Happening Today

10 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker visits the Springfield YWCA to hear stories from survivors of violent crimes who would benefit from his legislation to update the state’s dangerousness statutes.

10:30 a.m. | Coalition for Homeless Individuals holds a legislative briefing on the issues and needs of the provider system charged with responding to homelessness.

3:30 p.m. | Massport, Consulate General of Italy in Boston, and ITA Airways officials celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight to Boston Logan International Airport beginning nonstop service between Boston and Rome.

6:30 p.m. | Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl holds meet and greet with voters in Wareham.

Today’s Stories

Good morning.

Yesterday, MLB pushed back Opening Day as labor talks faltered with the players and President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union last night at a precarious moment in his presidency, with the COVID-19 pandemic waning, inflation driving up prices for everyday goods and the war in Ukraine testing western countries in ways not seen since World War II.

In case you missed the speech, the New York Times said the president focused on unity, both at home and abroad, and promised to make Russian President Vladimir Putin “pay a price.”

Today in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker will visit the Springfield YWCA for a roundtable discussion with survivors of violent crimes to hear their stories and reinforce the need for legislation he filed to make it easier to detain dangerous criminals and to criminalize the distribution of sexually explicit images without consent.

Baker in recent days has turned to Twitter to amplify his push for the Legislature to consider his package of criminal justice reforms, sharing videos of survivors telling their stories. The message? Don’t take my word for it, take theirs.

He’ll hear more stories (and get more content for his feed) beginning at 10 a.m.

Baker’s two bills were on the agenda for talks between the governor and top House and Senate Democrats on Monday, but while House Speaker Ron Mariano has showed sincere interest in Baker’s so-called “revenge porn” bill, he and Senate President Karen Spilka have said far less about his dangerousness bill.

The Act to Protect Victims of Crimes and the Public, which Baker first proposed back in 2018, would expand the list of offenses that could be used as grounds for a dangerousness hearing to hold someone who poses a potential threat to include crimes of sexual abuse and threats of violence. It would also allow police to detain people observed violating court-ordered release conditions such as a stay-away order, rather than waiting for a court-issued warrant.

In the video pinned to the top of Baker’s official Twitter account, a woman can be heard telling Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito that if their bill had passed her attacker would not have been free to break into her home last November and violently assault her.

“This survivor was violently attacked by her abuser who had been released from custody, despite having convictions for offenses like first-degree murder, escaping from prison and kidnapping. That is unacceptable,” Baker wrote.

Hot potato: Goldberg tells lawmakers she can’t divest from Russia on her own

After a bipartisan coalition of 58 lawmakers urged her to immediately divest the state’s pension funds from Russian investments, Treasurer Deb Goldberg dropped the issue right back in their lap, saying the Legislature will have to take action to purge the assets, The Herald’s Amy Sokolow and Christian Wade of the Salem News have more.

That’s the ticket? Doughty taps former lawmaker as ‘running mate’

Former Republican state Rep. Kate Campanale has launched a bid to become the next lieutenant governor and says she will run on an informal ticket with gubernatorial hopeful Chris Doughty. Matt Murphy of State House News Service reports how the move adds an extra layer of intrigue to the GOP primary battle between Doughty and former lawmaker Geoff Diehl.

Campanale left the Legislature in 2018 for an unsuccessful bid for Worcester County register of deeds and currently works in the Baker administration. Diehl is said to also be looking for a running mate, though his campaign gave no update on that process Tuesday.

The Globe’s Matt Stout and Samantha Gross report the duo sought to use the announcement as a chance to portray themselves as Republicans independent from both the party’s national brand and the incumbent GOP governor and focused on problem solving, while the Telegram’s Marco Cartolano reports the news is music to the ears of many Central Mass. officials who have become accustomed to having an advocate in the corner office in current Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, a Shrewsbury resident.

From the archives…..

Voters in the 17th Worcester District first sent Campanale to Beacon Hill back in 2014 to fill a vacant seat during a cycle that saw the GOP make modest gains in the House, as Gintautas Dumcius reported for State House News Service at the time.

State House News Service

Most of Boston mask mandate to end Saturday…..

It’s almost safe to show your face again. After Saturday, face masks will no longer be required to enter most businesses and venues in the city of Boston after the Public Health Commission voted unanimously to drop the mandate as coronavirus caseloads and hospitalizations fall, the Globe’s Jeremy Fox and Anissa Gardizy report.

The Boston Globe

…but not quite everywhere

Saraya Wintersmith of GBH reports the vote does not apply to the city’s schools, though that mandate could fall in coming days as well.

GBH News

As Harvard hits mid-terms, long waits for mental health help

The pandemic is a drag, exhibit infinity: Harvard students are being told they may have to wait as long as six weeks for a therapy appointment through the health services department as two years of living through a public health emergency drive both a surge in demand and a shortage of qualified counselors. Lucas Walsh and Vivian Zhao of the Crimson have the details.

Harvard Crimson

Play ball (sort of): WooSox’ second season faces lockout impacts

The Worcester Red Sox should start their second-ever season on time in April even after Major League Baseball owners said they would push back Opening Day and cancel some early-season games amid a labor dispute with players, the Telegram’s Joe McDonald reports. The Polar Park home opener is April 12.

Telegram & Gazette

Purdue says money does make you happy

Data from a Purdue University study suggests the minimum salary one needs to be happy in Massachusetts is just a tick below $140,000, MassLive’s Cassie McGrath reports. That’s likely bad news for a lot of residents since the median income is closer to $80K.


EPA tells GE it can move on Housatonic River cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has informed GE it can proceed with a controversial plan to bury as much as 1 million cubic yards of contaminated soil in a Lee landfill, even though the plan continues to face legal challenges from area residents. Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle unpacks the state of play.

Berkshire Eagle

Girded for battle: Healey war chest swells to $4.2M

Attorney General Maura Healey says her gubernatorial campaign raised more than $400,000 again in January, growing her campaign account to more than $4.2 million, 12 times that of Democratic rival Sonia Chang-Diaz, Alison Kuznitz of MassLive reports. The Republican gubernatorial hopefuls have yet to disclose their February fundraising figures.


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