Happening Today

8:20 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu joins GBH’s Morning Edition with hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel.

9:30 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker is joined by Transportation Jamey Tesler, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Stephen Lynch  and others to break ground on the MBTA’s new Quincy Bus Maintenance Facility and highlight federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments.

10 a.m. | U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan hosts Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator for New England David Cash in Lowell to highlight federal wastewater infrastructure funding Massachusetts will get from the recent federal infrastructure law. 

11 a.m. | House holds an informal session and Senate meets without a calendar.

1 p.m. | Election Modernization Coalition holds a press conference at the State House to call on the conference committee negotiating Senate and House versions of voting bills to include compromise language that would allow voters to register on election day, but not on early-voting days.

2 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ronald Mariano, and other legislative leaders meet privately at the State House. A media availability follows.

Today’s Stories

Happy Monday! Did you watch the Super Bowl?

For you non-football fans, the L.A. Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 last night in Los Angeles, but all Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Ronald Mariano saw were missed opportunities for the Bay State to cash in.

Baker and Mariano used the occasion of the big game to once again make their case for legal sports betting in Massachusetts. In separate statements on social media, the pair pointed to what they say are millions in revenue Massachusetts is losing to neighboring states who have legalized the practice.

Case in point: DraftKings on Friday said that as of last Thursday 26 percent of wagers made in New Hampshire on the game had come from bettors with Massachusetts addresses. 

“MA is losing out to neighboring states on this, especially during big games,” Baker said on Twitter. “Enjoy the Super Bowl, and let’s make sports gaming happen!”

Baker referenced bills he’s filed in 2019 and last year to make sports gambling legal, and the House has twice passed bills but each time the effort has stalled in the Senate. 

An advocate in the Senate for the measure, Sen. Eric Lesser, said at a MASSterList virtual forum in the fall that it’s still “a top-tier issue,” though it didn’t feature on Senate President Karen Spilka’s list of fall priorities and hasn’t surfaced in the chamber in 2022.

Mariano said residents “must still cross state lines in order to legally place a bet,” a common refrain from supporters of sports gaming here with its legal in places like New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.

“It is long past time for that legislation to become law,” Mariano tweeted.

Rev those campaign engines….

Secretary of State William Galvin said nomination papers for candidates running will be available starting at 10 a.m. from his Boston office at One Ashburton Place after Gov. Charlie Baker over the weekend signed off on legislation that set the date for this year’s primaries on Sept. 6.

The papers candidates use to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot will be available in Galvin’s regional offices in Springfield and Fall River, and select city and town election offices later in the week. Candidates for district and county offices have until May 3 to gather enough voters signatures to make the ballot, while statewide and Congressional candidates have until May 10.

Baker signed off on the primary date as part of a $101 million COVID-19 relief spending bill that had money for masks, vaccine distribution and testing, but objected to some of the deadlines the Legislature tried to set for him.

The governor said it would be “simply unrealistic” to expect him to distribute $25 million worth of masks to schools, nursing homes and other facilities by Feb. 28, and called it similarly “unworkable” to think he could allocate $50 million to health care providers and municipalities for vaccine distribution and testing by the end of the month.

Baker also sent back some amendments to the bill, including one regarding the “unrealistic” expectation that he eliminate racial and other disparities in vaccination within 120 days.

The ‘wrong button got pushed’

Sometimes email can be tricky. City of Boston officials learned that the hard way. Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports officials with the city hit the “wrong button” and blasted out information about workers’ positive COVID-19 tests and unvaccinated status to about 100 people.

Boston Herald

Elected leaders push for an update to Massachusetts’ wiretapping law

What does 1992 and 2022 have in common? Two separate pushes by top political leaders in Massachusetts to update the state’s wiretap statute, of course. Boston Globe’s Samantha J. Gross reports that Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and the state’s 11 elected district attorneys are pushing the Legislature to update the law.

More from Gross: “Proponents say an update is just common sense, noting that vast technological advancements and changes in types of crimes being committed since 1968 demand new language in the law.”

Boston Globe

Not yet: Another prison reprieve for Correia

Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia will remain free until at least March 4 after a federal judge granted another last-minute delay to his reporting date and left open the door to allowing him to remain free while his appeal of federal fraud charges is heard, Jo C. Goode of the Herald-News reports.

Herald News

Lawmakers concerned about rural school funding

The governor’s fiscal 2023 budget includes a $485 million bump in funding for public K-12 schools. But some Berkshire County lawmakers are concerned the unique needs of rural districts aren’t addressed in the proposal. Sophie Moritz for the Berkshire Eagle reports rural schools are facing increasing costs as enrollment numbers drop.

Berkshire Eagle

This day in history: Full-circle in Lowell

On this day in 2018, then state Sen. Eileen Donoghue was still being cagey about whether she was about to resign her seat to become the new city manager in Lowell, telling Colin Young of State House News Service she had made no determination.

Four years later, with the contract she signed in the spring of 2018 about to expire, the Lowell Sun reports Donoghue’s about to be on the move again.

Talking with riders of the fare-free Route 28 bus

A random series of interviews of people on the MBTA’s Route 28 bus — which is now fare-free under a city pilot program — revealed commuters are glad they can ride the bus for free but wonder how long it will last. The two-year pilot program is being paid for with federal ARPA dollars. Sebastian Jaramillo for CommonWealth reports some people waiting for and riding the bus expressed concern over who will cover the cost of the program when the pilot expires.


Fibbing for a vaccine

If you’re a parent looking to get your 4-year-old vaccinated, to what lengths would you go? WBUR’s Gabrielle Emanuel reports that some parents are fibbing about their children’s age to get their kids vaccinated after the FDA postponed a review of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for kids under five.


Lock him up: Feds seek prison term for former Boston Grand Prix CEO

Federal prosecutors will ask a judge to sentence John F. Casey –- best known for an ill-fated plan to bring an IndyCar race to South Boston –- to nearly eight years in prison on a host of fraud-related violations, some of which stem from when he was already on house arrest after previous convictions. Julie Manganis of the Salem News has the details.

Salem News

Worcester keeping an eye on Lake Quinsigamond after sewage discharge

Officials in Worcester are monitoring Lake Quinsigamond after roughly 4 million gallons of sewage were released into the body of water last week. Telegram & Gazette’s Marco Cartolano reports city officials do not expect significant long-term issues for public recreation or wildlife but are keeping a keen eye on the lake.

Telegram & Gazette

Health agent resigned after perceived ‘death threat’

Former Oak Bluffs Health Agent Meegan Lancaster says she resigned from her position last week after someone left ammunition shell casings in her tote bag –- an action she took as a direct threat on her life, Rich Salzberg and Brian Dowd of the Martha’s Vineyard Times report.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Innovators Charter School backs off state approval bid

After months of debate, the group behind the Innovators Charter School in New Bedford said they would withdraw their application for state approval. Herald News’ Audrey Cooney reports opponents declared victory, saying they “felt like we made history.”

More from Cooney: “Last year, the group behind Innovators Charter School announced it was seeking to open a 6th through 12th grade school in either New Bedford or Fall River, but most likely New Bedford, which would focus on STEM education and early college classes. Students would have had to [sic] chance to graduate from high school with an associate degree. If they received state approval, the school planned to open this coming September.”

Herald News

Today’s Headlines


Boston calling remote city workers back for in-person work with omicron on retreat – Boston Herald

A month after the tents were cleared in Mass. and Cass, signs of tumult, and hope – Boston Globe

Short-term rentals are a cash cow for Great Barrington, but some residents want stricter regulations – Berkshire Eagle


Survey: Amherst tops liberal arts colleges in Black admissions – Daily Hampshire Gazette


Ambassador Bridge officially reopens after 7 days of protest – Detroit News

No, you haven’t heard the last of Andrew Cuomo – Politico

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