ADVANCES – WEEK OF APRIL 13, 2014
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 11, 2014…….The Senate moved quickly Thursday to get a bill combating domestic violence into conference committee so that top House and Senate Democrats could begin hammering out a consensus proposal. But legislative leaders are taking their time, if they’re trying at all, to get a bill into conference raising the minimum wage. The Senate last November voted to jack the $8 wage floor up to $11 and index it to inflation. The House in early April approved its plan, which calls for a $10.50 per hour minimum wage without the indexing provision. Both branches have also approved separate proposals to change the state’s unemployment insurance rules. If branch leaders don’t begin the usual process of trying to resolve their differences on the issues soon, it’s likely to lend credence to the theory that Beacon Hill Democrats wouldn’t mind seeing a $10.50 minimum wage hike, indexed to inflation but without unemployment insurance system reforms, on the same non-presidential election year ballot where many of them will stand for re-election and Democrats will try to keep the Corner Office as Gov. Deval Patrick moves on to the next phase of his career. A MassINC Polling Group survey of 500 Massachusetts residents released this week showed 53 percent hold favorable opinions of Patrick while only 37 percent believe he should run for president of the United States.
The likely appointment next week of House negotiators to the domestic violence conference will land that important policy matter in conference committee. Sen. Karen Spilka was named head conferee Thursday on the domestic violence bills (S 1897 and H 4038). Domestic violence bill negotiators are already being called to revisit the House budget, with critics of the spending plan from Jane Doe Inc. on Friday saying the budget fails to adequately fund rape crisis centers, domestic violence emergency shelters and batterer intervention programs and “will be a step backwards instead of supporting the forward-thinking vision” represented in the policy bill. Activists want the House to “correct this disconnect.” The Senate’s approval on Thursday of legislation to address underground natural gas leaks means conferees will likely be designated to merge the Senate and House bills (H 3873 and S 2095) into a single, non-amendable bill.
Conference committees have become a black hole for major issues this session. Conferences helmed by House and Senate Democrats have been unable to agree since November on welfare reform (H 3756 and S 1806) and compounding pharmacy regulation (H 3672 and S 1899) proposals that lawmakers described as critical last year. Rep. Brian Dempsey and Sen. Jennifer Flanagan are leading the welfare conference and Rep. Jeff Sanchez and Sen. John Keenan are the chief compounding pharmacy bill conferees.
A conference charged with agreeing on an approach to protect the public from damage caused by products containing mercury has come up empty since being appointed in December. Rep. Anne Gobi and Sen. Stephen Brewer are the chief conferees on the mercury bills (H 3601 / S 1758). Bills calling for early voting and other election system reforms (H 3788 / S 1975) were sent to conference in late January, with Rep. James Murphy and Sen. Barry Finegold as lead conferees.
And in the face of warnings from the Patrick administration that scores of public works projects are on hold until a transportation bond bill is approved, a conference named to hammer out an expensive multi-year capital spending bill is still working on it, with Transportation Secretary Richard Davey expressing optimism this week that an accord is close, which would move the state closer to releasing funds for construction season work. Rep. William Straus and Sen. Thomas McGee are leading efforts to reach a consensus on H 3860 and S 2033.
The conference approach hasn’t been a total failure. Negotiators were able recently to produce a largely non-controversial batch of veterans’ services proposals, which were quickly ratified by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Patrick. And conferees this week produced and sent to the governor a bill blocking a $420 million unemployment insurance rate hike. He’s expected to sign that legislation.
As the annual budget debate heats up, sponsors of other major bills are still trying to just get their proposals to the floors of either branch. Long-promised legislation to combat gun violence has stalled in the House. Charter school proponents are hoping to pry out of the House Ways and Means Committee a proposal to expand the number of charter schools. Gov. Patrick this week filed an economic development bill, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo is working on his own plan to lift the state’s economy. Proponents of a massive expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center are trying to push a financing bill through. Meanwhile, the Patrick administration is suddenly in a late-session push to force action on legislation aimed at facilitating long-term utility contracts with the goal of boosting renewable energy sources, arguing greenhouse gas emission reduction goals might not be met without immediate action.
Amid the action, the House on Wednesday is set to welcome four new members and Rep. Jason Lewis is scheduled Thursday to be sworn in to the Senate after winning an April 1 special election. The incoming representatives are Dan Hunt of Dorchester, Dan Ryan of Charlestown, RoseLee Vincent of Revere, and John Velis of Westfield, a Democrat who won the seat formerly held by Republican Don Humason.
Other storylines in the week ahead:
– MARATHON BOMBING ANNIVERSARY: Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that have since shone a spotlight on domestic terrorism, steps that can be taken to protect the homeland and improve counter-terrorism efforts, and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by enemies of the United States. In addition to focusing on heroic efforts that saved lives after two handmade bombs were detonated near the finish line, the week ahead will bring more news about planning and security efforts ahead of the April 21 running of the marathon. A Western New England Polling Institute survey released this week showed 53 percent of adults said they are very confident and 38 percent somewhat confident that law enforcement agencies can keep this year’s marathon safe from violence. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed said the bombing has changed Boston, while 24 percent said the city has not changed. Among those who say the attack changed the city, 62 percent said the change was for the better, 20 percent said the change was for the worse, and 14 percent said the change was for both better and worse. Former U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) will be in Cambridge Wednesday to talk about terrorism and how to prevent it at former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis’ Harvard seminar series.
– HOUSE BUDGET AMENDMENTS: With House budget debate not scheduled to begin until Monday, April 28 and amendments due Friday, lawmakers, budget stakeholders and anyone with an interest will have two full weeks to look over scores of amendments to the $36.2 billion spending plan unveiled Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Brian Dempsey. During debate this week on an order laying out special rules for the budget debate, House Republicans said Democrats were imposing unfair constraints on amendments. Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget weighed in at $36.4 billion. The House traditionally tacks on spending during “budget week” so their plan may end up in the same ballpark as Patrick’s on spending. The amendments were being posted online Friday as they are being submitted: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2015/House/ChamberActions?pg=4&perPage=100.
SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014
MARATHON PREPAREDNESS: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plans a press conference to discuss the city’s preparedness for Tuesday’s Boston Marathon tribute and the actual race on April 21. The mayor and his team plan to cover police presence, street closures and traffic advisories, emergency medical services deployment, and available trauma services. Walsh will be joined by Thomas Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Boston Transportation Department Commissioner James Gillooly; Boston Emergency Management Services Commissioner James Hooley; Boston Public Health Commission Director Barbara Ferrer; city Chief of Health & Human Services Felix Arroyo and Office of Emergency Management Director Rene Fielding. (Saturday, 3 p.m., City Hall Plaza)
WARREN AT SUFFOLK LAW: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will push her proposal for the federal government to offer deep discounts on student loans, ending the current system where she says the government profits through the lending program. The Cambridge Democrat who has backed candidates in various other states leading up to this year’s elections, is the keynote speaker at a Friday and Saturday student loans symposium convened by Suffolk University Law School and the National Consumer Law Center. Reporters hoping to cover Warren’s speech, are advised to contact Greg Gatlin, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mariellen Norris, email@example.com. (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Suffolk Law, 120 Tremont St., Boston)
BERWICK HEADLINES SINGLE-PAYER EVENT: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick, who has touted his support for a Medicare-for-all health care approach, will headline a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care and the Universal Health Care Educational Fund. Massachusetts Nurses Association executive director Julie Pinkham and Massachusetts Teachers Association President Paul Toner will also attend the funder. (Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St., Cambridge)
CLARK, McGOVERN TO ATTEND BUDGET FOR ALL! EVENT: Opponents of the federal budget proposal offered by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan say it makes $5 trillion in spending cuts and on Saturday will call for passage instead of the “Better Off Budget.” U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Jim McGovern, Mel King, Grace Ross and representatives from SEIU, MassPIRG, Mass Senior Action, Mass Fair Share, and ACT-up plan to gather Saturday to promote spending on unemployment insurance, food stamps and to “ask corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share,” according to the advocacy group Budget for All! Democratic gubernatorial candidate Donald Berwick plans to attend. (Saturday, 10 a.m., Walpole Common, Walpole)
MASSCARE: Democratic candidate for governor Donald Berwick attends the MassCare Gala. (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St, Cambridge)
TEACH FOR AMERICA: Education Secretary Matthew Malone offers closing remarks at the 2014 Teach for America Summit. (Saturday, 3:15 p.m., Lawrence High School, Lawrence)
SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014
MENINO ON KELLER: Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino reflects on the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary during an interview on WBZ’s Keller at Large. Menino also discusses his concerns about the cost of contracts for the Boston Police union and the chances that a Greater Boston casino ever gets built. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV)
“THIS WEEK” ON ABC: Gov. Deval Patrick will appear on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday to discuss the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, which falls on Tuesday. Patrick is planning to take part in a memorial service Tuesday at the Hynes Convention Center to commemorate the anniversary and will be at the finish line on race day to crown the winner of the women’s marathon. The governor has said there will be an “unprecedented” amount of security in place for this year’s race, which is expected to draw record numbers of runners and spectators, but he hopes it will not interfere with the ability of the public to celebrate the day. Patrick will appear on the program live via remote satellite. (Sunday, 10 a.m., WCVB Channel 5)
TEA PARTY RALLY: The Greater Boston Tea Party hosts a rally for Tax Day entitled “If you like your FREEDOM . . . ” featuring tax relief activist Barbara Anderson. The GBTP said in a release on the event the theme of Freedom is a response to increasing government involvement in health care, NSA data collection, politicization of the IRS, state tax increases, scandals at the Department of Children and Families and other controversies. The rally will begin with a musical performance by People’s Blowback. Speakers include Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan, Dr. Ellen Kenner, American Principles in Action Political Director Terry Schillin, Motel Caswell owner Russ Caswell, Gun Owners’ Action League Executive Director Jim Wallace, Tank the Gas Tax chairman Steve Aylward, constitutional scholar Catherine White, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan, Daniel Morris from Students for Liberty and j4traffic host Todd Feinburg. (Sunday, 1 p.m., Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common)
MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014
THE LEGISLATURE: The House and Senate meet for informal sessions Monday at 11 a.m.
ZOHYDRO LAWSUIT: A U.S. District Court judge will hear more arguments regarding a lawsuit filed by Zogenix seeking a temporary injunction to halt Gov. Deval Patrick’s ban on the prescribing of the painkiller Zohydro. (Monday, 9 a.m., Moakley Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston)
CHILD WELFARE: A group of child welfare organizations hosts “Strong Families & Thriving Kids: Child Welfare Programs in the Commonwealth” where legislators can meet and discuss Department of Children and Families funding with frontline workers. (Monday, 10 a.m., Nurses Hall)
MASSPORT FINANCES: MassPort’s Audit and Finance Committee meets for a public hearing on Logan Airport parking rates. Massport has proposed raising parking rates by $2 or $3 for parking, upping the maximum per day charge to $29 or $30 and $20 or $21 a day for the economy lot. (Monday, 5 p.m., One Harborside Drive, East Boston)
MASSPORT REAL ESTATE: At a meeting of the Massport’s Real Estate and Strategic Initiatives Committee, the panel will discuss the possibility of Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics during the executive session portion of the meeting. During the public portion, the committee will discuss plans for the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center headquarters hotel. (Monday, 4 p.m., One Harborside Drive, East Boston)
NORFOLK COUNTY LABOR COUNCIL: State Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend the Norfolk County Central Labor Council annual legislative breakfast. (Monday, 9 a.m., Quincy Marriott, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy)
PATRICK, MURRAY, DeLEO MEET: Gov. Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo hold a meeting. It’s closed to press. (Monday, 3 p.m., Speaker’s office)
MLSC GRANT TO CAPE COD COMMUNITY COLLEGE: The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will announce a capital grant for Cape Cod Community College. Organizers also plan to celebrate seven southeastern Massachusetts high schools that were authorized in December to receive equipment and supply grants from the center: Bristol County Agricultural High School; Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School; Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School; New Bedford High School; Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School; South Shore Regional School District; and Sturgis Charter Public School. Speakers will include Senate President Therese Murray, President of Cape Cod Community College John Cox; and MLSC President & CEO Susan Windham-Bannister Ph.D. (Monday, 11 a.m., Second floor Solarium in the Lyndon P. Lorusso Applied Technology Building, located at 2240 Iyannough Rd., West Barnstable)
AGAWAM SPRINGS WATER CO RATE CASE: The Department of Public Utilities holds a public hearing on a petition of Agawam Springs Water Company for approval of rates and charges, approval of the adequacy of its distribution system, and approval and authorization for the issuance of 100 shares of common stock. (Monday, 10 a.m., One South Station, Boston)
MENINO ‘ON THE RECORD’: Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is this week’s guest on WCVB’s On the Record. In an interview with hosts Janet Wu and Ed Harding, Menino says former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is a carpetbagger for running for the Senate in New Hampshire and reflects on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Menino was in the hospital recovering from an operation at the time of the attack, but left to help lead the response and subsequent manhunt. “I’m out of here, pal,” Menino says he told his doctor when he left the hospital. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB)
HIGHER ED COMMISSION: Education Secretary Matthew Malone chairs a meeting of the Special Commission on Higher Education Quality, Efficiencies and Finance. The commission is scheduled to discuss recommendations for its final report. (Monday, 8:30 a.m., Department of Higher Education Conference Room, 1 Ashburton Place, Suite 1401, Boston)
HUCKABEE AT HARVARD: The JFK Jr. Forum at the Harvard Kennedy School hosts a conversation with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is a spring 2014 Institute of Politics visiting fellow. (Monday, 6 p.m., JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School)
DEP HELPS KICK OFF TOWN’S ORGANICS COLLECTION PROGRAM: Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner David Cash joins Manchester-by-the-Sea officials to mark the beginning of a new town organics collection program. According to the DEP, attendees will include Selectman Tom Kehoe, composting committee chair Tory Morton, and green scholars team student Sam Kaufman. (Monday, 10 a.m., Manchester-Essex Regional High School, 36 Lincoln St., Manchester)
PACHECO SPEAKS AT UMASS AMHERST: State Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) plans to speak at UMass Amherst on action to address climate change. His speech, entitled “Massachusetts Action on Climate Change: A Discussion of the Commonwealth’s Leadership in Climate Action and Plans for the Future,” will focus on the state’s green policies and clean energy practices, including passage of the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act, and the Global Warming Solutions Act. Pacheco, the co-chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, will also discuss legislation he recently filed that would establish a climate change adaptation management plan in the state. (Monday, 3 p.m., UMass Amherst, 203 Morrill Science Center)
SOUTH SHORE ARTS: Senate President Therese Murray speaks at the South Shore Arts and Cultural Organizations event. (Monday, 6 p.m., Ellison Center for the Arts, Duxbury)
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014
MARATHON TRIBUTE: Vice President Joe Biden comes to Boston on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing for a memorial service near the site of the attack. The program will end at 2:30 p.m. with a flag-raising at the Boston Marathon finish line. Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Boston Athletic Association Executive Director Tom Grilk and others plan to attend. Biden, Patrick, Walsh, Grilk, Menino and survivors are scheduled to speak. (Tuesday, 12:00 p.m., Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston)
EXHIBIT WILL CHALLENGE “BOSTON STRONG” SLOGAN: Local artists will hold an exhibit questioning the “Boston Strong” slogan, hoping to ignite conversation and debate about the meaning of the popular phrase. The artists contend there is a disparity in media coverage of the marathon victims – who they point out are mainly white suburbanites – and coverage of victims of ongoing criminal assaults around Boston, people of color who live in the city. Organizers say more than 40 people have been killed in Boston since the marathon bombings. Yet, there is no outpouring of sympathy and financial support for those families. Three artists, Darrell Ann Gane-McCalla, Shea Justice and Jason Pramas, will exhibit their art for the show, which is co-sponsored by the Community Church of Boston. During the exhibition’s opening, Mel King, Tina Chery of the Louis D. Brown Institute, and hip hop poet Ant Thomas, will speak. (Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m.; another opening will be held on Friday, 6 to 10 p.m., Community Church of Boston, Lothrop Auditorium, 565 Boylston St., 2nd floor)
HEALTH CARE FINANCING COMMITTEE – ACA OVERSIGHT HEARING: With the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act closed, the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing plans to call members of the Patrick administration, the Health Connector and MassHealth back to the State House to provide lawmakers with an update on the current status of the expansion of access to health care. Officials continue to deal with problems with the Connector enrollment website, and the governor’s special advisor overseeing the web fix Sarah Iselin does not anticipate a fully functional website to be online until the fall. Iselin is expected to testify, as is Health Connector Executive Director Jean Yang, Medicaid Director Kristin Thorn, Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz and Administration and Finance Secretary Glen Shor. During a somewhat combative hearing held by the same committee back in February, lawmakers expressed their disappointment that neither Polanowicz nor Shor showed up, both of whom had personal obligations outside the building. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room B-1)
NORTH ADAMS HOSPITAL RALLY: Residents, community leaders and workers from North Adams plan to board buses and drive into Boston to deliver petitions to the governor and other state leaders seeking restoration of a full service hospital in the western Massachusetts city. Since North Adams Regional Hospital close abruptly due to financial struggles, the Patrick administration has been working to secure the necessary federal approvals for Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield to reopen a satellite emergency department in North Adams with limited services. The bus will make a stop at 10:30 a.m. at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Framingham on the way to Boston to call for an emergency response to the “health care disaster” caused by the closure of North Adams hospital. The group, organized by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, plans to visit the governor’s office, the speaker’s office and the Senate president’s office. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., State House)
OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS: MASSPIRG and Massachusetts Fair Share will be joined by Rep. Josh Cutler to release a new report that quantifies how taxpayers end up paying for offshore tax havens. The report’s authors say the study shows how much the average taxpayer and small businesses in Massachusetts would have to pay on average to make up for this lost revenue. Speakers also plan to call attention to the recently filed legislative proposal to prevent loss of Massachusetts taxes through the use of offshore tax havens by corporations. The event has been timed to coincide with the state and federal tax filing deadline. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., State House steps)
PANEL ON LOSS OF TRIBAL LANDS: Suffolk Law School hosts a panel discussion “A Hidden History: How Massachusetts Law and Policy Facilitated the Loss of Tribal Lands.” Panelists include Cheryll Toney Holley of Nipmuc Nation, Alma Gordon-Smith and Raymond Williams of the Chappaquiddick Wampanoag, Bill Hunt of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, and Ann Marie Plane of the University of California-Santa Barbara. Independent candidate for governor Evan Falchuk plans to attend. (Tuesday, noon, Suffolk Law, 120 Tremont St., Boston)
DPU HEARING ON MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION PLAN: The Department of Public Utilities holds a hearing on a petition of the towns of Barre, Belchertown, Brookfield, Charlemont, East Brookfield, Goshen, Granby, Great Barrington, Heath, Mendon, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northampton, Rowe, Upton, Warwick, Wendell, Brookfield, Williamsburg, Hampden, Chesterfield, Conway, Cummington, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntington, Leverett, Middlefield, Montague, Northfield, Pelham, Plainfield, Westhampton and Whatley for approval of a municipal aggregation plan. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Northampton’s Municipal Building, Council Chambers, 212 Main Street, Northampton)
DATA SECURITY SEMINAR: With the “Heartbleed” bug putting Internet users on edge, Julian Smith, consumer research and programs manager at the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, plans to present information about the 2010 data security law and data breaches at a seminar for the local business community hosted by Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter. Other speakers include representatives from Domino’s Pizza, Target, and prosecutors from the DA’s office. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., UMass Dartmouth, Carney Library, 285 Westport Rd., North Dartmouth)
MARATHON INSURANCE CLAIMS: Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony plans to calls into the Brad & Bo show for her monthly appearance. This month’s topic is marathon bombing insurance claims. (Tuesday, 8:15 a.m., WHYN News Radio 560)
MASSVENTURES MEETING: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki plans to attend a meeting of MassVentures board of directors. Gov. Deval Patrick this week proposed to recapitalize MassVentures, the state’s public venture capital investment agency, as part of a broader economic development bill. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 99 High St., 11th floor, Boston)
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: The Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness meets. Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein plans to chair the monthly meeting. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 100 Cambridge St., 2nd floor, Room A, Boston)
FITCHBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki plans to make an announcement relative to development in Fitchburg. Following the announcement, the secretary will join local leaders for a tour of downtown Fitchburg. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., 150 Main Street, Fitchburg)
VENTURE MEET AND GREET: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Avellone attends the New England Venture Capital Association Meet and Greet. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., Cambridge Innovation Center, 1 Broadway, 14th Floor, Cambridge)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: House Speaker Robert DeLeo will give the keynote address at the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations’ lobby day. (Wednesday, 12:15 p.m., Great Hall)
HOUSE DEMS CAUCUS: House Democrats hold a caucus prior to their formal session in the afternoon. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., A-1)
HOUSE FORMAL SESSION: The House plans to hold a formal session Wednesday, with a Democratic caucus at 11 a.m. in Room A-1 and roll calls starting at 1 p.m. No particular bill was being teased out for special consideration on Wednesday. The House calendar has been filling up in recent weeks as bills move out of committee and legislative leaders are waiting on conference committees to reach agreements on a handful of major bills. Four winners of recent special elections will be sworn in.
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: Sen. Michael Rodrigues’ bill (S 479) relative to public funds is the only bill on the agenda for the Financial Services Committee. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Room B-1)
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES COMMITTEE: Rep. Garrett Bradley’s bill (H 3991) “to create a better life experience for individuals with disabilities program” is the only bill on the agenda Wednesday for the Children and Families Committee. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Room B-2)
DPH HEARING ON “CHRISTIAN’S LAW” REGULATIONS: The Department of Public Health plans to hold a public hearing Wednesday on regulations dealing with minimum requirements for personal flotation devices for minor children at municipal and recreational programs or camps. According to a hearing notice, the regulations would implement requirementsof Christian’s Law by establishing requirements for programs and camps to provide flotation devices to minor children participating in swimming activities at marine or freshwater beaches. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Worcester Division of Public Health, 25 Meade St., Worcester)
COMMENT DEADLINE ON BANKING REGULATIONS: Written comments are due by ay Wednesday at 5 p.m. on Division of Banks regulatory amendments governing audit requirements for credit unions, licensee record-keeping, and determination and documentation of borrower’s interest.
BAKER IN SALEM: Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker is the guest Wednesday during the North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s gubernatorial series. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square W, Salem)
MBTA FARE HIKE – PUBLIC HEARING: The MBTA plans an informational meeting Wednesday on fare hikes that average 5 percent but vary depending on the mode of transit. The fare hikes will take effect July 1 under the T’s plans. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Braintree Town Hall, 1 JFK Memorial Drive, Braintree)
MBTA FARE HIKE – PUBLIC HEARING: The MBTA plans an informational meeting Wednesday on fare hikes that average 5 percent but vary depending on the mode of transit. The fare hikes will take effect July 1 under the T’s plans. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Shriners Auditorium, 51 Blossom St., Boston)
BERWICK TALKS SINGLE-PAYER: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick plans to explain his Medicare for all health care strategy in an event the campaign expects will be his biggest so far. Boston University student Liat Bird will introduce Berwick, a doctor and former head of Medicare and Medicaid. Berwick has touted his support for single-payer health care, drawing distinction from the four other Democrats seeking the governorship. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bakst Auditorium, Boston University School of Medicine, A-Building, 72 East Concord Street, Boston)
BAKER AT NORTH SHORE CHAMBER: Republican gubernatorial candidate and Swampscott resident Charlie Baker will visit the North Shore Chamber of Commerce as one of its Business Leader Series events. Democratic candidates Martha Coakley and Steven Grossman are booked for visits in May and June. An advisory tells attendees to “Bring your questions.” (Wednesday, 8 a.m., The Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square W, Salem)
DeLEO ADDRESSES MACDC EVENT: House Speaker Robert DeLeo is scheduled to speak during the annual lobby day for the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. MACDA is an association of community development organizations that helps people access affordable housing, education and job training. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Great Hall, State House, speaking program at noon)
YMCA GROUNDBREAKING: Senate President Therese Murray speaks at the Old Colony YMCA Groundbreaking Ceremony. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 237 Wareham Street, Plymouth)
WORLD VOICE WEEK: Senate President Therese Murray attends the World Voice Week celebration. The week of April 16 was deemed World Voice Week in recognition of people suffering from voice disorders. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary)
NY’S PETER KING AT HARVARD: Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s seminar series at the Harvard Kennedy School, Policing and Politics, hosts U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) for a discussion on terrorism and its prevention. King is the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., L166, Harvard Kennedy School)
MARATHON PANEL: Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral joins former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, Boston Athletic Association Executive Director Thomas Grilk, Massachusetts National Guard Adjutant General Scott Rice and others for a panel discussion reflecting on the Boston Marathon bombing. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., JFK Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)
GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL: Gov. Deval Patrick chairs an assembly of the Governor’s Council. The council may vote on the nomination of John Kennedy, Gov. Patrick’s pick to become the new clerk-magistrate of the Uxbridge District Court. (Wednesday, 12:00 p.m., Room 222)
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS: According to the Mass Association of Physician Assistance, Wednesday is Physician Assistant Student Advocacy Day, an opportunity for students from around the state to learn about the training and work of the current and future physician assistants. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Grand Staircase, State House)
BLACKSTONE VALLEY CHAMBER: State Auditor Suzanne Bump will speak at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Pleasant Valley Country Club, 95 Armsby Road, Sutton)
MASSDEVELOPMENT: The MassDevelopment Board of Directors will meet to discuss asset management and the STAR Fund. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, 99 High Street, Boston)
NEW TRAINS: MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott will be on hand as the first of forty new locomotives goes into service on the Commuter Rail. Train #213 is scheduled to depart North Station for Haverhill at 10:30 a.m. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., North Station Commuter Rail platform, Boston)
BERWICK SINGLE PAYER TOWN HALL: Democratic candidate for governor Donald Berwick hosts a “Medicare for All Town Hall.” Berwick is the former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and plans to discuss his proposal for a “Medicare for All” single payer health care system. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bakst Auditorium, Boston University School of Medicine A-Building, 72 East Concord Street, Boston)
STATE ADMIN COMMITTEE: The State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee hears two bills: a Sen. Stephen Brewer proposal (S 2069) to transfer land in Hubbardston and a land transfer bill from Rep. Aaron Vega (H 4033) concerning Holyoke. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Room A-1, State House)
FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING: Gov. Deval Patrick will participate in an event organized by The Atlantic Magazine to to discuss the technologies, workforce skills and public policies being used to strengthen the revival of manufacturing in America. The magazine has hosted similar roundtables around the country, and will be bringing conversation to Worcester to discuss what industry and academia are doing to equip the workforce with the skills and tools they will need to participate in modern manufacturing. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Hanover Theater, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester)
BHCC JOB FAIR: Bunker Hill Community College hosts its 2014 spring job fair. The Division of Professional Licensure’s Student Career Outreach team will attend, providing information on the trades and professions the agency licenses. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bunker Hill Community College, 250 Rutherford Ave., Charlestown)
MASSECON CORPORATE WELCOME RECEPTION: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki plans to speak at the sixth annual Corporate Welcome Reception hosted by MassEcon. The event brings together over 100 private sector leaders and senior state officials to welcome companies that have recently opened offices in the state. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Genzyme headquarters, 500 Kendall St., Cambridge)
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014
HOUSE INFORMAL: The House plans to hold an informal session Thursday at 11 a.m.
SENATE FORMAL: The Senate plans to hold a formal session at 12:30 p.m. The session will feature the swearing-in of Jason Lewis, who is leaving the House to join the Senate after winning a special election to take the seat formerly held by Katherine Clark.
“YOUNG BOSTON FOR HILLARY” | Young Bostonians who would like to see Hillary Clinton run for president plan a fundraising event Thursday to support the group “Ready for Hillary.” Tickets are $20.16 and the event is open to the press. (Thursday, 7 p.m., The Vault, 105 Water St., Boston)
MURRAY INTERVIEW: Senate President Therese Murray interview on WATD 95.9 FM. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., WATD)
BUMP JOINS GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTANTS: State Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend the Association of Government Accountants Boston Chapter Spring Seminar. (Thursday, 8 a.m., Tip O’Neill Federal Building (Auditorium), 10 Causeway St., Boston)
BOSTON AS REAL ESTATE HEAVYWEIGHT: Development and financing executives from local and international companies will discuss real estate investments in Boston, the city in an international context, risks and pricing predictions for the next 24 months. Charles River Realty Investors President Brian Kavoogian will moderate the panel including Cushman & Wakefield New England Area President Rob Griffin, AEW Direct Investment Group Acquisitions Managing Director Bob Plumb, DivcoWest CEO Stuart Shiff and Blackstone principal Jacob Werner. NAIOP, which also goes by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is hosting the event called “Boston – The Investment World’s Newest Heavyweight.” (Thursday, 8 a.m., Hyatt Regency Boston, One Avenue de Lafayette, Boston)
FALCHUCK, JENNINGS IN MARSHFIELD: According to Evan Falchuk’s campaign for governor, the United Independent Party will host a meet and greet to introduce Falchuck and his running mate Angus Jennings to voters. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Marshfield Tavern, 1 Proprietors Dr, Marshfield)
CAPE COD TRANSMISSION LINE: The Department of Public Utilities holds a public hearing on a petition of NSTAR Electric for approval of the construction of 7.8 miles of new transmission line on existing NSTAR right-of-way between Barnstable Switching Station and the Harwich Tap in the towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis. (Thursday, 7 p.m., Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, 210 Station Ave., So. Yarmouth)
REVENUE COMMITTEE: The Revenue Committee hold a public hearing on two bills: a Rep. Cleon Turner and Rep. Kate Hogan bill (H 3943) exempting used books sold by libraries for fundraising from the sales tax and Rep. David Linsky’s H 3994 which would strengthen the authority of municipal tax collectors to collect on accounts. (Thursday, 11 a.m., A-2)
MARATHON WREATHS: Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo participate in the Marathon Exchange of Wreaths. (Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Great Hall)
MASSPORT BOARD: The Massport Board of Directors meets. According to an authority spokesman, the board will decide whether to raise parking lot rates. Massport has proposed raising parking rates by $2 or $3 for central parking, upping the maximum per day charge to $29 or $30 and $20 or $21 a day for the economy lot. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Massport executive offices, One Harborside Drive, East Boston)
EVERETT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Everett Chamber of Commerce hosts a breakfast where Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki plans to make remarks. Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria will also attend. (Thursday, 8 a.m., BNY Mellon, Glendale Hall, 135 Santilli Highway, Everett)
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP: Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian will deliver opening remarks at the third session of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy. Assistant Secretary for Innovation Policy Eric Nakajima will also attend the event, which brings together workforce development, manufacturing, and academic partners to share best practices and solutions to meeting the workforce training needs of our state’s manufacturers. (Thursday, 8 a.m., Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Dr., Worcester)
MURPHY GOES TO THE WHITE HOUSE: Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy plans to attend a meeting at the White House to discuss next steps in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The discussion will include ongoing preparation for the 2015 open enrollment period and beyond. Health officials in Massachusetts are trying to pull together a plan to ensure that the state’s malfunctioning insurance exchange website is working before the start of the next open enrollment period in November. (Thursday, 11 a.m., The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.)
BCC JOB FAIR: Bristol Community College hosts a spring job fair. The Division of Professional Licensure’s Student Career Outreach team will participate in the fair on the school’s Fall River campus by providing information on the trades and profession’s the agency licenses. (Thursday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree St., Fall River)
METROWEST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce hosts an event featuring speeches from Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark. The event is part of the chamber’s Executive Connect series. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Verve Crowne Plaza, 1360 Worcester St., Natick)
DELEO AT BBJ PACESETTERS: House Speaker Robert DeLeo will give the keynote address at the Boston Business Journal’s Pacesetters event. (Thursday, 8:45 p.m., Westin Copley, Boston)
INSIGHT EDUCATION AWARDS: House Speaker Robert DeLeo offers remarks at the Mass Insight Education annual award celebration. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Museum of Science)
PATRICK ON STATE SCHOOLS: Gov. Deval Patrick speaks with students and families about the benefits of pursuing higher education at state colleges and universities at the Department of Higher Education’s “Go Public!” event. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Lawrence High School, 70-71 North Parish Road, Lawrence)
OPEN SPACE: Gov. Deval Patrick makes an announcement relative to open space investments in Lawrence. (Thursday, 10 a.m., 20 Island Street, Lawrence)
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014
COMMENT DEADLIINE ON EDUCATOR LICENSURE REGULATIONS: Public comments are due by the end of the day Friday on regulatory amendments that could be voted on by the Board of Education on May 20. The amendments deal with educator licensure and preparation program approval and will eliminate the requirement for candidates seeking a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing license to pass the Foundations of Reading test, eliminate a previous proposal to develop a test of the teaching of reading to deaf and hard of hearing students, and revise the subject matter requirements for the Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing licenses.
CABINET: Gov. Deval Patrick hosts a Cabinet meeting. (CLOSED PRESS) (Friday, 10:30 a.m., Room 157)
WALSH FORUM: Denterlein hosts Boston Mayor Martin Walsh for a forum discussion with leaders from government, business, media and civic life. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., University of Massachusetts Club, 225 Franklin Street, Boston)
HARVARD FORUM ON GATEWAY CITIES: The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University hosts a forum focusing on unlocking opportunity in Gateway Cities. Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein plans to deliver the keynote address. (Friday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge)
FALCHUK IN NEWTON: Independent candidate for governor Evan Falchuk will address members of PLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). (Friday, 10 a.m., Newton)