Happening today:

9:30 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey hosts a ceremonial swearing in of Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh and Veterans’ Services Secretary Jon Santiago. Lt. Gov. Driscoll attends. | Governor's Ceremonial Office

10:30 a.m. | Commercial real estate industry group NAIOP Massachusetts hosts a professional development event titled "Effective Communication - Igniting Your Competitive Edge"

10:30 a.m. | Bruce Carlisle, managing director of offshore wind at the Mass. Clean Energy Center, joins Anbaric President Peter Shattuck, Eversource Vice President Vandan Diviata, and Tufts engineering professor Eric Hines for a discussion at the Tufts Energy Conference on the challenges holding back the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts | Tufts University, Paige Hall, Crane Room, Medford

11 a.m. | Cannabis Research Advisory Board to the Cannabis Control Commission meets virtually to discuss and hear public input on draft regulations pertaining to cannabis lab testing.

Massachusetts’ millionaire-plus money makers will bank Bay Staters at least $1 billion in new tax revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. How the state tracks and doles out those funds will set the tone for how the cash is handled on an annual basis going forward.

The new tax on income north of $1 million has earned the state back its “Taxachusetts” title and sets up a dedicated revenue stream to bolster much-needed investments in education and transportation. The voter-approved 4% surcharge on every dollar earned over the initial $1 million, kicks in this year.

In a series of spending announcements this week, first-term Gov. Maura Healey drew up a blueprint for how she’d like to manage the new billion-dollar cash flow.

Healey’s budget steers all of the money into one fund: the Education and Transportation Fund. Expenditures from the fund will be earmarked for school and transit initiatives, with actual spending levels and disbursements left to the Legislature.

Healey’s inaugural budget would effectively split the anticipated incoming revenue allocating $510 million to be spent overall on education and $490 million on transportation. Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz clarified this week that future spending would be left to future budget writers and the cash won’t necessarily be evenly split year to year.

While Healey earned “high marks” from budget watchdog group Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation for her “transparent” approach to managing the millionaire-tax money, industry groups aren’t pleased with how the Cambridge Democrat and self-proclaimed pro-business governor wants to handle the millionaire-tax money.

Healey’s plan would exclude surtax money from any future calculation of state revenue for the purposes of Chapter 62F — the 1980s voter law that puts a cap on state revenue growth and last year triggered nearly $3 billion in mandatory rebates to taxpayers. 

Healey also wants to shield surtax receipts from the existing requirement that capital gains revenues above a certain level be stashed in state savings or put towards specific benefit accounts.

The Massachusetts High Technology Council, a pro-business lobbying group, called the plan to exclude surtax money from the statutory maximum growth “deeply concerning” and urged the Legislature to reject it.

Healey’s plan for the fund, along with her $55.5 billion budget, now go to the House where representatives are slated to soon reveal their own plan for how to handle the money.

State House News | WBUR

State auditor to investigate MBTA performance

Two months into her new job as state auditor, Diana DiZoglio, will kick off a review of the MBTA’s performance during a time when its safety and operational issues have drawn intense scrutiny.

Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca and MBTA officials were notified on Feb. 15 of plans to launch a “performance audit” starting this month.

State House News Service

Housing secretariat and Healey administration plans to tackle housing woes

Legislation filed this week for a cabinet reconfiguration offers the first concrete look at the responsibilities of a new standalone housing secretariat proposed by Gov. Maura Healey.

Housing programs currently operate under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, writes Jennifer Smith for Commonwealth Magazine. But it remains to be seen just how much the new governor plans to push local communities to ante up.

Commonwealth Magazine | The Boston Globe

Boston Jewish community responds to ‘threat’ of ‘Mapping Project’

Boston-based Jewish organizations and community leaders are condemning a newly launched “Mapping Project” as an anti-Israel initiative that targets Jewish schools, synagogues, nonprofits, media and other entities, reports the Jewish News Syndicate.

The project’s state goal is the development of “a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, U.S. imperialism and displacement/ethnic cleansing,” according to its website.


How bad is it: Youth violence in Boston

A Boston Globe investigation into youth violence lays out a “complex” story at a time when high-profile incidents have fueled debate over whether police officers should be reinstalled on school campuses. A recent state police reform law led to resource officers being removed from many schools.

More students are bringing weapons to public schools in Boston and there has been increasing police activity at city schools both public and private, new data shows. But The Globe’s Danny McDonald and Christopher Huffaker write that statistics “only tell a portion of the story.”

The Boston Globe

Renters, homeowners turn out for strong rent control in Boston

Voices for homeowners and renters in favor of a stronger rent control policy than the “balanced” but controversial plan put forward last month by Mayor Michelle Wu dominated the Boston City Council’s second public hearing on the issue Thursday, reports Saraya Wintersmith for GBH.

Wu has repeatedly defended her proposal as balanced. It would cap annual rent increases at a maximum of 10% in high inflation years, and the rate of inflation plus 6% in most other years. Her rent control plan would also exempt recently constructed buildings for 15 years,


Corruption in addiction recovery?

A chain of New England addiction treatment programs is now closed after its chief executive officer was arrested on health care fraud and other charges Thursday, reports Deborah Becker for WBUR. Recovery Connection Centers of America operated 15 clinics in Rhode Island and Massachusetts serving about 1,600 patients.

WBUR | The Boston Globe

Mass doctors feeling burned out, study finds

One in four Massachusetts doctors plan to leave medicine or cut back their clinical hours in the coming years, according to new data released Thursday by a leading industry group.

Concerns about staffing shortages have plagued the health care industry. The Massachusetts Medical Society said its survey of more than 500 members found a majority of participants “experienced symptoms that reach the threshold for burnout.”

State House News

Thanks, Ron: Venezuelan Migrants flown to Mass. are growing roots on Martha’s Vineyard

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asks a court to throw out lawsuits against him over his decision to fly a group of 49 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last fall without warning, Brooke Kushawa checks in with four migrants who have made their way back to the island and hope to make it their permanent home — assuming they’re able to navigate the immigration process.

Vineyard Gazette

Chair of Framingham Democrats resigns as pols join backlash against comments  

Framingham Democratic Committee Chairman Michael Hugo resigned on Thursday, nearly a month after comments he made during a City Council meeting suggesting unborn children with special needs should be aborted. Though he survived a vote calling for his ouster last weekend, Hugo was under increased pressure to step down, with Senate President Karen Spilka joining those calling for his resignation just hours before he announced his decision. 

Framingham SourceThe Boston Globe

Mind the gap: Greenfield ends overnight police patrols amid budget crunch

Local police in Greenfield are no longer patrolling the city or taking emergency calls during the early-morning hours amid a budget crunch and labor shortage. MassLive’s Luis Fieldman reports that as of March 1, state police are covering the community between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.


Attleboro starts election season all over again 

Just a day after Cathleen DeSimone won a special election to become Attleboro mayor, she and at least one of her rivals were already preparing to get themselves on the ballot for the regularly scheduled Nov. 7 election. Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports on the latest in what has become a never-ending election season. 

The Sun Chronicle

Weekend political and policy talk shows

Keller@Large | 8:30 a.m. Sunday | WBZ-TV | Political analyst Jon Keller interviews Boston Mayor Michelle Wu where she’s expected to discuss crime, rent control and the 10th anniversary of the Marathon bombing.

On The Record | 11 a.m. Sunday | WCVB-TV | Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party Amy Carnevale is the guest on WCVB’s “On The Record” this week. She will discuss her plans to rebuild the party, her thoughts on the current state of the National GOP, and her take on the early days of the Healey Administration. Ben Simmoneau and Sharman Sacchetti host. Democratic Political Analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican Political Analyst Rob Gray join the Roundtable discussion.

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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.