Thursday, April 8, 2021

MA State News: vehicle inspection outage continues; vaccine certificates; school funding by Legislature

"After a more than weeklong outage in the state’s vehicle inspection system, service stations on Wednesday finally started receiving a software fix that is expected to solve the malware attack that hamstrung the testing program in Massachusetts and seven other states.

The contractor targeted by the attack, Applus Technologies, sent the software updates on flash drives to more than 1,700 shops in Massachusetts and walked operators through a reboot intended to protect the machines.

The inspection system has been offline since the attack on Applus on March 30, and is unlikely to be back online this week, according to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles."

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"Baker unwilling to talk vaccine passports"

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER is uninterested in talking about vaccination passports.

Asked whether Massachusetts might consider creating vaccine passports – which would impose restrictions on unvaccinated individuals – Baker did not explicitly say no, but said his focus is on getting people vaccinated. “Having a conversation about creating a barrier before people had an opportunity to be eligible to be vaccinated, let’s focus on getting people vaccinated,” Baker said, speaking after visiting a vaccination site in Revere."

"Legislature will increase school funding next year"

THE LEGISLATURE HAS agreed to take a more generous approach to funding public schools next year than Gov. Charlie Baker did, responding to concerns from education advocates that Baker’s proposal was inadequate.  

The legislative approach reflects a different time frame for phasing in an updated school funding formula, and the creation of a new fund to help districts that saw pandemic-related enrollment drops. But some advocates are still unhappy with lawmakers’ compromise approach, saying it does not fully address districts’ needs.

The chairs of the House and Senate ways and means committees announced in a joint statement Tuesday that they plan to put $5.503 billion into Chapter 70, the K-12 school funding formula, in their fiscal 2022 budget, which represents an increase of $219.6 million over the current year. That is $21.9 million more than what Baker had proposed. 

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