Rent control rally in front of the State House.

Happening today:

11 a.m. | The budget is in. Gov. Maura Healey is set to release her FY24 spending plans. | Governor's Ceremonial Office

7 p.m. | Rep. Michael Soter, a Bellingham Republican, plans to make an announcement "about our steps forward" live on Facebook and Instagram — could it be Congress? Facebook and Instagram

11 a.m. | Family of the late Pete Frates hosts the ninth annual ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the front steps of the State House. | State House front steps

Noon | Governor's Council meets and could vote on the confirmation of attorney Stephanie Everett as Suffolk County's new register of probate. | Council Chamber

3:45 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Warren and local labor leaders join SAG-AFTRA New England members for a rally in support of the SAG-AFTRA strike. | .Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common

Massachusetts is spending $45 million per month in a scramble to shelter 5,500 families — including thousands of new migrants — in need of support. To reduce the outlays, housing advocates say the state needs to put a lid on evictions that have roughly doubled since last year. For the reality is, migrants are only part of the ongoing shelter crisis.

Cambridge Rep. Mike Connolly — the Democrat behind a potential ballot measure that would enable local rent control among other tenant protections — said he spent yesterday pressing the governor to support the revival of a pandemic-era policy known as Chapter 257. It shields renters from eviction while they’re seeking payment assistance.

“The underlying general affordable housing emergency has played a big part in causing the ranks of shelters to swell,” Connolly said, which a review of state court data support. Fixing that, he said, is a yearslong commitment.

Gov. Maura Healey wouldn’t let slip her thoughts on eviction deferment yesterday but will today unveil her final touches on her inaugural budget as governor. Should she green-light the measure, it will mark the first tangible progress on housing reform this session. The policy would permanently shield renters from eviction for nonpayment while they ride out the application process for assistance programs including the Rental Assistance for Families in Transition program. 

Connolly, however, isn’t taking any chances. Instead, he took a major step in his ballot initiative that could punt the question of rent control and tenant protections into the hands of voters. He formed the Committee to Explore Tenant Protection Ballot Question, filing with the state Office of Campaign Finance. It means the beginning of fundraising in support of the measure.

He’s filed a similar bill in the Legislature. Connolly says rent control, while not the only way, is the fastest way to stabilize housing costs for most Bay State renters.

The move tees up a potential ballot battle between renters and developers and real estate groups that have already come out in opposition to a policy in Boston.

Greg Vasil of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board told MASSterList he is “with this issue for the long haul.” The GBRE funded a $400,000 opposition campaign this spring in opposition to Boston’s now-approved rent control policy. Since rent control is currently banned statewide, the bill is pending legislative approval. 

At this point, both Connolly and Vasil said they’re still “exploring” mounting full-fledged campaigns. Connolly said he’ll make his decision to move forward next month after the attorney general weighs in on the ballot questions.

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Submerged: Flash flooding puts Eastern Massachusetts underwater

A storm that hit Massachusetts yesterday brought two tornadoes and torrential downpours that flooded streets across the eastern part of the state. An EF-0 tornado in Barnstable touched down with winds of 80 mph,  and a path length of 1.1 miles. An EF-1 tornado in Mattapoisett brought peak winds of 95 mph in a nearly mile-long; 300-yard path. The highest rainfall totals were found on the North Shore, where communities like Lawrence received 6.24 inches and Andover received 4.42 inches by 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Lawrence firefighters rescued a person trapped by rising seawater.

Gov. Maura Healey declares state of emergency over migrant influx

The state’s shelter system is bursting at the seams and spending $45 million a month to house a rapidly rising surge of migrants. Gov. Maura Healey yesterday declared a state of emergency around the “crisis” situation. The emergency shelter system is servinf 5,600 homeless and migrant families, including 1,800 in hotels. The declaration opens the state to federal funding. The governor also called on President Joe Biden to expedite work visas for undocumented migrants living in shelters with no option to work. 

State House News Service | The Boston Herald | The Boston Globe

Head of child welfare agency bound for DC

Linda Spears, the longest-serving commissioner of the state’s child welfare agency leaves her role next month to run the national child advocacy organization where she worked for 22 years until then-governor Charlie Baker appointed her to lead the Department of Children and Family Services, writes Jason Laughlin for the Globe. She joins the Child Welfare League of America in October. 

The Boston Globe

State lawmakers’ inaction hangs hydroelectric project out to dry

A hydroelectric power project that’s a key part of Massachusetts’ plan to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and meet 2050 carbon emission goals is back in limbo, reports CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl. The state Legislature’s budget omitted a provision included in both House and Senate versions that would have offset rising costs caused by legal and regulatory delays. Construction of the transmission line halted in 2021 when voters in Maine passed a law retroactively shutting down the project.

CommonWealth Magazine

High-priced Boston liquor licenses are hindering nightlife 

A limited supply of liquor licenses in Boston, highly controlled by the city and state, is behind the city’s late-night scene, writes Mike Deehan for Axios and GBH. Currently, the city’s licenses are capped at about 1,400 by state law. Buying and transferring one from a current licensee to a new business can cost as much as $600,000.


Pork sales under new regulations soon

Seven years after voters opted for new rules on the treatment of livestock sold in the state, the regulations are getting close to taking effect, reports Chris Lisinski for State House News Service. It requires pigs to have enough space to lie down, stand up, turn around freely and fully extend their limbs. Massachusetts businesses cannot sell any whole pork meat derived from animals denied that space, regardless of where they were raised, slaughtered and butchered.

State House News Service

School shakeup: Boston mayor faces pushback on plan to revamp high schools 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu wants to overhaul the Madison Park and O’Bryant high schools in Boston, but concerns are mounting over details on transportation and vocational classes, reports Deanna Pan for the Globe. Frustration is rife among families, school leaders, and others who say they weren’t included in the city’s decision. 

The Boston Globe

Boston councilor at Mass & Cass street sweeps

Is street cleaning equipment used in the area of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue spreading infectious diseases to other parts of Boston? That’s the question City Councilor Erin Murphy has asked, filing a hearing order to look into it, reports Gayla Cawley of The Boston Herald. Murphy said the city uses the same cleaning equipment on Southampton, Atkinson and Topeka streets as it does in other neighborhoods, including the South End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Bay Village.

The Boston Herald

Boston councilor at Mass & Cass street sweeps

Is street cleaning equipment used in the area of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue spreading infectious diseases to other parts of Boston? That’s the question City Councilor Erin Murphy has asked, filing a hearing order to look into it, reports Gayla Cawley of The Boston Herald. Murphy said the city uses the same cleaning equipment on Southampton, Atkinson and Topeka streets as it does in other neighborhoods, including the South End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Bay Village.

The Boston Herald

When the music’s over: Taco Bell to take over longtime Allston venue Great Scott 

A full-service version of Taco Bell could be taking over the space where a landmark Allston music venue once stood. Boston Restaurant Talk reports Taco Bell Cantina is looking to open at the former Great Scott space on Commonwealth Avenue. A Facebook post from the Allston Civic Association says that a Virtual Abutters Meeting was held yesterday on the proposal, which apparently focuses on the acquisition of a common victualler license and liquor license for the place.

Universal Hub | Boston Restaurant Talk

Legal problems no deterrent for Trump fans in NH

For the hundreds of Trump supporters who lined yesterday up in Windham for former President Donald Trump’s latest rally in New Hampshire the  legal challenges facing their candidate have only solidified their support, said Todd Bookmam of NH Public Radio. 

WBUR | The Boston Herald

‘That is terrifying’: Human arm found in Boston trash

City workers picked up a pile of abandoned trash reported through the city’s 311 system but it wasn’t until the lid came off when they went to dump it that realized what was inside: a human arm, WBZ reports. Sources say GPS on the city’s truck traced the trash back to Winchester Street near the intersection with Arlington Street in Bay Village.

CBS Boston

RMV manager who took bribes to fix permit tests gets prison time

The former manager of the Brockton Registry of Motor Vehicles branch will spend four months in prison and another six months in home confinement after admitting she gave people passing grades on learner’s permit tests in exchange for cash bribes. Mia Cox-Johnson admitted to taking multiple cash payments, including a $1,000 payment to grant a permit to someone who had failed the written permit test six times.

MassLive | Justice

Former Bourne official sues, saying his privacy was violated via secret audio recording 

The former chair of the Bourne Board of Health has filed a lawsuit against three others involved in town government, claiming they made a secret audio recording during what was supposed to be a private meeting with the town administrator. Rachael Devaney of the Cape Cod Times reports Stanley Andrews is seeking unspecified financial damages in the lawsuit, which does not name the town itself as a defendant.

Cape Cod Times

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList