Posted inUncategorized

Budget provision sets standard on visa document

THE BUDGET SIGNED by Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday includes a provision creating statewide standards for immigrant domestic violence and human trafficking survivors who are seeking documentation for certain visas. The provision, initially filed by Sen. Mark Montigny of New Bedford and Reps. Tram Nguyen of Andover and Patricia Haddad of Somerset, requires state agencies […]

Posted inUncategorized

Franklin County shuts ICE detention center

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY Sheriff’s office shut down its detention center for immigrants, saying the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was not steering enough detainees its way. The 80-bed facility at the Greenfield jail dropped from an average of 65 immigrant detainees to an average of 20 in the past couple of years. On the […]

Posted inUncategorized

State’s housing assistance program posts big gains

THE STATE’S EMERGENCY housing assistance program is upping its game, pushing more money out the door and helping more people struggling to avoid eviction. As of January 13, the program had dispensed only $22.6 million of the $100 million available. But now that figure has more than doubled to $48.4 million. The number of households […]

Posted inEconomy

Legislative compromise will end state tax on PPP grants 

WITH A WEEK to go before business taxes are due on March 15, Massachusetts lawmakers signaled that they are prepared to join with the Baker administration and act to avert a state tax bill on business owners who accepted federal money to keep their doors open during the pandemic.  In a joint statement issued Monday, House Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, and the chairs of the Ways and […]

Posted inHealth Care

2017 birth control provision fell through the cracks

IN 2017, amid growing concern that Congress and the Trump administration were moving to limit free access to contraceptives, the Massachusetts Legislature passed and Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill guaranteeing access to birth control without copays. One of the provisions in that legislation, dubbed the ACCESS law (for Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our […]

Posted inHealth Care

Sudders: Mass vaccination sites short-term solution

HEALTH AND HUMAN Services Secretary Marylou Sudders pushed back against the view that the state is going all-in on mass vaccination sites on Thursday during testimony before the Legislature’s Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management. Rep. William Driscoll Jr. of Milton, the House chair of the oversight committee, asked Sudders about the “pivots” […]