8:30 a.m. | Health Equity Compact members hold a rally to support bills to eliminate racial parity in health outcomes and standardize data reporting. | State House steps
9 a.m. | Department of Transportation Board of Directors meets on topics including the Sumner Tunnel reopening, roadway safety, and a revised FY24 operating budget. | 10 Park Plaza, Boston
10 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey unveils the new Veterans Equality Review Board, aimed at supporting veterans discharged through the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. | Governor's ceremonial office
10 a.m. | Joint Committee on Health Care Financing hearing vets 10 bills tied to health equity, with Attorney General Campbell expected to testify. | Gardner Auditorium
Noon | New members of the Board of Higher Education are sworn in. | Governor's Ceremonial Office
Environmentalists want to put a plan to expand capacity at Hanscom airport for private jets — which are among the most egregious polluters — on standby. A review process of environmental concerns is about to kick off this fall.
Developers selected by Massport to build out the half-million-acre project that includes 27 hangars for private aircraft are expected to file a draft Environmental Impact Review with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office today, though the deadline is not a hard one.
Since the project is on Massport land, Lexington Sen. Michael Barrett said grassroots pressure is the opposed public’s best chance at blocking the runway.
“If Massport says yes to this, Hanscom, an institution in our own backyard, becomes a super-emitter,” Sen. Michael Barrett wrote in a recent letter to constituents. Lexington abuts the Bedford-based airfield.
Massport, which selected developers for the project last year via an RFP process, appears on board for the project and has pushed aside concerns that more space for private jets could send emissions in the wrong direction.
The quasi-state agency has said “it is not assumed that there will be a resulting increase in carbon emissions” as a result of the project. But opponents say history and a so-called “fuel farm” slated for construction at the nearby Navy hangar offer a different narrative.
Amid climate change concerns, environmental advocates argue the state shouldn’t authorize any project that could boost transportation emissions, which account for about 43 percent of all greenhouse gasses produced in Massachusetts — 7 percent from aviation.
Last night members of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission were largely opposed to the project, citing environmental concerns. They referenced a May report that found private jets emit more than 10 times more pollutants than commercial planes per passenger — accounting for a disproportionately high amount of the sector’s climate impact, according to a May report.
Whether the opposition works remains to be seen. Massport — like other state agencies — trump local authority, especially when it comes to public transportation and energy infrastructure impacts.
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Top Democrats want ‘hard numbers’ before shelling out for migrant shelter crisis
Gov. Maura Healey is asking lawmakers for $250 million to help cover growing costs to for emergency shelter amid a migrant influx. But Democratic leaders are demanding more details, reports the Herald’s Chris Van Buskirk. House Speaker Ronald Mariano wants “hard numbers” on the emergency shelter crisis and migrant influx in Massachusetts before moving forward with a $250 million funding request from Gov. Maura Healey for the shelter system.
MCAS scores still lag pre-pandemic marks
A slump in MCAS exam results triggered by schooling lost in the pandemic is taking a lingering toll on test scores. Students are still performing well below pre-pandemic levels on the latest batch of statewide standardized test results, reports the News Service. In English and math, students in grades three through eight are still about 10 percentage points behind where they were in 2019, prior to learning losses from remote school and other pandemic challenges. However, achievement levels in these subjects either went up or stayed the same compared to last year’s results across all grades.
Dorchester program would make EVs affordable to make
A new pilot program in Dorchester is aiming to cut the cost of making electric vehicles, using technology that can take advantage of the different prices of electricity at different times, reports Aaron Pressman for the Globe. Boston-based BlueHub Capital, a nonprofit community development finance group, brought together several partners in a first-in-the-nation pilot program that brings new electric vehicle charging technology to Codman Square. For Massachusetts to reach its carbon emission reduction goals and convince almost one million drivers to switch to electric vehicles by 2030, no cities or towns can be overlooked. Hitting the goal will require hundreds of new charging stations and thousands more trained EV technicians and mechanics.
AG testifies at health equity hearing on Health Equity Act
Workers and immigrants who don’t know their rights or are fearful of employer retaliation could gain stronger protections against pervasive wage theft under legislation that is supported by the state’s top prosecutor and Gov. Maura Healey but has failed multiple times on Beacon Hill. Attorney General Andrea Campbell on Tuesday publicly testified the legislation would strengthen her office’s authority to crack down on wage theft and protect Massachusetts from lost economic growth, jobs and taxes. The latest version of the bill is being billed as a compromise between labor and business and is sponsored by Rep. Daniel Donahue and Sen. Sal DiDomenico.
Ex-state police lieutenant wins back $90,000 pension after OT theft
After pleading guilty to pilfering overtime wages he never worked, ex-Massachusetts State Police Lt. John Giulino is getting his $90,000 tax-free pension back, reports Howie Carr for the Boston Herald. The trooper putt in for 85 overtime shifts on the Mass Turnpike that he did not work. He backed his felonious theft by writing fake traffic tickets.
T troubles accelerate: Workers say train sped past, nearly hit them
Safety concerns are speeding up at the MBTA, despite scrutiny from federal regulators, new documents obtained in a Boston Globe investigation reveal. Two new reports cite incidents where subway trains coming dangerously close to workers. One included a near-miss on Monday when a flagger apparently signaled for a Red Line train to stop only to have the driver blow past the track workers at 25 miles per hour. Both occurred on northbound tracks between Harvard and Porter stations during regular service hours and involved the same Red Line operator and track workers.
Nichols College president on leave as time at Coast Guard investigated
Nichols College in Dudley has placed President Glenn Sulmasy on leave and hired an outside investigator to look into published reports that he pressured a Coast Guard cadet to drop claims of sexual assault back in the late 1990s. Sulmasy left the Coast Guard in 2015 and took the helm at Nichols in 2021.
It will be mayor versus mayor in Fall River final election
Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan will face off against former mayor Sam Sutter after the duo emerged from a three-candidate field in Tuesday’s preliminary election. Sutter, who finished well behind the incumbent, called on Coogan to engage in a series of debates before November.
Voters in Amesbury, Gloucester, and Brockton also set the field for mayoral and council races in November.
In Chicopee, a push to expand free college to include Gateway City kids
A 20-year-old member of the Chicopee school committee wants Gov. Maura Healey to consider expanding the recently launched MassReconnect program that offers free community college tuition to residents over 25 to be expanded to include younger students from the state’s so-called Gateway Cities. MassLive’s Jeannette DeForge reports Healey’s office says it is open to finding ways to expand the program, assuming the funding is available.
Migrant case moves forward to Texas grand jury
A Texas prosecutor will present evidence to a Texas grand jury in coming weeks to see if charges will be brought in connection with the abrupt relocation of 49 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard more than a year ago, according to an immigration attorney involved in the case. The latest development was revealed during a screening of the film about the saga, “Martha’s Vineyard v DeSantis” on the island.