Happening today:

9 a.m. | Health Connector Board meets for the first time since early March to give an update on MassHealth redeterminations and enrollment transitions to the Health Connector and discuss proposed amendments to minimum creditable coverage

2:30 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu participates in the annual Disability Community Forum hosted by the Disability Commission Advisory Board. | Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Downtown

2:30 p.m. | Coalition for Safe Drinking Water holds informational briefing for lawmakers and staff on a bill dealing with drinking water quality standards for private wells (S 482 / H 902). | Room 222

4 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends the unveiling of the new STEM Lab at BCYF Shelburne. | Shelburne Community Center, 2730 Washington Street, Roxbury

6:30 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey speaks at the Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) EMPower Celebration. | Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston

In-state college could be getting cheaper for the roughly 1,000 undocumented students who graduate from Massachusetts high schools every year.

Senate leaders want to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants living and attending high school in Massachusetts, slashing 

It’s part of a larger push to slash tuition costs across the board at the state’s 15 community colleges, with an ultimate goal of making attendance free for residents.

In the meantime, it could save undocumented students tens of thousands of dollars. UMass Amherst, for example, costs $35,765 a year for in-state students versus $57,701 for out-of-state students. UMass Boston charges $14,905 for in-state tuition and $36,581 for out-of-state students.

Undocumented immigrants could qualify for in-state tuition if they attended high school in Massachusetts for a minimum of three years and graduated or earned a GED. They must also provide a valid Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, an affidavit indicating they applied for citizenship or legal permanent residence or plan to do so once eligible, and proof they registered for selective service, if applicable.

According to the National Immigration Law Center, 23 states allow local high school graduates to pay in-state tuition, regardless of immigration status.

But does a push for in-state tuition for undocumented students stand a chance?

Gov. Maura Healey is on board — with a spokeswoman saying she’s “supportive” of efforts to provide in-state tuition to students who are living and attending high school in Massachusetts.

But Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano is playing coy. An aide said the House will “review” the proposal. The Quincy Democrat voted against the reform 17 years ago when the Legislature shot down a similar proposal.

Plus, the Legislature has a history of passing on major policy changes vetted in only one chamber in budget proposals. 

But Mariano led a push last year to extend driving privileges to undocumented residents.

Roughly 11,632 undocumented students currently attend Massachusetts colleges, estimates the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration partnered with New American Economy.

Opponents of efforts to expand privileges to undocumented residents argue such laws could encourage more illegal immigration.

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Varsity Blues college admissions scam convictions reversed for 2 parents

In a major win for two parents convicted in the Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scandal, a federal appeals court reversed their high-profile convictions, reports Rick Sobey for The Boston Herald. The court overturned convictions for former Staples exec and Massachusetts resident John Wilson and for former senior gaming and hospitality exec Gamal Abdelaziz of Las Vegas. Known as Operation Varsity Blues, an investigation into widespread admissions scams led to federal charges against dozens of wealthy parents, including Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who both spent time in prison.

The Boston Herald

Woman hit by falling debris at Harvard MBTA Station plans to sue

A woman hit by a 200-pound utility box that fell from the ceiling at the Harvard Red Line station plans to sue the MBTA, reports WHDH. Joycelyn Johnson, a 28-year-old Harvard University PhD. student, suffered serious injuries, including a detached clavicle, when she was struck on May 1 and told reporters her injuries will require long-term medical treatment. Her lawyer says he is filing a notice of intention to sue.


Mass. joins push for gas stove regulations

Gas stoves are under fire from a group of attorney generals — including Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell — who are urging federal regulators to address “public health and safety concerns,” reports Christian Wade for The Eagle Tribune. A letter to regulators calls for standards to reduce harmful pollutants from indoor gas stoves.

The Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts high court upholds $37M judgment for woman who smoked Marlboro Lights, got cancer

The state’s high court has upheld a $37 million award for a woman who said she developed cancer after trading in her Marlboro Reds for Marlboro Light cigarettes because she thought they were safer, reports The Washington Post. The Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous ruling agreed Patricia Walsh Greene might have smoked less or quit sooner had she not been swayed by Philip Morris’ claims that Marlboro Lights were safer

Washington Post

Defining ‘competitiveness’ as Massachusetts stares down affordability crisis

It’s become Beacon Hill’s latest buzzword. But “competitiveness” appears to have different meanings depending on who’s talking. Just look at the approach to spending plans laid out by Gov. Maura Healey, the House and the Senate as proof. Jennifer Smith for Commonwealth Magazine digs into the different plans of attack.

Commonwealth Magazine

Protesters arrested after holding empty chamber ‘hostage’ all day

Nine climate activists left the State House in handcuffs after protesting for more than six hours in the largely empty House chamber. They were demanding top lawmakers move to halt the construction of new fossil fuel projects, report Alison Kuznitz and Sam Drysdale for State House News Service. They were members of the activist group Extinction Rebellion Boston and Scientist Rebellion.

State House News Service

Finance chief sees tax base holding up

After a “jarring: April tax revenue report that came in far below expectations, the Healey administration’s budget chief said the “phenomenon” would not result in any cuts to the current state spending, and the numbers budget writers are using to draft the fiscal 2024 spending plan are still holding solid, reports Sam Doran for State House News Service. Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz plugged Gov. Maura Healey’s tax relief package, saying they plan remains “affordable” and “urgent as ever.”

State House News Service

Ex-Mass State Police union head gets prison time for kickbacks scheme

The former Massachusetts State Police union head is headed to prison for 2.5 years after he was convicted on a litany of charges including taking kickbacks from a union lobbyist, reports Shelley Murphy for The Boston Globe. Dana Pullman, 61, of Worcester was also ordered to pay restitution.

The Boston Globe

Here’s the skinny on the state of the COVID pandemic

Massachusetts, for the most part, fared far better than most of the country for much of the pandemic — the first wave in March 2020 being the exception, reports Anna Kuchment for The Boston Globe. The pandemic has slowed, data show, and global and local public health emergencies are coming to an end, with Massachusetts’ and U.S. declarations expiring today. But data show lingering signs it’s not completely over.

The Boston Globe

Pay up: Former CEO of New Boston Post wants cash for domain

Online conservative news site NewBostonPost is fighting to stay online after its former CEO Christine McCormick has asked the company to pay up to keep the website name, reports Contrarian Boston. McCormick left the company in 2016 but maintained control of the site’s domain name. Now, she wants the site to pay up — putting the price at $200,000, court filings show.

Contrarian Boston

Worcester grapples with whether to clear homeless encampments

Advocates for the homeless are asking Worcester officials to at least temporarily stop clearing homeless encampments but the city’s health department says the gatherings pose unique risks to public health that can’t be ignored. The Telegram’s Marco Cartolano has the details on where the debate stands.

Telegram & Gazette

Homelessness is a public health crisis, declares Lowell city council

The Lowell City Council has voted to declare homelessness a public health crisis, a move that the Sun’s Melanie Gilbert reports could help open the door to additional funding sources and partnerships to address the issue. The council’s order mirrors a 2021 vote that declared racism a crisis. 

The Lowell Sun

In response to Warren, EPA backs safety of Lee PCB landfill 

The area around a landfill in Lee that will receive PCB-contaminated soil from the cleanup of the Housatonic River will be safe enough for recreation once the project is completed, the EPA’s regional administrator is saying in response to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.  The EPA is also saying local drinking water supplies are unlikely to be contaminated by the landfill.

The Berkshire Eagle

School officials, students advocate for more rural aid during ‘critical’ legislative session

Bella Levavi of the Greenfield Recorder tracks the efforts of administrators from the state’s most rural school districts to convince lawmakers to support efforts to dramatically boost state aid and reports they left the State House optimistic that years of similar lobbying could finally pay off in the current legislative session.

The Recorder

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList