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Dive into Minots Ledge Light news like a pro:

More than half a year after his first proposal, Gov. Maura Healey’s big housing bill is on the way — with some changes. Last night, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $6.5 billion version of Healey’s five-year housing bond bill aimed at easing the housing shortage that has driven the state’s rents and home prices to the highest in the country. And while the House bill is 50% larger than Healey’s original proposal, it also trimmed some of the governor’s notable policy proposals. Here’s a breakdown:

  • What they kept: The major spending priorities in Healey’s bill remain largely unchanged. (Bond laws authorize the state to borrow and spend up to a certain maximum, although that does not mean they will actually achieve those goals.) For example, there is over a billion dollars in state funds for affordable housing, two billion dollars for the state’s neglected public housing system, and hundreds of millions spent on other housing programs. The House bill also retains Healey’s proposal to change building codes throughout the state To allow property owners the “legal right” to build so-called “accessory dwelling units” of up to 900 square feet in size on their properties.
  • What they added: The biggest change is authorizing up to $1 billion to upgrade water and sewer systems in suburban areas. Many community leaders say their systems don’t have the capacity to support dense residential development. So the House bill proposes expanding the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s water system to more than 20 communities on the North and South Shores. The House bill also includes a $150 million tax credit program for converting offices into housing and would also allow cities and towns to pass legislation with preemption rights.
  • What they’re cutting: Perhaps the most glaring absence from the House bill is Healey’s proposal to allow cities and towns to impose their own small taxes on luxury home sales to fund affordable housing. (Some senators are already talking about calling for the transfer tax to be reinstated in their bill, though.) The bill also cuts Healey’s proposal to allow people to have certain eviction records sealed in court, as well as an amendment allowing municipalities to pass inclusive zoning ordinances with a simple majority (instead of two-thirds) vote.
  • What’s next: The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will likely see even more changes and revisions. But so far, Healey says she’s “really encouraged” by the House bill, even if some of her ideas were left out. “Housing is a top priority for this state, so I’m happy to see this bill moving forward,” she said this week.

In the meantime: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s plan to temporarily raise the business tax to avoid a sharp increase in the residential tax is likely to end up in the State House. The City Council approved Wu’s home rule motion yesterday by an 8-4 vote. Assuming Wu signs the motion, the measure must next be approved by state lawmakers.

  • The debate: Business associations argue that many small businesses are already suffering, but supporters of the measure say it is necessary to protect against a large increase in property taxes. “The main beneficiaries of this proposal are wealthy but cash-strapped property owners, like many of our seniors and renters of smaller properties in Boston,” said City Councilwoman Gabriela Coletta Zapata during yesterday’s meeting.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. at TD Garden, and there’s no shortage of storylines as the Celtics try to end the hunt for banner No. 18 this season. Is the second attempt a fluke for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? How will Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving fare against his former team (and fans) in Boston? How will the C’s keep Luka Doncic in check? And why are so many people betting on the underdogs? WBUR’s Morning edition Host Rupa Shenoy spoke with Boston Globe basketball reporter Gary Washburn about what to expect. You can read highlights of their conversation here.

PS: Healey may have cashed in on her bet on women’s hockey with the governor of Minnesota this week, but we’re not eagerly awaiting friendly bets on the NBA Finals with the Republican governor of Texas. (If the Celtics win, Healey’s office might be able to put up another billboard.)

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