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Super PAC in Midst of Pre-Election Spending Spree

A super PAC run by a Leominster developer with ties to Gov. Charlie Baker has raised more than $652,000 since the primary election, and has begun spending heavily on digital advertising and direct mail over the final weeks of the election, blanketing voters in many competitive legislative districts.

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Who’s On The Move?

... The head of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers is retiring, and the organization has tapped a new leader from within its ranks ... the Boston Planning and Development Agency has a new hire focused on diversity and inclusion ... a former legislative aide is taking on a role with the Department of Energy Resources, and a member of U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy's campaign team is moving to Transportation for Massachusetts ...

MassDevelopment President Liss Leaving at End of 2020

The state's quasi-public development agency MassDevelopment will soon be in need of new leadership with CEO Lauren Liss preparing to step down at the end of the year after three years at the helm.

State House Takeout Podcast

Holyoke Home Workers to Testify on Tuesday

Members of a special legislative oversight committee investigating the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home earlier in the pandemic will be back in the western part of the state Tuesday to hear from current or former staff, staffing agencies and unions connected to the long-term care facility about what happened.

Baker Gets Bill to Deliver UI Benefits to Low-Wage Residents

As many as 17,000 unemployed Massachusetts residents could become eligible for thousands of dollars in additional unemployment benefits under legislation the House and Senate on Monday passed to provide relief to residents who didn't initially qualify for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program.

Senate Session Summary - Monday, Oct. 26

Working together to start the week, the Senate and House whisked back to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk a stopgap budget he filed last Wednesday to cover state spending for the month of November in the continuing absence of a full-year spending bill. The branches also quickly ushered to final passage a bill opening the door to additional federal unemployment benefits for as many as 17,000 Bay Staters under the Lost Wages Assistance Program, by increasing minimum state unemployment benefits for a period between August and early September.

House Session Summary - Monday, Oct. 26

With a week until state government would run out of spending authorization, the House and Senate on Monday enacted a $5.4 billion interim budget filed last week by Gov. Charlie Baker that the governor said would cover state spending through November while the Legislature continues to deliberate over how to budget for fiscal 2021 in the middle of a pandemic. The interim budget takes effect Oct. 31 when the current three-month authorization expires.

Boston Man Arrested in Connection with Ballot Box Fire

A 39-year-old Boston resident is expected to be arraigned in municipal court on a charge of willful and malicious burning in connection with a Sunday morning ballot box fire, police said.

House, Senate Fast-Track Another Interim State Budget

[Coverage Developing] With state funds running down and an annual budget still far off, the House and Senate on Monday morning approved a short-term budget that would make $5.4 billion available to keep state government operating beyond Oct. 31, when the current interim budget expires.

Healey Wades Into Debate Over Gas Compressor Station

Responding to a cadre of South Shore lawmakers who had asked her to intervene and address what they described as potential regulatory and civil rights violations impacting environmental justice communities, Attorney General Maura Healey said last week that her office will keep a close eye on a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and is open to collaborating with lawmakers to change the permitting process for future projects.

Trendline Direction is Difference Between May, October Virus Numbers

The last time Massachusetts confirmed more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections on back-to-back days, in mid-May, conditions were improving here and Gov. Charlie Baker was beginning to reopen the economy and was reminding people to be safe when venturing out for Memorial Day weekend.

The Boston Police Department posted photos and asked for the public's help identifying a man as part of an ongoing arson investigation after a fire was set in a Boston ballot drop box early Sunday morning. [BPD]

Galvin Issues Directives After Ballot Drop Box Fire

Boston and federal authorities are investigating after a fire was set in a ballot drop box in Copley Square early Sunday morning, and Secretary of State William Galvin has directed all local election officials to boost security around ballot boxes.

Advances - Week of Oct. 25

Apparently fine with leaving big priorities to be dealt with during rare lame-duck, holiday season sessions, the Legislature remains largely in hibernation and many lawmakers next week will be focused on get-out-the-vote efforts in state and federal elections.

Early Voting Continues at Brisk Pace

More than 30 percent of all registered voters in Massachusetts have already cast their ballot for the presidential election as of Friday afternoon, according to Secretary of State William Galvin's office

Bay Staters are keeping those masks handy... COVID-19 is back on the rise in Massachusetts, threatening to surpass 1,000 new confirmed cases per day. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Getting Redder

Put down the pencils. Hang the costumes in the closet. And put the blade covers back on the skates. Lest anyone forget, the cororavirus is giving Massachusetts a not so gentle reminder that it never really left.

New COVID Cases Approach 1,000 For Consecutive Days

The Department of Public Health on Friday reported 968 new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, the second day in a row the number of newly confirmed cases approached 1,000.

The Department of Public Health reported more new COVID-19 cases Thursday among those aged 0 to 19 than any other age group, the first time during the outbreak that the youngest group has represented the largest jump in infections. [Graphic: Chris Lisinski/SHNS]

New COVID-19 Numbers Highest in State’s Youngest Age Group

Confirmed COVID-19 infections among Massachusetts residents younger than 20 are higher than they have been through the entire pandemic, prompting one leading expert to say the rising caseload is likely a reflection of increased testing and another to warn it could forecast a wave of transmission in older adults.

Hydro Contract Ruling Offers Clarity in Clean Energy Law

There have been many hurdles in the quest to get Canadian hydroelectricity into Massachusetts, but the state's highest court last month cleared one from the project's path -- a legal challenge to the contracts that intend to facilitate the delivery of about 17 percent of the state's electricity demand.

Gov. Charlie Baker, joined by three of his Cabinet secretaries and the lieutenant governor, detailed an economic recovery plan Thursday that includes millions of dollars in small business grants. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Baker Outlines Plan to Lift Mass. Economy

Looking to further boost an economy that has added back tens of thousands of jobs since April but has a long way to climb out of the hole dug by the pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker rolled out a multi-pronged strategy Thursday to infuse small businesses and workforce training programs with new money to cover payroll, rent, protective equipment and other expenses.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark, the second highest-ranking woman in the U.S. House, spoke at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce online forum Thursday. [Screenshot]

Clark: Crisis Exposes Crucial Role of Child Care

Congresswoman Katherine Clark on Thursday said a lack of access to child care is "holding our economy hostage" and called for a shift in how the public views care and education of young children.