State officials tell workers to stay home

Snow plow out on the Massachusetts Turnpike in West Springfield.

BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Deval Patrick early Wednesday morning directed all non-essential executive branch employees not to report to work on Wednesday due to the arriving snowstorm and poor weather conditions.

The House and Senate are also closed Wednesday, as well as the Massachusetts Trial Court system.

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. and between 6 and 12 inches of heavy snow is expected, with accumulation totals rising quickly in the morning especially.

Wednesday had been shaping up as a busy day on Beacon Hill but meeting and event cancellations and postponements began to stream in on Tuesday.

House officials earlier this week shifted plans for a Wednesday formal session to Thursday.

The House on Thursday is expected to vote on whether to expel Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester) in connection with his conviction on assault and battery charges. The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday night unanimously recommended expulsion for Henriquez, who is appealing his conviction.

The Senate on Thursday plans a formal session to take up unemployment insurance system changes that sponsors say will ease the cost of doing business in Massachusetts for many employers.

Tax collections over the first seven months have significantly outpaced estimates, a trend that could make it easier for the state to address the developing problem of insufficient snow and ice removal budgets.

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