For Wu and Healey, reproductive rights become a selling point
Gov. Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are starting to make the case that the national fight over abortion could make the state a magnet for people concerned about their reproductive rights.
At events on Beacon Hill on Monday, the governor and mayor suggested the strong support in Massachusetts for reproductive rights could lure college students, businesses, and health care professionals away from the roughly two dozen states that have either banned or are likely to ban abortion. It was a dramatic shift in the ongoing debate about the state’s competitiveness, which until now has focused largely on high housing costs and tax burden.
“To the companies who are looking to fill vacancies and seeking a workforce, move to Massachusetts, where your employees will be able to care for their whole lives,” Wu said at a rally on the State House steps.
“To the health care professionals who swore not to do harm and to save lives and are questioning why you are in this fight alone in other states, move to Massachusetts,” Wu said. “We welcome you and we will have your back every step of the way.”
Both Wu and Healey made a pitch to students planning for college by pointing to UMass Amherst and its decision to help the state stockpile the abortion pill mifepristone.
“To the students in high school who are making decisions right now about where to go to college, move to Massachusetts, where our universities are standing shoulder to shoulder with elected leadership in fighting for you and protecting you,” Wu said.
“That’s a message to college-aged women across Massachusetts and, frankly, across the country as people are evaluating where they’re going to attend school next year,” Healey said. “Remember, Massachusetts is a place that will protect your freedom and protect your rights and protect your access to health care.”
And Wu suggested the state’s stance on abortion is reflective of a host of quality-of-life policies that make Massachusetts an attractive place to work and live.
“We welcome you move to Massachusetts,” she said, “where we are fighting for affordable housing, where we are fighting for schools to serve every single child, where we are ahead of the curve when it comes to climate and green infrastructure, and we are building the types of communities that everyone in our country deserves.”
Stockpiling abortion pill: Massachusetts moves to stockpile supplies of the abortion pill mifepristone as a fight over the legality of the drug plays out in a court fight that could go all the way to the US Supreme Court. Gov. Maura Healey orchestrated the stockpiling effort using UMass Amherst (the university purchased 15,000 doses for $675,000) and health care providers, who could receive $1 million in state aid.
– State officials estimated the stockpiling would provide at least a year’s worth of supply. “For anyone out there in need of services, in need of care, nothing has changed and nothing is going to change,” Healey said at a press conference in front of the State House with a host of other elected officials and advocates. Read more.
Nursing homes near capacity: A survey of the members by the Massachusetts Senior Care Association indicates nursing homes are nearing their capacity because roughly 3,000 of the state’s 40,000 nursing home beds are out of commission due to lack of staff. Read more.
Somerset ousts incumbent: Somerset voters elect a newcomer to the Select Board who has vowed to find a way to resolve a dispute over unpaid fines that is holding up the sale of land at Brayton Point to an Italian company eager to build a subsea cable manufacturing facility serving the emerging offshore wind industry. Read more.
Chain of change: Pat Walker, the field director for Mel King’s 1983 campaign for mayor of Boston, reflects on the veteran activist’s push for a “chain of change.” Read more.
FROM AROUND THE WEB
Gov. Maura Healey appoints Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Arrigo had announced earlier he was not seeking reelection. (Berkshire Eagle)
House Democrats will unveil their tax relief plan today and expect to bring it to a vote later in the week, Speaker Ron Mariano told reporters after a Beacon Hill leadership meeting. (State House News Service)
The Methuen City Council debates whether more uniformity in putting together its agenda could provide greater clarity for the public about what’s being discussed. (Eagle-Tribune)
Massachusetts hospitals are turning to forced overtime and other mandates to address a shortage of nursing staff, but nurses say the dictates are only driving more burned-out nurses to leave their jobs. (Boston Globe)
Justin Jones, one of two Black state lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee House by its Republican supermajority after disrupting proceedings to call for gun control, was sworn back in on Monday after the Metropolitan Nashville Council voted unanimously to appoint him to fill the vacancy his expulsion created. (New York Times)
The Alliance for Business Leadership, a liberal-leaning business organization that grew out of the Deval Patrick run for governor, is in disarray, with a majority of the group’s board resigning over the handling of a race discrimination and sexual harassment allegation brought by a former Latina employee. (Boston Globe)
Whole Foods is shutting down its flagship store in San Francisco only a year after opening because of deteriorating conditions in the area. “We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.” (San Francisco Standard)
The Daily Item in Lynn reports the pass rate for advanced placement tests in 2022 at school systems in its coverage area. Lynn came in at 32 percent, Saugus at 37 percent, Peabody at 63 percent, Swampscott at 66 percent, Marblehead at 71 percent, and Lynnfield was tops at 72 percent. Statewide the average was 30 percent, the highest in the country.
The Easthampton School Committee voted to stick with its decision to rescind a superintendent job offer to Vito Perrone over his reference to the school committee chair and her assistant as “ladies” in an email. (Boston Herald)
Legislators are once again making moves to designate “Roadrunner” by the Modern Lovers as the official state rock song of the Commonwealth. (Worcester Telegram)
Phillip Eng, the MBTA’s new general manager, spent a good chunk of his first day on the job talking to employees and riders. (WBUR)
JetBlue announces nonstop flights from Worcester to Orlando and Ft. Myers in Florida. (State House News Service)
The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University posted a statement on its website saying a Twitter-based news aggregation service it launched in 2011 under the name Fuego was being discontinued because Twitter began charging $42,000 a month for access to the data.