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Small Change Could Bring $$$ to Low-Income Workers, Lawmakers Say

Dozens of lawmakers want the Baker administration to act promptly to aid workers who missed out on up to $1,800 in additional benefits because of "arbitrary" and "punitive" eligibility requirements.

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Lowell General Sees Lower Costs in Joint Venture

State health care regulators are assessing impacts of a proposed joint venture between Lowell General Hospital and Chelmsford ASC, an organization created by Shields Health Care Group and a group of physicians.

Uncaptioned image for story:Rodrigues Still Planning for October Budget

Rodrigues Still Planning for October Budget

The House and Senate may be getting ready in unprecedented economic times to attempt to do in three weeks what would ordinarily take three months, according to the Senate's top budget writer. That would be to draft and put an annual state budget on Gov. Charlie Baker's desk. But exactly how the Legislature would accomplish this feat remains to be explained.

State House Takeout Podcast

DOJ Grant To Bolster Fight Against Human Trafficking

Splitting $1.5 million in federal funding, the Plymouth County district attorney's office and a Brockton-based nonprofit plan to improve human trafficking investigations and enforcement in the region.

Among the top 10 industries in Massachusetts, no sector added more jobs between 2008 and 2018 than health care, according to MassEconomix data studied by the Pioneer Institute. [Screenshot/Pioneer Institute]

Report: Health Care Even More Dominant in Local Economy

Health care employers in Massachusetts added more workers between 2008 and 2018 than any other industry, nudging the field's share of statewide employment upward to nearly one-fifth, according to a new report.

House Session Summary - Monday, Sept. 28

In addition to run-of-the-mill sick leave bills and legislation of local importance to Ashland, Webster, Maynard and Wellesley, the House on Monday sent committees a handful of bills filed by Rep. Tackey Chan of Quincy to address issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of Chan's proposals, HD 5250, would add stationary vehicles at paid events held at drive-in movie theaters to a section of exemptions from the state's open container law, while another deals with tax exemptions for home office expenses.

Senate Session Summary - Monday, Sept. 28

The Senate on Monday gave life support to a smorgasbord of legislation before the Judiciary Committee, extending the deadline for action on some bills that have already been extended multiple times. The Judiciary Committee would have until Nov. 12 to report on a bundle of bills covering topics like First Amendment rights, forfeiture reform, face recognition and biometric surveillance, COVID-19 emergency aid by higher education institutions, COVID-19 estate recovery, and false reporting of an emergency.

Black Leaders Look to Shape Closed-Door Police Reform Talks

A group of Black community leaders and organizations have told lawmakers negotiating over a police reform bill that they prefer the Senate's approach to limiting qualified immunity, saying the House's proposed restrictions "will not go far enough to prevent future harm."

Uncaptioned image for story:AAA: Lower Gas Prices Likely to Continue Into the Fall

AAA: Lower Gas Prices Likely to Continue Into the Fall

At $2.11 per gallon, Massachusetts gas prices this week are down four cents a gallon from a month ago and 49 cents a gallon compared to a year ago, according to AAA Northeast.

COVID Hospitalizations Jump in Weekend Updates

More than 1,100 people in Massachusetts were newly diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend as hospitalizations spiked and both Saturday and Sunday saw positive test rates jump above 3 percent.

Muni Matters: Mass. Municipalities Weigh Risks, Rewards of Reopening Facilities

As the weather turns colder, some Massachusetts cities and towns are setting plans to reopen their facilities to the public. Others don't plan to fully reopen municipal buildings anytime soon — and they say some of the new ways they've been connecting with residents could be here to stay.

Advances - Week of Sept. 27, 2020

The calendar turns to October Thursday, opening up a six-month stretch of the year's coolest weather, which this year carries extra significance due to COVID-19. Massachusetts is trying to sustain the fragile progress it has achieved since the spring.

After Gov. Charlie Baker rose to the defense of mail-in voting Thursday, and said it was "appalling" for an officeholder to suggest anything other than a peaceful transfer of power, he received a Twitter jab around 7:30 a.m. Friday from President Donald Trump. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Tweeted At

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has long been a prime target of President Trump's tweets, and has been known to, on occasion, dish it right back over social media. Sen. Ed Markey's primary win over Rep. Joe Kennedy III earned him a few acknowledgments -- if not by name -- on the presidential Twitter feed earlier this month. And on Friday, it was finally Gov. Charlie Baker's turn.

Healey Alleges Law Firm Took More than $90,000 in Kickbacks

Attorney General Maura Healey has filed suit against a Massachusetts law firm alleging it accepted of tens of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks, but the firm denies the charges against it and says there was no quid pro quo.

Attorney General Maura Healey announced criminal charges Friday against two top leaders at Holyoke Soldiers' Home. [Screenshot]

Two Charged in Holyoke Soldiers' Home Deaths

In what Attorney General Maura Healey described as the first case of its kind nationwide, two top leaders at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home will face criminal charges for their alleged role in exacerbating a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Walsh Urges Protesters to be Peaceful, Wear Masks

Heading into a weekend where multiple protests are planned, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh cautioned protesters Friday to spurn violence and observe public health precautions.

Boys and Girls Clubs Face $20 Mil in Lost Revenue

Boys and Girls Clubs in the state expect to lose $20 million in revenue by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic and are grappling with the sustainability of operations, according to the director of the organization representing the clubs.

Western Massachusetts business leaders touted the region's quality of life and lower density as features that could become even more appealing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Screenshot]

Pandemic Highlights “Calling Cards” of the West

As Massachusetts works to claw its way back from the economic upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders in the western part of the state see an opportunity to generate new interest in the region's offerings.

"It would be unfortunate if later in the year a district had to go remote because the virus spiked back up in their community and they recognize 'Wow, we could have had our kids back on for a couple months, or maybe even six months,'" Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said Thursday. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Baker Grades School Reopenings: “Fine Start”

The back-to-school season in Massachusetts "is off to a fine start," Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday as his administration continued its multi-day push around the importance of in-person learning in communities where COVID-19 risks are classified as low.

FERC Gives Quick Okay for Compressor Station Startup

Federal regulators gave energy giant Enbridge the green light on Thursday to start service at the Weymouth natural gas compressor station, removing the final hurdle to the facility's operation less than two weeks after an emergency shutdown prompted new controversy.