Happening Today:

9 a.m. | Gov. Healey gives remarks at the RIZE “Five Years of Fighting Together” breakfast. Lt. Gov. Driscoll attends.| Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston

9:45 a.m. | Gov. Healey addresses business leaders at Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Lt. Gov. Driscoll attends. Chamber President and CEO James Rooney will moderate a question-and-answer session after Healey's remarks. | Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston

11 .m. | Activists gather for a "Boston Fee Party," calling for reform to New England's electric grid to end its dependence on fossil fuels. Rep. Mike Connolly of Cambridge is scheduled to attend, along with Noemy Rodriguez of GreenRoots, Gabe Cohen-Glinick of Neighbor to Neighbor, and Mireille Bejjani of Slingshot | Boardwalk next to Boston Children's Museum, 306 Congress St., Boston

Noon | Gov. Healey appears live on GBH’s Boston Public Radio with Jim and Margery | Boston Public Library, GBH Studio, 700 Boylston St, Boston

2 p.m. | Gov. Healey joins administration and local officials to see the fire at Brockton Hospital/Signature Health Care, including Brockton Fire Station #1 and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center | Visits begin at Fire Station #1, 42 Pleasant Street, Brockton

2 p.m. | Boston City Council Committee on Government Operations convenes its second hearing on a home rule petition from Mayor Wu that would seek state approval to revive rent control and roll out other tenant protections in the city. The first hearing on the proposal, opposed by real estate and landlord groups, stretched for more than five hours |

Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, City Hall, Boston

Gov. Maura Healey’s first state budget carries more weight than just its $55.5 billion price tag, the first-term Democrat said.

In unveiling what she described as her “downpayment” on campaign trail promises during Wednesday’s big reveal, Healey said her budget will help to “build a strong economy, to create livable communities, and to put Massachusetts on the path towards a sustainable future.”

Budget watchdogs from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said Healey’s budget shows the state remains in a strong financial condition.

Healey’s plan draws the blueprint for making good on her pledge to boost higher education spending — up by 23% — and make college more accessible with a $20 million investment that will help would-be students over 25 go to community college tuition free.

Households in need of emergency rental assistance could receive up to $7,000, write Samantha J. Gross and Matt Stout of The Boston Globe.

Healey is looking to funnel nearly 25% for energy and climate efforts that will fund hiring 240 new state employees, GBH’s Katie Lannan reports. Transportation also gets a boost.

It would also have the Department of Correction provide up to 1,000 minutes a month of free phone calls to prisoners, writes Christian Wade for the Eagle Tribune.

Her budget includes no broad-based tax increases but would boost spending by roughly 4% over the current budget. Helping to bridge the gap is the $1 billion in anticipated new revenue from the so-called millionaires tax.

The budget was filed Wednesday alongside her nearly $1 billion tax overhaul unveiled on Monday that will hand Massachusetts parents $600 per dependent.

Hunger and keeping food on the plates for Massachusetts kids in particular, will also take a front seat in spending debates on Beacon Hill as federal COVID grants dry up.

After House lawmakers advanced a bill that would prevent the universal school meals program from exhausting its funding this month, Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano told State House News, “the economic picture is changing, and we’re going to be expected to pick up a lot of programs that people are used to having. The problem is going to be: we may not be able to afford them.”

Up to 300,000 poor BayStaters to lose MassHealth coverage

As the state “redetermines” eligibility in a post-pandemic world, MassHealth expects roughly 300,000 of the 2.3 million subscribers will be shed from the rolls. Enrollment is up about 25% from before the pandemic, The Boston Globe’s Jessica Bartlett writes.

The Boston Globe

Boston police oversight office hasn’t upheld a single civilian complaint

Nearly two years after its executive director was hired, and roughly one year after it began to operate in earnest, Boston’s Office of Police Accountability and Transparency has yet to sustain any civilian complaints against the Boston Police Department or to issue subsequent recommendations for disciplinary action, according to a review of city data by GBH News.


Mass federal courts get first Hispanic judge

Margaret R. Guzman, a former public defender, will be the first Hispanic judge to sit on the federal U.S. District Court for Massachusetts. The U.S. Senate voted 49-48 Thursday to confirm Guzman, a state court judge, to the seat. Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie vote which split along party lines, GBH’s Saraya Wintersmith writes.


Baker as NCAA president takes reigns on debate over college athlete pay

Charlie Baker, freshly minted as NCAA president, is now leading debate on what is arguably the most important and polarizing issue in college athletics: regulating how student-athletes monetize their fame.


Union drive: Uber, Lyft drivers push for unionization 

A group of about 140 drivers for app-based ride-share companies at Uber and Lyft, fed up with deteriorating work conditions and lower pay, rallied outside of Uber’s Saugus office to press for the right to unionize.

Boston Herald

Family of man dragged to death by Red Line train sues MBTA

The family of Robinson Lalin, who was dragged to death by a train last April after getting his arm stuck in the door, is suing the MBTA. A complaint was filed on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior.

The Boston Goble

NTSB to probe near-collision at Boston’s Logan Airport

Federal authorities are investigating after a LearJet nearly collided with a JetBlue passenger plane coming from Nashville at Logan International Airport earlier this week. No damage or injuries were reported, writes Tonya Alanez for The Globe.

The Boston Globe

Worcester City Council backs legislation to decriminalize sex work, lift past convictions

The Worcester City Council is urging state lawmakers to get behind a bill that would decriminalize prostitution and wipe away past convictions, the Telegram’s  Cyrus Moulton reports. The legislation would also set aside more state resources to help those looking to exit the sex trade.

Telegram & Gazette

Auditor will review financing behind Worcester’s newest charter school 

A day after state education officials approved a charter for the Worcester Cultural Academy, Auditor Diane DiZoglio said she would conduct an audit of the school’s finances. Worcester officials had urged the state to hold off on approving the charter until the school’s ties to Old Sturbridge Village Inc. could be further investigated.


Nahant renews federal contract to hunt coyotes 

Nahant officials disclosed Wednesday night that the town has renewed its contract with federal wildlife officials to hunt problem coyotes in the community. Emily Pauls of the Item reports sharpshooters have visited town twice so far since December and have killed one coyote.

The Daily Item

Piling on: Beverly residents latest to oppose T-garage apartments 

A week after Beverly Mayor Mike Cahill said he opposed a plan to build 70 apartments over an MBTA parking garage, it was residents’ turn to weigh in on the proposal and most of the 50 people who turned out aren’t fans either, Paul Leighton of the Salem News reports.

Salem News

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList