10 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey pitches a new health and physical education framework to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. | State Library, third floor, State House
10 a.m. | Treasurer Deb Goldberg leads a meeting with the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board. | For virtual access information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. | MSBA headquarters, 40 Broad St., Boston
11 a.m. | Lobbyists with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network lobby in support of legislation ensuring patient access to health data. | Grand Staircase, State House
11:15 a.m. | Governor's Council holds public interviews with two of Gov. Maura Healey's pardon candidates: Glendon King and Terrance Williams. | Council Chamber
11:30 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey celebrates winners of Massport's All Hands awards. | Logan Airport, One Harborside Dr Suite 200S, East Boston
3:30 p.m. | Look for Gov. Maura Healey at a Pride Month celebration for LGBTQ+ youth and families. | Great Hall, State House
Strapped renters hoping for relief will have to settle for another Band-Aid for now as the long-simmering housing crisis in Massachusetts — by virtually every measure — only gets worse.
Lawmakers are likely to revive a now-expired pandemic-era policy preventing evictions of renters in arrears who have active applications for rental assistance. Both the House and Senate budgets propose making permanent the policy known as Chapter 257 — all but guaranteeing the measure will pass in a final budget bill currently being hashed out in closed-door conference committee negotiations.
Landlords and housing advocates alike have called the revival of Chapter 257 another “Band-Aid” for a problem in need of holistic solutions. But it’s the only reprieve coming anytime soon for renters in need of immediate help. If passed in the budget, it would go into effect alongside next year’s spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Comprehensive housing relief will take longer, state Sen. Lydia Edwards, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing, recently told MASSterList. “We are not moving individual bills like we used to. These are complicated issues. There is no single solution,” Edwards said.
Hinting at the type of omnibus reform bill that’s become synonymous with the way of doing business on Beacon Hill, wholesale housing relief is months away at best. Edwards said her committee will take the rest of the year to conduct hearings and vet the 158 bills before them — spanning rent control, real estate sales taxes and more.
It’s a timeline that worries advocates like Gabriela Cartagena of Vida Urbana. “This is urgent housing policy that we need now,” she said.
The Bay State is now considered the third-most expensive for renters in the nation. And — as affordable housing advocates predicted — eviction filings are climbing.
Eviction filings in Massachusetts housing courts so far this year are roughly double what was seen last year, according to a MASSterList review of the most recent available court data. Citing nonpayment, landlords lodged more than 2,000 of the filings that trigger eviction proceedings last month.
The uptick started just ahead of the expiration of Chapter 257 on March 31.
Cartegena said all eyes are on Gov. Maura Healey’s new Housing Secretary Ed Augustus — the commonwealth’s first cabinet-level official dedicated to the issue in three decades.
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Healey’s pardon candidates up for vetting before Governor’s Council
The Governor’s Council will today begin vetting two of the seven candidates Gov. Maura Healey has recommended for pardons: Glendon King and Terrance Williams. The council must consent and agree to Healey’s recommendations. The governor last week laid out her plan for pardons, becoming the first governor in three decades to seek pardons so early in her first term, according to her office.
King was convicted in 1992 on drug charges and Williams was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 1984.
In recent years, the council has skipped pardon hearings for most convicts seeking forgiveness for years-old crimes and instead reviewed their cases privately. But King and Williams both joined Healey at her June 15 press conference announcing the clemency proposals. The council interviews start at 11:15 a.m.
Healey headed to Ireland next week in first overseas visit
Gov. Maura Healey will address the Irish Senate next week in her first international travel as governor that also feature a series of business and commerce events alongside two Cabinet secretaries and other state officials, reports Alison Kuznitz for State House News Service. Healey’s trip to Dublin coincides with Ireland’s 30-year anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality and the 60th-anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the country.
Coming through: Boston mayor defends using police lights, sirens ahead of crash
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu defended the use of police lights and sirens ahead of a crash on city streets two weeks ago, saying it is “standard practice” for emergency lights and sirens to be activated when transporting dignitaries through traffic, reports Gayla Cawley for The Boston Herald. The mayor said the police officer driving came to a complete stop at the intersection prior to going through a red light before the crash occurred.
Search ongoing for missing submersible on Titanic tourist venture
A glimmer of hope in the ongoing search for a missing submersible carrying five people on a tourist venture to view the Titanic wreck was captured by a Canadian military surveillance aircraft, reports The Boston Globe. Underwater noises were detected, but the U.S. Coast Guard did not elaborate on what rescuers believed the noises could be.
Working seniors could get bigger property tax credits
Older Massachusetts homeowners could be eligible to take more off of their property tax bills under a provision included in the Senate’s relief proposal, reports Christian Wade for The Eagle Tribune. The changes would bump the allowable tax credit maximum from $1,500 up to $2,000 a year for working seniors.
Massachusetts National Guardsman accused of leaking docs in court today
The former Massachusetts National Guardsman accused of leaking highly classified military documents online faces arraignment today, reports Travis Anderson for The Boston Globe. Jack Douglas Teixeira, 21, is slated for arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Worcester. He has been held without bail since his arrest in April. Teixeira was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Boston on six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information.
Mass Pike project could mean economic gains as far as Worcester, say business leaders
A multi-billion-dollar effort to rebuild and straighten the Mass. Pike as it passes through Allston could help spur economic growth 35 miles away in Worcester in addition to the 11 million square feet of development it could spur in Boston, reports James Sanna for Banker & Tradesman. And that could give the state a leg up on its latest attempt at securing the federal funding necessary for such an ambitious project.
Woman posed as student at 3 Boston schools
Police are investigating after Boston Public Schools administrators became suspicious and discovered a woman had enrolled in three BPS high schools in the last school year in a scheme using multiple pseudonyms and transfers, a letter to families said.
Court hands lobstermen victory on new restrictions intended to save endangered whales
The Maine Lobstermen’s Association caught a victory in federal appeals court after suing the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service over restrictions intended to save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, reports GBH’s Mark Herz. Conservationists allege the whale’s small numbers are threatened by entanglement in fishing gear and sought stricter regulations. There are only about 340 North Atlantic right whales in the world.
Boston City Council hearing coming after children found near drugs, corpse in public housing
The Boston City Council wants the Housing Authority to explain exactly what happened at the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing complex, where four children were allegedly found hidden in the back room of an apartment filled with “alcohol, drugs, sex toys” and a dead person, reports Matthew Medsger for The Boston Herald. City Councilor-at-large Erin Murphy requested the hearing.
Right-to-repair: Massachusetts delegation blasts feds for siding with automakers
Some of the state’s congressional delegation are accusing federal highway safety officials of siding with automakers in a dispute over updating the state’s right-to-repair law, reports Christian Wade for The Gloucester Times. Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey criticized the feds notice to car manufacturers earlier this month stating that complying with the voter-approved update to the law would violate federal safety regulations.
Campbell joins fellow AGs in calling on Target to restore Pride displays
Attorney General Andrea Campbell is helping to lead a group of 15 state attorneys general who are calling on Target to restore the Pride Month displays they took down or minimized after a series of threats against employees. Campbell said in a statement that Target is sending a message that the threat of violence can effectively halt progress on social issues.
Taunton synagogue targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism
A Taunton synagogue is just the latest in the state to be targeted by anti-Semitic vandalism, with members of the Agudath Achim congregations discovering over the weekend that swastikas and other hate speech had been spray painted onto the synagogue’s walls. Daniel Schemer of the Taunton Daily Gazette reports the vandalism, part of which was captured on video, was discovered and quickly covered up just before a Saturday bar mitzvah–and that police continue to investigate.
Western Mass. colleges make fallback plans ahead of Supreme Court affirmative action ruling
With a Supreme Court ruling on a challenge to Affirmative Action in college admissions due any day, Alden Bourne of New England Public Media talks to public and private schools alike to find out how they may change admissions policies to ensure diversity in their student populations.
Martha’s Vineyard moped ban before lawmakers yet again
An effort to ban the rental of mopeds in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard has started its legislative journey once again. Sam Houghton of the MV Times reports the town has twice voted to initiate the home-rule petition process to institute the ban and that a 2018 effort perished in committee.
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