Happening Today:

7:30 | Senate President Spilka and Sen. Edwards are on El Mundo Boston to discuss the new state law that allows undocumented immigrants who attend a Massachusetts high school for at least three years to qualify for in-state tuition rates and state financial aid at public colleges and universities — El Mundo Boston

11:00 | House and Senate meet informal sessions.....House and Senate chambers

12:00 | UMass Amherst Clean Energy Extension hosts the first event in a series of online public discussions focused on solar development in western Massachusetts. The first session is titled "Solar in Massachusetts - Past, Present, and Future."

Over three-quarters of Bay Staters support the crown jewel centerpiece of state officials’ long-promised, and long-delayed, tax relief plan — though there’s no word on when it might be delivered to them, as lawmakers enter their sixth week of a long summer break.

new poll by MassINC and sponsored by the Economic Security Project found that 77 percent of 1,013 residents surveyed this August support the revised child and family tax credit that is lumped into a larger tax package that has been tied up in legislative negotiations since June. Support rises to 86 percent among respondents with children.

When Gov. Maura Healey first rolled out her $859 million tax relief package — which over the course of budget negotiations has shrunk to $581 — she proposed creating a $600 refundable credit for each qualifying dependent, including children younger than 13 years old, adults who are disabled, and seniors. The measure combines the existing Household Dependent Care Tax Credit while removing a cap on dependents and increasing the total benefit. Altogether, the administration estimates the new child and family tax credit would apply to 700,000 taxpayers who care for more than 1 million dependents. 

The House also included the $600 credit in its version of the package, although lawmakers planned to roll it out over three years. The Senate offered up a more limited proposal, only increasing the tax credit from $180 to $310 per child. Although there seems to be some consensus on wanting to simplify the clunky child and dependent tax credit process and increase relief for families, the devil is in the details, which Democrats have now been negotiating for over two months. 

“This tax credit can help me provide my kids with a warm meal after school,” said a father of six, in a press release from the Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition about the poll. “I can take them to the mall and have them pick out a piece of clothing they want… it will allow my kids to play sports in school because I will finally be able to afford the gear they need to stay safe”

But even with widespread support, it remains to be seen long residents will wait for Beacon Hill to act with the urgency they purport to feel. Then again, it’s only been 557 days and two gubernatorial administrations since the former governor originally pitched relief for struggling families.

Labor by the numbers — and by the violations

Labor is making gains, most recently with a new UPS contract, and it flexed its muscle with celebrations yesterday. The Department of Labor’s annual release of union data doesn’t necessary back up the labor growth narrative, and includes the following takeaways:

  • The percentage of U.S. workers who belong to unions is about 10.1 percent – half the figure when the data first was collected in 1983. The rate is the lowest the agency has reported.
  • One reason for the falling unionization rate is that the sectors of the economy that are growing fastest also are those with the smallest union presences.
  • Men are more likely than women to belong to women.
  • Black workers are more likely to belong to unions than those in any other demographic grouping.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Andrea Campbell used the occasion to release her office’s annual report on labor law infractions and noted that several Dunkin’ franchisees were fined for violating state rules  meant to provide child labor abuses. 


National Guard activated for Mass & Cass, other troubled shelter sites

Up to 250 Massachusetts National Guard members may be deployed to help with logistical problems attending an influx of undocumented immigrants into the commonwealth under an order issued Friday by Gov. Maura Healey. The National Guard members will “provide basic services at emergency shelter hotels that do not currently have a contracted service provider,” a news release from Healey’s office states. Healey’s office also announced the creation of what it is calling regional “rapid response teams” to deal with especially troubling situations around the state.

State House News Service

Wu, firefighters reach contract deal with firefighters 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu spent Labor Day revealing that she had struck a deal on a new contract with the city’s largest firefighters union – a deal that Gintautas Dumcius of the Dorchester Reporter notes was finalized late Sunday night in backroom at the Brendan Behan Pub in Jamaica Plain.

Dorchester Reporter

Report: Employers still struggle to find workers

The state’s unemployment rate may have ticked up recently, but 40 percent of the state’s small business owners say they still struggle to fill vacancies for both skilled and unskilled workers. Christian Wade of the Salem News has the details on the latest National Federation of Independent Businesses survey of Bay State companies.

Salem News

Healey nominates hospital outreach executive for parole board

Gov. Maura Healey named Mass General Brigham Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships Sarah B. Coughlin to a position on the state parole board. A news release from the governor’s office described Coughlin as “a community organizer, social worker, therapist, trainer and consultant, and expert witness for state and federal courts.”

State House News Service

Retired Patriots defensive star scores with nonprofit

Former New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty is scheduled to be recognized in November for several years ago helping draw then-Gov. Charlie Baker’s attention to the case of a convicted murderer whose life sentence the governor later commuted. The honor is one of several the RFK Community Alliance is set to bestow.

Boston Herald

Manhattan DA takes ancient Roman bust from Worcester Art Museum

An ancient Roman bust that has been housed at the Worcester Art Museum since 1966 is now in the hands of the Manhattan District Attorney, who says the bust, worth an estimated $5 million, is one of several in museum collections nationally that are likely stolen goods.

New York Times | Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Brockton scrambles after surprise $14 million school budget deficit

The Brockton School Committee held an emergency meeting and voted to conduct an immediate audit of the district’s finances after a $14.4 million deficit in last year’s budget came to light. Superintendent Mike Thomas took responsibility and said all the extra spending went directly toward providing services to students.

Boston Globe

Worcester police chief retires amid ongoing investigation 

Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent resigned on Friday after six-plus years atop the department and 37 years in law enforcement. The Telegram’s Brad Petrishen reports the city says the results of an ongoing investigation into Sargent’s workplace behavior toward one officer will not be turned over to the state’s Post Commission.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Blue Harvest abruptly shuts down fishing operations 

Blue Harvest Fisheries abruptly shut down its fishing operations in New Bedford and across New England on Friday, leaving uncertainty in its wake eight years after the private equity-backed operation’s arrival on the scene rattled the fishing industry. 

New Bedford Light

Some Attleboro school committee candidates back stricter student book policy

Three of the six people running for Attleboro school board seats say they favor a new book policy that would restrict student access to books that contain sexual or homosexual content, though all insist they do not support censorship. Jim Hand has the details on how the national debate on what content kids can access is playing out ahead of the local preliminary election.

Attleboro Sun Chronicle

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Keith Regan is a freelance writer and local news junkie who has been on the MASSterList morning beat since the newsletter’s earliest days. A graduate of Northeastern University and Emerson College, Regan lives in Hopkinton with his wife, Lisa.