State Capitol Briefs — Tuesday, 03/04/2014

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Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday nominated a candidate for the Parole Board who was rejected several years ago for the board by the Governor’s Council. Tina Hurley, a Cohasset resident who currently works as a hearing examiner at the Parole Board, was nominated by Patrick to serve on the board and succeed Cesar Archilla, who was recently appointed as a circuit district court judge in Essex County. Archilla was one of two surviving members of Patrick’s Parole Board shakeup two years ago when the governor accepted the resignations of the other five board members in the wake of the shooting death of Woburn police officer John Maguire by a paroled career criminal. Hurley would fill out the remainder of Archilla’s term, which expires June 1, 2014. In 2003, Gov. Mitt Romney nominated Hurley for the board. She was rejected 5 to 0 by the council. At the time, some members said the seven-member board was lopsided with members possessing prosecutorial or correctional backgrounds. Hurley was appointed by the chair of the Parole Board in 2007 as a hearing examiner in Natick, a position she still holds. Prior to that, she worked as director of women’s services and partnership development for the board from 2004 to 2007. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in public affairs from the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts. – C. Quinn/SHNS

Gov. Deval Patrick’s plans to meet up with President Obama in Connecticut on Wednesday have required an adjustment in his State House schedule. The Governor’s Council, which vets Patrick’s judicial nominees, was originally scheduled to meet at noon Wednesday, but will instead gavel in at 10 a.m. so Patrick will have time to travel south and join Obama at an event highlighting the need to increase the minimum wage. After a quick poll to see how many could make an earlier meeting, seven council members said they could be there. The council is scheduled to interview two judicial nominees on Wednesday, and could vote at the 10 a.m. meeting on two pending nominees – Joseph Berman for a seat on the Superior Court and Thomas Estes, the governor’s pick for district court judge in Northampton. Estes was interviewed on Feb. 19, and Berman had a second hearing last week after his nomination appeared in jeopardy in November. When it appeared Berman may be rejected, Patrick pulled back his nomination, mounted an effort to build support for the nominee, including a letter of support from prominent attorneys, and resubmitted it. The council over the years has often voted on a nominee at the meeting following the nominee’s confirmation hearing, but Patrick decides when a vote is taken on any nominee. It is unclear if the Berman vote will be taken Wednesday. – C. Quinn/SHNS

Sen. Stan Rosenberg, the Amherst Democrat who plans to take over as Senate president in 2015, is staying active politically ahead of November’s elections. On the heels of his endorsement of Treasurer Steven Grossman, one of five Democrats running for governor, Rosenberg on Tuesday took sides in the attorney general’s race, which features his former Senate colleague, Warren Tolman. Rosenberg joined Sens. Dan Wolf of Harwich and James Eldridge of Acton in backing former assistant attorney general Maura Healey, who has worked in public protection, business and labor and civil rights divisions at the AG’s office. “I am proud to endorse Maura Healey because of her innovative vision for the Attorney General’s office. After years of building winning teams and arguing groundbreaking and nation-leading cases, Maura will bring unmatched experience as a litigator and an advocate to the tough fights ahead for Massachusetts,” Rosenberg said in a statement released by Healey’s campaign, which claimed “growing strength” coming out of Democratic caucuses. William “Mo” Cowan, the former top aide to Gov. Deval Patrick who served as interim U.S. senator, and Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan have previously endorsed Healey. Tolman on Monday announced endorsements from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s four predecessors, Scott Harshbarger, Tom Reilly, James Shannon and Frank Bellotti. Rosenberg, Eldridge and Wolf plan to host Healey at campaign events in their districts.

In an effort to make all public buildings more energy efficient, Sen. James Eldridge (D-Acton) is pushing legislation that would require a total energy impact analysis (S 1479). Currently, the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) performs an energy cost estimate for the lifecycle of all public buildings. State officials look at energy systems powering a building, but not all costs involved in constructing and operating a building, Eldridge said. He believes the analysis should be extended to include other resources used to run a building, including water, electricity, transportation, gas waste and other materials. “This is the next stage of making sure Massachusetts stays as energy sustainable as possible,” Eldridge said during a hearing on the bill Tuesday before the State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee. Having more information about all the costs involved in running a building would allow state officials to make more economically and environmentally sustainable decisions, Eldridge said. Ory Zik, the CEO of Energy Points, a company that performs energy analyses, told lawmakers that Harvard University and the MBTA are clients who have used information to save money. The MBTA analyzed fuel consumption and Harvard looked at water consumption. Under the bill, DCAMM would be required by Jan. 1, 2015 to develop a method for agencies in assessing life-cycle energy consumption. The Division of Energy Resources would be required to report on the compliance of state agencies with the bill’s requirements. – C. Quinn/SHNS

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