Boston's Morning Newsletter
5 takeaways from Gov. Healey's Radio Boston interview
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Gov. Maura Healey’s bracket is busted — like mine and yours — as we enter the second weekend of March Madness. Here’s what else we learned from the governor’s interview on Radio Boston yesterday:
1. “We’ll do everything”: As residents and healthcare providers brace for a ruling on a Texas lawsuit that threatens to force a major abortion pill off the market, Healey told WBUR’s Tiziana Dearing that “we’ll do everything to fight that and ensure that women continue to have access to medication abortion.” Healey said her administration has filed an amicus briefing against the lawsuit and expects to remain involved through the potential appeals process. “We’ll see what any decision looks like and what appeals look like,” Healey said.
- Healey’s administration also issued a reminder to local pharmacies yesterday that they are required to stock and dispense drugs like mifepristone. The guidance comes after Walgreens announced it wouldn’t distribute the abortion pill in 20 states where Republican officials have threatened legal action.
- Zoom out: Abortion pills are the most common method for ending pregnancies in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. (Mifepristone and misoprostol are the two drugs on the market.)
2. Raise the roof: In the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure, Healey called on Congress to pass a bill raising the FDIC’s insurance limit. The current policy insures all deposits up to $250,000. “It’s too low right now,” she said.
- Healey’s call echoes a recent suggestion by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that the FDIC’s limit should be somewhere in the millions.
- At the same time, Healey emphasized “our regional banks are strong.” (Remember, Massachusetts has a special fund insuring all deposits at certain local savings and co-operative banks.)
3. Any minute now: Healey said she expects to name a new general manager for the beleaguered MBTA, as well as a transportation safety chief, “very, very soon.” The new, if vague, timeline comes two weeks after she said the announcements were “days, not weeks” away.
- The Boston Globe recently reported that records show Healey interviewed an MBTA GM candidate in late February.
- On a slightly longer track is Healey’s appointment of a new state police colonel. Her office recently announced a six-person search committee. It’s the first time a governor will be allowed to hire a State Police colonel from outside of the department.
4. No T-hanks: Healey received a listener challenge — not unlike ones her predecessor often got — to ride “the MBTA for a week” so she could experience the delays and slow zones. Despite living in Cambridge near the Red Line, the governor declined.
- Healey contended she’s getting a very close secondhand view. “I talk to people every day who take the T, including many of the folks I work with regularly here in the office,” she said.
5. Not a sure bet: Healey said she’s “probably not” going to personally get into sports gambling, even if it’s now legal in Massachusetts. “I hope it goes well and there’s revenue for the state, and that people bet safely,” Healey said.
- However, she is proverbially betting that South Carolina’s undefeated women’s college basketball team will get upset in the NCAA tournament by Geno Auriemma’s UConn team.
- On the men’s side, Healey — a former pro basketball player herself — said her bracket “got pretty blown up.” (Her pick to win it all was Purdue, who lost to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. ?)
P.S.— It’s not all basketball this weekend. The men’s college hockey tournament drops the puck today with some local rooting interests. Our own Boston University takes the ice at 2 p.m. up the road in Manchester, New Hampshire against Western Michigan. Meanwhile, Harvard will take on Ohio State Friday afternoon in Bridgeport, Connecticut.