Happening Today:

8 a.m. | Rep. Jerry Parisella and Sen. Eric Lesser, who negotiated the state's sports betting law, will be joined by Gaming Commissioner Brad Hill for a Moakley Breakfast Forum at Suffolk University to discuss "whether the new law on sports betting is good for the state of Massachusetts.

10 a.m. | Boston Foundation hosts its first in-person forum in more than two and a half years to release the 2022 Greater Boston Housing Report Card.

10 a.m. | Governor's Council holds back-to-back hearings on the reappointment to the Parole Board of Tonomey Coleman and Tina Hurley.

11 a.m. | Attorney General Maura Healey, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock and local elected officials host a press conference with WinnDevelopment to announce plans to electrify low- and moderate-income housing in Lawrence's Stone Mill.

12 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba and MassDevelopment CEO Dan Rivera travel to Pittsfield to announce over $100 million in economic development grants made through the Community One Stop for Growth application portal.

12 p.m. | Attorney General Maura Healey makes a campaign stop to tour 6K Inc., which received a $50 million federal infrastructure grant to build a factory that will manufactured lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

12:30 p.m. | Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President Jim Rooney, Mass. Retailers Association President Jon Hurst and Mass. Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny are among the speakers at a press conference on the Harbor Walk behind the Intercontinental Hotel to voice opposition to a proposed surtax on personal income above $1 million.

The Democrats’ hopes of retaining control of at least one branch of Congress and not losing ground in State Houses around the country have been pinned, in part, on the idea that voters are energized to support the party after the overturning of Roe V. Wade. 

Democrat for governor Maura Healey has taken note, repeatedly over the course of her campaign labelling Geoff Diehl as an anti-choice Republican who cannot be trusted to protect abortion access in Massachusetts.

“Abortion is on the ballot,” Healey is fond of saying.

But what if something else is motivating voters? The Environmental Voter Project says that voters who consider climate and other environmental issues a top priority are voting at a higher rate than the rest of the electorate, based on early vote totals in 17 targeted states. That includes battlegrounds like Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

In Massachusetts, EVP counted 28,275 ballots cast early by identified environmental voters, or 1.84 percent of environmental voters identified in the state. Those figures were calculated at a point in time when 59,712 total early ballots, or 1.24 percent of the electorate, had been cast. 

As of today, according to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office, 342,618 ballots have been cast, or about 7.1 percent of registered voters.

It’s not surprising that climate concerns would motivate Massachusetts voters, who have already experienced some of the effects of warming, including severe weather and flooding from rising sea levels.

Homeowners are also bracing for a costly winter with heating fuels prices and energy rates on the rise. Diehl has made Healey’s opposition to two new gas pipelines through Massachusetts a central issue on the trail, and has warned that Healey’s support for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources will “bankrupt” the state.

Diehl says he supports renewables, but on a timeline that the market dictates, and has instead suggested looking at LNG and nuclear as other clean alternatives.

Healey, meanwhile, has talked about turning the transition to clean energy into a job generators across the state, and her climate plan revolves around a simple principle – “electrify everything.”

— Select state workers fired over vaccine mandate reoffered jobs

Gov. Charlie Baker took a baby step back from his administration’s strict COVID-19 vaccine mandate for executive branch employees, sending letters to about 50 of the more than 1,000 state employees who lost their jobs or quit over the requirement that they be vaccinated. Baker and his administration said the offers were limited, and reflected an ability to accommodate workers who previously sought a medical or religious exemption but were denied. The rehiring of fired workers comes at a time when many state agencies, in particular the Department of Transportation and the MBTA, have been struggling to find qualified workers. Republican Geoff Diehl has been critical of Baker’s vaccine policy, and promises to rehire every worker who lost their job as a result on day one of his administration, should he win on Nov. 8. A spokeswoman for Baker told MASSterList the administration “does not anticipate more letters going out for additional positions,” and that the governor “has no plans to make updates to the guidance at this time.” 

The Boston Globe | WCVB

— Timing right for MBTA reset, LaHood tells lawmakers

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told lawmakers at yet another oversight hearing Tuesday that the change in administrations come January offers the perfect opportunity for a complete reset at the MBTA. The former Republican congressman and Obama Cabinet member said he thought the General Manager Steve Poftak was “on the right track” with his efforts to improve the safety culture at the MBTA until the pandemic pushed those plans off the rails. One thing he told lawmakers they should absolutely do is take oversight responsibility away from the Department of Public Utilities. SHNS’s Chris Lisiniski and The Globe’s Taylor Dolven have more from LaHood and the hearing.

State House News Service | The Boston Globe

— Diehl up in arms over CDC vote on COVID-19 vaccines for kids

Republican Geoff Diehl’s campaign has been built around this idea of personal freedom, which includes the freedom to choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 without repercussions. So it’s no surprise that after a CDC panel this week voted to recommend adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the immunization schedule for children that Diehl spoke up in opposition. He also called on Democrat Maura Healey to join him in pledging never to require the COVID-19 shot on the list of immunizations required to attend public school. That decision, according to Diehl, should be left to parents. Healey, so far, has declined to comment.


— Boston Foundation takes stock of region’s housing market

The Boston Foundation later this morning will hold an event to release its 2022 Housing Report Card for Greater Boston. But for those who can’t wait, the Globe’s Andrew Brinker has six early takeaways. Surprise! It costs a lot to buy a house around here.

The Boston Globe

— Boston Foundation takes stock of region’s housing market

The Boston Foundation later this morning will hold an event to release its 2022 Housing Report Card for Greater Boston. But for those who can’t wait, the Globe’s Andrew Brinker has six early takeaways. Surprise! It costs a lot to buy a house around here.

The Boston Globe

— Getting to the root of Question 2

It’s complicated. The Globe’s Jessica Bartlett tries to cut through the noise on Question 2 regarding dental insurance and how much of consumer premiums the plans should be required to spend on care, rather than administrative costs. But the impact of such a change in the market is not well understood.

The Boston Globe

— Orange Line speeds will be restricted into December

The month-long shutdown of the Orange Line has so far failed to put the “rapid” back into the rapid transit system in Greater Boston, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said some speed restrictions and slow zones on the well-travelled line will likely persist into December. The State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski reports that Poftak revealed the schedule to lift the speed restrictions in a letter to U.S. Sen. Ed Markey after the Malden Democrats requested data during a recent Congressional oversight hearing held in Boston. Some of the track work needed to support trains travelling at higher speeds near Tufts Medical Center was not done during the shutdown, and plans are being developed.

State House News Service

— Foreign policy in Ukraine divides Democrats, delegation

It’s not often you see members of the state’s Congressional delegation – all Democrats – at odds. But The Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade breaks down the latest dust up over a letter signed by progressive Democrats to President Joe Biden urging the White House to pursue “vigorous diplomatic efforts” to end the war in Ukraine. The suggestion in the letter signed by U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and others of continued diplomacy with Russia and President Vladimir Putin prompted swift backlash from some members of their own party, including Reps. Jake Auchincloss and Seth Moulton. The Congressional Progressive Caucus eventually rescinded the letter, calling its release a mistake and suggesting it had been drafted earlier in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Eagle-Tribune

— North Shore birth center to close in December

Three months after it was first announced, Beverly Hospital says it is moving forward with a controversial plan to close the North Shore Birth Center on Dec. 1 but now says it will offer a $1.5 million grant to an outside group interested in continuing the center’s work. Paul Leighton of the Eagle-Tribune reports that the hospital is also offering to lease the birthing center facility to a new operator willing to offer midwifery services.

The Eagle-Tribune

— Good to go: Judge rejects injunction against Dennis ballots 

Ballots sent to Dennis residents that incorrectly list Democratic state representative hopeful Chris Flanagan as an incumbent can be received and counted, a Barnstable Superior Court judge has ruled. The Republican candidate in the race for the 1st Barnstable District seat, Tracy Post, had asked for an injunction to halt counting of the faulty ballots, about 2,600 of which have landed in local mailboxes.

Cape Cod Times

— Salem expands Spanish-language support at ballot

Spanish-speaking voters in Salem will find more support at the polls when they show up to vote over the next two weeks, including bilingual voter cards, more live interpreters and an online help system, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. September’s primary was the first election during which Salem printed ballots in two languages after new Census data triggered federal requirements.  

The Salem News

— Hardwick eyes town vote on horse-racing plan

The Hardwick Board of Selectmen plans to vote next week on whether to authorize the construction of a $20 million horse racing and breeding facility, but members are hoping the decision will eventually go before all of the town’s voters. MassLive’s Jim Russell explains how state law requires a ‘yes’ vote from the board to trigger a community-wide ballot referendum.




South Boston organizations seeking more redistricting hearings with open-meetings law complaint – Boston Herald

Boston cybersecurity company lays off nearly 200 employees – Boston Business Journal

Boston schools put potential school mergers on hold – The Boston Globe


Proposal for new library in Seekonk fails narrowly to get two-thirds town meeting vote – The Sun Chronicle

Lawmakers urged to revisit free phone calls for prisoners – The Eagle-Tribune

Lottery Sales Skid Continues Through September – State House News Service


1 million vote early in Georgia, a dramatic increase from 2018 – The Washington Post

Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks – Politico

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