Governor’s Council, Mental health committee, and more
11 a.m. | Governor’s Council interviews Karen Fabiszewski, who was nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker as an administrative law judge on the Reviewing Board of the Department of Industrial Accidents.
1 p.m. | Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery meets to review bills concerning mental and behavioral health care for children, including legislation that would create a new advisory council to oversee school-based behavioral health.
4 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker joins Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation President and CEO Larry Andrews to make an announcement about small business recovery efforts in underserved communities.
4 p.m. | Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies hosts a virtual discussion about its new report analyzing the national state of housing availability, with panelists including Erika Poethig, President Biden’s special assistant for housing and urban policy.
Post-pandemic policies: Legislature getting its act together
Better late than never. Nearly 20 hours after the state of emergency had already expired, Massachusetts lawmakers managed to pass a compromise bill extending certain emergency provisions that allow for remote public meetings and to-go cocktails, reports SHNS’s Kaite Lannan.
The bill, which is now sitting on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk, does not include certain bill protections or a cap on third-party delivery service fees — provisions which remain before a panel of six lawmakers. GBH’s Mike Deehan points out that if Baker signs the bill Wednesday, the gap in state policy for some of the emergency measures will have lasted around 40 hours.
Steering clear: Crenshaw visit canceled amid GOP infighting
He’s not getting in the middle. Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw canceled a planned appearance at a weekend fundraiser for the MassGOP as the party continues to squabble with itself, Christian Wade at the Salem News reports.
GOP Chair Jim Lyons, who planned to host the shindig, blamed ‘planned protests’ for the cancellation, but Crenshaw’s spokesperson said he made the decision to cancel amid the party’s very public infighting. Boston Globe’s Emma Platoff writes that Crenshaw informed MassGOP officials around 7 p.m. Monday that he wouldn’t be showing up.
‘An extra lucky shot’
No, not a lucky shot of whiskey. Instead, fully vaccinated residents can enter into what the Baker administration has coined the “VaxMillions” giveaway for a chance at winning one of five $1 million cash prizes or $300,000 college scholarships.
Boston Herald’s Alexi Cohan notes that Massachusetts follows the lead of Ohio and California, which created similar vaccine lotteries. WBUR writes that the Baker administration hopes the new initiative will convince more people to get vaccinated.
SHNS’s Chris Lisinski’s description of the lottery is pretty spot-on: “For five Massachusetts adults and another five Bay State adolescents, the COVID-19 vaccine will prove to be an extra lucky shot.”
‘Lofty, populist’ Allen launches gubernatorial campaign
Democrat Danielle Allen officially launched her campaign for governor Tuesday morning with what the Boston Globe’s Matt Stout describes as “lofty, populist” tones. One of her arguments to voters? She said Democrats “have to recognize that they have settled for too little, that they have let their expectations fall” with Gov. Charlie Baker at the helm of the state-government ship.
MassterList’s very own Chris Van Buskirk writes at SHNS that Allen critiqued the Baker administration’s handling of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, saying it got off to a “pretty rocky start.” And the Boston Herald’s Amy Sokolow reports that Allen wants to focus on affordable housing, transportation, education, and the criminal justice system.
GBH’s Adam Reilly reports that Allen’s success “may hinge, in part, on how the party’s base responds to her measured, conciliatory approach to our current political moment.”
There’s a lot to consider here as the gubernatorial race starts to heat up, including how Allen will distinguish herself from career politicians who have already declared or are considering a run.
Coincidence? Final Gillette vaccination total looks like Patriots numerology
Really? As the mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium closed up shop this week, the New England Patriots took to Twitter to boast about the number of shots delivered — but some say the data point is just too perfect. As Matt Dollloff of The Sports Hub reports, the final tally of 610,283 vaccines given breaks down to a Brady-era dynasty callback: 6 titles, 10 AFC championships and, of course, one very famous comeback in the Super Bowl from a 28-3 deficit.
A lot of people have been jabbed
Massachusetts crossed an important vaccination threshold on Tuesday when Gov. Charlie Baker announced that over 4 million residents are now fully vaccinated.
“We’ve focused our strategy on increasing targeted, community-based vaccination efforts to reach even more people, and our goal remains ensuring that all who want a #COVID19MA vaccine have access to one,” Baker wrote in a Tweet Tuesday afternoon.
‘Money, Money, Money’
Every so often it’s good practice to take a step back and realize what really drives campaigns: money. And Saraya Wintersmith at GBH did just that with the Boston mayoral race, reporting that candidates Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell lead the pack with over $1.2 million total funds raised.
Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey trails Wu, Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, and Rep. Jon Santiago, having only raised $162,794 in May for a total of $610,163. Essaibi George takes third place with just over $908,000 total funds and John Barros is in last place with $473,573, according to the state’s campaign finance office.
Starting over: Soldiers’ Home trustees to reopen superintendent search
This time for sure. The trustees of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home say they’re working with state officials to relaunch their search for a new permanent leader for the beleaguered institution after their top choice–who had earlier accepted the job–confirmed he won’t be leaving Utah for the Bay State after all. Stephanie Barry of MassLive has the details.
One hundred days and counting: No end in sight for St. Vincent nurses strike
Tuesday marked the 100th day since more than 700 registered nurses went on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and despite 32 negotiating sessions with the hospital’s owners, the sides appear no closer to a resolution of what has become one of the longest-lasting job actions in the state in recent memory, Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram and Kate Lusignan of the Boston Globe report.
Cybersecurity woes from ferries to universities
Ferries aren’t the only services that are suffering from cybersecurity problems: UMass Lowell announced Tuesday afternoon that university officials are investigating a “cybersecurity incident,” reports Stefan Geller of the Lowell Sun.
Officials said they still had control over the university’s information technology infrastructure. More from Geller: “However, the university has suspended all network communications to and from the campus network while the incident is being evaluated, ‘out of an abundance of caution.’”
Boston Globe’s Charlie McKenna and Christine Mui report that University will cancel classes and business operations Wednesday while an investigation into a possible cybersecurity breach continues.
Pensive pension pondering
Decision-making time: City Councilors in Quincy are weighing whether or not to fully fund the city’s pension system via a $475 million bond, reports Mary Whitfill at The Patriot Ledger, who also notes that the city’s budget is up in the air as a result of the uncertainty.
More from Whitfill: “[Mayor Thomas] Koch says the bond would save the city tens of millions of dollars every year and make pension fund payments a predictable, steady expense. But city councilors this week said they don’t know how comfortable they are with the idea of adding almost $500 million to the city’s debt service.”
May gaming gains
It’s raining money at Encore Boston Harbor as the casino saw a $2.7 million increase in gross gaming revenue in May, writes Peter Goonan of The Republican. MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park, however, weren’t as lucky — reporting slight drops in gambling revenue compared to April.
Grounded: Business execs expect less travel
If you were about to walk into your boss’ office and ask for a business trip to Europe, you probably want wait up a second. Boston-based business leaders are reimagining “how often they and their employees will travel,” Boston Business Journal’s Greg Ryan wrote, adding: “They’ve been productive taking meetings online during the pandemic, they point out, and cutbacks in travel can reap them major savings on airfare and hotels.”
Payback: Salem firm to fork over $3.5M for never-delivered masks
They overpromised, or under-delivered–or both. The office of Attorney General Maura Healey says Salem-based Bedrock Group will pay the state $3.5 million to settle charges that it delivered fewer than 100,000 out of a promised 1 million N95 face masks back in the hectic, early days of the pandemic, Beth Healey at WBUR reports
COVID Numbers: 55 new confirmed cases
Department of Public Health reported 55 new confirmed cases, 2 new confirmed deaths for a total of 17,586 confirmed deaths and 662,910 confirmed cases.
End of an era: The Final SHNS Coronavirus Tracker
RIP. First launched on May 9, 2020 to keep up with the overload of COVID-19 related news, the State House News Service’s COVID-19 tracker was sent out for the final time Tuesday afternoon. Readers should expect SHNS to continue pandemic coverage and weave it into their firehouse of news. For one final time, read the SHNS COVID-19 tracker for free here.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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