Franklin, State House, and Beyond


Legislative aides escalated a unionization push Wednesday with a news conference in front of the State House, marking three months since Senate staff sought union recognition from President Karen Spilka -- and one month until the end of formal sessions shuffles the deck on paths forward.


Wednesday, July 6

BOH Meeting

5:00pm to 6:00pm

Thursday, July 7

Conservation Commission Meeting



As the calendar turns to the session's final month of formal meetings, House and Senate Democrats are growing more mindful that in addition to their own desire, or unwillingness, to compromise, time is also now becoming a potential enemy of the substantial work product they've left to the proverbial last minute. It's not just about getting the big bills to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk by midnight on July 31 - don't forget the final formals could occur on a Saturday and Sunday this year. In order for the major new laws they're creating to look the way they want them to, Democrats are sizing up the potential for gubernatorial amendments and vetoes, and the impacts of dilatory tactics allowed in the Senate, to muck up their plans. The governor gets ten days to review bills, and in some cases could send legislation back with amendments, and then take more time before vetoing the final product if it comes back in a form not to his liking. For instance, in December 2020, during extended formal sessions, it took the Legislature 25 days to overcome Baker's amendments to the ROE Act and his subsequent veto of that bill.

Let's Make Deals?

By and large, Baker during his long tenure has been willing to go along with most major bills steered to him. However, the governor, whose cooperation Democrats may need on some initiatives, has had some sharp disagreements with the Legislature. He recently vetoed the bill authorizing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, for instance, and in 2021 vetoed a sweeping climate roadmap bill after the last session expired. But Baker is also looking for his own policy wins in July, including a bill to make it easier for police and the courts to detain criminal defendants deemed a risk to the community. The point in the session is fast approaching when Beacon Hill powerbrokers can mix and match and make deals. Asked last November if he could possibly trade a vote on sports betting in the Senate for consideration of Senate President Karen Spilka's mental health bill, House Speaker Ron Mariano said: "I have seen things traded, so there's always an opportunity for discussion, and whether it be those two things for each other or something else for something else, listen, it goes on and certainly I'm happy to talk about any of this stuff with her." To avoid any risk that Baker can stand in their way, lawmakers may want to get controversial proposals to his desk in the first half of the month. After that, risks rise for them, and that's not even taking into account the possibility that Democrats may not be able to agree among themselves on major matters. They've proven that on numerous occasions. Four years ago talks on major health care and education proposals collapsed in late July. Legislative leaders this year also need to refresh their approach to the July deadline, since two years ago they took the rare step during the teeth of the pandemic to extend formal sessions through 2020. Spilka was just stepping into her role as president in late July 2018, and Mariano was majority leader then.

Endless Possibilities

It's shaping up as a fascinating month, with action possible on energy and climate policies, sports betting, mental health, and marijuana policies that are already before six-member conference committees. Infrastructure spending, economic development and tax relief bills face a longer journey, but are still expected to reach the governor. There's also the case of another overdue state budget. In four of the last five years, budget accords were struck in July, and that's a safe bet this year as well since the budget is not going to get kicked into the five-month informal session stretch that begins in August and runs up until a new Legislature is seated in January. The House has scheduled as many as three formal sessions next week, an indication that leaders may feel a budget deal is close. What makes July really chaotic though is the late introduction of major new bills to the mix. The Senate, for instance, plans to pass a sweeping early education bill (S 2973) on Thursday, even though House leaders appear reticent about tackling another major commitment with so little time remaining on the clock. That's another point about this stage of the session: it's the time when lawmakers start suggesting there's not enough time to do important things, conveniently not mentioning that most bills have been hung up in or idling in committees for about 18 months. One bill that may be on the Senate scheduling fast track arrived from the House this week and represents a comprehensive reproductive rights response to the Supreme Court's rolling back of Roe v. Wade.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

ROLLINS ON 4: U.S. Attorney Rollins talks with Jon Keller about legal issues raised by the overturning of Roe v. Wade, her probes of Everett city government, Quincy's resistance to the proposed new Long Island bridge, and potential impact of the Supreme Court's overturning of right-to-carry laws on gun crime in Massachusetts. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

ALLEN ON 5: Lieutenant governor candidate Leah Cole Allen is the guest on "On The Record." (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

DOBBS RULING PROTEST: Pro-choice union workers, students and others plan to call on President Biden to open abortion clinics on federal land in states that ban the practice and to make abortion pills available by mail at a protest of the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs decision overturning the right to an abortion. An organizer from Socialist Alternative said the group will also call on the federal government to pass Medicare For All and tax billionaires and corporations. (Sunday, 3 p.m., outside JFK Federal Building, 15 Sudbury St., Boston)

FISHTOWN HORRIBLES: Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Kate Campanale walks in Gloucester's Fishtown Horribles Parade. (Sunday, 6 p.m., Gloucester High School, 32 Leslie O. Johnson Rd., Gloucester)

RANDOLPH FOURTH PARADE: Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Doughty walks in the Randolph Fourth of July Parade. (Sunday, 7 p.m., North Main Street, Randolph)

Monday, July 4, 2022

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Federal, state, county and municipal offices are closed for Independence Day, a legal holiday. Restrictions on the type of work that may be performed on the holiday and which business or commercial activities may remain open apply, except to retailers. Retailers that employ at least seven people are required to pay 1.1 times the normal rate for work performed on Independence Day. Next year, the premium pay will be eliminated after Jan. 1's final step-down as called for as part of a multi-year phased transition to a $15 minimum wage and elimination of premium pay that Beacon Hill leaders approved in 2018 in the so-called grand bargain law with business and labor groups. Independence Day recognizes the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. With the document, the American colonies declared "[t]hat these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do." The Massachusetts signatories to the Declaration of Independence were Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry and, of course, JOHN HANCOCK. (Monday)

COOLIDGE SESQUICENTENNIAL: The Fourth of July also marks the 150th anniversary of President Calvin Coolidge's birth. Born in Vermont on July 4, 1872, Coolidge attended Amherst College and settled in Massachusetts where he rose rapidly through the ranks of government as Northampton mayor (1910-1912), state senator (1912-1915) and Senate president (1914-1915), lieutenant governor (1916-1919), and governor (1919-1921). Often quoted is Coolidge's 1914 speech on his election as Senate president: "Have faith in Massachusetts," Coolidge told his Senate colleagues. "In some unimportant detail some other States may surpass her, but in the general results, there is no place on earth where the people secure, in a larger measure, the blessings of organized government, and nowhere can those functions more properly be termed self-government." Taking the corner office at the close of World War I, Gov. Coolidge said in his 1919 inaugural address: "In the promotion of human welfare Massachusetts happily may not need much reconstruction, but, like all living organizations, forever needs continuing construction. What are the lessons of the past? How shall they be applied to these days of readjustment?" Elected vice president on the Republican ticket with Warren Harding in 1920, Coolidge served two years as VP before Harding's death thrust him into the White House as chief executive. He was elected president in his own right and served a full term from 1925 to 1929 before he opted against seeking another term and retired to Northampton. The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation plans an annual Fourth of July observance at his hometown of Plymouth Notch, Vt. on Monday, featuring a procession and wreath-laying at Coolidge's grave at 12 p.m. followed by a 150th birthday cake at 1 p.m. (Monday | Coolidge Documentary)

NATURALIZATION CEREMONIES: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is marking Independence Day this year with plans to welcome more than 6,600 new citizens in more than 140 naturalization ceremonies between July 1 and July 8. Two of the special Independence Day-themed ceremonies are in Massachusetts on Monday, at the Hampshire County Superior Courthouse in Northampton and Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge. (Monday)

DOUGHTY/CAMPANALE PARADES: Candidate for governor Chris Doughty marches in a trio of Fourth of July parades Monday -- Plymouth's at 9 a.m., Duxbury's at 2 p.m., and Norwood's at 5:30 p.m. His running mate, Kate Campanale, will be in the Sudbury parade at 1 p.m. and Wakefield's parade at 5 p.m. (Monday)

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

GOLDBERG, BAKER TALK: Gov. Baker and Treasurer Goldberg talk by phone for their monthly meeting. (Tuesday, 10 a.m.)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate return from the long holiday weekend with informal sessions. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

EARLY EDUCATION BILL DEADLINE: Amendments are due by 3 p.m. to S 2973 a bill aimed at expanding access to early education and shoring up that sector. The bill is marked for floor debate on Thursday.

CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure accepts written testimony Tuesday on three bills: H 4874 authorizing West Springfield to grant 7 additional licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises; H 4884 authorizing Milford to grant an additional license for the sale of wine and malt beverages not to be consumed on the premises; and H 4883 authorizingMilford to grant an additional license for the sale of all alcoholic beverages not to be consumed on the premises. More Info (Tuesday)

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

CAMPANALE ON THE RADIO: Worcester radio host Hank Stolz interviews lieutenant governor candidate Kate Campanale. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., WCRN-AM 830)

SJC HEARS MAIL VOTE CHALLENGE: Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments in the MassGOP's request for an injunction to block Secretary Of State Galvin from mailing ballot applications to more than 4.7 million voters later this month. The injunction request is connected to the lawsuit that Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons and others filed seeking to overturn the law signed by Gov. Baker making voting-by-mail permanent in Massachusetts. Justice Scott Kafker said he was bringing the case to the SJC immediately "[d]ue to the significant time constraints in this matter, and because the complaint raises wide-ranging and novel constitutional challenges to the new election law implicating the fundamental right to vote. The Republican Party and Galvin's office must file briefs in the case by July 5. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Videoconference)

POTENTIAL HOUSE FORMAL SESSION: House may hold a formal session. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

SENATE DEMS CAUCUS: Senate Democrats meet in a private caucus ahead of a planned formal session on Thursday. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate Reading Room and virtual)

UNDERSEA DEFENSE TECH FACILITY: U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss joins Rep. Alvin Silva and Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan Wednesday on a tour of that city's MIKEL facility. MIKEL Inc. is a leading-edge manufacturer of undersea defense technology. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., 589 Commerce Dr., Fall River)

DOUGHTY IN THE NORTH END: Candidate for governor Chris Doughty takes a tour of the North End. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 93 Salem St., Boston)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Public Service will accept written testimony through 5 p.m. on five bills related to police departments: S 2952 exempting officers in the Millbury police department from the civil service law; H 4915 exempting all future members of police department of Great Barrington from the civil service law; H 4914 employment within the Oxford police department; S 2958 exempting all positions in the police department of Carver from the civil service law; and H 4924 exempting all positions in the police department of Montague from the civil service law. More Info (Wednesday, 5 p.m.)

BALLOT Q SIGNATURES: Each campaign behind an initiative petition on track for the 2022 ballot must collect and file another 13,374 signatures with the secretary of state's office by July 6 to cement a spot on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot. The window for submissions opened June 1. The deadline applies to the proposed ballot questions dealing with dental benefits and alcohol licensing. The surtax question was submitted by the Legislature, but the initiative petitions are made to collect these final signatures after the Legislature declines to act on the issue itself. (Wednesday)

NO JUNE REVENUES: If it were any month but July, the Department of Revenue would be due Wednesday to report on the previous month's tax collections. August through June, DOR details tax receipts of the month that just ended by the third business day of the new month. But state law includes a key exception for the last month of the state's fiscal year: "[P]rovided, however, that the commissioner shall submit the report for June on the day after the department completes the processing of June tax revenues." Generally, DOR reports June revenues -- and, with them, a good idea of the size of the surplus the Legislature will have at its disposal -- around the middle of July. Through May, DOR had collected $36.969 billion in tax revenue for fiscal year 2022 -- $4.726 billion or 15.5 percent more than the same period in fiscal 2021 and $1.965 billion or 5.9 percent ahead of benchmark. (Wednesday)

Thursday, July 7, 2022

DOUGHTY AND CAMPANALE AT THE ZOO: Gubernatorial candidate Chris Doughty and lieutenant governor candidate Kate Campanale visit the Stone Zoo. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham)

SENATE FORMAL SESSION: Senate holds formal session, with action planned on S 2973 a bill aimed at expanding access to early education and shoring up that sector. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

HOUSE FORMAL SESSION: House plans to hold a formal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

MONKEYPOX REPORTING: The Department of Public Health now provides weekly public updates on monkeypox cases in Massachusetts each Thursday. On Thursday, June 30, the DPH reported eight new cases, bringing the state's total to 21 since May 18. More Information. (Thursday)

Friday, July 8, 2022

POTENTIAL HOUSE FORMAL SESSION: House may hold a formal session. (Friday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

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