Happening Today

10 a.m. | Massachusetts Workforce Association hosts a virtual policy briefing to discuss the group’s fiscal 2023 budget priorities and findings in a Boston Indicators report about the state labor market

10 a.m. | Mass. Gaming Commission meets for what will be Commissioner Gayle Cameron’s final meeting and Commissioner Nakisha Skinner’s first.

10 a.m. | Organizers plan a “We Are A State of Love: A Gathering of Visible Solidarity With LGBTQ Youth” event outside the State House as part of International Transgender Day of Visibility.

10 a.m. | AdMeTech Foundation holds 13th annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day featuring virtual remarks from House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka.

11 a.m. | Senate meets in a formal session; House meets in an informal session.

Today’s Stories

Good morning.

Have you ever ridden an electric bicycle? They look like regular bikes except they typically have a small battery and motor that in most cases either helps people pedal or powers the wheels entirely. They’ve been growing in popularity of late and are seen all over downtowns.

In Boston, they’re viewed as one solution to congestion caused by the rise in on-demand delivery services. At a rally in front of the State House yesterday hosted by Boston Cyclists Union, Boston Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge said the Wu administration is wrestling with challenges presented by the large number of vehicles working for app-based delivery services.

E-bikes, he said, could play a role in clearing up the streets.

“It is fundamentally, from a transportation perspective, ridiculous that we’re using 4,000 pound fossil fuel vehicles to move a chicken sandwich or a bowl of Thai food one or two miles through our very congested city,” he said. “We think that e-bikes have a role to play in delivery and in commercial services in the city as well.”

It’s an interesting concept that has drawn the attention of lawmakers on Beacon Hill, where a bill filed by a trio of Democrats would classify electric bicycles into three different categories. The idea is that by defining different types of e-bikes in state law, municipalities would have a legal framework to regulate their use.

Franklin-Hodge says the legislation would help Boston set up programs for e-bikes, allow bicycle sharing companies like Bluebikes to start offering e-bikes at their rental stations.

The bill faces a Friday deadline to move out of committee, and Boston Globe’s Taylor Dolven reports Rep. William Straus, co-chair of the Transportation Committee, said he’s confident the legislation will move forward. The Senate is also preparing to consider an energy bill in April that Senate President Karen Spilka has said will have an electric vehicle component — but she didn’t say how many wheels.

Drama-free: Tom Golden named Lowell city manager

State Rep. Tom Golden will be the next city manager of Lowell after the City Council voted unanimously to offer him the position and begin contract negotiations, Jacob Vitali of the Sun reports. The vote came after a two-hour interview in which Golden emphasized his local roots and his experience in dealing with many of the issues facing the city. 

Golden is the second straight manager the city has plucked from the legislature after outgoing manager Eileen Donoghue left the state Senate for the job. After several years of chairing the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee, Golden joined Speaker Ron Mariano’s leadership team last year as a division leader. His impending resignation will give Mariano another top slot on his team to fill, but it could be the last departure of the cycle.

Lowell Sun

Boston City Council approves protest restrictions

Boston City Councilors voted 9-4 Wednesday to approve an ordinance restricting hours people can protest outside private residences. Boston Globe’s Danny McDonald reports the proposal would bar people from demonstrating at private homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. Critics of the idea say it may infringe on First Amendment rights.

GBH News’ Adam Reilly writes about how the ordinance stemmed from protests outside Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s house. The proposal, filed by Wu, would fine people $50 for a first violation and $300 for third and subsequent violations.  It now goes to the mayor’s desk for her signature.

‘Processing:’ Rock nods to Oscar slap, but mostly sticks to script in Boston show

In his first show since the instantly infamous Oscar slap, Chris Rock spent little time addressing the weekend’s events, telling a raucous crowd at the WIlbur Theater he is “still processing” what happened on the awards show stage, the Globe’s James Sullivan and Flint McColgan of the Herald report. Still, Rock was welcomed with standing ovations and once again showed grace under pressure when a disturbance broke out that brought Boston police to the venue.

Jasiel Correia’s attorneys filed his appeal

More than 10 months after he was convicted and just moments before the deadline, attorneys for former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia have filed an appeal, seeking a new trial for the ex-politician. Jo C. Goode of the Herald-News reports attorneys argue prosecutors biased the jury in the case by presenting fraud allegations from Correia’s SnoOwl business venture alongside those relating to his handling of cannabis licensing during his time as mayor. Correia is due to report to federal prison next week unless he’s granted a seventh delay.

Herald News

Military plane’s ‘unplanned stop’ prompts investigation

A U.S. Air Force reserve unit out of Mississippi is investigating an “unplanned stop” by one of its cargo planes at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport last week that reportedly had the island buzzing. Martha’s Vineyard Times’ George Brennan and Rich Saltzberg report the plane stopped only briefly and picked up a motorcycle before taking off again, sparking wild speculation on social media about who the bike belonged to.

Martha’s Vineyard Times

Massachusetts could be heading back to all-Democrat control

Massachusetts is getting a call from 2014, the last time the Commonwealth was a single-party state. GBH News’ Alexi Cohan writes that with Gov. Charlie Baker exiting the stage, Massachusetts will likely be controlled by a Democratic governor and a Legislature that boasts a Democratic super-majority.

The last time this happened was from 2007 through 2014 when former Gov. Deval Patrick was in office.

GBH News

Barnstable paid out over $500K to settle claims against police

Barnstable has paid over half-a-million dollars since 2017 to settle claims against its police department. Cape Cod Times’ Jeannette Hinkle reports most of the money was paid by the town’s insurers, but that taxpayers could still end up footing the bill.

Cape Cod Times

The Democrats are back

House Democrats were back in the building Wednesday for their first in-person caucus in two years. State House News Service’s Katie Lannan reports House Speaker Ronald Mariano said there was “a little excitement in the room” as they gathered to discuss a local road and bridge repair funding the bill the branch ended up passing later in the day.

State House News Service

Judge revives suit over remote learning at Harvard Law

A judge has given new life to a lawsuit filed in 2020 that sought tuition reimbursement for students at Harvard Law School and two other graduate schools after the university went fully remote at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Cara Chang and Isabella Cho of the Harvard Crimson report.

Harvard Crimson

Mariano backs Andrea Campbell’s AG bid

House Speaker Ronald Mariano has another endorsement to show off. MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports the House’s top Democrat backed Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell in her bid to become the state’s next attorney general.


Today’s Headlines


To live on or off campus in Worcester: College students weigh costs and benefits – Telegram & Gazette

Councilors want Boston to build a municipal online marketplace to help small businesses fend off the Amazons and Grubhubs of the world – Universal Hub

Seven Massachusetts state troopers can’t yet be fired over coronavirus vaccine mandate, judge rules – Boston Herald


Trahan urges renewal of suicide prevention programs – Salem News


Biden expected to announce massive release of oil reserves – Washington Post

A former Yale employee admits she stole $40 million in electronics from the university – NPR

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