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Why Landlords are Suing Massachusetts

In late July, Governor Charlie Baker extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures by two months after citing the need for additional housing security amid economic hardship and COVID-19. The moratorium will now end on October 17th instead of August 18th, which gives struggling tenants more time to adjust to the pandemic. The Census Bureau’s Week 11 Household Pulse Survey showed that many Massachusetts residents, especially the Hispanic or Latino population, express less than high confidence in their ability to pay their next month’s mortgage. For them, an extended eviction moratorium will provide relief while they catch-up on lost income from COVID-19. Source: U.S. Census Bureau Tenants and tenant advocates have consequently expressed widespread support. According to new regulations from […]

How Should Massachusetts Reopen Its K–12 Schools in the Fall? Lessons from Abroad and Other States

This report asserts that, with the fall semester fast approaching, Massachusetts should provide more specific COVID-19-related guidance for school districts about ramping up remote learning infrastructure; rotating in-person cohort schedules; diversifying methods of communication between students, parents, and teachers; and investigating physical distancing capabilities.  Districts must determine whether to adopt in-person, remote, or hybrid schooling options, and they will not be ready for the fall unless the state provides clear direction.

A Time to Build

The MBTA is taking advantage of anemic low ridership from the pandemic to improve its infrastructure, but the minimal ridership also creates serious operating budget issues. Pioneer Institute’s website, MBTAAnalysis, confirms that ridership cratered in recent months, which means a massive drop in fare revenue. In every category, May ridership numbers are a fraction of what they were in February. While low ridership gives the MBTA a rare opportunity to renovate without interfering with travelers, analysis from the Massachusetts Tax Payer Foundation suggests that the T could have an “existential” operating budget deficit of more than $400 million by fiscal year 2022. The MBTA faced dire financial strain in 2015 and has spent years recovering by establishing a Fiscal and […]

Coronavirus Hits Back on Communities Who Slowed Their Spread

“This couldn’t come at a worse time,” said rep. Bill Keating while discussing COVID-19’s effect on Cape Cod’s summer season. Every year, the Cape and Islands draw people from around the country to their beaches and historic communities. Tourists, celebrities, and even presidents go to visit the beautiful landscape while bringing with them enough business to support a seasonal industry that many locals rely on. But with the Coronavirus pandemic that brought stay-at-home orders, social distancing guidelines, and overall fear, the Cape and Islands are suffering. When it comes to COVID-19 and places like Cape Cod, the consequences of the virus don’t necessarily follow the spread. Nantucket County, for example, has both the highest unemployment rate (23.5%) and lowest COVID-19 […]