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The Mass. Senate is proposing in-state college tuition for undocumented residents. Gov. Healey says it's a 'really good' idea

AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

The New England Patriots are headed to Germany this fall — and here’s what we’re kicking off with today:

Community college students in Massachusetts won’t be the only ones in store for a big discount if the state’s Senate gets its way. Senate leaders included a measure in their newly released budget proposal yesterday to make local undocumented residents eligible for in-state college tuition — and it seems Gov. Maura Healey is on board.

  • What she’s saying: Healey told reporters it’s a fair and necessary idea to ease regional labor shortages: “The more people we can get into a workforce pipeline, the better for us.” Healey also noted that many undocumented residents "have been here their entire lives, have gone through K-to-12, but then find themselves without an opportunity to afford continuing on in college." She added that the Senate's proposal is "a really good thing."
  • Potential roadblocks: House Speaker Ron Mariano has voted against the proposal in the past, and State House News Service reports his office isn’t yet saying if he’ll change his mind.
  • Zoom out: According to the National Immigration Law Center, at least 23 states allow all local high school graduates to qualify for in-state tuition, regardless of immigration status.
  • Zoom in: For students, it’s a difference of tens of thousands of dollars. For example, the total cost of attending UMass Amherst is $35,765 a year for in-state students, but $57,701 for out-of-state students.

There may be changes on the horizon for this year’s electoral process in Boston, after a federal judge ordered city councilors to redraw parts of their district map earlier this week. With a number of procedural deadlines quickly approaching ahead of elections for City Council this summer and fall, officials are considering ways to give potential candidates some flexibility so they can adjust to the unexpected boundary shifts.

  • Secretary of State Bill Galvin, whose office oversees local elections, told WBUR’s John Bender they’re hoping to reduce the number of signatures candidates need to qualify for the ballot. And a spokesperson for Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will seek to extend the timelines for filing nomination papers, as deadlines for the September preliminary election quickly approach.
  • This isn’t the first time Boston has gone back to the drawing board. A judge also tossed their map after council districts were first created in 1983, which led to that year’s elections being delayed. “We don’t want to see that happen again,” Galvin said.
  • The big picture: Most voters in Boston are still in the same district as they were in 2021. The lawsuit challenging the map centered on changes in Dorchester, specifically the move of parts of District 3 — Dorchester’s primarily white, high-turnout Neponset area — to the more diverse District 4.
  • What’s next: Galvin is calling on the City Council to act quickly to settle on a new map — potentially going back to the old lines — for this year’s elections while the lawsuit plays out.

Thomas Koch is Quincy’s longest-ever serving mayor — and he wants to keep it going. Koch told The Patriot Ledger he plans to run for a seventh term this fall. “There’s more to do,” the 60-year-old said.

  • Currently, Koch — who’s next term would run through 2027 — faces no challengers. He’s been in office since 2007. (Quincy’s mayoral terms changed from two years to four years in 2013.)

The owners of the pharmaceutical chemical plant in Newburyport that exploded last week — resulting in the death of one worker — plan to start demolishing the damaged building today.

  • What’s next: Investigators say it could take months before they figure out what caused the explosion.

Set a reminder, Swifties: The MBTA is releasing additional commuter rail tickets from Boston and Providence for next weekend’s Taylor Swift concerts at Gillette Stadium. If that’s got you singing “you belong with me,” the $20 round-trip special event train tickets for the May 20 and 21 concerts will go on sale only on the T’s mTicket app at 11 a.m. this Friday. (More info here.)

  • The additional train tickets come after fans headed to Swift’s first local concert in five years quickly bought up the initial round last Friday. (Unfortunately, the MBTA says they aren’t releasing any more train tickets for the May 19 concert.)
  • Driving there? Gillette Stadium’s website says its stadium-side prepaid parking is sold out, but there’s an overflow lot with space remaining on the other side of Route 1.

P.S.— Celebrate the moms in your life — and strengthen independent journalism — by sending some Winston Flowers from WBUR this Mother’s Day. You’ll also save 10% if you order by midnight tonight.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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