Today | State and local offices are closed in recognition of Indigenous People's Day
11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends a ribbon cutting ceremony for the reopening of the Huntington Theatre
Attorney General Maura Healey has been a consistent supporter of Question 1 to add a surtax on income over $1 million, but in an interview Sunday she also put a marker down on how she believes the new revenue should be spent if the measure passes.
Not only did Healey, the Democratic nominee for governor, say it’s clear the money should be spent on education and infrastructure, but she said the spending should come on top of what’s already being used to support schools, roads and bridges.
“In addition, that’s right,” Healey said during an appearance on WCVB’s “On the Record” in a warm up for her first debate against Republican gubernatorial hopeful Geoff Diehl on Wednesday night.
The comment is one that could be looked back upon in a couple years (assuming she’s governor and Q1 is the law) when the next governor and Legislature start working together to decide where to direct money from the 4 percent surtax, which has been estimated to be worth anywhere from $1.3 billion to $2 billion annually. The new tax, if approved, would only start to apply on income earned in tax year 2023, so it wouldn’t factor heavily into Healey’s first state budget proposal.
But some Democratic leaders recently have hedged on how the money would be spent. House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, for instance, raised the specter in an interview with the Globe that in lean years money may need to be moved around to plug other holes in the budget.
Healey also discussed the recent deposit of migrants from Venezuela on Martha Vineyard, calling it a “political stunt” by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a ploy to gain attention and dollars for a possible presidential bid.
While Healey said she was “heartened” by the response of the Vineyard and Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration to welcome and support the migrants, she stopped short of saying whether Massachusetts should encourage other border-crossers to make the state their home.
“What I really encourage and what this points to is the need for comprehensive national immigration reform. Congress needs to act,” Healey said.
Healey, in fact, gave credit to Baker numerous times throughout the interview, which is something his own Republican party and candidate for governor has been loath to do. She applauded his work on climate change, and called on the Legislature to pass the package of tax reforms initially put forward by Baker as soon as possible.
The Democrat mentioned reforms to the estate tax and tax breaks for renters, but did not say whether she would support spending an additional $500 million in refunds on top of the nearly $3 billion to be returned under the 1986 revenue cap law.
She also declined to say whether after this year the tax cap law, known as 62F, should be scrapped or amended, as some lawmakers have called for changes to deliver greater relief to taxpayers on the lower end of the income bracket.
“I’m not sure about that. Ultimately, it will be up to the Legislature to decide,” Healey said.
— Inflation consuming raises for many workers
Did you get a raise this year and wonder what you spent it on? The Globe’s Katie Johnston reports that you’re not alone. Despite businesses offering workers increased salaries to stay or come on board as shortages increase demand for qualified help, inflation has eaten up much of the new salary for employees, leaving them still struggling to get ahead of rising bills for food, heat, gas and other daily expenses. Johnston writes that nationwide 61 percent of workers saw their pay increase over the last year, but prices have also gone up an average of 8.3 percent.
— Nantucket next? Island officials say migrant flight may arrive Tues.
The island of Nantucket is on alert after the local airport said they’ve been notified of a flight arriving Tuesday that is being operated by the same company that delivered a planeload of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last month. The flight was reported as a business flight for a group out of Chicago, but the scant details available bear enough of a resemblance to those received about the flight organized by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis carrying nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants to raise suspicion. Town officials say if more migrants do arrive, a detailed plan is in place to respond and support them. Zane Razzaq of the Cape Cod Times and the Inquirer & Mirror’s Dean Geddes have the details.
— Joint Base Cape Cod shelter closed as migrants move on
As for the nearly 50 migrants who landed on the Vineyard, MassLive’s Chris Van Buskirk reports that as of Friday the Baker administration had successfully transitioned all remaining individuals and families off Joint Base Cape Cod. The military base had been opened, with help from the National Guard, as a temporary place to house and provide food and support services to the migrants after they arrived. Some ended up leaving for opportunities in other states, while others relocated within Massachusetts.
— Abortion care deserts still an issue in Massachusetts
Ever since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Massachusetts has been held out by its leaders as an oasis of reproductive health rights. The Legislature passed laws to ensure that abortion would remain legal here and that women travelling from other states for care could feel safe. But the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports that for many women living in Massachusetts legal and accessible are not the same thing, and many seeking abortion must still travel great distances, some more than 100 miles, to find a provider who can and will give them the care they seek.
— Sport betting timeline pegged to Super Bowl, March Madness
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission convened an emergency session on Friday to continue its debate over how fast it should expect to roll out sports betting. Regulators eventually settled on a timeline that would see in-person betting commence at the state’s casinos and slot parlor in late January, report SHNS’s Colin A. Young, while mobile sport betting would not come online until March. The sequencing means bettors will miss almost the entirety of the NFL season, but could be able to place a bet in Massachusetts on the Super Bowl, assuming they can physically get to one of the gaming establishments. The idea would then be to have the more accessible mobile betting platforms licensed and operational in time for March Madness.
— Ballots are starting to arrive at voters doorsteps
There are 29 days until Election Day, and voting is getting underway. MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports that Secretary of State William Galvin has already sent 120,000 mail-in ballots out to voters who requested them at the same time they opted to vote-by-mail in the September primary, and that number is expected to shoot up quickly. In total, 973,439 voters had requested mail-in ballots as of Friday, which accounts for just over 20 percent of the state’s registered voters. If that doesn’t quicken the heart rate of candidates running for office this fall, nothing will.
— A double standard on double parking
A review of parking tickets by the Globe found far fewer citations in Boston being written out for double parking on Sunday, which the traditional day of worship for many Christians. Tiana Woodard reports that Muslims are seeking are looking for similar leniency on Friday as they circle the block around neighborhood mosques for important Friday prayers only to face a choice between a ticket or missing worship.
— On this holiday, the name matters a lot to some
I mentioned earlier that state offices were closed today for the holiday, which in Massachusetts is still technically Columbus Day. But the Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports that some activists spent part of this glorious fall weekend marching in Boston to pressure lawmakers to formally change the day to Indigenous People’s Day, in recognition of the people who inhabited these lands before the Italian explorer landed on its shores. Legislation to change the name of the holiday has been filed in the past, but has not surfaced for a vote. And activists plan to have a bill refiled in January when a new session begins. Meanwhile, some municipalities have already made the switch.
— Attleboro area election officials fielding out-of-state info requests
City and town clerks in the Attleboro area are the latest to report being deluged with requests for information about the voting process and past election records, many of them coming from outside the state, Tom Reilly of the Sun Chronicle reports. Many of the requests come via form letter and can’t be filled because they ask for information not captured during Bay State elections.
— Brockton schools battle liquor store proposed near high school
School leaders in Brockton say they plan to oppose a proposal to open a liquor store just steps from Brockton High School when it goes before the city’s Licensing Commission on Tuesday. The Enterprise’s Christopher Butler reports the district says it was not properly notified of the application ahead of time, while the applicants they say followed all the rules.
— Clark University grad student union strike ends with tentative deal
A strike by graduate student workers at Clark University appears to be over after less than a week, with the college and union confirming to the Telegram’s Jeff Chamer that a tentative agreement was reached on Friday. Final details of the deal have yet to emerge, but Clark says it offered a package with a 21 percent raise and fully subsidized health care during a negotiation session earlier last week.