Happening Today

Health Connector, House and Senate sessions, and more

Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Board meets with votes planned on 2022 minimum creditable coverage amendment and contact center support services future planning, 9 a.m. 

— The Massachusetts Senate holds a formal session with plans to act on legislation that would extend some COVID-19 era policies, 11 a.m.

— The Massachusetts House holds a formal session, with Speaker Ron Mariano’s office informing members to be prepared to consider bills on the House calendar and those that may arrive from the Senate, 11 a.m.

— State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III speak at the Latino STEM Alliance’s 2021 showcase and celebration, an online event celebrating student accomplishments, 4 p.m.

— Democrats Ben Downing, who is running for governor in 2022, and Danielle Allen, who is mulling a race for governor, are the guests at the monthly meeting of the Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee, 6 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: 5 new deaths, 17,559 total deaths, 116 new cases

MassLive has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

The Millionaire’s Tax: It’s on the ballot

They did it. Along largely partisan lines, members of the Massachusetts House and Senate overwhelmingly voted yesterday to put the proposed “millionaires tax” on the 2022 statewide ballot. GBH’s Adam Reilly and MassLive’s Benjamin Kail have more on the latest effort to introduce a graduated income tax in Massachusetts.

Sorry, Bill: House advancing redistricting plan over vehement objections by Galvin

The House is pushing ahead with a controversial redistricting plan allowing the Legislature to redraw state and federal districts before cities and towns adjust their local precincts – an idea strongly opposed by Secretary of State Bill Galvin. SHNS’s Chris Lisinski has more, including plans by the House to tackle supplemental-budget matters today.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Are we close to having a new T oversight board?

We were wondering when lawmakers might tackle this issue. From CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl: “The move to replace the expiring MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board with a new oversight agency appears to be picking up steam, as a House spending plan released on Wednesday follows the governor’s lead in creating a new seven-member, permanent oversight board.”

In other transit-related newws, also via CommonWealth: “Poll: Boston traffic congestion to return or get worse/ Survey indicates most voters favor reduced or no transit fares.”


To extend or not extend? The preliminary list

The Herald’s Amy Sokolow and Erin Tiernan and SHNS’s Katie Lannan report on all the various amendments attached to legislation the Senate plans to address today regarding which pandemic-era policies lawmakers hope to keep moving forward. To re-emphasize an item that can’t be emphasized enough: Cocktails-to-go is still a go.

‘Concerning’: New ‘Delta’ variant is spreading fast in Massachusetts

This isn’t good. NBC Boston’s Mary Marcos reports that the more contagious ‘Delta’ coronavirus variant, first identified in India, has made its way to Massachusetts and has public health officials worried about the steadily rising case counts associated with the variant. But here’s some good news, via WBUR: “New Evidence Suggests COVID-19 Vaccines Remain Effective Against Variants.” 

Of course, there’s always prayers too, via WCVB: “Cardinal Sean O’Malley lifts dispensation of Sunday, Holy Day masses.”

NBC Boston

Pandemic payback: QCC to eliminate student debt for students who stuck it out

Another pandemic item: They’re rewarding loyalty and persistence. Quinsigamond Community College says it will use $2.5 million in federal higher education aid to forgive debt accumulated by students who remained enrolled through the pandemic, Monica Benevides at the Worcester Business Journal reports. Fyi: the average student will see more than $1,500 worth of debt wiped away.


‘Misuse of funds’: Quincy councilor slams plan to buy building with relief funds

One more pandemic item: He’s undaunted. Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch says he is moving forward with plans to use American Recovery Plan funds to buy a downtown building that could be a new home for Quincy College despite strong pushback from some city councilors, Mary Whitfil at the Patriot Ledger reports.

Patriot Ledger

Council to Janey: You answer to us. Don’t forget it.

What the council giveth, the council can taketh away. That’s the message to Acting Mayor Kim Janey from the Boston City Council, which passed a proposal yesterday that gives councilors the authority to strip Janey of her power anytime they want. How can they do that? By voting her out as council president. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter explains.

Btw, Universal Hub’s headline, which we borrowed and modified: “Council to Janey: Don’t think about stepping out of line.”

Boston Herald

Congressional Republicans have found a new target: Marty Walsh

The Globe’s Christina Prignano and the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld report that Republicans in Congress were limbering up yesterday on their new partisan punching bag: Marty Walsh, the current U.S. labor secretary and former mayor of Boston. And it’s all about you-know-what.

Defiant: GOP’s Martell says she won’t be ‘bullied’ into resigning over anti-gay remarks

The Globe’s Emma Platoff and Jasper Goodman report that Deborah Martell, a member of the GOP state committee, is telling other Republicans she has no intention of being “bullied” into resigning over anti-gay remarks she made about a GOP congressional candidate. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Erin Tiernan reports that fissures in the state GOP over Martell’s anti-gay rant were on full display outside a state committee meeting yesterday.

And from Alison King at NBC Boston: “’Our Republican Party Is in Shambles’: Growing Rift on Display at Mass. GOP Meeting.”

DCF sleepovers? It almost happened

This is pretty remarkable. The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that DCF was recently so desperate to find beds for at-risk children that it made plans to have kids sleep in agency offices.

Boston Globe

Remembering Worcester police officer Manny Familia

Gov. Charlie Baker was among hundreds of people, most of them police officers from around the region, who paid respects at a wake yesterday for Worcester police officer Manny Familia, who died last Friday after he jumped into local pond to try to save a 14-year-old boy who also drowned. The Telegram’s Craig Semon has more, including details for today’s funeral services expected to draw thousands of mourners.


‘The new censors’: The Dersh takes on progressives, techies and academic types in new book

At GBH, civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate reviews Harvard prof Alan Dershowitz’s latest book, “The Case Against the New Censorship: Protecting Free Speech from Big Tech, Progressives, and Universities.” Silverglate admits he’s biased when it comes to Dershowitz, who he’s known and admired for years, but he says the “peripatetic, irascible, controversial, and seemingly omnipresent” Dershowitz is genuinely spot on about today’s ‘new censors.’


Clean it up: EPA orders Quincy to spend $100 million to remediate sewage

The city of Quincy has agreed to spend $100 million by 2034 to stop the flow of stormwater and sewage into Boston Harbor, ending a two-year-old lawsuit brought by the EPA. David Abel at the Globe has details. 

Boston Globe

Prepping for the state’s newest holiday: ‘Juneteenth’

MassLive’s Peter Goonan and SHNS’s Matt Murphy report on efforts around the state to prepare for the first celebration of the state’s newest holiday: ‘Juneteenth,’ marking the end of slavery in America. The BBJ’s Hannah Green has more on what local businesses are doing.

Meanwhile, Boston city councilors mull reparations for slavery

As the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter puts it: “Should the city of Boston give Black people reparations for slavery?” Cotter reports on an upcoming hearing on an issue that a handful of other cities and towns are mulling in Massachusetts and across the country.

Boston Herald

Time (off) bomb: Audit says Fall River police using way too much comp time

Eventually, they’ll have to pay. An audit of the Fall River police department faults its reliance on the use of comp time, saying it has created a $3.2 million liability that is as yet unfunded, Jo C. Goode at the Herald-News reports.

Herald News

Dwinell named top editor at Herald

Joe Dwinell, a long-time editor at the Boston Herald, has been named executive editor of the paper, 18 months after his predecessor, Joe Sciacca, left the Herald. Dwinell leads a now small team of reporters at the incredibly shrinking paper, but the Herald is still swinging away and breaking its share of stories. We wish Joe lots of luck and scoops.

California EPA’s Pollution and Prejudice Project

Government agencies play a critical role in advancing environmental justice across the United States, and California’s primary environmental agency (CalEPA) is one of the leaders in this field. At CalEPA, understanding the role of government in perpetuating institutional and structural racism is essential to its work to address the legacy of racist practices and their impacts today.

EPA Office of Environmental Justice

Law Enforcement & Autism Collaboration Session

Please join the Flutie Foundation and law enforcement agencies from across the state for this first ever event full of collaboration, strategies, inspiring stories, and more! Attendees will hear from Michelle Maffeo of the Boston Police Department, Flutie Foundation staff, and Doug Flutie himself before breaking up into facilitated breakout groups to discuss resources, strategies, and practices.

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

PDIA in Action: Radicalization in France

As part of MLD103M, students at HKS spent 7 weeks working on exploring radicalization in France, and to help identify ideas and entry points. In this presentation, the student team and their authorizer will share some of their key takeaways and recommendations from this experience. Please register in advance to attend this event.

Harvard Kennedy School

The Black Liberation Front Q&A

The Black Liberation Front (BLF) was formed in 1971 and to date was one of the most active and impactful Black Power organizations in Britain. In 2017 the Young Historians Project interviewed 9 former members of the BLF to capture their stories and created a 38 minute documentary and a multi-panel exhibition for people to learn and be inspired by this history.

Black History Walks

Jefferson’s West: Lewis, Clark, and Native Americans

This presentation will discuss Thomas Jefferson’s reasons for proposing this expedition and the goals of reaching the Pacific and establishing trade and diplomacy with an array of Native peoples on the way to the West Coast. It will describe the challenges that the expedition faced and the role of Native peoples in helping or hindering its progress.

UVA Lifetime Learning

AAPI Community and Allies Series: Acknowledging “We”

This series of 4 workshops is for the members of the AAPI community and anybody else wanting to take a deep dive into understanding their personal cultural identity in America and exploring how they can become a better ally at this important time in history. Share the obstacles that we face individually and collectively as a result of our cultural identities and the harm we have sustained.

National Conflict Resolution Center

Virtual Summit: Continuing Threats to Free and Fair Elections

Elections are more than ballots, polling places, and voting machines. The human component of administering elections was exposed to unthinkable stress and attack during the 2020 cycle. It nearly reached the breaking point. The Brennan Center, the Ash Center, and the Bipartisan Policy Center invite you to explore the challenges to voting in America and necessary solutions.

Harvard Kennedy School

Legal Pride 2021: The Past, Present, and Future of LGBT+ Rights

Please join us for a very special part of our Legal Pride 2021 celebration where we explore the past, the present, and the future of LGBT+ rights and activism in the United Kingdom and across the globe.

InterLaw Diversity Forum

Best Places to Work – Virtual Event

For 2021 we will be celebrating Boston Business Journal’s Best Places To Work with a fun filled virtual celebration – stay tuned for details! Best Places To Work is all about celebrating and creating memorable experiences for your employees. We hope you can join us as we honor the 2021 BPTW!

Boston Business Journal

Juneteenth: A Story of Freedom

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day in 1865 (June 19th) when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed—a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and more than two months after America’s Civil War “officially” ended.

North Carolina Museum of History

A Conversation with Angela Davis

Join a live conversation with activist and scholar Angela Davis, who has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice for decades. The Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz has also taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA, the Claremont Colleges, Stanford, and other universities.

USC Visions and Voices

Whither the GOP? 2 Republican Stalwarts Discuss Its Future

Michael Steele, an American conservative political commentator, attorney and former chairperson of the Republican National Committee, and William “Bill” Kristol, neoconservative political commentator and editor at large at Bulwark, discuss the future of the Republican party.

Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community Advocates

Today’s Headlines


Youth summer activities will resume in Lynn – Lynn Item

Digital billboard proposed for southwest Quincy despite citywide ban – Patriot Ledger


Taunton microbusiness makes state’s first-ever recreational marijuana delivery — to founder’s house – Boston Globe

‘Dangerous’ and ‘stunning’: Attorneys lament Berkshire DA’s bid to oust judge – Berkshire Eagle

Former Correia chief of staff Gen Andrade asks judge for no prison time – Herald News


The Keystone XL pipeline project has been terminated – New York Times

Biden, Johnson Agree to Open U.S.-U.K. Travel as Soon as Possible – Wall Street Journal

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