Gov. Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu talk in the early days of the administration

Happening today:

10 a.m. | Boston City Council's Government Operations Committee, chaired by Councilor Arroyo of Hyde Park, holds online-only hearing on a proposed home rule petition "authorizing the City of Boston to implement rent stabilization and tenant eviction protection." Livestreamed at, and on TV: Xfinity 8/RCN 82/Fios 964

11 a.m. | AG Campbell is a guest on "Radio Boston" | WBUR-FM 90.9

11 a.m. | Lawmakers join with Red Sox, Massachusetts General Hospital and Home Base leadership to celebrate $5 million in federal funding for programming supporting families of fallen military members and active-duty special operations forces experiencing traumatic brain injury. Attendees include U.S. Sens. Warren and Markey, U.S. Reps. Lynch and Pressley, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, and Massachusetts General Hospital President David Brown. Home Base, One Constitution Wharf, Charlestown

1 p.m. Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission will be sworn in.

Massachusetts housing advocates hangry for a drop in soaring prices, say a debate over rent control in Boston — where costs are among the nation’s most expensive — is slowly making the controversial policy “more palatable” on a statewide level.

Voters banned rent control policies across the commonwealth in a 1994 referendum, but Cambridge Rep. Mike Connelly says he’s seen a small, but noticeable, shift in the appetite for policies that could curb the climbing cost of housing that’s being felt in all corners of Massachusetts.

Connolly first pitched his Housing for All bill four years ago, with minimal support from Beacon Hill. The legislation that includes proposals to boost affordable housing funding and address homelessness also includes enabling legislation to allow cities and towns to enact rent control policies that make sense in their communities.

“If the Boston City Council can agree to a final policy, there is some sense that people around the commonwealth will see and be open to rent control,” Connolly told MASSterList.

The Cambridge Democrat said this session lawmakers have filed five bills that address the policy, giving access to local control in some way. And it’s no longer just Boston-area lawmakers championing the cause — legislators in Canton and Acton have signed on.

But all eyes are on Boston, where city councilors on Wednesday hold their first hearing on Mayor Michelle Wu’s proposed home-rule petition that could be the first rent control policy to hit the books in almost 30 years. First it faces a trifecta of hurdles — passing the city council, then the Legislature and then earning a signature from Gov. Maura Healey.

Connolly and state Sen. Lydia Edwards, an East Boston Democrat, are hopeful. Healey has signaled she supports a local option for such policies. 

Wu centered her campaign in part on bringing back some form of rent control as a way to address an intensifying housing crisis. Average rents in Boston, at roughly $3,000 according to recent Census data, now rival those of Bay-area cities. 

Her policy, which Edwards and Connolly have called “benign,” faces criticism from both progressive housing advocates who say it doesn’t go far enough and the real estate lobby, who fear it will have a “chilling effect” on much-needed development. 

The day before the Boston hearing, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board launched a $400,000 opposition campaign hitting Boston voters with text messages, direct mail and a phone bank nay-saying Wu’s policy.

The Boston Globe | The Boston Herald

Real estate industry launches six-figure anti-rent control campaign

One day before Boston city councilors were slated to open debate on Mayor Michelle Wu’s housing stabilization bill that includes a home-rule petition to introduce a controversial rent control policy, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board unleashed an $400,000 campaign against the measure.

The Boston Globe | The Boston Herald

Healey among Democratic governors rallying around abortion access

Governors in 20 states on Tuesday announced a multi-state effort to protect reproductive freedoms — eight months after the Supreme Court overturned a 49-year-old precedent ensuring a constitutional right to abortion. Gov. Maura Healey is among state leaders forming the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, writes Samantha J. Gross of the Boston Globe. Described as “non-partisan,” the group’s membership is entirely made up of Democratic governors but “open to all governors who support reproductive rights.”

The Boston Globe

MassGOP hires former prosecutor, looking to skirt $600,000 in debts

The state Republican Party’s new leadership says MassGOP isn’t on the hook for more than $600,000 in debt racked up by the former party chairman and has retained a former federal prosecutor to help prove it. The Boston Herald’s Matthew Medsger reports ex-Party Chairman Jim Lyons is accused of hiring private investigators to look into now-Gov. Maura Healey and potentially other Democratic candidates amid the last election and failing to properly report the expenses in accordance with campaign finance law.

The Boston Herald

Iwo Jima veterans mark the the 78th anniversary of pivotal battle

An annual ceremony at the State House that once included 30 to 40 Marines who battled in Iwo Jima, included just two Marines on Tuesday. They marked the 78th anniversary of the pivotal World War II battle that paved the way for victory in the Pacific Theater.

State House News Service

Pressley eyes trauma survivors as ‘next pandemic’

In touting a new law that expands federal mental health support for survivors of natural disasters, domestic terrorist attacks and other crises that are declared designated emergencies by FEMA, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley said the Post Disaster Mental Health Response Act identified trauma survivors as the nation’s “next pandemic.”

State House News Service

Next steps for protecting Boston from rising seas

Experts say flood barriers like those in Providence, Rhode Island could be one way to stave off the rising seas where Boston Harbor meets Fort Point Channel, potentially stopping more intense storms from letting the ocean reclaim what was once South Bay — a large swath of Dorchester, South Boston and Roxbury.

Universal Hub

Northampton faces suit from family of bullied girl who died by suicide

The family of a 16-year-old girl is claiming her death by suicide in 2020 happened after a bullying campaign by classmates at Northampton High School. A wrongful death complaint filed against the city in Hampshire Superior Court late last month paints a portrait of relentless cyberbullying and physical attacks.


Rural districts urge Healey to follow recommendation for huge funding boost

Leaders of some of the state’s smallest and most far-flung school districts are urging Gov. Maura Healey to follow a special commission’s recommendation and boost funding for rural districts from $4 million this year to $60 million in fiscal year 2024. The Recorder’s Bella Levavi reports the massive boost in state aid was recommended by the Special Commission on Rural School Districts to help reverse long-term declines in enrollment. 

Greenfield Recorder

Nantucket dealing with fallout from cyberattack that closed schools 

Three weeks after public school on Nantucket closed abruptly for two days after a cyberattack, the district continues to work through the issues it raised, including how to prevent it from happening again, David Creed of the Nantucket Current reports. The island district was one of several in the Bay State targeted amid a spate of attacks last month. 

Nantucket Current

Ready to roll: Worcester police body cams go live Monday

After nearly a decade of debate, police in Worcester will finally start wearing body cameras starting on Monday, the Telegram’s Cyrus Moulton reports. City leaders hope the 300 cameras will help boost local confidence in the department, which is the subject of an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

The Telegram & Gazette

Saugus select board addresses controversy over Win lawsuit

Saugus Select Board Chair Anthony Cogliano is urging fellow board members and the public to move on from the controversy sparked when it was revealed he improperly signed declarations on behalf of residents as part of a lawsuit against Win Waste Innovations’ local trash-to-energy operation. Cogliano said he had been contacted by the state’s Ethics Commission but believes the issue is now moot since Win dropped the declarations in question from its filings in the case, the Item’s Charlie McKenna reports.  

The Daily Item

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MASSterList editor Erin Tiernan is an award-winning reporter who brings a decade's worth of experience covering state and local politics from the halls of the State House to city streets. Her work can be found in The Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, MassLive and Wicked Local. She was the New England Newspaper and Press Association's 2019 Reporter of the Year.