Happening today

10 a.m. | With an influx of migrants pushing the state's emergency shelter system past capacity, Gov. Maura Healey is expected to make an emergency declaration. | Room 157

10 a.m. | Stepping away from tax cut talks, Sen. Michael Rodrigues tours of South Coast DCR properties like Horseneck Beach to highlight and promote tourism. | Horseneck Beach, 5 John Reed Road, Westport

10 a.m. | The state Gaming Commission meets for a possible vote on a series of regulations related to sports betting.

10 a.m. | Inspector General Shapiro tours the Chelsea Veterans' Home's Community Living Center. | 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea

2:30 p.m. | To mark progress on the Vineyard Wind construction, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll with gather with state officials, lawmakers and project leaders as the first turbines arrive. | Blaney Street Ferry Terminal, 10 Blaney St., Salem

There aren’t enough roofs to cover the heads of Bay Staters seeking shelter in Massachusetts. 

The state’s housing crunch is nothing new, but a new strain from an influx of migrants looking to settle here following the end of a pandemic policy that allowed authorities to turn away unauthorized border crossers has put the affordable housing crisis in a new spotlight.

More than 1,300 migrants, mostly from Haiti and Latin America, have sought shelter in Massachusetts hotels since May — a 250 percent increase since Gov. Maura Healey took office in January. It’s pushed the state’s emergency shelter system past capacity and officials have turned to hotels and motels to bridge the gap. Massachusetts is the only right-to-shelter state that guarantees housing for eligible families.

State officials have declined to answer questions from the media and a state lawmaker about how much the state is spending on hotels for migrants. It has now contracted with more than 40 hotels in multiple cities and towns across the state.

Gov. Maura Healey is expected to make an emergency declaration this morning, The Boston Globe reported, that would allow the administration to sidestep procurement rules and the competitive bidding process but would open the door for federal reimbursement on costs that easily run into the tens of millions. The state could also formally appeal to the president for disaster relief funding, which could include money for emergency housing, food, and water.

A review of state procurement data shows four requests for proposals since the spring — including a rolling request valid through 2032 — related to emergency shelters at hotels and motels. It outlines services for bidders including providing a clean, safe environment, ensuring no sex offenders are living there and offering access to a kitchen or meals.

Contracts obtained by the Herald and NBC 10 for various hotels show state commitments for $2.6 million in fiscal year 2023 and $10.7 million the next.

While state policy directs migrants to start a search for permanent housing within five days of gaining shelter, they often spend more than a year in state services. 

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Keller @ Large

WBZ political analyst Jon Keller offers a dire outlook for local Republicans, who he says are struggling to define their message and attract donors. With few members in the state Legislature, the GOP wields little power and Keller says the lawmakers in office don’t offer much pushback to the Democratic establishment.


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The Boston Globe

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The Boston Herald

Boston mayor names two new members to board of city planning agency

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Boston Business Journal

Public safety is Boston council president’s priority at Mass and Cass

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The Boston Globe

Massachusetts airman charged in leaked documents case should stay in jail, prosecutors say

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The Sun Chronicle

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Universal Hub | Northeastern News

After Easthampton veto, Northampton may be next to consider crisis pregnancy ordinance

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Daily Hampshire Gazette

Settled: Billionaires reach deal to end standoff over Nantucket clam shack 

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Inquirer & Mirror | Nantucket Current

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Worcester’s airport says passenger traffic has finally return to pre-Covid levels 

Worcester Regional Airport says passenger numbers have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with the Massport facility–which went totally dark for most of 2020–handling 193,000 passengers during the recently concluded fiscal year. Liesel Nygard of the Worcester Business Journal has all the numbers.


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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList