Happening today:

7:10 a.m. | Lt. Gov. Driscoll participates in a live interview with La Hora del Cafe on El Mundo Boston. Some time after the interview, Driscoll will depart for Washington, D.C. to attend the National Lieutenant Governors Association Federal-State Relations Conference, which runs through Friday.

7:30 a.m. | Senate President Spilka speaks about priorities at closed press Framingham State University legislative breakfast.| 100 State St., Framingham

8 a.m. | Congresswoman Clark will join health care providers from Mass General Hospital and Mass General Brigham in Revere to unveil the newly expanded MGH Revere Healthcare Center Food Pantry and Teaching Kitchen. | 300 Ocean Avenue, Revere

9 a.m. | Mayor Wu appears live on Java with Jimmy.

10 a.m. | Common Start Coalition hosts a legislative briefing and lobby day to advocate for legislation overhauling the early education and child care system. The bills (H 489 / S 301) filed by Reps. Gordon and Madaro and Sens. Lewis and Moran would steer new permanent funding to providers and enhance financial assistance for families. | Senate Reading Room

10:45 a.m. | Mayor Wu attends Eastie Farm's Spring Equinox Celebration. | The Greenhouse at Eastie Farm, 6 Chelsea Terrace, East Boston

11 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey sits for a live interview on WBUR's "Radio Boston" | WBUR-FM 90.9

11 a.m. | Mass General Brigham joins Health Care Financing Committee Co-chairs Rep. Lawn and Sen. Friedman for a presentation about the health provider's "United Against Racism" initiative. | Room 428

11:30 a.m. | Boston City Councilors Julia Mejia and Gabriela Coletta join activists for press conference to announce the passage of a council resolution in support of the ongoing opposition of the Eversource electric substation in East Boston. | Boston City Hall, 5th floor, outside the council chamber

For those looking to Beacon Hill for action on issues from the high cost of housing to the MBTA — don’t hold your breath.

A little over two months into the current session, lawmakers appear to be dragging their feet even as growing frustrations over a lack of affordability in the Bay State and worsening transit matters — including a gruesome return of traffic gridlock — have reached a fever pitch.

Gov. Maura Healey has yet to deliver on her promised housing secretariat. She blew past her self-imposed March 6 deadline to install a safety chief at the MBTA, where a pile-up of problems appears ever-growing. Tax relief and other affordability proposals remain pending without a sense of urgency to act. 

The next moves are up to the House when it comes to many of these issues, but Speaker Ronald Mariano seems to be in no rush.

Both branches have passed a version of Gov. Healey’s fiscal year 2023 supplemental budget and bonding bill, which addresses some of the “immediate needs” the governor identified, but the House has yet to move the differing House and Senate bills into a conference committee where a compromise can be hashed out. 

Meanwhile, Healey has already filed another $734 million supplementary spending bill.

Mariano’s office has booked a “potential” full formal session for 11 a.m. Thursday, but offered no further details. The Senate has only informal sessions planned for this week.

No hearing has been scheduled on the tax reform and relief proposal Healey filed more than two weeks ago, and leaders in the House — where the tax bill must pass first if it is to become law — appear in no rush. 

Mariano said last month that “the situation has changed” since both chambers last session agreed to a similar, but ill-fated proposal that later died. The Quincy Democrat last month mentioned having “some hearings” on tax relief, but none have been scheduled. 

Bay Staters will get a better idea of the House’s attitude toward relief in mid-April, when its Ways and Means Committee releases its rewrite of Healey’s $55.5 billion fiscal year 2024 state budget. The governor’s spending plan was built on the assumption that her tax package would advance in tandem, but the House might have other ideas.

Movement on a sweeping long-term care reform bill — legislation that Mariano said “would probably be” first on the House’s agenda after being left unfinished last session — remains stalled. Rep. Tom Stanley’s bill (H 648) was sent to the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs a month ago — no hearing has been put on the calendar. 

Mariano or Senate President Karen Spilka have also been mum on T oversight issues that have taken a front seat during the first weeks of Healey’s administration. 

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MBTA watch 🚇

Days since the last derailment, fire, falling debris, or critical incident: 0

**Leaves ignited along Orange Line tracks on Tuesday.

Days with localized speed restrictions: 12

Days without “normal” weekday subway service: 274

On Jan. 5, Gov. Healey pledged to hire a new MBTA Transportation Safety Chief within 60 days. It has now been 75 days without the position being filled.

Legislative committees blow past big organizational deadline

Thousands of bills have been filed, they’ve been sent to committees, and the next step is to let the public weigh in. But out of 33 committees, all 33 are delinquent on an initial step in setting up shop for the two-year term.

After they take their seats, committee chairs have four weeks to develop internal rules that will direct the flow of business before their panels over the following 22 or so months.

State House News

Dire fire: Leaves ignite along Orange Line tracks 

Another day another problem on the MBTA. T riders waiting for the Orange L had to beeline away from the tracks during rush house on Tuesday when dry leaves ignited on the tracks at Oak Grove.

Universal Hub

Will Boston’s 3 fired cops stay fired?

After city officials announced the firing of three Boston police officers — two of whom made inappropriate comments on social media about the Jan. 6 insurrection, and a third whose list of alleged violations is 38 pages long — the question remains, writes Danny MacDonald for The Boston Globe. History has shown Boston police officers who have been fired have overturned their dismissals through arbitration to get reinstated.

The Boston Globe

Commuters outside the I-495 corridor want ‘easy’ East-West rail

Western Massachusetts commuters are begging the state to expand rail service to their neighborhoods. The MBTA’s commuter rail network only goes as far as Worcester. Amtrak offers passenger rail service to points further west, but on its current schedule, just one train per day. An $11.4 billion infrastructure bond bill former Gov. Charlie Baker signed authorized an initial $275 million toward a system expansion.

State House News

Thieves robbing social safety net services sees ‘substantial increase’

A “substantial increase” in people being robbed of their public benefits by fraudsters and scammers, has prompted Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan to ask lawmakers to support a proposal in the governor’s budget that would allow the Department of Transitional Assistance to offer recipients a new way to protect their accounts.

State House News

Stitching Chinatown back together with Boston

The city won a federal grant to study a new park over the Mass. Turnpike and rail lines in Chinatown. Boston has landed a $1.8 million federal grant to examine laying a park atop the six-line highway and placing five rail lines beside it.

The Boston Globe

‘Hey Sam’: Texting hotline saving young people’s lives

A confidential texting hotline for young people in need of support reported resounding success after its first full year in operation, but after Gov. Maura Healey proposed dropping state funding for the new lifeline, one senator said advocates need to “dig deep and push hard” to pack the $1 million back into the budget this spring.

State House News

Dazed and confused: Students hospitalized after eating edibles

Boston Public School officials say they are “deeply concerned” after several students ended up in the hospital after eating pot edibles. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School head Stephanie Sibley informed families of the incident in a letter on Tuesday.

The Boston Herald

Holden Select Board digs in on opposition to T zoning mandate 

They’re not backing down.Community leaders in Holden continue to dig in their heels against complying with a new state law requiring multi-family-by-right zoning, with some continuing to argue that it robs the town of the right to determine its own future, the Telegram’s Cyrus Moulton reports.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

No go: Hadley shoots down plan to convert motel to affordable housing 

The Hadley Zoning Board of Appeals has rejected a proposal to convert an EconoLodge on Route 9 into 51 apartments reserved for moderate-income individuals. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette lays out what might happen next.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

With SouthCoast Rail months away, New Bedford-to-Boston bus calls it quits 

Commuters from the SouthCoast could be scrambling for a new way to get to and from Boston after the private bus company that provides daily trips said it would cease service next month. Dattco said it has long been losing money on the service, a problem exacerbated by a pandemic-driven ridership drop.

New Bedford Light GBH

No triple damages for Sex Offender Registry Board head fired by Patrick 

The former head of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board fired by then-Gov. Deal Patrick is not entitled to triple punitive damages after her successful whistleblower trial against the state, a Superior Court judge has ruled. Judge James Lang ruled that while Patrick was negligent in the situation, his behavior did not meet the “reckless indifference” standard required for the extra financial payout.

The Eagle Tribune | The Boston Herald

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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.