Gov. Maura Healey

Happening Today:

8 a.m. | New MBTA GM Phillip Eng speaks to media after his first commute as General Manager. | Outside Park Street Station, Tremont and Park Streets, Boston

10 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey makes an announcement concerning Worcester Regional Airport alongside Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca. | Worcester Regional Airport, 375 Airport Drive, Worcester

Noon | Boston Mayor Wu and City Council President Flynn participate in a wreath-laying in memory of Boston activist and former state representative Mel King, who died last month at 94. The event will also include a brief speaking program, during which Wu will read a proclamation declaring Tuesday, April 11 as a citywide day of remembrance for King. | City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

1 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey announces her administration's plan to protect access to mifepristone in Massachusetts. She will be joined by Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Sen. Warren, AG Campbell, Senate President Spilka, Sen. Friedman, and representatives from Planned Parenthood League of Mass., Reproductive Equity Now, ACLU of Mass. | State House steps

2 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey meets with legislative leaders and Lt. Gov. Driscoll. Meeting closed, media availability will follow. | Senate President Spilka's office

1 p.m. | MBTA GM Phillip Eng tours the bus maintenance facility at Cabot Yard. WBZ-TV - CBS Boston serves as the pool camera for all video. | Near 275 Dorchester Ave, Boston

4 p.m. | Public viewing and visitation is held for the late Mel King, a longtime Boston activist and former state rep who died March 28 at the age of 94. Opportunity for "witnesses from the community" from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Union United Methodist Church, 485 Columbus Ave., Boston

4 p.m. | Horse racing season begins at Plainridge Park Race Track. The standardbred track at Plainridge Park Casino has been the only venue to host any type of live horse racing in Massachusetts since Suffolk Downs ran its last race in June 2019. The Gaming Commission last year got an application for 2023 racing at a yet-to-be approved or built thoroughbred track in Hardwick, but laid it aside amid a seesaw battle at the local level. | Plainridge Park, 301 Washington St., Plainville

5 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Cory Booker discusses his career in politics, experiences in the U.S. Senate, food policy and criminal justice reform. The discussion is part of the Solomont Speaker Series event hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. | LL08 Auditorium, Barnum Hall, Tufts, Somerville

Access to the abortion pill is here to stay in Massachusetts, a contingent of women-led state leaders has vowed.

Gov. Maura Healey has pledged to take “immediate action to protect access” to abortion care in Massachusetts and will reveal the details of her plan at 1 p.m. on Monday on the steps of the State House.

Healey plans to make her announcement flanked by the leading women of Massachusetts including Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Andrea Campbell, Senate President Karen Spilka, Senate Chair of the Health Care Financing Committee Cindy Friedman.

Female executives heading Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Reproductive Equity Now and ACLU of MA will also stand beside her.

Healey is expected to announce an executive action, sources tell MASSterList.

Healey has hinted at what an action might include, but today will bring details of a fight that’s just beginning. Massachusetts “will continue to have access to mifepristone,” she said in a statement on Sunday. 

“We stand for civil rights and freedom, and we will always protect access to reproductive health care,” Healey said.

A federal judge in Texas on Friday issued a ruling that blocked the federal authorization of mifepristone — one of two legal abortion medications — and which has been on the market for 23 years. An anti-abortion group argued the Food and Drug Administration rushed its initial approval process. 

Proponents of the drug have pushed back, saying there have been few if any safety complaints in the two-plus decades it’s been in circulation.

So safe, in fact, that state Attorney General Campbell tweeted in the wake of Friday ruling that mifepristone is “safer than Tylenol.”

Warren has given her “word” mifepristone would remain on the market in Massachusetts.

Planned Parenthood is still providing medication abortion “as usual” locally using the other, still-legal abortion pill: misoprostol. Typically medication abortions are done using a combination of both pills. That increases the number of pregnancies 10 weeks and under ended without the need for surgery, from 93% to 99%, the agency said.

The Biden administration quickly appealed the ruling, setting the case on a possible path to the highest court in the country.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, the right to access abortion reverted to the states. 

Massachusetts lawmakers took steps to enshrine a women’s right to choose into state law even before the SCOTUS ruling and have taken more steps since.

But pro-abortion advocates warn the attack on abortion pills is part of anti-abortion advocates “endgame” to ban abortion nationwide.

“This has always been the endgame. It was never Roe,” Rebecca Hart Holder of Reproductive Equity Now said in a statement.

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MBTA watch 🚇

Days since the last derailment, fire, crash, falling debris, or critical incident: 4

*An MBTA bus collided with a vehicle on Forest Hills Avenue in Jamaica Plain.

Days with localized speed restrictions: 31

Days without “normal” weekday subway service: 292

On Jan. 5, Gov. Healey pledged to hire a new MBTA Transportation Safety Chief within 60 days. It has now been 95 days without the position being filled.

Healey’s T: A fresh age in MBTA leadership starts Monday with the T’s new Executive Director Philip Eng

It’s the first day of a new era in MBTA management as Philip Eng takes over as the beleaguered transit agency’s next executive director.

The transportation leader lauded for his turnaround of lagging train times at the Long Island Rail Road will host two availabilities during his first official day on the job, an MBTA spokeswoman said. He plans to take the Green Line to work and will meet reporters outside the Park Street State MBTA stop around 8 a.m. another availability will follow Monday afternoon at Boston’s bus yard. Eng was appointed by Gov. Maura Healey last month and represents her highest-profile appointment since taking the corner office and inheriting the T headaches.

WCVB NBC Boston | The Boston Herald

Boston’s Mel King to be honored this week

A funeral service for civil rights leader Mel King will be held Tuesday at Union United Methodist Church in the South End, where a portion of tickets was made available to the general public but quickly ran out on Friday, with the high demand causing a series of system crashes.

The Boston Globe

This is not what “driverless” is supposed to mean

The number of bus drivers at the T continues to decline despite an aggressive hiring campaign that began in December 2021. The T is down to 1,460 bus drivers this month, about 87 percent of its pre-pandemic staff, the Globe reports.

Public transit agencies in New York City, New Jersey and Los Angeles County have hired and retained enough drivers to restore pre-pandemic service. Southeastern Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. are well on their way, each with about 95 percent of the bus drivers needed to restore pre-pandemic service and Chicago has about 86 percent of its budgeted bus driver positions filled.

The Boston Globe

Pandemic-era eviction protection measure to see revival

Massachusetts House leaders are expected to revive a pandemic-era measure barring landlords from evicting financially struggling tenants who have applied for rental assistance. The Legislature allowed the temporary policy known — Chapter 257 — to lapse at the end of March even as evictions have begun rising to pre-pandemic levels, writes Matt Stout for The Boston Globe. House lawmakers are expected to fold the new policy into their 2024 budget, due out this month.

The Boston Globe

The rent is too damn high: Massachusetts among costliest states to live, report finds

The rule of thumb when considering affordability is that housing costs should never eat up more than 30 percent of your household income. But as it turns out, that old rule has become untenable for apartment dwellers these days. In Massachusetts, Florida and New York, residents spend 32.9%, 32.6% and 31.2% of their income respectively on rent, according to the Moody’s report.


Redistricting in Boston: Controversial map now in judges hands

A federal judge is now weighing a contentious redistricting map passed by the City Council last fall. The map carves up Dorchester’s Neponset neighborhood, with some precincts going to District 3, represented by Frank Baker, and others to District 4’s Brian Worrell. The judge could leave the map as is, or send it back to the 13-member Council, which spent September and October haggling over which precincts go where, for a rewrite.


Buying equity: Somerville, Brookline team up to study minority, women-owned procurement

Somerville and Brookline are teaming up to launch a study looking into what’s holding minority- and women-owned businesses back from getting their fair share of government contracts. The two municipalities will share the costs of the study and say recommendations and findings should be broadly useable across Greater Boston to help cities and towns expand opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. Funding for the study will come from the federal pandemic relief money.


Go B’s: Bruins make NHL history 

The Bruins made history on Sunday as they play out their best regular season ever. David Pastrnak scored his 58th, 59th, and 60th goals of the season in a 5-3 win over the Flyers, the NHL-record 63rd victory of the season for the Bruins, writes The Globe’s Matt Porter. They have one more win than the 1995-96 Red Wings and 2018-19 Lightning.

The Boston Globe | The Boston Herald

Easter tragedy: Cambridge church burns down in 6-alarm blaze

Cambridge firefighters battled a heavy blaze that broke out at Faith Lutheran Church late in the afternoon on Easter shortly after holiday services had ended, according to city officials. The Cambridge Fire Department ordered a 6th alarm Sunday evening for the massive fire at the church on Broadway near Prospect Street.

WCVB | Boston 25

More drug cases may be at risk after State Police shielded recordings 

As many as 50 charges in a single, sprawling drug case could be at risk after Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early discovered recordings made by state police investigators that were not produced during court proceedings and that defendants were unaware of, Brad Petrishen of the Telegram reports.

Telegram & Gazette

Falmouth voters to take up another plastics ban Monday night 

Town meeting voters in Falmouth could ban restaurants from using single-use plastic containers and utensils when customers order takeout food when they take up a citizen’s petition that is part of a larger push to reduce plastics use. Heather McCarron of the Cape Cod Times reports the group that got the proposal onto the warrant in Falmouth, Sustainable Practices, hopes to get the same ban before voters in another half-dozen Cape towns this spring.

The Cape Cod Times

Frozen: Peach farmers fear season could be lost after late freeze 

Peach farmers in the Berkshires say they may be on the verge of a disastrous growing season after a late-winter deep-freeze. The Recorder’s Domenic Poli reports farmers say crop insurance will help soften the blow but won’t make them whole if this year’s crop doesn’t materialize.  

The Greenfield Recorder

The tooth of truth: How a single item helped solve New Bedford Whaling Museum thefts 

As the suspect in the theft of $150,000 worth of items from the New Bedford Whaling Museum appeared in court and pleaded not guilty, police explained how a single whale’s tooth scrimshaw piece the suspect sold to a West Bridgewater antique dealer sparked suspicion and led to his arrest. 

Southcoast Today The New Bedford Light

Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList