11 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey attends a Beacon Hill summit hosted by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. | Senate Reading Room
2 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey meets privately with Treasurer Goldberg for their monthly meeting. | Governor's Office
3 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey presents a citation at the annual commemoration of international Denim Day. The day, hosted by the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and its Sexual Violence Task Force, is held annually in April where supporters wear denim to protest sexual violence. | Grand Staircase
3:15 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey unveils winners of a contest to decide which former governors' portraits hang in the corner office. Lt. Gov. Driscoll joins. | Governor's Ceremonial Office
The consequence of child abuse was visible in the State House’s grand staircase on Tuesday, where 85 pairs of empty shoes were on display by advocacy group Children’s Trust to represent the average number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect confirmed every day in Massachusetts.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Aaron Michlewitz was among those honored at the annual Step Up for Kids event and later Tuesday, his fellow representatives renewed their push to take a closer look at the deaths of young children as a separate package of bills aims to crack down on the “staggering” prevalence of child abuse in schools and community organizations.
Representatives slipped language into a mega-amendment that would require a chief medical examiner’s review and approval on autopsies on children under 2 years old.
Lawmakers’ efforts to adopt a similar budget amendment or pass a standalone bill to increase scrutiny in death investigations for the Bay State’s youngest and most vulnerable residents failed last year. The push came following high-profile deaths of infants in recent years — like a 6-month-old Malden baby who died violently of shaken-baby syndrome.
The mega-amendment passed 158-0 in the House on Tuesday and is one of four consolidated amendments added so far to the budget as of early Tuesday evening that added another $32.9 million to the budget plan for fiscal 2024, bringing the total spending this week to $86.5 million, which will be tacked onto the House’s $56.2 billion budget.
The House budget debate is ongoing. It must still pass the chamber with the full budget, as well as the Senate, and earn Gov. Maura Healey’s signature.
Advocates called it an appropriate addition in the waning days of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Sen. Joan Lovely spoke about the “staggering but true” statistics around child abuse and child sexual abuse in particular at a recent webinar held by Mass. Citizens for Children and the Enough Abuse Campaign. She is championing a package of bills that seek to end abuse in the education system.
The Salem Democrat said her legislation and a parallel bill filed by Rep. John Lawn (S 314/H194) would require schools and youth organizations to adopt abuse prevention policies, require all mandated reporters working in schools and youth programs to undergo regular training on how to prevent child sexual abuse, recognize inappropriate behavior, and respond to violations, and have the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education develop the training program and make it available at no cost.
Boston lawyer Carmen Durso, a survivor who specializes in representing child abuse survivors, said: “Sex abuse in education has become the clergy abuse crisis of this decade.”
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Report questions if Boston can sustain ARPA-funded projects
A municipal watchdog report found the city is on track to spend the entirety of its $558.7 million in pandemic-era ARPA funds by the 2026 deadline, but raised concerns about Boston’s ability to sustain certain projects after the federal cash is gone. The city appropriated the majority, or $362.2 million of its federal allocation for “equitable and transformative investments,” Boston Municipal Research Bureau concludes in a Tuesday report.
House approves previously stalled legal fund for children and families
Massachusetts House lawmakers voted Tuesday in favor of setting up a fund to increase the availability and quality of legal representation for children and families as they kicked off their second day of debate on the annual state budget. It passed the $10.5 million mega amendment filled with earmarks and policy related to public safety and the courts.
Still no job for superintendent candidate who wrote ‘ladies’ in Easthampton
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Some call for rat czar in Boston
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Framingham hires new PIO
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Lowell says rapid response helped minimize cyber attack
Lowell City Manager Tom Golden says the city’s computer network was hit with a cyberattack in early Monday but said that a rapid response to an alarm helped keep most systems running and prevented the loss of any sensitive information. Melanie Gilbert of the Sun has the details.
Top of Fall River salary list dominated by police
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Worcester family sues Cabela’s over improperly sold gun
The parents of a 20-year-old Worcester man who died in an apparent handgun accident in 2020 are suing Cabela’s, saying the chain’s Hudson outlet improperly sold him the gun even though he was under 21 and didn’t have a license or permit to carry the weapon. The Telegram’s Craig Semon reports the family of Justin Fillios is seeking $1 million in damages.
Deck officer shortage could crimp Steamship Authority service this summer
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Leverett could vote to give noncitizens the right to vote on local matters
Voters in Leverett will be asked whether the town should ask state lawmakers to allow permanent residents to vote in local elections and serve on boards and committees even though they are not US citizens when they gather on Saturday. As the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Scott Merzbach reports, the proposal follows similar pushes in nearby Northampton and Amherst.