10 a.m. | The speaker of the Austrian Parliament and the Austrian ambassador to the U.S meet with Gov. Maura Healey in her Ceremonial Office before visiting the Edward M. Kennedy Institute to tour the institute's replica U.S. Senate chamber at 11:30 a.m. | JFK Library with Library Director Alan Price | 210 Morrissey Blvd., Boston
10:30 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey attends the Latino Empowerment Council meeting. Then at 11:30 a.m. signs a proclamation declaring Hispanic Heritage Month in Massachusetts. | Grand Staircase
10:45 a.m. | Governor's Council interviews Sarah Beth Coughlin, a clinical social worker nominated to fill one of three vacancies on the state Parole Board. | Council Chamber
11:30 a.m. | Moms Demand Action, Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and other advocates march to the State House to urge lawmakers to advance gun safety legislation. | Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St., Boston
Noon | Governor's Council meets and could potentially vote on approval of the four latest pardons recommended by Gov. Healey. | Council Chamber
1:30 p.m. | The Bay State's newest fire marshal, Jon Davine's swearing-in. | Governor's Ceremonial Office
A top House lawmaker said his chamber is bracing for an eventual spending bill to cover the growing costs of delivering emergency shelter and services to an increasing number of legal immigrants and families in need of support.
It’s a “multibillion-dollar question,” Milton Rep. William Driscoll told MASSterList, referring to how much taxpayers from Massachusetts and other states welcoming migrants will be expected to pay and what the implications for future budgets will be if states are forced to bond the expense. In the Bay State alone, it’s already cost tens of millions.
“With the money involved, I just think the federal government — both the administration and the congressional delegation — need to come together and support states that are involved in this crisis because the numbers are staggering in terms of costs. And it’s adding up,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll said an additional 800 families sought services from the Bay State over the last month with 6,700 now dependant on state resources. More than 2,700 are currently living in hotels and motels in more than 80 communities across the state with costs quickly adding up. Migrants on average spend about a year on state services, according to Healey’s office.
State and local officials — including Democrats — from Beacon Hill to Albany have called on President Joe Biden to step in as states and municipalities increasingly feel the crunch.
Massachusetts is currently shelling out about $45 million a month to cover the cost of providing emergency shelter and resources, according to the latest tallies from Gov. Maura Healey’s office. But the Healey administration has been less than transparent so far about the total costs incurred as migrants continue to flow into the state, further strapping already limited resources.
Today, the Healey administration deploys up to 250 National Guard members to at least 40 hotels and motels that don’t have service providers currently. Healey’s office, which ordered the deployment following an emergency declaration last month, said the guardsmen will coordinate access to meals, medical care and transportation.
It’s a move Driscoll said only brings the Bay State “back to baseline” in delivering mandated services without setting up assurances to address continued growing need. The Boston Globe reports Beacon Hill lawmakers are considering a bill that would make social safety net benefits like food stamps available to legal immigrants, the Globe reported. If passed into law, Massachusetts would join six other states — including nearby Maine and Connecticut — to do so.
Driscoll said he worries about the ballooning costs in the meantime. In a scathing letter to the Healey administration earlier this week, he criticized the state’s response so far, saying communication and the flow of information in particular has been fragmented.
“We need to stop playing catchup,” Driscoll said.
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Boston Council upset: Voters reject embattled incumbents Arroyo, Lara in historic preliminary result
Two outspoken progressive city councilors failed to nominate for the general election in Boston following yesterday’s citywide preliminary election. The Globe reports Ricardo Arroyo and Kendra Lara have become the first incumbent city councilors to be totally snubbed by voters and blocked from advancing to the general election the first time in nearly four decades — a historic preliminary result. The Dorchester Reporter writes about the two finalists in the open race for City Council District 3 and the other council races who will appear on the November ballot.
Unofficial results for Boston here: City of Boston
In Springfield, Sarno, Hurst advance to November
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will face off against City Councilor Justin Hurst in November after the two emerged atop a five-candidate field that also included state Rep. Orlando Ramos. Sarno, who has led the city since 2007, took home 48 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s preliminary.
Gov. Maura Healey declares state of emergency in Massachusetts counties damaged by flooding
Gov. Maura Healey has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts after torrential downpours in Worcester and Bristol counties on Monday night triggered catastrophic flash flooding that damaged roads, homes and businesses and prompted the closure of local schools, reports CBS Boston. Widespread flooding in Leominster and North Attleboro occurred when upwards of 10 inches of rain fell. Firefighters used boats to evacuate residents in some cities as homes and roads became dangerous. The emergency declaration will open cities and towns up for federal emergency dollars as they navigate the crisis and rebuild.
Climate change to blame for wet summer weather drenching Massachusetts, New England
Floods that drenched Leominster and North Attleborough earlier this week are the latest in a slew of major deluges that have resulted in damaged homes, businesses and roads, beaches closed for swimming and vast streams of stormwater (sometimes with untreated sewage) flowing into rivers, reports Beth Healy for WBUR. Environmental scientists say its a result of climate change and shifting rainfall patterns Northeast storms that can bring at least 1.5 inches of heavy rain in a day are expected to surge in the coming decades. This summer was the second-wettest on record in Boston, with 20 inches of rain in three months.
Lawyers for Civil Rights steps in after white referee tells Black Clinton athletes to ‘tie back hair’
After a white referee told three Black student-athletes at Clinton Middle School to fix their hair or sit out the game, Lawyers for Civil Rights is stepping in and urging the National Federation of State High School Associations to change rules they say violate Massachusetts’ Crown Act protecting natural hairstyles, reports Ivy Scott for the Globe. In a Tuesday letter to the organization’s sports director, lawyers hone in on a policy mandating hair “adornments” be “securely fastened close to the head,” saying it could be too easily misinterpreted to discriminate against Black players.
Rape survivors, law enforcement push to drop statute of limitations on some sex crimes in Massachusetts
Survivors and law enforcement alike would like to do away with a statute of limitations stopping most prosecutions of rapes 15 years or more after the date of the crime. Lawmakers are right now debating a bill that would end that prosecutorial cliff in instances when there is DNA evidence. The legislation was up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary yesterday, reports Karen Anderson and Kevin Rothstein for WCVB. North Attleborough Rep. Adam Scanlon, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said the policy would bring Massachusetts in line with the 35 other states that either don’t have a statute of limitation for prosecuting rape or don’t have one with the DNA present.
John Hancock’s post-Red Sox, post-marathon identity
Hub insurance giant John Hancock last year ended two major and high-profile local sponsorships with the Boston Marathon and the Boston Red Sox. Now, the company is focusing on different local partnerships that don’t have to do with sports, but rather, something more aligned with its services — health and longevity, reports Meera Raman for The Boston Business Journal.
Boston mayor would block police union agreement if reforms not approved
Ongoing negotiations between the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and the city are “firmly” in the arbitration process after long-running talks got the two sides nowhere, Mayor Michelle Wu said yesterday on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.” Once the arbitrators issue an award the final step is to submit it to the city council. But if arbitrators come back with a plan that doesn’t include reforms Wu is seeking and that the union has resisted around sufficient family time off, officer health and well-being, detail work and the disciplinary system, Wu said they could theoretically block the contract.
Billerica will fly ‘pro-life’ flag
With the threat of a First Amendment lawsuit in the air, the Billerica Select Board has voted to fly a flag representing the pro-life community over the town’s library for two weeks next month. The 4-1 vote in favor of raising the flag came after the plaintiff who successfully sued the city of Boston in a case ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear the city could face a similar fate because of the town’s lack of a formal fly-flagging policy.
Hurricane Lee impact still uncertain in New England where Maine coast now in potential path
Hurricane Lee is continuing its charge over the Atlantic, a Category 3 storm as of Tuesday. It is still uncertain if the storm will impact the New England coast, but part of the Maine coastline is in the forecast cone, WCVB’s Storm Team 5 reports. As of Tuesday at 11 p.m., Lee had winds of up to 115 mph and was moving northwest at 7 mph. The storm is expected to turn north, passing between the East Coast and Bermuda.
Just in case: SouthCoast, Cape prep for Hurricane Lee impacts
Boats are being pulled from the water and emergency plans activated as New Bedford, Fall River and other SouthCoast communities prepared for the wind and rain from Hurricane Lee, which is now forecast to pass just off the coast this Saturday.
MetroWest nurses move to join statewide union
Nurses at MetroWest Medical Center have notified the National Labor Relations Board they will try to trigger an election to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Nurses who rallied Tuesday to announce the move say it is necessary to address poor working conditions.
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