What is the House doing about the Mass family shelter system?

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happy Friday! Parking is free today through Veterans Day weekend at all Massachusetts state parks, in case you’re looking to celebrate the holiday with a sunny — albeit brisk — fall walk or hike.

But first, let’s get to the news:

Massachusetts Emergency Family Shelter System The state’s self-imposed cap was officially hit yesterday. As WBUR’s Gabrielle Emanuel explains here, crossing the 7,500-family threshold means the state will begin turning away eligible families for the first time today. Instead, families seeking shelter will be placed on a waiting list for housing, prioritized based on health and safety risk factors. The moment also opened a wedge between Gov. Maura Healey and some top Democrats on Beacon Hill over what to do next.

  • Earlier this week, House lawmakers passed a bill that would send an additional $250 million to the shelter system — but with strings attached. If passed, the bill would require the Healey administration to create overflow sites within 30 days to house families on the waiting list. (That was not part of Haley’s plan.) They even floated the Hynes Convention Center as a potential location. “We wanted to make sure that no family was forced to live on the street, at Logan Airport, in South Terminal, especially with winter approaching,” said State Rep. Aaron Michlewicz.
  • However, Haley said the additional $250 million — which she requested in September — is only enough to house families already in the system. Meanwhile, her department is partnering with United Way to create at least short-term overnight shelters for homeless families. They have also asked the federal government to help with more permanent surplus sites.
  • What’s next: Healey was not committed to signing the House surplus site plan. After all, it still has to be reviewed by the Senate, which will review it and then plan to pass its own version. But we can find out soon; The Legislature has a deadline to end its formal session by next Wednesday, November 15.
  • Dig deeper: Read Gabrielle’s story about how closing shelter doors can push families into illegal and unsafe housing.

Vel forward speed: The MBTA is planning more than 200 days of partial closures across its four subway lines through the end of next year — and people are kind of happy about it! That’s because, for the first time in recent memory, the T gives riders a long-term preview of their shifting plans. It comes as the agency, under Director General Phil Ng, seeks to eliminate all 191 slow zones disrupting service by the end of 2024. And for once, some riders Upbeat.

School is out in Andover todayBut not because of the Veterans Day holiday. The city’s public school teachers have gone on strike, after nine months of failed negotiations for a new contract. The Andover Teachers Union says they are seeking higher pay and paid family and medical leave, among other things, in the new contract. You can read their full explanation here.

The next president of the Boston City Council is… Rothezi Luigion? The first-term at-large city councilwoman, who was the top vote-getter in this week’s election, announced yesterday that she received the votes among her colleagues to become the next council president. (The role is currently held by Ed Flynn.)

  • What it means: As council president, Luigon will lead council actions. She will also serve as acting mayor if Mayor Michelle Wu leaves the city or leaves office.

PS: Do you know what policy change was made by the largest health insurance company in Massachusetts this week? Take the Boston News quiz and test your knowledge of this week’s stories.

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