Senate President Karen Spilka and Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues.

Happening today:

11 a.m. | The Black wealth gap and how to fill it are on the agenda for Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao | Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston

11 a.m. | Senate President Karen Spilka hosts members of the Framingham Teachers' Association for a meeting in her office. | Senate President's Office

1 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu delivers remarks at the opening of the Gourdin African American Veterans Memorial Park. | Justice Edward O. Gourdin Veterans Memorial Park, 2405 Washington St, Roxbury

3:15 p.m. | Time to hit the town with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu for the second day of the 2023 Boston Police National Night At various locations in East Boston, Chinatown, the South End, the North End, South Boston and Dorchester.

6 p.m. | Senate President Karen Spilka gives "annual legislative update" to Hopkinton Select Board and local officials. | Town Hall, 18 Main St., Hopkinton

7 p.m. | Former presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Spingarn Freedom Fund Awards Dinner on the final day of the NAACP National Convention. | Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston

Bay Staters are still waiting for meaningful tax relief nearly two years after lawmakers first pitched a range of cuts designed to ease the burden of inflation and rising costs. We only know tax cuts are coming, but likely not until after the Legislature takes its annual August holiday. 

Gov. Maura Healey and the House initially pushed the budget and tax relief bills in tandem — a tie severed by the Senate following a shocking dip in April revenues. The final budget — a month overdue but now on the governor’s desk — sets aside $581 million for tax cuts. 

For now, we’ll have to make do with a “hole in the budget” –– as Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues put it yesterday.

A tax relief bill that is inclusive of all House and Senate proposals would cost roughly $600 million during the current fiscal year with an ongoing budget impact of $1 billion, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has said. But with negotiations on competing bills being hashed out behind closed doors, the public has largely been left in the dark on where relief will ultimately land.

Progressives have pitted themselves against business groups over a Healey-backed House proposal that would slash capital gains taxes from 12 percent to 5 percent. The infrequently used tax on tangible assets has taken on symbolic value for those in favor of a cut who say it would energize business and encourage more investment. At the center of the issue is Massachusetts’ competitiveness, which progressives say can’t be fixed with more handouts for the rich.

Instead, progressive groups behind the state’s new millionaire tax are looking to shut a loophole as part of the pending tax relief bill that would force married couples to file jointly. Currently, couples can artificially deflate their income to avoid the tax on earnings over $1 million, costing the state an estimated $600 million annually.

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Keller @ Large

New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte continues to come after the Bay State and its defenders in her campaign to be the Granite State’s next governor. WBZ political analyst Jon Keller takes another shot at the former Republican U.S. senator this week, calling Ayotte a “fake” candidate by leaning into tactics straight out of the Trump playbook.


Who said it: Lawmakers get ‘hip’ on budget

Lawmakers finally made progress and advanced their budget — a month into the fiscal year. Top Democrats injected a bit of pop culture into the process when speaking with reporters after passing the $56.2 billion spending plan, invoking the words of rapper Jay-Z.

House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz quipped: “As Jay-Z said, we’re on to the next one.”

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues couldn’t resist the opportunity to chime in on what was apparently Jay-Z quote day on Beacon Hill, as GBH report Katie Lannan put it.

“To quote Jay-Z, who I’m told is hip by my counterpart in the House: I got 99 problems but this budget ain’t one,” he said. The pair also worked in some nods to the Grateful Dead and Winston Churchill.

Lawmakers tap one-time spending

The Legislature is fueling a spending splurge with about $1 billion from the state’s new income surtax to push state spending up by more than $3.5 billion. It also tapped more than $600 million from other state funds and sources to fuel the spending surge, writes Chris Lisinski for the State House News Service. The record $56.2 billion fiscal 2024 budget is now on the governor’s desk.

State House News Service

State opens second welcome center amid surge of migrants

State officials on Monday opened the second welcome center for resident and migrant families experiencing homelessness on the campus of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, reports GBH. It’s the first to also accommodate an on-site shelter and is meant to serve the growing number of people seeking refuge in Massachusetts. The state has seen a growing number of immigrants arriving from Haiti and South America.


No funding track for East-West Rail in budget

Gov, Maura Healey proposed $12.5 million for the East-West rail project in the current year budget, but the funding ultimately didn’t make the cut in the just-passed $56.2 billion state budget. The funding was requested for a passenger rail station in Palmer and track improvements in Pittsfield — projects necessary for a long-awaited expansion.


AG sues Mystic Valley Charter School over records

Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s office filed a lawsuit on Monday against Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, claiming the school failed to comply with the Massachusetts Public Records Law, reports the Globe. The suit alleges the Malden-based charter school received 10 records requests between January and November of last year, but declined to provide the records.

The Boston Globe

Unionization push inside Boston’s planning agency

Efforts to unionize are underway as the Wu administration moves to revamp the Boston Planning and Development Agency, reports Dot News. Two unions have been seeking out BPDA staff members as part of unionization drives.

Dorchester Reporter

Boston mayor bans fossil fuels in city-owned construction

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu yesterday signed an executive order that prohibits city-owned buildings from being constructed or renovated in a way that allows for the use of fossil fuels in her latest green energy push. It is part of the mayor’s larger effort to implement a similar ban on new residential buildings, her office said, a plan that has drawn the ire of certain real-estate groups.

The Boston Herald

Easthampton council tees up override of vetoed pregnancy center measure 

The Easthampton City Council could vote as soon as Wednesday to override Mayor Nicole LaChapelle’s veto of a controversial ordinance aimed at crisis pregnancy centers, a move being called for by abortion access advocates. LaChapelle used her veto power for the first time on the measure, saying she questioned whether the city had a role to play in an area already addressed by state law.

MassLive | Daily Hampshire Gazette

After busy weekend for cops, Springfield mayor calls on courts to do their part 

After a weekend that saw local police make 11 high-profile arrests in one neighborhood–including one of a murder suspect–Mayor Domenic Sarno staged a media event to call on courts to do their part to keep repeat violent offenders from being released back into the community. MassLive’s Jonah Snowden reports Sarno continued his ongoing criticism of local judges and what he sees as lax state rules on bail.


Payback: After 20 years without increase, Brockton trash fees could spike

Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan is proposing a 43 percent increase in the fees residents pay to have their trash picked up, a number likely to cause sticker-shock for some but one that reflects the fact that the fee hadn’t been changed for two full decades, the Enterprise’s Chris Helms reports.

The Brockton Enterprise

As goes Vail? Nantucket to hear tony ski town’s housing tale

The director of housing in Vail, Colorado will be on Nantucket this week to share the lessons the ski resort town learned as it successfully grew the number of permanent affordable housing units in the famously wealthy community by more than 50 percent. The Nantucket Affordable Housing Trust is hosting the visit in the hopes of learning how the island can find ways to build out its stock of year-round, attainable housing. 

The Inquirer and Mirror

Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList