9:45 a.m. | A new labor agreement targeting recruitment and retention at the MBTA comes out today with the endorsement of transportation officials and Gov. Maura Healey. | MBTA Cabot Yard, 275 Dorchester Ave, Boston
10:30 a.m. | Drivers for app-based rideshare and delivery platforms announce a 2024 ballot initiative campaign that organizers said "would secure the flexibility drivers want as independent contractors and add new benefits and protections." | Brewer Fountain, Boston Common
11 a.m. | Governor's Council interviews Stephanie Everett, Gov. Maura Healey's pick to fill the vacant Suffolk County register of probate seat. | Council Chamber
11 a.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey holds press conferences to announce new legislation to ensure hospitals stay open throughout extreme weather events. | Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut St., Springfield
Noon | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Superintendent Mary Skipper celebrate 260 after school programs reaching 20,000 students. | Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston
Noon | U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren tours the Yawkey Housing Resource Center ahead of its opening to discuss its "innovative development" and expanded resources for housing on the South Shore | Yawkey Housing Resource Center, 37 Broad St., Quincy
[Editor’s note: The Aug. 1 edition of MASSterList incorrectly quoted Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues, who said there was a “hold on the budget” around tax relief plans.]
Local officials in some cities and towns across Massachusetts where crisis pregnancy centers operate are standing up to the misinformation and confusion sown by the anti-abortion health centers — at times against the advice of those who say local laws targeting the facilities can open communities up to lawsuits.
In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, city councils in several towns have sought to pass ordinances to protect women and those seeking abortions from what critics call “deceptive” practices of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that masquerade as legitimate health care facilities but do not provide comprehensive reproductive care and work to prevent people from accessing abortions.
Tonight, officials in Easthampton are expected to overturn a veto by Mayor Nicole LaChapelle over an ordinance that would provide protections for those seeking reproductive and gender-affirming health care services.
The ordinance would provide protections for those seeking reproductive and gender-affirming health care services. LaChapelle exercised her first-ever veto over concerns her city should be involved with the enforcement of state laws or information in the first place. At least 18 reproductive and social justice equity groups — including Reproductive Equity Now — have come out in support of councilors and an override.
“Anti-abortion centers are the foot soldiers of the anti-abortion movement and pose a serious threat to people seeking legitimate reproductive health care in our state,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, president. “Massachusetts has an obligation to double down on its efforts to educate and protect the public from deceptive facilities that promote medical disinformation. Cities and towns have a critical role to play.”
She’s encouraging more local communities to take a stand.
Worcester City Manager Eric Batista doesn’t have veto power, but he has slow-walked officials’ plans to regulate the crisis pregnancy centers in the city for more than a year. The issue came to a head at a meeting last month when councilors confronted Batista over his failure to bring ordinances before the council more than a year after they directed him to do so. Batista said he thought an ordinance would open the city up to lawsuits — something he said he told councilors in one-on-one meetings.
Worcester city councilors will finally see those draft ordinances at their Aug. 22 meeting, Batista said recently on Talk of the Commonwealth.
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Trump indicted again, this time for efforts to overturn the 2020 election
Massachusetts Democrats were quick to condemn former President Donald Trump, who faces new federal charges in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Bay State politicians support the charges they say provide accountability for the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton tweeted, “Donald Trump tried to destroy the most fundamental part of American democracy…”
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted, “Trump abandoned his oath of office & conspired to overthrow the results of an election in broad daylight. To defend our democracy & prevent attacks like this from ever happening again, he must be held fully accountable.”
House, Senate at it again with continued ‘snipes’
Consensus on the long-delayed budget agreement doesn’t necessarily mean an end to in-fighting between the House and Senate, reports Bruce Mohl for CommonWealth. On Friday, the same day the budget compromise first emerged, the House chairs of four joint legislative committees unilaterally initiated votes on a handful of bills that had gone through the hearing process in each of their panels, and urged the members to approve the measures.
COVID hospitalizations on the rise in Massachusetts
Coronavirus hospitalizations have risen about 30 percent in Massachusetts since hitting a low point on July 13, reports the Globe. The pattern matches a national increase. From June 24 through July 22, COVID hospitalizations increased by 11 percent, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The growing number of hospitalizations in the state comes paired with the highest levels of coronavirus in waste water since March.
Boston election officials dismiss residency complaints against councilor
The Boston Ballot Law Commission dismissed a residency challenge against City Councilor Kendra Lara, finding that the four objectors failed to prove that she lives outside of the district she represents, reports Gayla Cawley for The Herald.
Ex-Gov. Deval Patrick has optimism for Boston’s future
The 114th NAACP Convention is the first to be held in Boston since 1982 and many including former Gov. Deval Patrick, hope it will shine a better light on the city.
New ads go after Trump, Biden in New Hampshire
Internet ads in New Hampshire launch Tuesday with messages opposing both President Biden and former president Donald Trump. The digital advertisements, which include short commercials on video streaming services, are part of a four-state $1 million ad buy by Americans for Prosperity Action, a group that has signaled plans to endorse someone other than Trump for the GOP’s 2024 presidential primary.
Tone shift: Ayotte tells Lawrence officials she wants to work with them to stop fentanyl
New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte is telling Lawrence City Council President Marc Laplante that if elected she will work with officials in the Bay State to attack their common enemy of fentanyl trafficking. As Jill Harmacinski of the Eagle-Tribune reports, Ayotte took a much less combative tone in a letter to Laplante about the issue than in her campaign launch, where she warned against allowing the Granite State to become too much like Massachusetts.
T won’t say how long Ashland commuter rail station will be closed for repairs
The MBTA announced Tuesday that the Ashland commuter rail stop will close later this month for “critical” repairs but the agency isn’t saying how long the closure will last. Jesse Collings of the MetroWest Daily News reports the town’s lawmakers have long pushed for safety-related upgrades to stairways and walkways and that the T plans to offer commuters shuttle bus services to other stops.
Cape, island lawmakers hail bond limit boost for Steamship Authority
State lawmakers who represent Cape Cod and the islands say a 50 percent increase in the Steamship Authority’s bond borrowing limit passed in conjunction with the new state budget will ensure consistent service to and from the islands and help accelerate efforts to electrify the agency’s fleet of ferries, Walker Armstrong of the Cape Cod Times reports.
Backstop: Lawmakers want state to assure North Adams hospital will remain open
As plans advance to reopen North Adams Regional Hospital, some state lawmakers are already laying the groundwork for what should happen if Berkshire Health Systems decides to shutter it again. The Berkshire Eagle’s Sten Spinella reports legislation that would have a stage agency step in to take over small regional hospitals and save them from closure if they’re deemed essential.