Eastham, reports Ethan Genter at the Cape Cod Times.
ACLU sues Plymouth DA over $1.2M bill for public records
Many public offices around the country use this tactic to discourage public-records requests. The Patriot Ledger’s Wheeler Cowperthwaite reports that the ACLU is suing Plymouth DA Timothy Cruz’s office for trying to charge the civil rights group $1.2 million for public records related to its research on police and prosecutorial misconduct.
Sunday public affairs TV: Katherine Clark, John Barros and more
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who talks with host Jon Keller about the COVID relief bill and her push for more child care spending.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. MassBio president and COO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell on biopharma’s record breaking year; Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology CEO Aisha Francis on the institute’s mission and COVID pivots; and the Globe’s Shirley Leung on pre-registration vaccine plans, job losses, Vineyard Wind and the COVID relief bill.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Boston mayoral candidate John Barros, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a political discussion with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: Women’s History Monday, including Dr. Yndia Lorick-Wilmot and Rev. Mariama White-Hammond.
The South End Then and Now: See your neighborhood with new eyes.
With Michael Cox, historian, artist and tour guide, we will walk the Silver Line bus route along Washington St. from Massachusetts Ave to Berkeley St., stopping at every SL bus stop to learn what was above and below ground right there when the EL carried riders to Nubian Square. We’ll check out the South End Burying Ground and many other great sites.
Lucy Stone: Make the World a Better Place
This program explores the lifelong fight of Massachusetts’ own Lucy Stone to win equal voting rights for women and African Americans. Despite leading both the women’s rights and abolitionist movements, Stone’s name is often absent from history. Join us in examining why this historical titan’s work was so integral to the nation’s evolution.
Hemingway the Author
The Kennedy Library and GBH partner for a preview and discussion of Hemingway, a new documentary series directed by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Writers Abraham Verghese and Tobias Wolff join Burns and Novick to discuss Hemingway’s life, craft, and legacy. Kennedy Library Director Alan Price moderates.
I Dissent: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Became the Notorious RBG
Award-winning journalist Irin Carmon, co-author of the runaway bestseller Notorious RPG, tells the intimate story of a remarkable Jewish woman who transcended divides and describes how to carry on her legacy.
“The Black Lives Matter Protests: An Early History” with Chad Williams
The U.S. has been rocked by the murder of George Floyd and the widespread recognition of violence against Blacks. These events have re-awakened us to our racist legacy. Across the nation and globally, Black and white people have protested policy brutality and the continued inequalities in our society.
Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice
Join A Faith That Does Justice and Healthcare for All for a conversation about the actions you can take as an individual to work towards justice, equity, and inclusion in health care.
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