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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

In the nation: police call for ‘move over’ law updates, Gov. Healey passes housing bill, Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election case, Mass. to end emergency sheltering guarantee

Leo Woods

Mass. police call for updates to ‘move over’ law

Massachusetts first responders spoke in front of the State House Oct. 17 to voice their support to expedite the passage of multiple bills by the state legislature.

The State Police Association of Massachusetts asked legislators to update the “move over” law, which currently fines an individual $100 if that person does not move to another lane and slows down while emergency vehicles are stopped on the road. 

The union is asking for the fine to increase to $250 for the first offense and to charge individuals who injure first responders due to not slowing down and moving over with a criminal misdemeanor.

“It’s about reasonableness,” Union President Patrick McNamara said. “We need some sort of action greater than what’s happening right now.”

In proposals by State Rep. Steven Xiarhos, a former police officer, and former state Sen. Anne Gobi, the fine would increase to $250 on first offense, and a $500 fine on second offense and $1000 on third or subsequent offense, according to NBC10 Boston

McNamara recognized the bill as the Trooper Thomas Devlin bill in honor of the state trooper who died as a result of injuries sustained after he was hit by a car during a traffic stop in Billerica in 2020.


Gov. Healey passes new housing bill, Globe Spotlight investigation shines light on Milton housing issues

Gov. Maura Healey passed a housing bill Oct. 18 that should help alleviate the Boston housing crisis.

“The bill was hailed by housing advocates and business leaders as one of the most ambitious attempts in recent memory to address the state’s housing shortage, and could create more than 40,000 new homes, state officials say,” according to The Boston Globe.

The bill is said to include $4 million for public housing and 28 policy changes. It also touched on taxes of high-priced housing sales and zoning changes, two controversial topics in the city of Boston.

“This is going to be legislation that will make our state more affordable for everyone. It’s going to help us meet our climate goals. … It’s really, really big,” Healey said Oct. 18.

The Globe’s most recent Spotlight investigation, published Oct. 18, revealed details of the housing issues happening in Milton, a suburb just over eight miles south of Boston.

Milton, as well as most Boston suburbs, is riddled with restrictive zoning laws, making it nearly impossible for apartment building permits to be passed. 

The investigation reveals that housing prices across the U.S. have risen six times the amount they were in 1980. In Massachusetts alone, they’ve risen 11 times the amount in 1980. 

The bill also includes the transfer tax, which has been strongly opposed by the real estate business. The transfer tax would be for high-dollar real estate sales and help raise money for affordable housing, according to The Globe.


Trump attorney Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election case

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to charges against her for efforts of trying to overturn the 2020 Georgia election. 

Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanors and will serve six years of probation, pay a $6,000 fine and has to write an apology letter to the state of Georgia. 

Powell was charged in this case along with 18 others, including Trump, according to the Associated Press. 

Former U.S. Attorney John Fishwich described the plea as a “significant win” for the Fulton County District Attorney. 

“This is somebody who was at ground zero of these allegations and a lawyer who is pleading guilty,” he said to the Associated Press. “This is very significant.”

Trump’s lead attorney in the Georgia case Steve Sadow said Powell’s plea will not affect Trump’s case. 

“Assuming truthful testimony in the Fulton County case, it will be favorable to my overall defense strategy,” he said.


Massachusetts to end guarantees of emergency shelter placements

Gov. Maura Healey announced Oct. 16 that the state of Massachusetts will stop guaranteeing emergency sheltering for incoming migrants to the state next month. 

The state’s emergency shelter system is set to be at capacity 7,500 families by the end of October.

“For months now, we have been expanding shelter capacity at an unsustainable rate to meet rising demand. Despite the heroic work of public officials, shelter providers and the National Guard, we have reached a point where we can no longer safely or responsibly expand,” said Healey.

The Healey administration also announced the appointment of Lt. Gen. Leon Scott Rice as the emergency assistance director for the state. The role places Rice with the oversight of the emergency shelter system.

Healey said the change will not remove the “right-to-shelter” law, which states that pregnant women and families with children who fill certain income criteria must be provided emergency sheltering.

Currently, 23,000 people are being housed in shelters across the state with roughly half of them children, according to The New York Times.

In a press conference Monday, Healey called for improved federal intervention.

 “Massachusetts will continue to rise to this challenge — that is who we are,” Healey said. “But this is a federal problem that demands a federal solution.”

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About the Contributors
William Woodring
William Woodring, Senior Editor-at-Large | he/him
Will is a senior majoring in public relations. He is originally from Medway, Massachusetts. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, writing, reading, and running. He is interested in political journalism and hopes to go into politics after graduating. Follow Will on X @woodringwill
Sarah Roberts
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Massachusetts, majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in East Boston, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.
Maren Halpin
Maren Halpin, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Maren is a junior print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office or chasing a new story, you can usually find Maren in Suffolk’s orientation office or at an on-campus event. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 
Follow Maren on X @Maren_Halpin26
Leo Woods
Leo Woods, News Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Connecticut. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on X @leowoods108

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