• Governor Baker: Downward trend in key COVID-19 events will determine phased reopening
  • Boston business groups pressure Baker on reopening plan details
  • Congressman Richie Neal says next stimulus bill is coming
  • State House of Representatives votes remotely for the first time in 400 years
  • Guidelines for golf course reopening’s anticipated today
  • Back-To-School planning in Rhode Island looks very different than years past
  • Thursday’s Silver Lining: #ObamaCommencement2020 is happening


  1. Governor Baker will not begin the phased reopening of the Massachusetts economy on May 18 unless there is a sustained downward trend in key COVID-19 events, mainly positive test rates, hospitalization rates and fatalities. The Governor’s reopening advisory board is also closely the number of hospitals treating COVID-19 patients under surge conditions.


  1. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is pushing Baker to release reopening criteria by this Friday so businesses can prepare for the potential of lifting the nonessential services order set to expire. In a letter, the Chamber asked for details on universal testing as well as legal liability for business after the reopening begins.


  1. Congressmen Richie Neal, powerful chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, expects the next COVID-19 federal stimulus bill to become public shortly. This bill is expected to include money for hospitals and state and local governments struggling with staggering revenue loss. In a separate bill, Congresswoman Katherine Clark has called for a $100 billion bailout for the childcare industry so working parents can also get back to work.


  1. With a virtual vote of 157-0, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a short-term borrowing bill to try to keep the Commonwealth’s finances in good standing. This is the first time in eight weeks the House has held a formal session. Roll call votes were called over conference call lines and votes were tallied by lawmakers and staff. The borrowing bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.


  1. Governor Baker is expected to release guidelines today on how golf clubs must operate when they reopen, which could be as early as this Friday. Restrictions will include prohibiting players from using golf carts, clubhouses and bathrooms. Two central Massachusetts golf courses have already started to accepted tee times for Friday.


  1. Rhode Island is planning for back-to-school for its 142,000 students under dramatically different conditions than in years past. Current proposals for discussion include students attending school in either daily or weekly shifts, maintaining core small groups with one assigned teacher and closing common areas like gymnasiums and auditoriums. The possibility of virtual school remains on the table as administrators consider the public safety and health of students, staff and educators.


  1. MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will send the class of 2020 off in style – three times.First, Michelle Obama will kick off the festivities on Saturday May 16 at 2 pm during a livestream. Later that night, President Obama will address a 1-hour televised event entitled. Finally, together on June 6, the Obamas will take part in YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020,” set to begin livestreaming at 3 pm along with guests including Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, Condoleeza Rice, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington.