10:00 | People freed and exonerated after a wrongful conviction gather to advocate for bills (S 1101 / H 1752 / H 1820) related to providing compensation for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. State House steps.
10:00 | A new group of LGBTQ leaders holds press conference to announce plans to launch the "Boston LGBTQ Museum of Art, History and Culture."
11:00 | Sen. Barrett is slated to speak at a rally opposing a potential expansion of hangar space for private jets at Hanscom Field in Bedford. Following the rally, attendees plan to deliver a petition with more than 10,000 signatures to Gov. Healey. State House steps
2:00 | Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change holds virtual public hearing on reducing embodied carbon emissions, which Sen. Creem's office describes as "greenhouse gas emissions generated during the entire lifecycle of building materials, including extraction, manufacturing, transportation, construction, and disposal."
While the outlook for the next six weeks on Beacon Hill remains mostly opaque now that a tax relief bill is on Gov. Maura Healey‘s desk, there’s one item lawmakers undoubtedly need to tackle: a final wrap-up spending bill for fiscal year 2023.
Every year, the Legislature needs to approve a closeout budget to balance state government’s books in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and House and Senate Democrats have made it a habit in recent years to take such a long time getting around to it that other officeholders are forced to blow past their own deadlines.
State law calls on the comptroller to file an annual financial report by Oct. 31, and the comptroller has historically urged lawmakers to approve an annual closeout budget by the end of September so the office has enough time for all the follow-up work.
Well, so much for that. The calendar now reads October, and the more than $2 billion bill Healey filed Sept. 13 to close the state’s books has not budged from the House Ways and Means Committee, let alone achieved consensus in both branches.
Lawmakers could still beat their past history if they spring into action soon. Last year, top Democrats kept the closeout budget bottled up until Nov. 2, when they announced a deal that bundled it together with an economic development bill that had also fallen into limbo. In fact, the comptroller’s office has not met that Oct. 31 deadline for the annual financial report since 2016.
It’s not just arcane accounting paperwork that’s at stake, either. Beacon Hill needs to reconcile a tax revenue shortfall of about $177 million, plus Healey packed in time-sensitive spending, such as $250 million more for the state’s emergency shelter system amid an unprecedented surge in demand.
House Speaker Ron Mariano scheduled a formal session for Wednesday without announcing what his chamber would take up, and the closeout could at least be on the shortlist of options.
Spilka says Mass. needs more fed help with migrant influx…
Senate President Karen Spilka wants the federal government to do more to help Massachusetts handle the recent surge of migrant families, including loosening work permit rules to enable those who arrive to find employment. During an appearance on NBC’s @Issue on Sunday, Spilka also said global factors are driving the surge more than the state’s right-to-shelter law. — Boston Herald
… While MMA’s head says cities and towns share governor’s immigration frustration
The executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association said he has spoken with Gov. Maura Healey about the immigration crisis affecting many states and they agree local leaders are caught while the federal government figures out what to do and what to say about the situation. “I don’t know that anybody would say it’s under control,” Adam Chapdelaine said on Keller@Large yesterday. — WBZ
Ex-state senator indicted again
Dean Tran, a former Lowell state senator, was indicted Friday on charges he violated state ethics laws. Tran, who already had been indicted on charges he stole a gun from an elderly constituent and misled investigators about the matter, was charged most-recently with using his state Senate office staff for campaign activities. — State House News Service
One-third of state’s local election leaders turned over in three years
One third of Massachusetts cities and towns have installed new top election officials since 2020, according to a Boston Herald analysis. The paper quotes Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin as having said he is concerned that so many officials new at the business of running elections will be responsible for this year’s Presidential ballot. —Boston Herald
Boston Globe Editorial Board delivers broadside against suburban zoning
In an editorial extraordinary for both its length and extensive citing of expert data, the Boston Globe Editorial Board Sunday took a highly critical stance toward suburban zoning regulations. The nearly 2,500-word piece was especially critical of cities and towns that reserve subsidized housing for senior citizens rather than open it to families with school-age children.
State says Bourne can’t enforce time-limit rule against motel housing migrants
The owners of Eastern Inn in Bourne tell Paul Gately of the Cape Cod Times that state officials will block any efforts by the local board of health to evict migrant families staying at his motel when the town’s 21-day limit on overnight stays expires. — Cape Cod Times
Former Saugus selectman faces 18 months in prison after guilty plea
Former Saugus Selectman Mark D. Mitchell has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to embezzling $1.3 million from the Boston Center for Adult Education, where he worked as comptroller. —Boston Globe
Despite lobbying effort, Worcester to lose express train
Efforts by elected officials in Worcester to cajole the MBTA into dropping its plan to turn an early morning express train appear to have fallen short, meaning a longer commute for many at least into next year, the Telegram’s Marco Cartolano reports. — Worcester Telegram & Gazette
North Shore Community College sees enrollment growth
Add North Shore Community College to the growing list of state-run two-year schools seeing a long-sought uptick in enrollment now that older adults can get free tuition through Mass ReConnect. — Lynn Item
$42M purchase sets new real estate record on Nantucket
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy paid $42 million for a waterfront compound on Nantucket, setting a new record high on the island and dropping another $2 million for all the furnishings in the process. Jason Graziadei and David Creed of the Current have the details.
WooSox drop slightly in total attendance rankings amid rainy 2023 season
Blame it on the rain. Overall attendance at Polar Park slipped during the Worcester Red Sox’ recently completed third season compared to last year, though weather appears to have been a major factor, with the per-game crowd-count rising slightly. — Worcester Business Journal