Happening Today

Formal sessions, committee hearings, and more

9 a.m. | Election Laws Committee holds hearing on nine bills related to jail-based voting.

11 a.m. | House meets in a full formal session to consider a new draft of Senate-approved legislation establishing cage-free egg standards.

10 a.m. | Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights, an alliance of drivers, delivery workers, civil rights, labor and community groups, holds rally in front of State House ahead of public hearing on H 1234 to announce new supporters of the coalition.

11 a.m. | Four bills concerning rights, pay and benefits for app-based drivers are on the agenda at a virtual Joint Committee on Financial Services hearing.

1 p.m. | Senate convenes a full formal session to consider an election reform bill that would permanently authorize mail-in voting and expanded early voting, implement same-day voter registration, and increase ballot access for people with disabilities and eligible incarcerated voters.

Today’s Stories

A brief guide to today’s House and Senate sessions

The House and Senate both meet in formal sessions today. Here’s a quick rundown of what each branch is doing and why it matters:

Legislation already approved in the Senate that establishes cage-free egg standards will come before representatives in the House. As State House News Service’s Michael P. Norton reports, the bill institutes standards for the amount of space required to keep pigs, calves, and egg-laying hens.

The legislation stems from a 2016 ballot-question related to animal welfare. Advocates of the bill slated for debate today say rules and practices have changed since voters approved the question such as the use of vertical aviaries.

Across the hall and later in the afternoon, Senators plan to debate voting reform legislation that makes permanent many of the pandemic-era measures like early voting by mail and expanded early voting. The bill also seeks to implement same-day voter registration.

As GBH News’ Mike Deehan explained yesterday during an appearance on “All Things Considered,” expect some of today’s debate to center on how prisoners and inmates vote and how they are registered.

Want to watch tomorrow’s sessions? Find the House livestream here and the Senate’s here.

Trump endorses Diehl in guv race

A former president is stepping into the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican candidate Geoff Diehl Tuesday evening, reports Boston Herald’s Joe Dwinell and Erin Tiernan. Trump also slammed Gov. Charlie Baker in his endorsement email. 

Boston Herald

More to be done with the T

There’s work to be done to make the MBTA safer. That’s the message from MBTA Manager Steve Poftak, who appeared on WBUR’s Radio Boston Tuesday. Boston Globe’s Taylor Dolven has more of Poftak’s interview.

Boston Globe

September tax revenue data is in

The state brought in just under $4 billion in tax revenues last month. State House News Service’s Colin A. Young reports that the haul was 27 percent greater than actual collections in September 2020.

State House News Service

Encouraging but not time to let guard down

Recent trends in COVID-19 data look encouraging. But as Boston Globe’s Martin Finucane and Ryan Huddle report, experts say it may be too soon to celebrate. The pair spoke to several doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, who say it’s not time for people to let their guard down.

Boston Globe

Mask mandate takes effect in Holyoke

If you’re reading this newsletter in Holyoke this morning, keep in mind that an indoor mask mandate took effect just after midnight today. MassLive’s Dennis Hohenberger reports that the city’s Board of Health imposed the mandate as a result of the Delta variant.

More from Hohenberger: “Regardless of vaccination status, anyone 2 years and older must wear a mask in public indoor spaces. However, exceptions apply for persons with underlying health or safety issues.”


Small potatoes: Major would-be gubernatorial candidates yet to ramp up fundraising

The holding pattern continues. Gov. Charlie Baker had his strongest campaign fundraising month in a while in September, but the levels of cash being brought him by him and the biggest-name potential Democratic challengers continue to strike observers as “chump change,” extending the state’s political world’s wait to see what shoes drop first well into the fall, Erin Tiernan of the Herald reports.

Boston Herald

River of revenue: State blows past forecasts in September

Not too shabby. The Mass. Department of Revenue says state tax revenues in September reached $3.99 billion, crushing administration forecasts by more than 14 percent, led by surges in meals and corporate and business taxes. Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth has the details.

Fired: Milford board terminates police chief over traffic stop

You can’t do that. The Milford Select Board has voted 3-0 to fire Police Chief Michael Pighetti, saying he violated his contract and exercised authority he did not have when he stopped a motorist back in January, Lauren Young of the MetroWest Daily News reports. 

MetroWest Daily News

PAC vs PAC: Groups take opposite sides in Holyoke election

They’re not on the ballot, but could sway the outcome. Dusty Christensen of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that two local political action committees in Holyoke are backing competing slates of candidates in next month’s city election from opposite ends of the political spectrum. 

Making progress: Report says Bay State companies reducing toxic chemical use

A report from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection says that companies in the state are using and producing 60 percent fewer toxic chemicals than a decade ago, Christian Wade of the Gloucester Times reports. 

Today’s Headlines


Lynn floats idea of waterfront park – Lynn Item

Brookline Town Meeting approves $11 million to settle racial discrimination lawsuit – Boston Globe


Watchdogs Want Reserve To Audit ARPA Spending – State House News Service

Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini tests positive for COVID-19 – Eagle-Tribune

Former Wrentham resident Gail Huff Brown, wife of ex-Sen. Scott Brown, running for Congress in NH – Sun Chronicle


Trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted at the last minute – Axios

Biden backs Powell amid Warren criticism – The Hill

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