Franklin, State House, and Beyond


Rebecca Tepper, currently the chief of the energy and environment bureau in the attorney general's office, will continue working under Maura Healey in the new year, joining the incoming governor's Cabinet as secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.


Wed. Jan 4

Veteran's Coffee Social


Board of Health Meeting


EDC Meeting


School Committee Budget Subcommittee agenda


Town Council Meeting


Thursday, Jan. 5

School Committee Negotiations agenda


ZBA Meeting



A shortened week of endings and beginnings looms after the State House remains closed Monday in belated observation of New Year's Day. Before they can get to the pomp and circumstance of swearing in the 193rd General Court and the inauguration of Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll, lawmakers will have an almost certainly full day scurrying to tie off loose ends and finish the scores of bills they chose to leave until the very last moments of the two-year term. That to-do list includes finding agreement on legislation to crack down on distribution of so-called "revenge porn" and to create new legal processes for dealing with teen sexting (H 4498 / S 3167), which emerged in the Senate months after the House approved its own version, as did legislation to regulate the sale of catalytic converters (H 5356 / S 3169). If they can get something to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker -- who has spent years pushing for action -- lawmakers are bound to get a quick answer one way or another. Any bills that Baker does not sign into law before he makes way for Healey will expire at the term's end, giving Baker the option to smother legislation more passively with a pocket veto rather than a full written rejection. Sponsors and supporters in that case will need to relaunch the lawmaking process from the top for anything unfinished by the inauguration. Another big item on the "will he / won't he" watchlist is updated road safety legislation (S 3162), which Baker originally sent back with amendments before it hit his desk a second time.

Once the dust settles on lawmaking, it'll be a string of formalities marking the transfer of power to a new "supreme executive magistrate" and the start of the 2023-2024 legislative term. The House and the Senate will go first with inaugurations on Wednesday, welcoming five new senators and 22 new representatives. House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka are basically locks to retain those positions following a new round of leadership elections for the new term, so much so that both have already indicated plans to deliver speeches. Inaugural appearances by Healey and Driscoll could also be another chance for the incoming Democrats to declare some of their early priorities, perhaps including plans to steady the ship at the MBTA and reorganize the executive branch to fulfill promises for a Cabinet-level climate chief and standalone housing secretary. One question mark is how Healey will approach the emergency shelter situation, where the Baker administration -- which has previously pointed out that Massachusetts is a "right to shelter state" -- believes a funding shortfall is so dire it issued a formal 90-day notice that it will no longer be able to place all eligible families by late March.

Fernando Castro from the Front Line cleaning firm polishes up new turnstiles on Friday in the renovated General Joseph Hooker Lobby, which serves as the main front entrance to the State House. After a long closure, the lobby is set to reopen next week in time for Inauguration Day. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

JANET WU'S FINAL SUNDAY SHOW: "On The Record" broadcasts a "2022 wrap-up" talking about the biggest political stories of the year and looking ahead to 2023. It's also longtime political reporter Janet Wu's final appearance on the show ahead of her retirement, and the program plans to "give her the last word." (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

SURTAX TAKES EFFECT: The voter-approved 4 percent surtax on the state's highest earners takes effect. The surtax adds a 4 percent surtax on top of the state's 5 percent flat tax for the portion of annual household income that exceeds $1 million. Revenue raised by the surtax intended for public education and transportation investments, although the Legislature maintains discretion of its annual allocation. The surtax will be collected when taxpayers remit taxes owed for tax year 2023, starting on Jan. 1. This means the first quarterly estimated payments affected by the new rate will be due on April 15, covering January through March of 2023, for most taxpayers. (Sunday)

DCR 'FIRST DAY' HIKES: Department of Conservation and Recreation holds 13 guided hikes on New Year's Day in its 32nd annual "First Day Hikes" program. DCR Commissioner Doug Rice said the hikes "provide excellent opportunities for residents and visitors to get outside with their friends and families, and to connect with the natural world that surrounds us." Hikes are planned at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton, Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston, Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, Mount Greylock State Reservation in Lanesborough, and Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. (Sunday | More Info)

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES: The statewide minimum wage rises another 75 cents per hour to reach $15, the final of five annual increases called for in the "Grand Bargain" law of 2018. The minimum wage for tipped workers will also increase from $6.15 per hour to $6.75 per hour effective Jan. 1. Advocates who helped push for the sequence of wage increases signaled they will now set their sights on additional raises, arguing that potent inflation has continued to strain workers. "Despite the progress we've made, the minimum wage is still insufficient to meet the needs of working families, especially amid rising inflation," American Federation of Teachers President Beth Kontos said on Dec. 27. "And some workers are still not covered by the minimum wage, including municipal workers who have devoted their lives to public service and deserve more than poverty wages." (Sunday)

Monday, Jan. 2, 2023

HEALEY/DRISCOLL GIFT GIVEAWAY: Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll make the first stop on their "Team Up Massachusetts" community service tour around the state ahead of their inauguration. The incoming gubernatorial team will participate in a holiday gift giveaway in honor of Three Kings Day. (Monday, 12 p.m., New North Citizens' Council Youth Center, 4 Birnie Ave., Springfield)

HEALEY/DRISCOLL COAT DRIVE: Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll join Worcester County Food Bank and partner agency El Buen Samaritano Food Program for a coat and food drive. The drive is the second of five community service events on the incoming gubernatorial team's "Team Up Massachusetts" tour of the state. (Monday, 2:30 p.m., 39 Piedmont St., Worcester)

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023

MOBILE BETTING HEARING: Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to allow members of the public to comment on the six standalone mobile betting license applications it received -- from Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook, and PointsBet. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

FINAL HOUSE, SENATE SESSIONS: Both branches plan to hold informal sessions on the final day of the 192nd General Court before adjourning sine die ahead of the new term, which starts Wednesday. The Constitution dictates that the General Court "shall be dissolved" on Tuesday. In January 1995, for example, on the final night of the term, both branches were still in session when Speaker Flaherty and President Bulger simultaneously informed their memberships that the Legislature was legally dissolved because the hour of midnight had arrived. In some years, however, lawmakers will keep on working into Wednesday. Less attention was paid to the Constitutional deadline at the end of last term in January 2021. Instead of stopping at midnight on the final night of sessions two years ago, after a term in which legislating had been bottlenecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the House continued to meet until 4:34 a.m. and the Senate met until 4:41 a.m. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

AUCHINCLOSS OPEN HOUSE: Congressman Auchincloss holds open house at his office, and reporters covering the swearing-in of Congress are invited to stop by. Auchincloss will be available to talk with the media. RSVP to (Tuesday, 12 p.m., 1524 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.)

HEALEY/DRISCOLL FOOD GIVEAWAY: On the second day and third stop of their "Team Up Massachusetts" community service tour of Massachusetts, Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll join the Boys & Girls Club of Metro South to give away school supplies and healthy food. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., 31 Court St., Taunton)

FOOD SECURITY GRANT SESSION: Food Security Infrastructure Grant program administrators host a virtual question and answer session related to the recently announced $28.5 million in available funding for the fiscal year 2024 FSIG program. This funding is intended to ensure equitable access to healthy, locally-produced food for individuals and families around the state. Program administrators will use the question and answer session to answer potential applicant questions related to project ideas, as well as to hear feedback in response to previous rounds of funding. Following this session, a request for responses will be issued, seeking proposals from stakeholders. (Tuesday, 1 p.m. | Access and More Info)

ED BOARD: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds a special meeting to discuss a goal-setting process for an accountability system and the Student Opportunity Act. The federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to set targets at the state, district, school and student-group level for the purposes of annual accountability reporting. Similarly, under state law, the state's education commissioner must establish statewide targets to address disparities in achievement among student subgroups and districts must set their own similar targets. Due to recent achievement gaps as a result of pandemic learning losses, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is reassessing its existing target-setting methodology to map out a more concrete path to recovery for Massachusetts' districts and schools. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. | Livestream)

PENN SPORTS BETTING: Gaming Commission meets to consider the application of Penn Sports Interactive for a mobile sports betting license tethered to Plainridge Park Casino. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HEALEY/DRISCOLL MEAL GIVEAWAY: Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll help distribute produce and healthy prepared meals with the Family Table Collaborative. The incoming gubernatorial team is visiting five regions of the state in the days leading up to their inauguration to help with community service projects. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 1338 MA-28, South Yarmouth)

HEROUX INAUGURATION: Inauguration ceremony is held for new Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux, a former state representative who most recently served as Attleboro's mayor. Enter through north entrance on side of the building. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Durfee High School - Nagle Auditorium, 460 Elsbree St., Fall River)

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023

HOLYOKE SOLDIERS' HOME APPEAL: One day before she takes the oath of office as governor, Attorney General Healey's office appears before the Supreme Judicial Court to appeal a lower court judge's dismissal of the grand jury indictments against Bennett Walsh, the former superintendent of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home, and David Clinton, its former medical director. Healey in September 2020 announced criminal neglect charges against the two over their alleged role in a spring 2020 COVID-19 outbreak that killed dozens of veterans who resided at the home. Four other cases are on the high court's calendar for oral arguments Wednesday, which begin at 9 a.m. and will be livestreamed. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Room 1, John Adams Courthouse, Pemberton Square | Livestream)

HOUSE DEMOCRATS CAUCUS: House Democrats caucus to nominate a candidate for speaker ahead of the first session of the new term. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Rooms A-1 and A-2)

HOUSE REPUBLICANS CAUCUS: House Republicans caucus to choose their minority leader and their nominee for speaker, typically the same person. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Room 428)

FANATICS SPORTS BETTING: Gaming Commission meets to consider the application of FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC (d/b/a Fanatics) for a mobile sports betting license tethered to Plainridge Park Casino. If necessary, commissioners will also resume their consideration of Penn Sports Interactive's application, which will begin Tuesday. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SENATE DEMOCRATS CAUCUS: Senate Democrats caucus ahead of the first session of the new legislative term. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Senate Reading Room)

SENATE REPUBLICANS CAUCUS: Senate Republicans caucus to choose a minority leader and nominate their candidate for Senate president, who is usually the same senator. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Sen. Tarr's Office, Room 308)

OPENING OF 193RD GENERAL COURT: House and Senate convene their first sessions of the new biennium -- the 193rd General Court, or 2023-2024 legislative session. Branches have procedural business to take care of, like forming ceremonial committees to inform Gov. Baker and the opposite branch that they have assembled. Gov. Baker, attended by members of the Council, administers the oaths and affirmations of office to members of the House and Senate in their respective chambers. House then elects its speaker, and Senate elects its president, along with other elected officers like the clerks. Both Speaker Mariano and President Spilka are anticipated to win reelection to their leadership posts, and they both plan to give speeches following the votes. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

SCHOOL VIOLENCE GRANT: The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research holds an optional application assistance webinar for Massachusetts school districts and charter schools eligible to apply for the STOP School Violence Program grant. The grant is designed to help schools develop school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, and can also support specialized training for school officials to help them intervene and respond to individuals with mental health issues. Grant applications are due Jan. 13. (Wednesday, 2 p.m. | Register)

HEALEY/DRISCOLL FAMILY DRIVE: The day before their inauguration, Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll hold a family support drive in the final of five events on their "Team Up Massachusetts" community service tour. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., 50 Father Morissette Blvd., Lowell)

MIDDLESEX DA SWEARING IN: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan administers the oath of office to all Middlesex County assistant district attorneys and special assistant district attorneys. (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Belmont Town Hall, 455 Concord Ave., Belmont)

CEREMONIAL TRANSFER OF POWER: If they follow tradition, Gov. Baker will meet with Gov.-elect Healey to transfer ceremonial symbols of the office ahead of Baker's "lone walk" Wednesday evening and Healey's inauguration Thursday afternoon. Baker's press secretary did not provide any information Friday about the meeting that Baker would customarily host. In January 2015, outgoing Gov. Patrick and First Lady Patrick hosted Gov.-elect Baker and Mrs. Baker in the governor's office before Patrick took his "lone walk" out of the building. Here are the tokens that are handed off between governors, some of them for well over a century: the "Butler Bible," a volume of Holy Scripture left in the office by Gov. Benjamin Butler for the use of future governors when he departed in 1884; a gavel for presiding over the Council, made of white oak from the frame of the USS Constitution that was accepted by Gov. Curtis Guild in 1906; another gavel crafted from an original beam from the White House, the gift of former Gov. Foster Furcolo in 1982; volumes of the Mass. General Laws, which since 1860 have been inscribed with short, handwritten messages from one chief executive to the next; and a large skeleton key which, in days of old, opened the door to what is now the governor's office (the room was being used as the Council Chamber when the tradition began, and the locks seem to have changed some time since then). Champagne was on the menu at the Patrick-Baker handoff in 2015, and they also enjoyed a wood fire as the governor's office has one of the few remaining functional fireplaces in the State House. (Likely Wednesday afternoon, Governor's Office)

BAKER'S LONE WALK: Gov. Baker exits the State House for a ceremonial "lone walk" down the front steps as he returns to civilian life. It is commonly thought that the governor's traditional walk out of office began with Gov. Benjamin Butler, who was unpopular after his failed reelection campaign. The Worcester Daily Spy reported in January 1884 that Butler "walked quietly out of the state house attended by a single aid[e]." Since then, regardless of the elected official's popularity, the walk has symbolized a return to private life. Until the 21st century the outgoing governor would depart the State House around the same time as the new governor was being sworn in, though recent executives have held their ceremony the night before. Baker will still, in fact, be the governor until noontime Thursday. It was called the "lone walk" as early as 1945, when multiple newspapers used that term to describe Gov. Leverett Saltonstall's ceremonial exit. Saltonstall had more fans than Butler. Recently elected to the U.S. Senate, he was greeted by nearly 1,000 supporters at the front steps, according to the Globe's coverage. Baker's office did not provide any information about the walk Friday afternoon, but Treasurer Goldberg included it on her public schedule as she plans to attend. (Wednesday, 5 p.m., front of the State House)

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023

GAMING AGENDA-SETTING: Gaming Commission meets to select the topics that it will cover at business meetings eyed for Jan. 12, 20, 24, 25 and 26. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SPORTS BETTING SPILLOVER: If necessary, Gaming Commission will resume its consideration of the application of FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC (d/b/a Fanatics) for a mobile sports betting license tethered to Plainridge Park Casino. The commission is expected to at least begin its consideration of Fanatics on Wednesday. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

JOINT SESSION - HEALEY INAUGURATION: Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll are sworn in as governor and lieutenant governor of Massachusetts during a joint session of the House and Senate. Both newly-seated officials will give inaugural speeches. Governor's Council members are also sworn in during the session. Councilors will meet in the governor's office at 11:30 a.m. before processing down the hall and into the House chamber to meet with other officials for the ceremony. After the swearing-in, there will be an immediate vacancy for the office of District 2 councilor, formerly occupied by Robert Jubinville, who submitted his resignation from the council on Dec. 30 and assumed the role of clerk magistrate of Framingham District Court the same day. Senate President Karen Spilka will swear in the incoming governor, lieutenant governor and council members at 12 noon. Treasurer Goldberg plans to attend. (Thursday, 11:30 a.m., House Chamber)

ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT: Thursday noon is the deadline to apply under the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program that encourages investment in early-stage life science companies throughout Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. "The program offers a tax credit to accredited investors interested in funding early-stage companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in Massachusetts," according to the center. "The program provides a taxpayer investor a credit of 20 percent of the qualifying investment, or 30 percent if the business is located in a gateway municipality, in a business that has no more than $500,000 in gross revenues in the year prior to eligibility. Credits are available up to $50,000 in any one taxable year for qualifying investments of up to $125,000 per qualifying business per year and up to $250,000 in cumulative qualifying investments for each qualifying business." The deadline applies to applications for qualifying investments made during the period Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022. (Thursday, 12 p.m.)

FOOD SECURITY GRANT SESSION: Food Security Infrastructure Grant program administrators host a virtual question and answer session related to the recently announced $28.5 million in available funding for the fiscal year 2024 FSIG program. This funding is intended to ensure equitable access to healthy, locally-produced food for individuals and families around the state. Program administrators will use the question and answer session to answer potential applicant questions related to project ideas, as well as to hear feedback in response to previous rounds of funding. Following this session, a request for responses will be issued, seeking proposals from stakeholders. (Thursday, 4 p.m. | Access and More Info)

INAUGURAL CELEBRATION: After being sworn in as the new governor and lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll host an inaugural celebration. Playing off both elected officials' backgrounds playing basketball, the celebration is called "Moving the Ball Forward," held at the home of the Boston Celtics. In a nod to the basketball theme, longtime Celtics public address announcer Eddie Palladino will emcee the event. Todd Angilly, the official anthem singer for the Boston Bruins, will sing the national anthem alongside The Spirituals Ensemble from Boston Arts Academy, the city's public high school for the visual and performing arts. The inaugural celebration will also include performances from Everett High School's marching band, Salem High School's a capella group Witch Pitch, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Lynn native DJ Frenchy, greater Boston-based disability rights dance company Abilities Dance Boston, Boston-born hip hop artist OOMPA, and SciTech Band of the Springfield High School Science and Technology Band Program. The event will also include guest speakers and activities, focusing on the historic "firsts" of the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts, one of the first all-women state leadership teams, and the first openly lesbian governor in the country. "Attendees can expect a fun, moving, and once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Healey-Driscoll Inauguration," said Inaugural Committee co-chair and event planner Bryan Rafanelli. "This will be a celebration of these two incredible women leaders, the people of Massachusetts, and how they will deliver in the years ahead." Treasurer Goldberg plans to attend. (Thursday, 5 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston | Tickets)

ROUTE 9 DESIGN HEARING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public hearing for the proposed resurfacing and related work project on Route 9 in Spencer. The proposed project includes roadway improvements to Route 9 from just east of Route 49 to just west of the intersection of Route 9 at Sumner Street and Water Street, a distance of approximately one mile. The project includes pavement rehabilitation, drainage system upgrades, signal capacity improvements, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes. (Thursday, 6 p.m. | Access Info)

DECEMBER REVENUES: Department of Revenue is due to report on state tax receipts in the month of December. DOR has set the monthly benchmark at $3.506 billion and by mid-month had already collected $1.664 billion, up $209 million or 14.4 percent compared to the same period in December 2021. DOR said December -- the last month of the calendar year but the sixth month of the fiscal year -- is "a significant month for revenues" that usually generates about 9.5 percent of the state's annual take. (Thursday)

Friday, Jan. 6, 2023

SJC SITS IN BOSTON: Supreme Judicial Court sits to hear oral arguments in five cases on the calendar, including the City of Boston's appeal of a ruling that enjoined the city from enforcing Mayor Wu's COVID-19 vaccination mandate against employees represented by three unions in the case. Proceedings begin at 9 a.m. and will be livestreamed. (Friday, 9 a.m., Room 1, John Adams Courthouse, Pemberton Square | Livestream)

CULTURAL DISTRICT GRANTS: Mass Cultural Council celebrates the recipients of the fiscal year 2023 Cultural District Investment Grants. Cultural districts are dense community areas, focused on driving economic growth, fostering communities' cultural sectors, strengthening distinctive local character and expanding towns' tax bases through supporting arts, humanities and science organizations that attract tourists and entrepreneurs to Massachusetts communities, according to the cultural council. There are 51 state-designated cultural districts. A total of $750,000 in grants will be announced at the event, attended by new Rep. Sousa of Framingham and other state and local elected officials. (Friday, 12 p.m., Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University, 14 Vernon St., Framingham | RSVP)

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