• Governor Baker extends stay-at-home order; appoints advisory committee on reopening
  • Attorney General, JPKIII publicly call for expansive vote-by-mail program
  • Proposed rule change in the House fails; progressive advocates call foul
  • Board of Elementary and Secondary Education waives MCAS graduation requirement
  • Will the restaurant industry survive COVID-19?
  • Cape Cod’s short-term rental industry is concerned about Summer 2020
  • Today’s Bright Spot: Tom Hanks’ blood may save us all


  1. Governor Baker extended the non-essential business closure and stay-at-home order set to expire on May 4th two additional weeks to May 18. Simultaneously, Baker appointed a 17-member advisory committee tasked with guiding his administration with strategies for reopening Massachusetts, a day after Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced her three-phase plan to reopen.


  1. Joe Kennedy and Attorney General Maura Healey have teamed up again to ensure they publicly push the Legislature to work on proposals to mandate that all registered voters be mailed a ballot this fall, as COVID-19 presents public health and safety challenges to in-person voting.


  1. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo held a virtual caucus where he proposed a rule change to increase the required number of votes to trigger a roll call vote. Currently, any member can call for a roll call with support from 16 colleagues; the proposal would raise the threshold to 40. The Speaker’s ultimately failed proposal drew criticism from both progressive advocates and the Republican caucus, claiming the rule change would decrease transparency in the chamber.


  1. The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has temporarily waived the MCAS graduation requirement. About 1,000 students who failed to pass the high-stakes standardized test this year will be allowed to use their transcripts and course work to demonstrate their competency. Traditionally, students have multiple attempts to retake sections of MCAS they failed.


  1. Together, chefs and restaurant owners are advocating for a separate industry solution at both the federal and state level. While restaurants are eligible for federal stimulus money from the Payroll Protection Program, many restaurateurs say it’s structured specifically for payroll which is not the solution the industry needs to survive COVID-19. While most would choose to pay their furloughed staff, many a chef/owner are wondering if it’s safe to bring staff back?


  1. With summer quickly approaching, delays in the official start of the season could wreak havoc on Cape Cod’s tourism and short-term rental industry. Last month, Governor Baker through the Department of Public Health issued an order that short-term rentals, including hotels, motels, inns, beds and breakfasts, are barred from housing vacationers.


  1. AMERICA’S DAD: Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have donated their blood and it’s being used to develop a “HankCCine” to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We hereby nominate them for “Best Supporting Role in a Pandemic.”