Happening Today

State House rallies, leadership meeting, and more

10 a.m. | Members of Massachusetts Senior Action Council, dressed in hospital gowns and “baring their bottoms,” hold rally outside the State House to push lawmakers to use American Rescue Plan Act money to help 50,000 Massachusetts seniors who miss the cutoff for the Medicare Savings Program, which helps seniors near the poverty line save money on monthly health care costs. 

10 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker attends an event at Twelfth Baptist Church where he will announce “a historic gift to the Church from King Boston,” an advisory said.

10:30 a.m. | New England Patriots star Devin McCourty, clergy and community group members urge Gov. Baker to commute the first-degree murder conviction of William Allen, a Brockton man who has spent 27 years in prison and hopes to become eligible for parole. Attendees plan to gather outside the State House.

2 p.m. | Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ronald Mariano, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and House Minority Leader Brad Jones participate in a weekly leadership meeting. A media availability follows.

4 p.m. | Racial Inequities in Maternal Health Commission, led by Public Health Committee co-chairs Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Jo Comerford, holds a remote public meeting and listening session.

Today’s Stories

‘A badge of pride’ for Michelle Wu

It’s a badge of pride for Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michelle Wu every time someone describes one of her policies as a “pie in the sky” idea, she said during one of her first televised interviews since topping the city’s preliminary ticket last week.

“That is a badge of pride because we are fighting for what our communities need,” she said Sunday on WBZ’s “Keller at Large,” referring to a claim from her rival for mayor, Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, that Wu’s ideas are “unrealistic.”

Take Wu’s idea to make the T free, a proposal Essaibi George has pushed back on as an issue the state, and not the city, would need to address. During the WBZ interview, Wu said “many of the items that I have fought for over eight years on the city council were things that people said over and over again would be impossible to get done.”

“But we put Boston on the map each time from paid parental leave to taking on big corporations that were driving up rents and winning that battle, setting a national precedent to ensuring that we were investing city dollars in companies owned locally by our Black and brown entrepreneurs,” Wu said. “These are all ideas that we were told would be too big to take on. But Boston is known for doing so, we impact the history of this country every time we lead.”

On the topic of law enforcement, Jon Keller asked Wu whether her administration would cut the Boston Police Department’s budget.

Her response: “We need to see more resources invested in the combination of public safety and public health. But we have to use our dollars wisely. And so we must reallocate dollars, investing more overall in how we respond to the needs and the crisis calls that are coming in every day to our city.”

House employee tests positive for COVID-19

House officials advised members and staff Saturday that an employee of the branch who was last in the building Thursday tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email obtained by the State House News Service and MassterList.

House leaders said all close contacts of the person had been notified of the positive test result. The individual was not identified, per state and federal regulations governing confidential health information.

“We urge all Members and staff to continue to practice consistent social distancing and to be attuned to the self-care and precautionary measures recommended by the CDC,” Human Resources Director Katherine Palmer wrote in the email. “Please remember that only those staff whose positions are essential to the discharge of House operations, including sessions of the House, should be physically at the State House at this point.”

If additional COVID-19 cases surface, Palmer said the House will implement their “COVID-19 response protocol and will notify all members and staff.”

The State House has been closed to the public for over 550 days and since then, members and staff in both branches have largely operated in a remote environment except for essential personnel working in the building. Over the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 cases have cropped up in the House and Senate among staff and lawmakers.

The positive test result also comes after House Speaker Ronald Mariano expressed frustration with lawmakers who oppose the idea of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement among members. The resistance to the idea, he said last week, hinders efforts to bring more people back to the building.

‘Bigwig’ bonuses

Accompanied by an eye-catching graphic that screams “Bonus, Baby!,” Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that some state government managers are on deck to receive thousands of dollars each in back pay. The Baker administration said the money flowing to “bigwigs” comes as officials are also finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement with unions “that will also include pay increases.”

More from Cotter: “Per the email, the state is implementing a retroactive pay increase starting in July 2020 — the dawn of the fiscal year — of 2.5 percent, and then a second increase on top of that of 2 percent. Both of those went into effect for all payments from this point forward as of the Sept. 3 paycheck. And now come the juicy one-offs: people who were managers or agency heads during that time who weren’t fired will see the extra money that they would have had last year and this year dropped off on top of Friday’s paycheck.”

Boston Herald

How many? Correia to learn fate from Federal judge Monday

Today’s the day. Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia will find out Monday how long he’ll spend behind bars when he’s sentenced on fraud and extortion charges in Federal court in Boston. Prosecutors have urged U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodcock to send Correia away for as long as 11 years, while his own lawyers have proposed a much shorter sentence, asking for consideration for good deeds Correia did as mayor.

Herald News

‘Paying for the decisions of the unvaccinated’

Starting today, masks will be required in Worcester private common areas including supermarkets, office buildings, and restaurants, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Anoushka Dalmia. Mayor Joseph Petty said the city is “now firmly in the third wave of COVID-19, and we’re all paying for the decisions of the unvaccinated.”

Also in Worcester: Top brass at UMass Memorial Health appealed leaders at St. Vincent Hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association to come to an agreement and end a strike that has run almost 200 days, reports Telegram & Gazette’s Cyrus Moulton

UMass Memorial Health President and CEO Dr. Eric Dickson said “we’re at crisis situation now. We need to get those 600 nurses that are on the sidelines back to work, and get those beds open.”

An optimistic outlook

Though the three Black Boston mayoral candidates did not advance to the November election, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley offered optimistic remarks about Black representation in state politics during an appearance GBH’s “Boston Public Radio,” reports GBH News’ Aidan Connelly.

GBH News

Still cruising: Bay State DA’s continue to enjoy leased car perk phased out for most others

They’re now the outliers. Heather Bellow of the Berkshire Eagle reports that six of the Bay State’s 11 district attorneys continue to enjoy state-funded vehicle leases — a perk that has been phased out for most other state employees as a cost-cutting measure. The DA’s have collectively spent $100,000 on leased take-home vehicles since the start of 2019, money that one watchdog group calls “not a very good use of taxpayer money.”

Berkshire Eagle

New election system in Lowell set for Tuesday’s preliminary

There’s a first time for everything. Lowell city officials are preparing for the city’s first run of a new election system during this Tuesday’s preliminary. Lowell Sun’s Alana Melanson reports that voters in four districts will help narrow a field of 13 city council candidates.

Lowell Sun

Truth tellers: Local PAC forms to check facts in Salem

They’ll be listening. A group of former elected officials and activists in Salem have formed a local Political Action Committee whose sole focus will be on setting the record straight when misinformation rears its ugly head, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. Salem 4 All, led by former city councilor and onetime Congressional candidate Lisa Peterson, formed after rumors and accusations began flying during the city’s recent preliminary election.

Salem News

Maps, maps, and more maps

Did we mention maps? Steve Koczela and Rich Parr, writing for WBUR, drew up some maps that explain Boston’s preliminary mayoral election. So if you like diving into the details and pouring over data, here’s a few maps and graphs that breakdown last week’s contest.


No vax mandate rally held outside State House

If you weren’t in Beacon Hill Friday you may have missed the roughly 400 people who gathered outside the State House to rally against Gov. Charlie Baker’s requirement that some state employees must get the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-October. Boston Globe’s Dugan Arnett has more on what he describes as a “slate of impassioned, oftentimes rambling speeches.”

Boston Globe

A 73-year-old man and an enraged beaver

Ever seen a beaver? They look kind of cute, right? Well, a 73-year-old Greenfield man was out on a leisurely swim in Franklin County when he got into a fight with an enraged beaver, reports MassLive’s Patrick Johnson. The man is recovering from his injuries after he came close to drowning.


Targeted: Taunton Mayor O’Connell has ID stolen in unemployment scam

The city of Taunton says it has rooted out $190,000 worth of fraudulent unemployment claims filed in the wake of pandemic-spurred layoffs that used the names of real city employees — including Mayor Shauna O’Connell — to seek fake payouts. Chris Helms of the Taunton Daily Gazette has the details.

Taunton Daily Gazette

Today’s Headlines


Hundreds of students protest outside UMass fraternity house alleging sexual assault – Boston Globe

From ‘Sound of Silence’ to killing the music to TikTok: WBZ at 100 – Boston Business Journal

Vaccine mandate for 18,000 Boston workers rolls out Monday – Boston Herald


7 compete for Holyoke mayor in Tuesday preliminary – MassLive

Evictions happening less today than pre-COVID – CommonWealth

Lawmaker seeks ‘Made in America’ building rules – Eagle-Tribune


Liberals get ready to grab wheel of Dem agenda – Politico

A Single Fire Killed Thousands Of Sequoias. Scientists Are Racing To Save The Rest – NPR

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