Jan 2, 2024 - News

What's in store for Massachusetts in 2024

Animated illustration of a vortex of concentric circles with the year 2024 and Axios logos flying out of it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

If you thought 2023 was a dumpster fire, just wait for next year, when the shelter crisis, presidential election and cost of living will test Boston's limits.

Yes, but: It's not all bad. We can probably look forward to more Ben Affleck-Dunkin' moments.

The shelter crisis

An influx of migrants from the southern U.S. border and an increase in evictions continue to strain the state's family shelter system.

  • Neither has shown signs of letting up in 2024.

The latest: The Healey administration set up an overflow site in Cambridge last month for up to 70 families on the shelter waitlist.

  • The state plans to pull from surplus budget funds to cover the burgeoning family shelter costs.

By the numbers: More than 300 families were on the waitlist as of Dec. 21.

Political divisions

Boston-area residents enter an election year seeming more divided than ever, from backlash over a holiday party for an affinity group called Electeds of Color to escalating tensions over the Israel-Hamas War.

Plus: The presidential campaign season may shine light on how split New Englanders are over reproductive health, immigration and the potential return of Donald Trump.

Generative AI+

AI will be big — and so will the ethical quandaries.

The latest: Massachusetts officials are tapping industry experts, ethicists and others to build the state's AI strategy over the next six months.

What we're watching: Whether Massachusetts will harness AI to streamline its state contracts system or other government operations, and how the state will prevent racial or gender biases in AI from influencing decisions.

Patriots reset?

Fans held out hope that this season would bring a reset for the Patriots, but the real changes could come post-Belichick.

The latest: Rumors continue to swirl about coach Bill Belichick's departure during the Patriots' worst season in decades.

Messi in Mass

The New England Revolution host Inter Miami — and Lionel Messi — on April 27 at Gillette Stadium.

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