Franklin, State House, and Beyond


Thursday, the Baker-Polito Administration joined high school and college students for a roundtable discussion to highlight the significant progress made by the administration in reducing barriers to access and affordability of earning college degrees. Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Higher Education (DHE) Noe Ortega, Senate President Karen Spilka, Framingham State University President Dr. Nancy Niemi, Mass Bay Community College President David Podell and legislators heard from local students about how the administration’s Early College programming and financial aid initiatives, like MassGrant Plus, allowed them the opportunity to pursue college courses, credits and degrees.


Monday, Nov. 21

Planning Board Meeting


Tuesday, Nov 22

Design Review Commission Meeting


FCC Agenda



With day after day of direct deposits and checks, the Department of Revenue marks this holiday season by continuing to deliver tax refunds to Massachusetts residents, eventually totalling nearly $3 billion. The refunds are hitting bank accounts just as people ramp up holiday shopping and retailers are looking to share in the bounty. Meantime, Gov.-elect Maura Healey is preparing to take the Corner Office in January mindful of her own tax-cutting promises, the inevitability of a major tax increase she supported, and aware that the recent stunning multi-year spike in state tax collections can't last forever. Healey started to frame out her transition team Friday by naming 15 co-chairs to lead committees focused on housing, transportation, climate and energy, jobs and the economy, young people, and safe and healthy communities. The policy areas chosen to be first the transition committees announced offer insight into Healey's developing gubernatorial agenda, and the people the executive-in-waiting tapped to lead her team's policy deep-dives provide clues as to who has Healey's ear in the crucial weeks before she takes office. It will probably be weeks after Healey's inauguration until the new governor's Cabinet secretaries know for sure who their legislative counterparts will be. House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka are both likely to reshuffle some leadership and committee assignments early in the next session. Mariano in particular has important decisions to make, like who he will elevate to majority leader, a perch that Mariano held for years and afforded him the chance to forge the kind of deep relationships with representatives that positioned him to ascend to the speakership without much of a fight two years ago. Legislative leaders are riding out informal sessions through December by seeing which bills they can steer through with unanimous consent, while members of Congress are taking a more concerted run at serious policymaking during lame-duck sessions.

As Healey prepares to start her tenure as governor, Gov. Charlie Baker is getting ready to depart the governor's suite after eight years. On Friday he continued a late-term streak of pardons and commutations, recommending pardons for a group that includes Gerald "Tooky" Amirault and Cheryl Amirault LeFave, who were convicted of child molestation in the highly-charged and bitterly-disputed Fells Acres abuse case of the mid-1980s. The late Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation claimed that Baker had promised years ago to address Gerald Amirault's case, but the governor waited until he had less than 50 days left in office to act. Could the next seven weeks see Baker take similar lame duck actions that he might not have considered when his future electoral chances were still a consideration?

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022

MEEHAN ON 4: UMass President Marty Meehan talks with Jon Keller about the university system's finances, how much he expects UMass to benefit from the new income surtax, and the free-speech climate on campus. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

BAKER "ON THE RECORD" | Gov. Baker is the guest on WCVB's "On The Record" program. Co-hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu also hold a political roundtable with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Virginia Buckingham. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

HOMICIDE VICTIMS AWARENESS: Louis D. Brown Peace Institute holds a virtual ceremony to commence the annual Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month, which has taken place in Massachusetts every year since 2000 between Nov. 20 and Dec. 20. The month is intended to provide "a dedicated space around the holiday season for survivors to gather in community and celebrate the lives of their murdered loved ones." U.S. Rep. Pressley, state Sen.-elect Miranda, Sen. Collins and others are scheduled to attend. (Monday, 10 a.m. | Register)

DiDOMENICO VISITS BLUE-RIBBON SCHOOL: Sen. DiDomenico of Everett visits Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSS II), which was recently recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. (Monday, 10 a.m., 97 Main St., Saugus)

HOUSE SESSION: House meets in an informal session. (Monday, 11 a.m., House Chamber | Livestream)

SENATE SESSION: Senate meets without a calendar. (Monday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber | Livestream)

BOWKER OVERPASS ANNOUNCEMENT: Transportation Secretary Tesler, Highway Administrator Gulliver and other officials host an event to make an announcement about the Bowker Overpass Bridge Rehabilitation Project, which they say is funded and moving forward. (Monday, 11 a.m., 10 Charlesgate East, Boston)

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: Constitutional Convention that recessed on April 11 is scheduled to resume, although no activity is anticipated. Earlier this session -- in June 2021 -- lawmakers meeting at the same convention advanced the income surtax on wealthier households that voters on Nov. 8 agreed to add to the state Constitution. (Monday, 12 p.m., House Chamber | Convention Calendar)

CURTATONE AWARD: Former mayor of Somerville Joe Curtatone visits Tufts University to receive the university's presidential medal from Tufts President Anthony Monaco. Tufts awards the medal to Curtatone in recognition of his service as Somerville mayor, from 2004 to 2022, and his work with Tufts. During his time in office, Somerville developed a net zero climate action plan, redeveloped former industrial districts, built a new high school, added a new Orange Line station at Assembly Row and began work on the Green Line Extension. About 16 years after the MBTA agreed to complete the GLX, the transit authority recently announced the final branch of the train line will be up and running starting December 12. Previous recipients of the presidential medal include former Somerville mayors S. Lester Ralph in 1976 and Eugene Brune in 1987. (Monday, 12 p.m., Breed Memorial Hall, Tufts University, 51 Winthrop St., Medford)

EARLY EDU FUNDING: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark join city officials, early childhood educators and students for an event meant to highlight how American Rescue Plan Act money is being put to use in the child care sector. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., Horizons for Homeless Children, 1785 Columbus Ave., Roxbury)

EARLY CHILDHOOD WEBINAR: Strategies for Children hosts a post-election webinar focused on building relationships with elected officials to gain support for early childhood policies. (Monday, 1 p.m. | Register)

CANNABIS ADVISORY -- RESEARCH: Research Subcommittee of the Cannabis Advisory Board meets. The agenda includes an update from Cannabis Control Commissioner Kimberly Roy, discussion of draft recommendations around medical marijuana deverticalization, presentation of findings from a recent survey, and remarks from Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care doctor at Mass. General Hospital who has long advocated for cannabis. (Monday, 2 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SPORTS BETTING APPLICATION DEADLINE: Companies that hope to offer sports betting in Massachusetts face a deadline to submit an application and non-refundable $200,000 application fee to the Gaming Commission. The state's one slots parlor and two casinos are eligible for licenses but still must apply by Monday, and the deadline also applies for the 24 companies that have already indicated an interest in one of the maximum of seven mobile betting licenses. Applications from simulcast centers and horse tracks will be accepted on a rolling basis and are not subject to Monday's deadline. The commission plans to launch in-person betting at the casinos and slots parlor by "late January" and mobile betting by "early March." (Monday, 2 p.m., More Info)

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022

POST COMMISSION: Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission meets with an agenda that includes a private executive session "in anticipation of discussion regarding the investigation of charges of criminal misconduct" and "in anticipation of discussion regarding the initiation of preliminary inquiries and initial staff review related to the same." The agenda shows there are nine cases in which the POST Commission staff is recommending suspension of an officer's certification. The agenda also calls for an update from Executive Director Enrique Zuniga. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SPORTS BETTING REG HEARING: Mass. Gaming Commission holds a public hearing on the adoption of regulations related to sports betting applications, sports betting definitions, sports wagering vendors, and sports betting tax remittance. (Tuesday, 9:15 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

STATE RETIREMENT BOARD: Mass. State Retirement Board holds its monthly meeting virtually. Treasurer Goldberg chairs. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., contact for access)

CANNABIS COMMISSION MEDIATION: Regulators and staff at the Cannabis Control Commission hold an executive session related to the ongoing mediation regarding its governance. When the CCC voted in April to begin the mediation process, then-Chairman Steven Hoffman said that the CCC had spent its initial years "flying a plane while we're building it" and that it was time for the commission to more formally delineate the powers of the commissioners and those of the staff. The CCC is now chaired by former state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., More Info)

DISABILITY HISTORY: Secretary of Health and Human Services Sudders, Sen. Barrett and Rep. Garballey join advocates from The Arc of Massachusetts and others to recognize a new law (passed as part of the fiscal year 2023 budget) that creates a commission to investigate the history of generations of Massachusetts residents who lived in state institutions with mental and physical disabilities, including locating and identifying individuals buried in nameless and unmarked graves. The event, which will feature remarks from Sudders, is being held at MetFern Cemetery in Waltham, the final resting place for 298 people who once lived at the Metropolitan State Hospital and Fernald State School. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., MetFern Cemetery, Waltham | More Info)

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - STOUGHTON MAGISTRATE: Governor's Council interviews Gov. Baker's deputy legal counsel, Lauren Greene Petrigno, whom Baker nominated Nov. 16 to serve as clerk magistrate of Stoughton District Court. An experienced prosecutor who worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office for around 13 years, Greene Petrigno joined the Baker administration in 2019 as executive director of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Baker formed the JNC to pre-vet and recommend potential judicial candidates. In that role, which she held until September, Greene Petrigno was partially responsible for the process that placed nominees in front of the council that will now decide whether to confirm her to a courthouse post. Councilors were largely pleased with the picks that came out of the JNC during Greene Petrigno's tenure -- they have rejected only one in recent memory, a Parole Board nominee in 2019. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - HOUSING MAGISTRATE: Governor's Council holds hearing on former Rep. Joseph McIntyre's nomination to serve as clerk magistrate of the Housing Court's Southeastern division. A New Bedford Democrat, McIntyre served in the House from 1984 to 1998 including a stint as Judiciary Committee co-chair. He worked as a Bristol County prosecutor from 1999 to 2007, opened his own law practice, and for the past seven years has been an assistant clerk in the Housing Court. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - WRENTHAM MAGISTRATE: Governor's Council interviews New Bedford attorney Pamela Gauvin-Fernandes, who is Gov. Baker's pick for clerk magistrate of Wrentham District Court. The governor and council opened up the Wrentham post by granting a District Court judgeship to then-Clerk Magistrate Michelle Kelley earlier this month. Gauvin-Fernandes is a partner at Markey & Gauvin LLP, according to her resume, a firm she opened in 2013 with Rep. Chris Markey. Gauvin-Fernandes is a former Bristol County prosecutor and handled collective bargaining matters while working at Fall River firm Clarkin, Gauvin, Novack, P.A. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

SENATE: Senate plans to meet without a calendar. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

RECOUNT DEADLINE: Candidates have until 5 p.m. to file districtwide recount petitions with Secretary of State Galvin's office. Two Massachusetts House races appear poised for recounts with margins of only a handful of votes: the First Middlesex, which covers Ashby, Dunstable, Pepperell, Townsend and parts of Groton and Lunenburg, and the Second Essex, which covers Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley and part of Topsfield. Democrat Margaret Scarsdale and Republican Andrew Shepherd are locked in the close race for the First Middlesex, while Republican Rep. Leonard Mirra is trying to fend off a challenge from Democrat Kristin Kassner for the Second Essex. Districtwide recounts can only take place if the margin is within one half of one percentage point of the votes cast, and House candidates need to collect 38 voter signatures, representing one-quarter as many as they needed to make the ballot. (Wednesday, 5 p.m.)

ALCOHOL ENFORCEMENT: Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission conducts alcohol enforcement operations at bars in major Massachusetts cities from the day before Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, focusing on impaired driving. The ABCC will center enforcement efforts for "Operation Safe Holidays" at bars identified as the last to sell alcohol to a convicted drunk driver. "Vigilant enforcement and deterring bar owners from over-serving prevents problems before they happen and helps keep people safe," said State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC. (Wednesday)

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022

THANKSGIVING DAY: State government offices will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving. (Thursday)

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

"BLACK FRIDAY" HIKES: Department of Conservation and Recreation encourages Bay Staters to "Go Green on Black Friday" with free guided hikes at five parks around Massachusetts. "Did you eat too much pumpkin pie? Don't feel like shopping? Spend some time outside with nature," DCR writes. The agency plans a 10 a.m. moderate hike at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, a 10 a.m. moderate 2-mile hike at Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover that's recommended for children 8 and older, a 1 p.m. moderately-paced, mostly-flat 4-mile hike for adults and older children at Borderland State Park in North Easton, a 1 p.m. "leisurely" walk at Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, and a 1 p.m. moderate walk over fields, rocky coastline, and a holly/beech forest at Nasketucket Bay State Reservation in Mattapoisett. (Friday, 10 a.m., More Info)

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022

ROSLINDALE VILLAGE TREE LIGHTING: Boston Mayor Wu joins Roslindale community members as Roslindale Village Main Street hosts its annual holiday tree lighting. The event will include musical and dance performances, free hot chocolate, a "Rein-dog" costume contest, Santa and Wu on a fire truck. (Saturday, 3 p.m., Adams Park, Roslindale)

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