But if you were to ask your local state senator or state rep to tell you exactly what's in the bills they voted for, most couldn't tell you since they couldn't have had time to review everything during the rush to finish.
Gov. Charlie Baker, on other hand, gets ten days to read them, sign them or veto them. But our lawmakers forfeited their chance to override most vetoes.
Because they waited too long.
Now here's the worst part
But the most infuriating part was our Legislature's failure to finish its $4 billion Economic Development bill.
The nearly final proposal was turned on its head when Baker announced last week that the state’s record-setting revenues will trigger a 1986 law that could send nearly $3 billion back to you, me, our employees, our customers and the rest of our fellow taxpayers.
It’s not clear how everyone missed it (except it was approved the year you know who missed you know what). But the bombshell had legislative leaders scrambling to rethink their own $1 billion tax relief proposal, including middle earner rebates, overdue reforms to estate taxes and permanent relief for seniors and renters.
While most of us learned during freshman year that this is exactly why you’re not supposed to leave all your assignments to the last week of the semester, we didn't only lose tax relief.
The unpassed bill also included as much as $500 million in various housing initiatives, $200 million for small-business assistance, $75 million to help businesses run by people of color, as well as hundreds of millions for high-priority items for many businesses including unemployment insurance and health care, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto.
But wait, there's more (or would have been): The same bill included funding to help hospitals and hotels rebound, a proposal that would have made it easier to build starter homes, money for open space, and even a measure that would allow craft brewers to sell beer at farmers' markets. (Mercifully it may have also ended a proposal to bring back happy hour, something the restaurant industry never asked for.)
Yesterday legislative leaders promised to revisit the proposals. But the path and timing are uncertain given that because our Legislature doesn't formally meet again until January.
Which is also something that would not be tolerated in the private sector.
Up next on Highland Ave: Car wheels on a gravel road
Mass DOT will begin full depth roadway reconstruction on Highland Avenue in Needham from Wexford Street to the bridge over the Charles River starting Monday (Aug. 8).
During this work, vehicle travel will be on gravel road.
The project -- part of the years-long renovation of the Needham Street-Highland Ave corridor -- is anticipated to last one month, with crews working from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Two-way vehicle travel and bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout this work. Police details will be present. Following the completion of this work, crews will begin curb and sidewalk reconstruction. Details
Only 40% of restaurants are operating at full hours while only 36% are running at limited hours due specifically to staff shortages.
60% are running with a fully staffed front of house while only 36% are running with a fully staffed back of house.
In comparison to 2019, the average payroll increase was 30%
Only 25% of those who answered said that they have half or more of their current staffing has remained on payroll since before the pandemic.
80% believe that labor shortage is the one of the main factors that will continue to affect a restaurant’s ability to survive.
How low can it go?
This is scary. The level of the Charles River between where Cutler Park in Needham meets Millennium Park in West Roxbury is so low in places that somebody who doesn't mind getting their calves wet - and maybe sinking into some mud - could easily wade across at its narrowest points.
Watertown’s third, and final, cannabis dispensary, Ayr Watertown, has opened at 48 North Beacon St., serving both adult and medical products. (Watertown News). Ayr's parent company also operates Sira Naturals, a medical-only dispensary in Needham.
The Needham Council for Arts and Culture is requesting community input with a 5-minute online survey. Based on the responses, NCAC will grant funds to applicants with a budget appropriation from the state and town. This year, the town of Needham will contribute $8,300 to double the budget for programs that enrich the cultural life of the community.
Stop by West Newton tonight (Aug. 2) from 5 to 8 p.m. for National Night Out to say thanks to Newton police officers and dispatchers, enjoy free food and music, and dunk the police chief at Captain Ryan Park, next to NPD headquarters, 1321 Washington Street.)
Former Newton Mayor Setti Warren has been named interim director of the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Warren previously served as executive director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. (Boston Globe)
Two sides of the same story
Two articles in different sections of Sunday’s Boston Globe illustrates why we don’t just need more housing in our suburban communities, but why we need more diverse stock of smaller, multi-family, homes.
In the first story, reporter Robert Weisman talks toolder residents who’d like to downsize "and turn over spacious dwellings to younger buyers desperate for room to expand" but struggle to find smaller homes or condos in the communities where they’ve raised their kids, paid taxes and generally lived their lives.
In a second article John Hilliard notes school enrollment is down statewide 4%. But it’s more than double that in many suburban communities (for example, Wellesley public school enrollment is off 11.4%), in part because – you guessed -- all those multi-bedroom homes filled with empty nesters keeps families with school age kids from moving in.
“Peel back the economic metrics, and you’ll find a demographic dynamic at play: Older folks hanging onto homes that are larger than they need, and a younger generation of two-income couples with children who are primed to move into those homes but remain trapped in apartments or condos that are too small,” Weisman writes.
He adds that Massachusetts residents over-55 represent just over 22% of the state’s population but they own and occupy 54.8% of the state’s homes.
And that gap is wider in many suburban communities too.
Finally, this morning, thanks to our friends at Woodland Golf Club, lead sponsor the Village Bank, Mother Nature, our volunteers and especially everyone who joined us for our 31st annual Children's Charitable Golf Tournament yesterday.
It was great to see many longtime friends and make many new ones -- in person -- while raising money for the Ellie Fund.