Massachusetts State House


8:30 a.m. | Twenty-two years ago the Twin Towers fell after terrorists hijacked a plane leaving Boston's Logan Airport and crashed into them, killing nearly 3,000. Today, Gov. Maura Healey attends a 9/11 commemoration ceremony. | State House Steps

1:30 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey swears in Monica Tibbits-Nutt as Acting Secretary of Transportation following Secretary Gina Fiandaca's decision to step down, effective today. | Governor's Ceremonial Office

10 a.m. | New England Innocence Project and the Boston College Innocence Program discuss the overturning of Thomas Rosa's alleged wrongful conviction by a Suffolk Superior Court judge for the 1985 murder of Gwendolyn Taylor. | Plaza in front of Suffolk Superior Court, 3 Pemberton Square, Boston

Noon | The Legislative and Budget Subcommittee of the permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities meets virtually.

1 p.m. | The Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board meets. Treasurer Goldberg chairs. | Email for access info.

3 p.m. | The Task Force on Hate Crimes' legislative subcommittee meets virtually.

5 p.m. | Attending Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial's annual remembrance of firefighters who have lost their lives are Gov. Maura Healey and other State House officials. | Ashburton Park, Boston

Lawmakers have returned to action from their summer slumber with plenty on their plates. But if history is any indication, progress is likely to be slow for the thousands of other bills up for consideration this session — which formally ends next August. 

One bill that Truro Sen. Julian Cyr said should see action this fall is the so-called Parentage Act

Gay, lesbian and transgender mothers and fathers in Massachusetts sometimes have to adopt their own children to ensure parental rights — the consequence of lawmakers’ unwillingness to update last-century parentage laws that leave some families out. Cyr said it’s a process that can cost families thousands. 

“Our parentage laws are heterocentric and leave LGBTQ families and their kids in a horrible position,” Cyr told MASSterList. “We were one of the first states to have recognition of LGBTQ folks in government. We were the first state in marriage, but we’ve been resting on our laurels and not keeping up with some of the pieces we need to.”

Despite being the first state in the U.S. to enact marriage equality, Massachusetts is now the only New England state that has not updated its parentage laws to protect children regardless of the circumstances of their birth or the gender or marital status of their parents. 

GLAD Director of Family Advocacy Polly Crozier called Massachusetts’ existing parentage statute “tremendously outdated” in that it fails to “provide a path to parentage smoothly or otherwise for a number of categories of children.”

The law was created initially in the 1980s to provide parental rights to unmarried couples but existing language doesn’t lend itself to the diverse fabric of modern families. Crozier said that includes children of LGBTQ couples as well as couples relying on IVF, surrogacy and more. 

“The goal of this bill is first and foremost, to make sure that every child’s parents have a path to that security to have that legal parent-child relationship,” she said. 

Gov. Maura Healey, the nation’s first lesbian governor to be elected, supports updating the current law, according to her office. Cyr said this November provides a perfect time to do that with the 20th anniversary of the state high court Goodridge decision which ruled same-sex couples had equal rights to marriage. 

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Grand reopening: State House’s Ashburton entrance opens a bit early

The State House’s Ashburton Park entrance reopens its doors today after nearly eight months of renovations that turned the lobby and outdoor park on Bowdoin Street into a construction zone. The project was originally estimated to run through the fall. General visitors and the public will still enter the building in the same place: at the basement level. State House employees will be rerouted up a set of outdoor stairs to an auxiliary entrance directly over the main door. Turnstiles have been installed inside those first-floor doors where people who work in the building can swipe their employee IDs to enter.

State House News Service

Storms’ a-coming: Hurricane Lee could bring heavy winds, weather to New England this weekend

The fastest-growing hurricane of all time could be packing a punch for the New England region this fall as the re-intensifying storm leaves tropical waters and heads northward. Hurricane Lee’s path over the next week is still “uncertain,” but meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to local media warn locals to batten down the hatches with heavy winds and rains likely to hit the area.


Massachusetts may welcome migrants, but local towns are worried 

Volunteers in the more than 80 Bay State cities and towns now inundated with families seeking emergency shelter are discovering the daunting complexity of meeting basic needs of needy families seeking services as a migrant crisis drives up demand. In Massachusetts, the only state with a right-to-shelter law that guarantees every family with children a place to stay, the number of families living in emergency shelters and hotels statewide has doubled in the past year, to nearly 6,300 last week; the cost has ballooned to an estimated $45 million per month. For the New York Times, Jenna Russell writes that officials are on the local level — where resources are also strapped —are pushing back.

The New York Times | The Boston Globe | WCVB

A-List celebrities Chris Evans, Alba Baptista tie the knot in locked-down Massachusetts wedding

“Captain America: The First Avenger” star Chris Evans married Alba Baptista over the weekend, Page Six reports. The couple said “I do” Saturday in an intimate ceremony that took place in Massachusetts at their Boston-area home. An insider told reporters that the nuptials were “locked down tight” and all guests were required to sign NDAs and forfeit their phones in order to participate. The 42-year-old Evans and Baptista, 26, invited their closest family and friends to the ceremony where the guest list also included some of the actor’s Marvel co-stars, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner.

Page Six

Progressives hand Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara key endorsement in upcoming race

Embattled City Councilor and incumbent Kendra Lara won a key endorsement from Jamaica Plain Progressives that pundits predict will buoy her candidacy through Tuesday’s preliminary election and on a path toward keeping her District 6 seat, reports Nick Stoico for The Boston Globe. Lara is facing IT director William King and labor attorney Benjamin Weber in the race to serve the district that represents Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, and Roslindale. Lara has come under scrutiny following a car crash in which she was driving an unregistered car without a license with her young son in the back seat.

The Boston Globe

Lara isn’t the only Boston city councilor up for reelection who has rubbed up against scandal in recent months. Another formerly progressive darling, Ricardo Arroyo is facing numerous candidates vying for his seat after an ethical lapse and months of negative headlines stemming from old sexual assault allegations to election meddling.


Student loans are collecting interest again after long pandemic pause, many aren’t happy

President Joe Biden failed in his bid to cancel student load debt for millions of Americans. His hands are now tied following a court decision and Interest on student loans started accruing for U.S. borrowers on Sept. 1 after a long pandemic pause. GBH reports that it’s difficult news for millions of Americans when 22 other nations across the globe offer higher education totally for free.


FBI denies Herald request for info on alleged fifth jet in 9/11 attack

The FBI denied a request for records to The Boston Herald that could have shed light on whether suicidal al-Qaeda terrorists intended to hijack a fifth jet on 9/11, the newspaper reported. The agency in its denial said, “The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure … (and) release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.” Sources and previous reporting tell the Herald’s Joe Dwinell hijackers were thwarted — turned away or failed somehow — at JFK Airport in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Boston Herald

Here as the Bay State’s highest-earning nonprofit executives

Nonprofit work doesn’t necessarily mean no profit — especially for a couple of dozen well-heeled leaders of the charitable organizations here in Massachusetts who are raking in six-figure salaries. The 25 highest-paid nonprofit executives in Massachusetts made a median of roughly $730,000 in their employers’ latest reporting year, according to a Boston Business Journal analysis of federal tax filings. It’s slightly les than the year prior and lags far behind the highest-paid executives among the state’s largest public, for-profit companies where the median compensation was more than $18 million for 2022, reports Grant Welker.

Boston Business Journal

State trooper shoots, kills armed man in Hancock following 911 call

A Massachusetts State Police trooper shot and killed a man Saturday morning during what authorities described as a “confrontation” where police were called to a Hancock home for a report of a domestic incident reports, the Herald’s Chris Van Buskirk reports. A state police trooper arrived at a residence on Richmond Road around 7 a.m. and encountered an adult male armed with a weapon. The armed man allegedly approached an officer and would not back down following requests to stop and was then shot by police. CPR was performed on scene, a county ambulance responded, and the individual was pronounced dead, authorities said.

The Boston Herald | Western Mass Politics

Ahead of preliminary vote, Sarno dominates Springfield mayoral fundraising

Springfield voters will narrow the field of mayoral hopefuls on Tuesday and MassLive’s Greta Jochem reports incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno holds a sizable fundraising lead over his four rivals. Sarno has raised $150,000 for his bid for a sixth term so far this year, well ahead of all four of his rivals,a group that includes two sitting city councilors and the local state representative.


Plea to Pete: Cape lawmakers pitch transportation secretary on bridge rebuild 

Federal lawmakers say the state’s efforts to lock down federal funds to help rebuild at least one of the bridges over the Cape Cod Canal are firmly on the radar of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The key, lawmakers say after recent meetings with Buttigieg, remains the state locking down its own funding for the multi-billion-dollar project.

Cape Cod Times

Essex County sheriff worries about costs of free prisoner calls 

Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger says plans by lawmakers to eliminate fees for inmates to place phone calls from state prisons has the potential to blow a $2.7 million hole in his 2024 budget. Coppinger said his office stands to lose $600,000 in fees raised from the calls and will have to spend more to operate its own phone system. 

The Lynn Item

Feds will take over Lenox tavern as part of Salame plea deal 

The U.S. government will seize the Olde Heritage Tavern in Lenox and other properties in the Berkshires owned by former digital currency exchange executive Ryan Salame as part of his plea agreement. Salame will also forfeit his private home, his stake in a local farm and his 2021 Porsche 911.

The Berkshire Eagle

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList