Happening Today

Mariano at chamber, UI relief bill, health care costs

— House Speaker Ron Mariano virtually addresses the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Forum, 10 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission plans to meet and could consider a request related to jockey benefits and hear about public safety studies related to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, 10:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Kim Janey, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, and former longtime Veterans’ Services Secretary Thomas Kelley, a Medal of Honor recipient, gather for a short speaking program, flag-raising, and wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate National Medal of Honor Day, Medal of Honor Park, South Boston, 11:30 a.m.

Health Policy Commission and Joint Committee on Health Care Financing meet virtually to consider whether to modify the health care cost growth benchmark for 2022, 12 p.m.

— The House and Senate are both in formal sessions with plans to give final approval to the $7 billion bond bill to stabilize the state’s unemployment system and other measurers in the bill, 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.

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: 54 new deaths, 16,632 total deaths, 1,865 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

‘No Vaccine, No Job,’ Part III: Baker doesn’t like the idea

He hasn’t completely ruled out the idea. But Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday made clear he’s not a big fan of the idea of forcing cops, prison guards and teachers to get vaccination shots – or else. SHNS’s Katie Lannan and MassLive’s Benjamin Kail have more.

‘Justifiably angry’’: Baker takes shots at ‘folks in D.C.’ who butted to the head of vaccine line

They’ve taken shots at him. So he’s taking shots at them. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports on Gov. Charlie Baker’s not-so-subtle potshots at Congressional members (or ‘folks in D.C.,’ as he diplomatically put it) who got vaccinated well before anyone else. And, no, he insists he’s not ‘virtue signaling’ the fact he hasn’t gotten a shot yet.

CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on both the vaccine-mandate and non-virtue-signaling comments by the governor.

Boston Herald

Not convinced: Legislators still have lingering questions over governor’s vaccine decisions

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski reports that state Sen. Jo Comerford and Rep. Bill Driscoll, who head the legislature’s COVID-19 oversight committee, are among lawmakers who aren’t satisfied with Gov. Charlie Baker’s testimony earlier this week about why his administration opted to go with mass-vax sites instead of local vax sites. Lisinski has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Boston and Worcester schools get their waivers

It’s official: The state’s two largest school districts, in Boston and Worcester, won’t be resuming full in-person K-8 classes by the state-imposed deadline of April 5, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced, according to reports at 7 News-WHDH and the Telegram. Boston is shooting to reopen schools by April 26, while Worcester is looking at a May 3.

At GBH, Mass. Ed. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, the state’s education commissioner, explains why they’re letting Boston, Worcester and others to delay a full return to the classrooms, while the majority of other districts comply with the state deadline. The Gloucester Times has more on all the various waivers.

For Janey, time to put the Menino acting-mayor playbook into action

The city of Boston yesterday continued to celebrate the historic rise of Kim Janey to the city’s highest office – and Janey, after her ceremonial swearing in as Boston’s first female and Black mayor, made clear that “today is a new day” and that equity will be a top policy priority moving forward, report the Globe’s Danny McDonald and Travis Andersen and GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith.

But what about her top political priority? The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that there’s little doubt Janey will be running for mayor full-time this fall – and she’ll be using the full mayoral/acting-mayoral powers of incumbency to win, just as Tom Menino did way back in 1993. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi isn’t so sure the Menino acting-mayor playbook will work for Janey. This is Boston, after all, she writes.

Super PAC enters Boston mayoral race

There’s a new Super PAC in town – and it ain’t backing Mayor/Acting Mayor Kim Janey. The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius has the details on who the committee is supporting in the mayoral race.


‘Subtly hostile’: Black-owned Bay State Banner isn’t impressed with the Globe and BU’s new ‘Emancipator’

The Bay State Banner, a newspaper primarily geared toward the African-American community in Boston, isn’t exactly celebrating the launch of the anti-racist ‘Emancipator’ website by the Globe’s op-ed department and BU’s Center for Antiracist Research. In an editorial headlined “The new Emancipator — 200 years too late,” publisher Melvin B. Miller lists all the ways the venture falls short. Banner editorial via UH.

Bay State Banner

Sacked: Duxbury High School fires football coach over anti-Semitic play calls

The head football coach at Duxbury High School got canned yesterday over his student players’ use of anti-Semitic language – including references to “Auschwitz” – for audible play calls at the line of scrimmage, report the Herald’s Matt Feld and Joe Dwinell and CBS Boston.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Barry Finegold, who is Jewish and played high school and college football, is offering to meet with team members to talk about the controversy, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy.

Markey sees ‘big big’ infrastructure bill in works

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey says Democrats in Congress aren’t just thinking big when it comes to a new federal infrastructure and climate bill. They’re thinking ‘big big.’ How big big? Trillions of dollars big big. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Forget recent poll numbers. Baker’s still the man to beat

Back to Charlie Baker: He may have gotten dinged in recent polls due to the less-than-stellar vaccine rollout. But the Republican governor is still the man to beat if he decides to run for a third-time, Steve Brown at WBUR reports.


SJC’s Facebook ruling: Healey win or split decision?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday issued a ruling in the ongoing battle between Facebook and Attorney General Maura Healey over Healey’s investigation into possible misuse of customer data by the social media giants. And the winner is … CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports the ruling was a clear victory for Healey to proceed with the probe. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan isn’t so sure it was a clear-cut win.

State study links contaminated drinking water to Wilmington cancer cluster

They finally have some answers. From Lynn Jolicoeur and Jack LePiarz: “A two-decade-long study out Wednesday from the state Department of Public Health links a 1990s childhood cancer cluster in the town of Wilmington to contaminated drinking water. The stud found a connection between prenatal exposure to a cancer-causing chemical that leached into the town’s aquifer and cases of leukemia and lymphoma in children whose mothers drank the water while pregnant.”

The Globe’s David Abel has more on release of the long-awaited study.


A million-dollar view tax? Nantucket surcharge would fund affordable housing

Tax and build. Lawmakers who represent the Cape and Islands are co-sponsoring legislation that would slap a surcharge on high-end property sales on Nantucket and direct the proceeds–around $4 million a year–to the local affordable housing trust, Shaun Robinson at the Cape Cod Times reports. 

Cape Cod Times

GOP lawmakers: Hey, what’s in that mysterious room?

They say they harbor no conspiratorial doubts about mail-in voting. But Republican lawmakers on Beacon Hill do want to know more about what’s in that mysterious state archive building where “undeliverable” ballot applications for last year’s state primary and general election are allegedly being stored. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has more on their non-conspiratorial quest for truth.

Boston Herald

Silent treatment: Great Barrington can’t get Fairgrounds owners to respond

How’s the town’s money supposed to do the talking if no one will listen? Officials in Great Barrington say they’re being stonewalled by the owners of the local fairgrounds, which the town wants to consider purchasing after a plan to revive thoroughbred racing there fell through, Heather Bellow at the Berkshire Eagle reports. The town says all it wants to do is talk to the owners, but using eminent domain hasn’t been ruled out entirely. 

Berkshire Eagle

Overturned: Judge hands Dominik Lay win in Lowell residency dispute

A Middlesex Superior Court judge has ruled that Dominik Lay is indeed a resident of Lowell and was improperly blocked by the city’s Election Commission from filling a vacancy on the school board, Alana Melanson at the Lowell Sun reports.

Lowell Sun

Improving America’s Housing 2021 Release

While the US economy shrank by 3.5 percent in 2020, spending on home improvements and repairs grew last year, increasing by more than 3 percent, according to Improving America’s Housing 2021, our new report being released on March 25.

Harvard Kennedy School

The Roadmap to Net Zero: What Opportunities for Oil and Gas?

Speaker is Rob West, Founder and Lead Analyst of Thundersaid Energy.

Scottish Energy Forum

Virtual Author Talk with Carla Gardina Pestana

Virtual Author Talk with Carla Gardina Pestana, author of The World of Plymouth Plantation

State Library of Massachusetts and Plymoth Patuxet

Uncovering Hidden Stories: Women in the Archives

Join Angelina Osborne in exploring the hidden voices of women in the archives; women who campaigned to have control of their own lives and families. From the Caribbean to India, to Britain, we are afforded small glimpses into these women’s lives, including the determination to receive a university education, serving the country during wartime, to raising awareness of injustices in institutions.

The National Archives

Inequality of Economic Opportunity

Join Jeff Fuhrer, M-RCBG Senior Fellow for a discussion on the Inequality of Economic Opportunity with a particular focus on the wealth gap. He will present a summary of some ongoing research on a proper accounting for the sources of the wealth gap, emphasizing the long history of institutional racism that is at the heart.

Harvard Kennedy School

Industry Experts and Top Speakers Participate in the A Maven’s World Virtual Discussion

A Maven’s World announces its virtual lineup and the Maven awardee of its annual Women’s Conference, “Women and Work: Let’s Talk About Equity.” The two-day, virtual conference features Saturday opening remarks delivered by Kim Janey, Boston City Council President, and Incoming Mayor of Boston.

A Maven’s World

No help. No stops. No turning back. My Vendee Globe Story

In November 2020, Pip Hare set off from Les Sables-d’Olonne to take part in the Vendee Globe, a single-handed non-stop round the world yacht race known as “Everest of the Seas”. After sailing 24,000 miles and being alone at sea for over three months, Pip will share her story first-hand in this exclusive virtual talk.

Pip Hare

Defense Project Series – Should Women be in the Draft – A discussion about the future of the Selective Service in America

Please join us for an important and timely discussion on whether or not women should be required to sign up for the Selective Service and, therefore, potentially be involuntarily drafted into the military in the event of a national emergency.

Harvard Kennedy School

Energy Policy Seminar: Alice Hill on Lessons from the Pandemic on How to Prepare for Climate Change

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Alice Hill, David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Hill will discuss “Lessons from the Pandemic on How to Prepare for Climate Change”. This event is open to the public and hosted on zoom. Please RSVP.

Harvard Kennedy School

Book Talk – The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Join the Ash Center; Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic: Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Harvard University; and Black Student Union at Harvard Kennedy School for a conversation with Heather McGee, a leading voice in the national conversation on systemic racism and its consequences.

Harvard Kennedy School

The Brixton riots 40 years on: What has changed for Black Brixtons?

Deputy Opinion Editor Joseph Harker, author and lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University Alex Wheatle, 1980s Lambeth Council Leader Linda Bellos, and co-founder of All Black Lives UK Natasha Johnson will be marking the anniversary of a moment of fundamental change for Black Protest, exploring its evolution through the past 40 years to today and ask, what next in the struggle for equality?

The Guardian Live

Today’s Headlines


Broad Institute names new center on AI and medicine for former Google chief Schmidt – Boston Globe

Game time! TD Garden ready to welcome back fans – Boston Herald


State commission to provide additional oversight of Hampden County retirement board – MassLive

Worcester schools post improved dropout, graduation rates – Telegram & Gazette


Why this moment for gun reform is different – Politico

Andrew Cuomo’s family members were given special access to covid testing, according to people familiar with the arrangement – Washington Post

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