Today starts Phase Two of reopening. Non-essential retail businesses are allowed to open with new restrictions, as well as many other personal services. Budget writers will welcome the reopening as May’s tax collections were down $262 million, or 13 percent, from 2019. Massachusetts is looking at $2.25 billion less in revenue than it was counting on for the upcoming budget.
- Under The Department of Early Education and Care’s new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, day care centers, youth sports and summer camps may begin the process for reopening.
- The MBTA is developing a new messaging system to alert riders to overcrowding
- Springfield receives approval for speeding up applications for restaurants and bars to serve alcohol for outside dining
- Massachusetts saw 27,174 initial unemployment claims last week; down from 38,332 in the previous week.
- School leaders and educators are left wondering over how, or whether, to grade student performance after a chaotic and unprecedented spring
Reopening the Commonwealth:
- Here is a running list of what can reopen today. Industry-specific guidelines for keeping workers and customers safe can be found here.
- Childcare and youth servicing providers including summer camp operators, may reopen if they adhere to new Early Education and Care guidelines, after they’ve submitted their plans to EEC for approval. The only problem? The state has yet to release a template for those plans.
- Massachusetts restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and beer gardens that serve food can open with limited outdoor capacity today. Here is a closer look at the reopening guidelines they must follow.
At the State House:
- An extensive vote-by-mail bill passed the House of Representatives last Thursday, 155-1. H4768 directs Secretary of State Bill Galvin to send out applications for mail-in ballots by July 15 and provide early voting options before the September 1 primary and November 3 general elections. The bill moves now to the Senate for consideration.
- The Massachusetts Restaurant Relief Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives last week and now moves to the Senate for consideration. The bill eases dining restrictions, expands alcohol delivery options to include mixed drinks, extends takeout options to February 2021 and caps the amount that can be charged for a food delivery service.
- Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law Friday that will help cities and towns continue operations during the COVID-19 crsis by allowing remote participation at representative town meetings, more flexibility in municipal budgeting, and emergency educator licenses to be awarded.
- Tuesday: Boston City Council on Ways & Means holds a fiscal 2021 budget meeting.