Chamber News

State Orders Elementary Schools To Re-Open Classrooms By April 5

WBUR – Public schools in Massachusetts will have to begin offering in-person learning to elementary school students five days a week next month. It’s the first decision education Commissioner Jeff Riley made under new authority approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Friday afternoon, by a vote of 9-3. Under the regulation change, Riley…

Spilka: State Should Allow Health Departments To Vaccinate Teachers

CBS Boston – Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka said that while she believes Gov. Charlie Baker did the right thing by following President Biden’s directive to vaccinate educators, she added the state needs a better strategy to quickly get shots in the arms of teachers. Last week, Spilka called for the state to designate a portion of its…

Massachusetts Explores The Advantages, Challenges of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

WBUR – Massachusetts received 58,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine this week, the first shipment of what could be a substantial boost in vaccination efforts here and across the country. But it’s not clear how that boost will play out or when it will start. Gov. Charlie Baker says he’s not expecting any…

COVID Hospitalizations Plummet in Massachusetts with Vaccine Rollout

Boston Herald – Coronavirus hospitalizations in Massachusetts have plummeted since the state prioritized the most vulnerable populations in the vaccine rollout, prompting one leading doctor to tell the Herald that “the worst is behind us” for Bay State hospitals that have been slammed for much of the last year. The peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Massachusetts’…

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather in Small Groups Without Masks

People who are fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus can gather privately in small groups without masks or physical distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, relaxing safety guidelines for inoculated individuals under some circumstances. The CDC said Monday that fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in most circumstances to prevent…

When Are the Stimulus Checks Coming? And Who Will Get One?

Wall Street Journal – Another round of stimulus checks is almost certain to happen now that the Senate has approved President Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation. A House vote is expected Tuesday, to be followed shortly afterward by Mr. Biden’s signature. When are the payments coming? Mr. Biden said Saturday that the checks would start coming this month. The Internal Revenue…

Business: Recovery ‘is not going to be flicking a switch’

Boston Globe – After a year of hunkering down, the country is about to bask in the biggest boom in nearly four decades. But the scars of the pandemic linger. By summer, most American adults should be vaccinated, and life is expected to return to something approaching normal as people eat in restaurants, hop on a plane,…

State Gearing Up For Rescue Act’s Cash Windfall

State House News – With Congress on the verge of passing an economic stimulus bill more than twice the size of the recovery bill used to help America claw out of the Great Recession, Massachusetts is bracing for a massive windfall, and with it the inevitable debate over how it gets spent. “We are, like…

Spilka Downplays Outlook for New Taxes

Senate President Karen Spilka said Thursday she is not planning to raise taxes this session but left open the possibility of increases if the pandemic persists and worsens. The $45.6 billion budget Gov. Charlie Baker filed for fiscal year 2022 cuts overall state spending and does not include new taxes on individuals. House Speaker Ronald…

Top House, Senate Leaders Agree on Relief to Workers, Employers

State House News – Top legislative Democrats announced Monday they’d reached a deal on a COVID-19 recovery bill that aims to help workers and employers. The deal includes tax relief for certain unemployed workers, paid leave related to COVID-19 and vaccinations, relief from planned hikes in unemployment insurance rates, and waiving state taxes on Paycheck…