Legislative Update – Week of September 5, 2022

Sep 06, 2022

Last week:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released their long-awaited report on the MBTA. The 90-page report details the MBTA’s safety failures around staffing, communications, training, and operating policies. In their release, the FTA also set timelines for the MBTA and Department of Public Works (DPU) to “execute the actions identified and prioritize safety for MBTA’s users and workforce.” In the Massachusetts Legislature, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy will hold an oversight hearing on the MBTA with DPU officials invited to testify.

The FDA has authorized reformulated COVID-19 boosters developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to protect against the omicron BA.4/BA.5 variants. Individuals are eligible for the single booster dose two months after completing the initial vaccination or last booster shot. The Moderna vaccine has been approved for individuals 18-years and older, and the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for individuals 12-years and older.

Vice President Kamala Harris spent Labor Day in Boston speaking at the Annual Greater Boston Labor Council breakfast. VP Harris spoke on the Biden Administration’s support of labor unions and the importance of workers in Massachusetts in building up the country’s roads and airports. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, former Mayor of Boston, stressed the importance of both employers and employees remaining flexible on remote and hybrid schedules in a post-COVID workplace.

A nearly $3 billion surplus in state tax revenue has triggered a 1986 law that requires the state to return the money in a payment to taxpayers. Over the weekend, House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) weighed in on the potential tax credit.

This week:

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, September 6. Some voters have already cast their ballots during the early voting period from August 27 to September 2. On the Democratic or Republican primary ballots are candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, Governors Councilors, District Attorneys, representatives in the state Legislature, and other county and regional officials.

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