10 a.m. | Boston Athletic Association holds a public safety press conference ahead of the 125th Boston Marathon
10 a.m. | Joint Committee on Higher Education holds a hearing to consider seven bills aimed at combating student hunger and a Workforce Opportunity Scholarship program
11 a.m. | House and Senate hold informal sessions
12 p.m. | Commission for the Blind and the MBTA host a transportation access town hall
4 p.m. | Boston Mayor Kim Janey speaks with reporters at a public health and safety presser
7 p.m. | Arlington officials hold a “Living With Coyotes” meeting following recent encounters with the prairie wolves
Good morning and congratulations on making it over the hump. You’re that much closer to a long weekend. I’m Matt Murphy, and I’ll be your pilot until then, filling in for Chris Van Buskirk for the rest of this week.
First thing’s first. If you’re anything like me, you’re still basking in the glow of the Red Sox eliminating the Yankees from the playoffs Tuesday night, and the prospect of more October baseball.
Sox Manager Alex Cora hands the ball to Eduardo Rodriguez to start Game 1 of the ALDS tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays and left-handed rookie Shane McClanahan at the Trop. First pitch is at 8:07 p.m.
But before then, the House and Senate have informal sessions today after both taking care of their most substantive business for the week on Wednesday.
The House passed a new version of legislation that would amend the 2016 animal welfare ballot law that set humane standards for the confinement of hens, pigs and calves. The tweaks are intended to avert what some have dubbed “egg-mageddon,” which would happen in the new year if egg producers that have already conformed to different standards in other states stop exporting into Massachusetts.
Animal rights groups and commercial farmers are on the same page on this one, but the House and Senate also must find common ground over the next six weeks. They’re not that far apart.
The trickier compromise for Legislative Democrats more likely involves expanded voting options.
The Senate debated into the early evening Wednesday before passing the VOTES Act on a strict party-line vote of 36-3. One of the amendments adopted over the course of the day was Sen. Adam Hinds’ proposal to strengthen voting rights for eligible prisoners in state jails. The House and Senate will most likely have little trouble agreeing to expanded early voting and mail-in voting provisions, but one sticking point could be same-day voter registration.
Gov. Charlie Baker opposes same-day voter registration, and during its debate on the pandemic elections bill of June 2020, the House rejected a same-day amendment on a 16-139 vote.
“We’ll see what happens when we begin the debate,” House Speaker Ron Mariano said Monday.
The “Big Lie” and the Big Shrug
A day after Republican Geoff Diehl claimed the 2020 election was “rigged,” former President Donald Trump was there with an endorsement for the gubernatorial candidate and plenty of jabs at Gov. Charlie Baker. Politico’s Lisa Kashinsky and Stephanie Murray take a closer look at what Trump’s involvement could mean for Baker if he runs for a third term, and whether it might actually help. “Sometimes it is good to have a foe,” former GOP Gov. Jane Swift said.
Hospital Staffing Shortages About to Get Worse?
The resistance to vaccine mandates put up by unions representing the State Police and correction officers has gotten plenty of attention. But private hospitals are also dealing with vaccine holdouts. The Boston Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports that hospital systems around the state are bracing for the possibility that hundreds of staff will have to be fired for failure to comply with organizational vaccine mandates. At Mass General Brigham, that number is nearly 4,000 that have not yet shown proof of vaccination ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline.
Not UI Business Relief
Business trade groups and Gov. Charlie Baker have been pressuring lawmakers to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay off some of the long-term unemployment insurance debt employers will owe due to high pandemic-related unemployment. But before that decision is made, the Boston Business Journal says employers will see some relief in their paid family and medical leave programs costs due to the healthy balance being carried in the state fund used to pay benefits. BBJ’s Greg Ryan has the details.
Wu’s Got The Money
Heading into the final full month of their campaign for Boston mayor, City Councilor Michelle Wu had more cash at her disposal than her rival City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George. GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith reports that Wu outraised and outspent Essaibi George in September and had more money in the bank at the end of the month.
Bad ratio? Moulton among lawmakers facing ethics complaints over PAC spending
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is among three members of Congress who have been hit with an ethics complaint from a watchdog group that says the North Shore lawmaker used his leadership PAC to fund personal vacations at swanky hotels and other perks, Christian Wade of the Salem News reports. The Campaign Legal Center says just 8 percent of the $1.7 million in spending from Moulton’s Serve America went to political activities. Moulton says the group’s analysis doesn’t capture the value of his PAC directing donors to give directly to candidates.
Test case? Cambridge widow seeks death benefits over Covid death
The widow of a former Cambridge school custodian who died from Covid-19 in December is seeking accidental death benefits from the public pension system, a claim her lawyer says is the first of its kind in the state. Cambridge Day’s Sue Reinert reports the city’s Retirement Board is recommending the benefits be granted after seeing “convincing evidence” that James “Jimmy” Ravanis was infected with the coronavirus while at work.
No more: Striking nurses officially lose unemployment benefits
It’s official. The Department of Unemployment Assistance has ruled that unemployment benefits for nurses on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester ended on Aug. 7 and said some nurses may have to return payment received after that date, the Worcester Business Journal’s Katherine Hamilton reports.
Late change: Pushback after Janey makes Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Boston
Time to update your calendars. Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey has signed an executive order designated next Monday’s federal and state holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day, a move that immediately drew a rebuke from City Councilor Lydia Edwards and others, the Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter reports.
Succession plan: McGee endorses Nicholson to follow him to mayor’s office
Outgoing Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee has waded into the race to replace him, endorsing School Committee member Jared Nicholson, who will face off against City Council President Darren Cyr on Nov. 2, Allysha Dunnigan of the Lynn Item reports.
Boston Superintendent Cassellius announces group to tackle busing woes, school assignment, start times – Boston Globe
Operator involved in MBTA trolley crash pleads not guilty – WBUR
Cannabis farmers market coming to Worcester; medical and recreational pot for sale – Telegram & Gazette
Workers strike at North Shore Music Theatre – Gloucester Times
Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association moves to unionize – Berkshire Eagle
Debt Ceiling Fight Gives Democrats Ammunition Against Filibuster – New York Times
Federal judge blocks enforcement of Texas law banning abortion as early as six weeks – Washington Post
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