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Uncaptioned image for story: House Budget Proposes Higher Spending Than Baker's Plan

House Budget Proposes Higher Spending Than Baker’s Plan

[Coverage Developing] The $47.65 billion spending plan the House proposed Wednesday for fiscal year 2022 includes none of the roughly $4.5 billion in federal aid coming to Massachusetts and attempts to give the state a solid foundation for its post-pandemic rebound, House leaders said.

House Session Summary - Thursday, April 14

The House on Wednesday gave initial approval to a $400 million bond bill (H 96) to finance the construction of a new Holyoke Soldiers' Home. A second favorable vote to engross the bill is expected on Thursday and would send the bill to the Senate. The House on Wednesday rejected an amendment (H 102) to the Holyoke bill from the Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Administration Committee and instead adopted a House Ways and Means amendment (H 3701) inserting new bill text.

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Baker Sees “Minimal Impact” From Pause in J&J Vaccine

[Story Developing] While its duration is still unknown, the pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines should have "minimal impact" on appointments in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

State House Takeout Podcast

Student Emma Low self-administers a swab on Feb. 26 as part of a pooled COVID-19 testing program at Nock-Molin Middle School in Newburyport. [Nicolaus Czarnecki/Boston Herald/Pool]

Pool Testing in Schools Could be National Model

In January, when the Baker administration announced a new pooled COVID-19 testing initiative for K-12 schools, Education Secretary James Peyser said technological advances had enabled the state "to take our testing program to the next level."

Competition at Play in Early Timing of UMass Tuition Freeze

[Story Developing] University of Massachusetts trustees on Wednesday approved a plan that will freeze next year's tuition at its current level for in-state students at its four undergraduate campuses, while raising medical school tuition and out-of-state tuition at UMass Amherst each by 1.5 percent.

Budget, Vaccinations, Redistricting on Tap Wednesday

[Coverage Developing] House Democrats lay out an alternative vision for spending more than $45 billion next fiscal year with a budget unveiling on Wednesday. Amendments to the budget are due Friday and floor deliberations start on Monday, April 26.

Spilka Eyes New Goal: Intergenerational Care for All

With many workers "sandwiched" between aging parents and young children, Senate President Karen Spilka on Tuesday proposed a "moonshot" to reimagine an intergenerational care system that would support families, particularly women, who have been forced to give up careers to care for family of all ages.

Janey: Cops Who Abuse Power 'Will Not Be Protected'

Aiming to repair the "fabric of trust" between police and communities of color, Boston Mayor Kim Janey unveiled a series of reforms Tuesday including the launch of a new law enforcement oversight office tasked out of the gate with reviewing the case of a former top officer who kept his job after allegedly sexually assaulting a child.

State Targeting In-Person Summer Learning Partnership

State education officials are working toward launching a partnership aimed at enhancing summer programming, particularly for students who have had limited experience with in-person schooling, Early Education Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy said Tuesday.

Dr. Bronwyn MacInnis of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (top left) and Dr. Nahid Bhadelia of the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center (top right) were among the experts who briefed the Public Health Committee and the COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management Committee on the different variants of COVID-19. [Screenshot]

Sequencing Key in “Race” Against Variants, Experts Say

The many COVID-19 variants that have been spreading around the globe and here in Massachusetts could have ramifications for the state's economic reopening and vaccination efforts, but first the Bay State needs to get a better snapshot of how prevalent these mutants are, experts told lawmakers Tuesday.

Lawmakers: Use Fed Funds to Address UI “Sticker Shock”

A growing chorus of lawmakers is pushing to direct federal stimulus funding toward the state's unemployment benefits system to soften the blow of an unexpected surge in required contributions from employers, and House Speaker Ronald Mariano wants an explanation from the Baker administration.

Who’s On The Move? Check The Personnel File

... Auditor Suzanne Bump's communications director has departed for a new job ... a top Baker administration official has joined the government and public policy team of a local real estate developer ... Liberty Square Group this year added a pair of government affairs professionals with ties to the state's top Democrats ... the addition of two new board members gave the Boston Fed a majority female board for the first time ... Bloomberg News has a new Boston bureau chief ... and House Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan of Stow has a new chief of staff ...

Uncaptioned image for story:Baker Among Emily's List "Republican Targets"

Baker Among Emily’s List “Republican Targets”

As another election year nears, Democrats seem to be picking up their criticism of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and they are not alone in zeroing in on the governor: Emily's List on Tuesday included Baker on its first list of "Republican targets for 2022."

FDA Chief Expects J&J Pause to Run “A Matter of Days”

Federal officials expect their recommended pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will last "a matter of days," the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said the exact time frame will depend on what officials learn over the next few days in their review of six cases of a severe blood clot reported after receiving the J&J shot, which she said seems to be "extremely rare."

Uncaptioned image for story:Flanagan's Early Departure Adds to CCC Turnover

Flanagan’s Early Departure Adds to CCC Turnover

Cannabis Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan, who served in the Massachusetts Legislature for almost 15 years before her appointment, will resign from the regulatory role at the end of the month, four months before her term is due to end.

State Orders Pause on J&J Vaccine Administration

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday directed all providers to pause administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, responding to a federal recommendation that those particular shots not be given while the Food and Drug Administration and Center for Disease Control review six cases of a rare and severe blood clot reported in women who had received the vaccine.

Baker Expects Inspections Vendor to Compensate Stations

Drivers whose vehicle inspections expired last month are being given until the end of April to obtain a new sticker, but service stations have seen their businesses disrupted and Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that he "fully expects" the state's Wisconsin-based vendor to make up for some of the losses.

Biz Groups Feel Blindsided by New UI System Costs

With some Massachusetts businesses facing sudden and sharp unemployment tax increases just weeks after implementation of a new law aimed at limiting their costs, a top lawmaker wants Gov. Charlie Baker to intervene with a legislative fix.

Labor Challenges Slow MBTA Effort to Restore Service

In late June, the MBTA will restore service on several closed bus routes, add frequency on the highest-ridership bus lines, and boost trips on the core subway system, early steps in the agency's effort to walk back unpopular COVID-era cuts.

Half of Mass. Adults Have Received at Least First Vaccine Dose

Massachusetts this week will likely cross the threshold of 2 million residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and holds the distinction of being the first state with at least 5 million people to deliver at least one dose to more than half of its adult residents, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday during a visit to a Worcester vaccine site.