Happening Today:

8:30 a.m. | EdImpact Research Consortium hosts virtual event focused on how local school districts are allocating $2.9 billion in federal COVID relief dollars.

11 a.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attend the 39th Annual Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery in Worcester.

12:30 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey joins Treasurer Deborah Goldberg for a forum on her BabySteps Savings Plan, which offers a $50 seed deposit to encourage families to open a MEFA 529 college saving account.

2:30 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Congressman Jim McGovern and Worcester District Attorney Joe Early will greet volunteers for the Yes on 4 campaign and kick off a canvass in Worcester.

4:30 p.m. | Congressman Seth Moulton will join Sen. Brendan Crighton and other supporters of Question 1 to greet commuters at the Salem train station and kick off a door-to-door canvass for the proposed state tax on annual incomes above $1 million.

5:30.....Alliance for Business Leadership hosts Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark for its Power Hour event series. Clark plans to talk about women in the workforce.

6:45 p.m. | Republican auditor candidate Anthony Amore joins Gov. Charlie Baker and supporters for a rally at Mission on the Bay in Swampscott.

In the words of Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills, “There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

The House yesterday met for its usual Monday informal session, but adjourned to meet next on Wednesday instead of its traditional Thursday, signaling leaders may be preparing to bring something significant to the floor for a vote.

That something significant is most likely a final bill spending to close out fiscal 2022 and allocate the billions in surplus revenue the state collected last year. The big question is whether the Democratic leaders have opted to include any of the tax reform ideas that were approved by both branches before the bill got derailed by the realization that the state would have to return $3 billion to taxpayers.

The checks that are part of that $3 billion refund will start going out to residents today, but that could be it for significant tax relief from Beacon Hill. WBZ analyst and MASSterList columnist Jon Keller tweeted last night that a $7 billion deal was done and would be filed today. Keller said it includes the $3 billion for rebates under Chapter 62F and billions more in spending on economic development, housing and other priorities, but no reforms to the estate tax or additional relief for low-income residents.

Legislative leaders were tight lipped at the State House Monday, but did seem to suggest that they hoped to put this issue of economic development spending and tax relief to bed before, rather than after the election.

“It’s all a work in progress, but you will be hearing something very, very shortly,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues told my colleagues Chris Lisinski and Sam Doran.

Rodrigues said “maybe” to the suggestion that a vote could happen this week, with the Senate out of session until Thursday.

BAKER SEEKING HELP WITH MIGRANT INFLUX: Gov. Charlie Baker wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary  Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Monday, urging the Biden administration to do more to help states like Massachusetts support migrants arriving from countries like Haiti seeking asylum.

The governor took issue with what he described as a bifurcated system that offers more resources and support to immigrants arriving from places like Afghanistan and Ukraine than Haiti and Cuba, and makes it difficult for them to obtain permits to legally go to work.

“Massachusetts is proud to welcome individuals and families seeking asylum and refuge and is dedicated to helping families live with dignity, but additional federal support is required,” Baker wrote.

The administration has been under fire recently for its move to relocate migrants arriving in the state to hotels in Plymouth and Kingston as the shelter system has become overwhelmed and the state is unable to fully serve all new arrivals.

Massachusetts resettlement agencies served a total of 4,334 individuals in the federal fiscal year 2022, including over 2,000 Afghan humanitarian parolees, 822 Cuban and Haitian entrants, and 548 refugees, according to Baker. Another 133 immigrant families have sought shelter from July 2022 to now.

Baker specifically asked Mayorkas and Becerra to expedite the issuance of work permits so that asylum-seekers and new arrivals can support their families and contribute to the economy. He also said the federal government should level the playing field for new arrivals from all countries and under all circumstances so that they all have access to the same federal programs and the state can properly support their resettlement.

REMINDER: Today is the last day to request a ballot to vote by mail in the Nov. 8 election. Applications must be received by local election offices by 5 p.m., but requests can still be dropped off in person or submitted electronically.

As of Monday afternoon, 1,122,814 mail-in ballots had been requested, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

— Healey’s career shaped by basketball

You’ve seen the ads and social media posts of her shooting hoops with teens or spinning a basketball on her finger with Ines Kanter. You’ve probably heard her talk about how assists are more important than points, and how she brought her instincts as a point guard to her career as a public sector attorney. Maybe you even bought a t-shirt that says, “My governor is a baller.” Basketball has been central to the campaign of Maura Healey for both attorney general and now governor. And in this new piece, the Globe’s Stan Grossfeld digs into that career on the hardwood that took her from the courts of Harvard and Europe to the courtrooms of Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe

— Is Diehl running for governor like he wants to lose?

In a dueling story on the Globe’s homepage this morning, Emma Platoff dissects the campaign of the other major party candidate for governor – Republican Geoff Diehl. While success at many levels of government has been elusive for Republicans in Massachusetts in recent years, the governor’s office is one place the party has excelled. Enter Diehl, who is not following the successful recipe for a Republican to succeed in Massachusetts. And the polls have spelled out the consequences. Diehl is expected to lose on Nov. 8 by high double-digits to Democrat Maura Healey, and Platoff writes that some analysts are questioning why the former lawmaker, who has run a sometimes sloppy campaign and struggled to raise money, put issues like COVID-19 vaccines and the return to “Christian values” in public schools front and center, instead of the economic issues that have worked for GOP candidates in the past.

The Boston Globe

— “The Lady” has a name and it’s Ruth

“The Lady of the Dunes” now has a name. It’s Ruth Marie Terry, born in Tennessee. The FBI on Monday for the first time identified the woman whose remains were found on the dunes of a Provincetown beach 50 years ago, making it the oldest homicide case in the state with an unidentified victim. Now that investigators feel confident in who the “Lady of the Dunes” was, they intend to start trying to piece together how she ended up on the beach and who killed her. State House News’s Colin A. Young has more details on the case.

State House News Service

— Baker riding high in new poll as second-term nears end

Gov. Charlie Baker seems destined to go out on top. While his popularity took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-term Republican is once again riding high in the polls with a new UMass/WCVB survey finding that 68 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing for Massachusetts. Baker’s highest scores came for his handling of COVID-19, despite some frustrations in the moment, while his lowest grades were for his handling of transportation and the MBTA. Sixty-five percent said they thought Baker was doing at least “somewhat well” handling the current economy. Check out all the latest poll results.

WCVB

— Exploring what it would take to lead on cannabis research

Life sciences? Sure. Offshore wind technology? Bring it on. Cannabis research? Don’t rule it out. CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg talked with experts about what it would take to position Massachusetts to become a leader in cannabis research. They are not the green jobs Democrat Maura Healey has been talking about on the campaign trail, but with the Biden administration making moves to remove marijuana from the list of dangerous Schedule I drugs, the door could be opening to federal and state funding to support research in the field.

CommonWealth Magazine

— Something to hide? Healey and Diehl hold on to tax returns

In past campaigns, Attorney General Maura Healey has released her tax returns. Not this year. WBUR’s Steve Brown reports that both Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl turned down requests to share their tax information with the outlet, though they left the door open to changing their minds if they both come forward together.

WBUR

— Helping students catch up after COVID

Standardized tests and anecdotal evidence from parents and teachers suggests many students fell behind in their learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, forced to study on their own or over Zoom in virtual classrooms. But with school fully reopened and everyone back in the classroom, the Globe’s Julian E.J. Sorapuru looks at what the two leading candidates for governor are proposing to help students catch up – if anything at all.

The Boston Globe

— Dunkin’ stores settles child labor violations with Healey’s office

A management company that operates 14 Dunkin shops in Central Massachusetts has agreed to pay $145,000 to settle charges it violated child labor laws after a year-long investigation by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey. The Telegram’s Craig Semon reports the case began after an underage worker at one of the stores run by the Westford Group complained about being forced to work shifts longer than the law allows.

Telegram & Gazette

— Timing is everything: Hodgson rolls out new services for detainees 

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said Monday his department has forged a partnership with a Quincy company to provide substance abuse help and medical services to pretrial detainees preparing to re-enter society, a move that addresses an issue that has been central in his re-election battle. Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux, the Democrat who is looking to unseat the longtime sheriff, said the program amounts to “too little, too late,” David Linton of the Sun Chronicle reports.

The Sun Chronicle

— Gas disaster settlement will help build affordable apartments

Nearly $3 million in funds set aside as part of a settlement paid by Columbia Gas after the 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions will be used to help build 86 units of mixed-income and highly energy efficient housing in an historic mill building in Lawrence, Jill Harmacinski of the Eagle Tribune reports.

The Eagle-Tribune

— Neal says Trump taxes still coming, despite Supreme Court gambit 

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he remains confident the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee he chairs will get copies of former President Trump’s tax returns despite a last-minute appeal from Trump asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the release. Jim Kinney of MassLive reports even a short delay could be significant, with Republicans almost certain to shut down efforts to get the documents if they regain control of the House.

MassLive

— Island holiday: Biden family headed back to Nantucket

President Joe Biden and his family are expected to be on Nantucket for the Thanksgiving holiday later this month, with police on the island saying they’ve heard from the Secret Service that the first family is likely to continue a tradition that dates back to the 1970s. Jason Graziadei of the Nantucket Current has the details.

Nantucket Current

MORE HEADLINES:

Metro

Nurse sues Boston Medical Center for firing her after she refused to get Covid-19 shots – Universal Hub

Working group releases recommendations for Boston on surveillance tech – The Boston Globe

Massachusetts

Masked white supremacists gather outside Kingston hotel housing migrants – MassLive

Lowell steps up to bring down high heating bills – The Sun

Worcester urges indoor mask wearing, citing RSV rise – Telegram & Gazette

National

US Supreme Court’s conservatives signal skepticism of affirmative action in higher education – The Boston Globe

GOP bracing for Trump indictment soon after Election Day  – The Hill

Why Massachusetts resisted Mitt Romney 2.0 – Deseret News

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