People, Power, and Politics


MBTA officials are weighing whether persistent reduced ridership warrants a more pessimistic fare revenue projection in the upcoming budget, and one overseer thinks the sluggish outlook might just be "the new normal." Ridership has rebounded differently across different modes of transport on the MBTA. Rail, which covers the four main subway lines, has lagged the most and was just a bit more than half of pre-pandemic levels in the first two quarters of fiscal 2023, while commuter rail ridership in that span surpassed both the moderate and pessimistic projections. [MBTA image]


Mon. Mar. 13

Housing Authority agenda


School Comm. Redistricting Adv. Comm. agenda


Planning Board Meeting


Tues. Mar. 14

COA Meeting


Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Meeting


School Comm. Contractual Negotiations


Design Review Meeting Date


Franklin Cultural Council agenda


Weds. Mar 15

Metacomet Emergency Communications agenda


Town Council Meeting


Thurs, Mar 16

Senior Coffee Hour w/ State & Local Officials


Town Council Office Hours


CRPCD Agenda


ZBA Meeting



Health care cost growth rates, the adequacy of state investments in education and aid to cities and towns, and the latest bad news from the MBTA will consume attention in the week ahead. On the health care front, officials from the independent agency created under a cost control law will join with state lawmakers Wednesday for an annual oversight hearing to weigh a modification to the state's official cost growth benchmark. The gathering will be preceded by the anticipated release on Monday of a report from another state agency that is expected to show how sharply health care spending increased between 2020 and 2021. House and Senate lawmakers plan to travel to UMass Amherst on Monday for a public hearing on the education and local aid investments in Gov. Maura Healey's $55.5 billion fiscal 2024 budget. And MBTA crews will continue to inspect the system through the weekend to validate repairs and determine if trains can resume running at full speed after insufficient inspection documentation prompted the agency to impose new slow zones. Healey has also suggested she is mere days away from naming a new person to run the transit authority, and she's past her own deadline (March 6) to hire a transportation safety chief.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

DRISCOLL ON 4: On "Keller At Large," Lt. Gov. Driscoll talks with Jon Keller about rent control, how the administration plans to pursue affordable-housing-friendly zoning, proposed capital gains tax and estate tax reforms, and concerns about sports betting fueling addiction. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

IDOWU ON 5: Segun Idowu, the city of Boston's chief of economic opportunity and inclusion, is the guest on "On The Record." Conversation topics include the impact of the MBTA's troubles on Boston business, the controversy in the North End over outdoor dining regulations, expanding business diversity in the Seaport, and the post-pandemic landscape for commerce in the city. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

WORCESTER PARADE: Auditor DiZoglio marches in Worcester's St. Patrick's Day parade. Other marchers include Rep. Mahoney and a contingent from the Mass. Lottery. (Sunday, 12 p.m., Starts at corner of Park Ave. and Mill St., Worcester)

COLD-WATER FUNDRAISER: More than 130 costumed "Shamrock Splashers" are expected to gather and jump into Boston Harbor "rain, snow or shine." according to Save The Harbor/Save The Bay. The nonprofit says the participants have raised more than $40,000 of their $50,000 goal, with proceeds going toward the group's Better Beaches Program Partnership. (Sunday, 1 p.m., Constitution Beach, East Boston)

WU AT GAY MEN'S CHORUS: Boston Mayor Wu joins the Boston Gay Men's Chorus on stage at its "Born This Way" concert to present a reading of the children's book "A Peacock Among Pigeons." The mayor reads the book before the chorus performs a choral theater adaptation. (Sunday, 3 p.m., Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston)

Monday, March 13, 2023

BUILDING TRADES UNIONS: Massachusetts Building Trades Unions holds its 104th annual convention. MBTU plans to unveil a 2023 agenda during its two-day meeting. On Monday, Senate President Spilka is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones is expected on stage at 4 p.m. Panel discussions cover project labor agreements (10:30 a.m.) and climate jobs (1:20 p.m.), and other speakers include Springfield Mayor Sarno at 9:15 a.m. and Sen. Gomez at 10 a.m. (Monday, 7:30 a.m., MGM Springfield, 1 MGM Way, Springfield)

TRAHAN TALKS PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS: Congresswoman Trahan holds "Pandemic Preparedness Roundtable" event to talk about "modifying and adapting the Pandemics and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) to fit the needs that communities, health care facilities, and businesses are facing today." Attendees include state Health and Human Services Secretary Walsh and representatives from Ginkgo Bioworks, Mass. League of Community Health Centers, Community Health Connections, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Lawrence General Hospital, Lowell Community Health Center, Color Health, Zoll, Lowell General Hospital, CIC Health, and the Medical Countermeasure Coalition. (Monday, 10 a.m., Cross Point's UKG Tower 1, 900 Chelmsford St., Lowell)

EQUAL PAY BRIEFING: Rep. Cutler and Sen. Jehlen, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, host a legislative briefing on two bills aimed at closing gender and racial wage gaps. The bills (HD 2814 / SD 1521) would require companies with 15 or more employees to disclose salary ranges for new job postings, promotions, transfers, and when requested. HD 4039 / SD 2331 would facilitate state collection of wage data reports submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Former lieutenant governor and Wage Equity Now coalition steering member Evelyn Murphy is among participants. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Room 428)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate start the week with informal sessions. Now that they have both passed a version of Gov. Healey's fiscal year 2023 supplemental budget and bonding bill, the branches could form the conference committee that will hash out a final version. Expect House and Senate budget chiefs Aaron Michlewitz and Michael Rodrigues to serve as lead negotiators. (Monday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

FY 2024 BUDGET HEARING - LOCAL AID & EDUCATION: Members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee visit Amherst to hold a public hearing on local aid and education spending included in Gov. Healey's fiscal 2024 budget. Healey is proposing big increases in both spending areas in a budget that is lifted by new income surtax revenues, a stronger revenue base thanks to explosive growth in tax revenues last year, and a big markdown in the estimated cost of MassHealth. (Monday, 11 a.m., UMass Amherst Student Union Ballroom | Livestream)

CENTRAL MASS. CULTURE: Mass Cultural Council and partners announce what it says is a "historic investment" in the creative and cultural sector of Central Mass. through two cultural sector recovery grant programs. Executive Director Michael Bobbitt, state and local elected officials including Rep. Michael Kushmerek, and grant recipients will have a brief speaking program and photo op. (Monday, 11 a.m., EcoTarium, Alden Planetarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester)

TRAHAN IN LAWRENCE: Congresswoman Trahan visits Greater Lawrence Community Action Council to celebrate a $300,000 award from the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which the council will use to "expand the range of citizenship preparation services." Scheduled attendees include Lawrence Mayor De Peña, Sen. Payano, and Reps. Reyes, Moran, and Paulino. (Monday, 12 p.m., 305 Essex St., Lawrence)

LEGISLATORS AND FIREFIGHTERS: Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts hosts its annual legislator night. Treasurer Goldberg is expected to speak and Auditor DiZoglio attends. (Monday, 6 p.m., Florian Hall, 55 Hallet St., Dorchester)

HEALTH COSTS REPORT: Center for Health Information and Analysis is expected to publish its latest annual report examining total statewide health care spending in 2021 and how it changed from 2020. Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz said in January that he expects the report to reflect a dramatic rebound in expenses after the first nine months of the pandemic prompted an unusual drop. "Given what we know about the decrease in spending that occurred in 2020 due to the pandemic, we fully anticipate that that report is going to show a very high increase, percentage increase, in health care spending. It could be as high as double digits," Seltz said at an HPC board meeting. (Monday)

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

BUILDING TRADES UNIONS: Gov. Healey is scheduled to speak at 10:45 a.m. as Massachusetts Building Trades Unions continues its 104th annual convention for a second and final day. MBTU expects her to "outline her vision for building an economy for the future, which includes creating a world-class workforce and ensuring those workers have the training and protections they deserve." Other scheduled speakers include Auditor DiZoglio (10:30 a.m.), Rep. Roy (9:15 a.m.), and Mass. AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman. Panel discussions explore apprenticeship (9:45 a.m.) and organizing (2:20 p.m.). (Tuesday, 7:30 a.m., MGM Springfield, 1 MGM Way, Springfield)

MOULTON HOUSING FORUM: U.S. Rep. Moulton convenes local, state and federal officials for a forum on challenges and solutions surrounding the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts. Speakers include Sen. Joan Lovely, regional Department of Housing and Urban Development Administrator Juana Matias, Mass. Department of Housing and Community Development Director of Programs Amy Stitely, and others. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Salem State University Theater, 352 Lafayette St., Salem)

SIMMONS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership hosts the 44th annual Simmons Leadership Conference for women featuring Gloria Estefan, three-time Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy, and TIME Magazine women of the year awardees Masih Alinejad and Quinta Brunson. More Info (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Register)

BLUE ECONOMY: NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad gives the keynote address at a New England Council event on the blue economy and research and innovation in marine technology. Other participants will discuss workforce demands in the blue economy and share insight on how the federal government can support continued innovation in the growing sector. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., New England Aquarium, Simons Theater, 1 Central Wharf, Boston)

CARRIER CERTIFICATION HEARING: Department of Public Utilities' Transportation Oversight Division holds a series of public hearings on applications for carrier certification. Hearings start at 9:30 a.m. with 3C Transportation and Logistics Inc., then BAS Enterprises LLC at 10 a.m., King Brian Transportation Co at 10:30 a.m., Beauport Ambulance Service Inc at 11 a.m. and De-Orient Transport & Logistics Inc at 11:30 a.m. Hearing Notice (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston)

ILLEGAL BETS HEARING - ENCORE: Mass. Gaming Commission holds an adjudicatory hearing on Encore Boston Harbor's acceptance of a wager on a Boston College women's basketball game against Notre Dame on Feb. 2, in violation of the state betting law that prohibits betting on any Massachusetts collegiate sporting event unless it is part of a tournament. Since then, Encore reported another violation, again involving BC women's hoops, to the Gaming Commission but that matter will be the subject of a later hearing. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Hearing Notice)

EARLY ED DAY: Early education and care advocates lobby legislators to support increased investments. Senate President Spilka New Joint Education Committee Co-chair Rep. Denise Garlick is scheduled to speak. Gov. Healey's $55.5 billion budget calls for spending $475 million on another year of pandemic-era Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants to stabilize the early education and care workforce, and it would also steer money toward pre-school programs, child care financial assistance and a program at state community colleges that prepares students for jobs in early education and care. After a month of budget hearings, lawmakers will take up the budget, and determine how much state funding they want to allocate to the sector. Spilka signaled in her January inaugural address that early education funding would be one of her priorities this session, and the Senate usually follows the president's lead. "We know how important early education and care is, both to addressing the 'she-cession' that worsened during the pandemic and in preparing our children to learn. Simply put, it is past time to update the way we imagine and support this crucial sector," Spilka said at the time. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Great Hall)

EMBODIED CARBON EMISSIONS: Mass. Climate Action Network, Boston Society of Architects, and Carbon Leadership Forum Boston/Northeast Hub hold virtual press briefing about "how Massachusetts is falling behind as other states reduce the hidden climate impact of buildings." Boston University Sustainability and RMI's Carbon-Free Buildings join in to talk about embodied carbon and how other states have dealt with it. Speakers include MCAN interim executive director Logan Malik, Michelle Lambert of Lambert Sustainability, and Andrea Love of the Boston Society of Architects. (Tuesday, 10 a.m. | Registration)

CORE QUARTERLY MEETING: Treasurer Goldberg attends a virtual quarterly meeting of the CORE Plan Statutory Committee. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Zoom)

LGBT AGING: Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Aging holds its quarterly meeting. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., More Info)

DISABILITIES COMMISSION SUBCOMMITTEE: Legislative and Budget Subcommittee of the Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities meets virtually to discuss the commission's legislative and budget goals. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., More Info)

ILLEGAL BETS HEARING - ENCORE: Mass. Gaming Commission holds an adjudicatory hearing on Plainridge Park Casino's acceptance of wagers on a Feb. 2 Merrimack College men's basketball game against Long Island University after the sportsbook's vendor Kambi "mistakenly assigned the participant school state for Merrimack College as Florida instead of Massachusetts," according to commission investigators. There were 33 bets placed on the game with a total of $6,848 put on the line. Bettors won $4,270 based on those wagers. Massachusetts law prohibits betting on events that involve Massachusetts schools unless they are part of a tournament. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Hearing Notice)

LEAD IN SCHOOL DRINKING WATER: MASSPIRG and Environment Massachusetts host an event to discuss their new report grading states on their effectiveness in removing lead from school drinking water. Attendees include Boston Children's Hospital Environmental Medicine Program Director Alan Woolf, Somerville Parent Teacher Association Council President Leiran Bito, and Rep. Lipper-Garabedian and Sen. Lovely, who plan to discuss their school drinking water legislation (HD 3792 / S 526). (Tuesday, 1 p.m. Grand Staircase)

BUDGET BRIEFING - CIVIL LEGAL AID: House Division Chair Rep. Ruth Balser and House Judiciary Chair Rep. Mike Day host a virtual budget briefing for House members and staff to hear presentations from civil legal aid attorneys about legal issues faced by low-income residents, and "the need for additional funding in FY24 to support this essential work." Panelists include Mass Legal Assistance Corporation Executive Director Lynne Parker, Equal Justice Coalition Chair Louis Tompros, and staff attorneys specializing in housing, employment/unemployment insurance, medical-legal issues and family law. (Tuesday, 1 p.m. |Zoom | Contact Laura Booth at for more information)

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP: Middlesex DA Ryan hosts her office's Digital Citizenship Academy, which teaches middle schoolers to think critically and decipher misinformation from truth online, her office said. (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham & Wakefield15 Dale Court, Stoneham)

COLLINS FUNDRAISER: A few days before hosting the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast, Sen. Collins hosts a fundraiser for his campaign committee. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., 75 On Liberty Wharf, 220 Northern Ave., Boston)

SUMNER TUNNEL RESTORATION MEETING: MassDOT hosts the first of two public meetings to discuss the new schedule for Sumner Tunnel closures and maintenance. Officials announced last month they would split the planned four-month continuous closure into eight weeks this summer and another eight weeks next summer to reduce the impact on motorists and communities. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

TEWKSBURY HOST LAWS TALK: Middlesex DA Ryan addresses parents, students and educators on social host liability laws. Parents can be held financially responsible if a minor is injured or killed on their property if they've been drinking alcohol. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Tewksbury Memorial High School, 320 Pleasant Street, Tewksbury)

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

MASSDOT BOARD MEETS: Department of Transportation Board of Directors meets. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Livestream)

DISABILITIES COMMISSION: Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities meets virtually with an agenda that includes a commemoration of the late advocate Judy Heumann, discussion of Gov. Healey's budget proposal and an update on the group's website. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

CANNABIS COMMISSION MEDIATION: Regulators and staff at the Cannabis Control Commission hold an executive session related to the ongoing mediation regarding its governance, a process intended to "more formally delineate the powers of the commissioners and those of the staff," the then-chairman said when the process began. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., More Info)

OPIOID TASK FORCE: Middlesex DA Ryan hosts a virtual Opioid Task Force meeting. Contact for access information. (Wednesday, 10 a.m.)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Governor's Council meets to take care of routine business. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH: Joint Committee on Health Care Financing joins the Health Policy Commission to hold a public hearing on potential modifications to the 2024 cost growth benchmark for the average growth in total health care expenditures for calendar 2024. The modifications, if any, will be set by April 15. The 2023 benchmark is 3.6 percent, and the benchmark rested at 3.1 percent for the five previous years. The benchmark is meant to be a statewide target for the sustainable rate of growth of total health care expenditures, and the HPC was created under a 2012 law to oversee health care system performance and monitor statewide spending performance against the benchmark. The HPC's stated goal is "better health and better care – at a lower cost – for all residents across the Commonwealth." An increase in the rate of health care cost escalation, higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers, and trouble gaining access to care have emerged as challenges across Massachusetts in recent years. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Gardner Auditorium | More Info)

MWRA BOARD: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Board meets. The agenda includes a report on 2022 water use trends and reservoir status, an update on MWRA aquatic invasive plant control activities, and an annual status report on local water system assistance programs. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

MERIT RATING BOARD MEETS: Merit Rating Board meets virtually, where members expect to take a vote on naming a permanent director for the office that maintains and updates driving records and reports driving record information to auto insurers and public safety agencies. In December, the board interviewed two finalists: Sonja Singleton, who has been serving as interim director since November 2021, and MassHealth Deputy Chief Operations Officer Jessica Perez-Rossello. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

IT'S THE DOPAMINE: Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law hosts a webinar on "how the gambling industry misleads regulators and imperils the public's health ... and what we can do about it." The event titled "It's Not the Dough, it's the Dopamine: The Dangerous Myth of the Responsible Gambling Model" features executive director Mark Gottlieb, anti-tobacco litigator Richard Daynard, gambling researchers from the United Kingdom, and Harry Levant, a gambling addict in recovery and director of education for Stop Predatory Gambling. The event comes in the first week of the largest expansion of gambling in Massachusetts since the legalization of casinos in 2011, the introduction of mobile sports betting all across the state. More Info (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Register)

SYMPHONY STATION UTILITY OPEN HOUSE: MBTA staff hold an open house to discuss planned upgrades to Symphony Station on the Green Line's E Branch. In April, crews will begin relocating utilities near the station to prepare for station improvements next year. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

SUMNER TUNNEL RESTORATION MEETING: MassDOT hosts the second of two public meetings to discuss the new schedule for Sumner Tunnel closures and maintenance. Officials announced last month they would split the planned four-month continuous closure into eight weeks this summer and another eight weeks next summer to reduce the impact on motorists and communities. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

GAMBLING REVENUES: Mass. Gaming Commission is due to report casino gaming and sports betting revenues for the month of February. It will be the first full-month report of sports betting activity, though only in-person betting was live during the month. (Wednesday)

Thursday, March 16, 2023

MASSPORT BOARD: Massachusetts Port Authority Board meets. (Thursday, 9 a.m., One Harborside Dr., East Boston | More Info)

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES: Senate President Spilka speaks to Jewish Family Services of MetroWest about state support for security at synagogues and other faith organizations. A recent survey from the American Jewish Committee says Jewish people across the U.S. are increasingly concerned about antisemitism, and one out of six Jewish people in the Northeast say they were targets of antisemitism from late 2021 through 2022. (Closed Press) (Thursday, 10 a.m., 475 Franklin St., Framingham)

"HOUSING JUSTICE" STANDOUT: Members of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization hold an event to urge state officials "to face the housing crisis head-on." Organizers say they plan to bring more than 300 people and that clergy members collectively feel "we have faith, but we have lost our patience!" (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., State House steps)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate both plan to hold informal sessions. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

NEW LAWMAKERS EVENT: Supreme Judicial Court hosts an event for new legislators. Senate President Karen Spilka is scheduled to speak. (Closed Press) (Thursday, 3 p.m., Supreme Judicial Court)

SYMPHONY STATION - UTILITY RELOCATION PLANS: MBTA hosts an open house to discuss the relocation of utilities in the busy area around Symphony Station in connection with the accessibility improvements project at the Green Line station that sits on the corner of Massachusetts and Huntington avenues. The project is expected to start next year. The T said water, gas and electric utilities need to be moved because they are currently "in four areas that will be excavated for Symphony's new elevators and replacement entrance stairs." More Info (Thursday, 6 p.m., Community Room, Symphony Towers West, 333 Massachusetts Ave., Boston)

NORTHERN STRAND EXTENSION MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for the proposed Northern Strand Extension Project in Lynn and Nahant, which would construct a two-way bike line and shared-use trail facility. (Thursday, 6 p.m., More Info)

Friday, March 17, 2023

SUPERFUND LEGISLATION: Rep. Owens and Sen. Eldridge roll out their "Climate Change Superfund" legislation that would require the largest polluters to contribute a portion of their profits to a Massachusetts-based Superfund to support cities and towns' mitigation and resilience efforts. (Friday, 10 a.m., Commander's Mansion, 440 Talcott Ave., Watertown)

EVACUATION DAY: Friday is Evacuation Day, a legal holiday in Suffolk County only, though state law stipulates that "all state and municipal agencies, authorities, quasi-public entities or other offices located in Suffolk county shall be open for business and appropriately staffed on Evacuation Day." Evacuation Day remembers the fleeing of British troops after the siege of Boston in 1776. (Friday)

Saturday, March 18, 2023

RED, WHITE AND BREW: MassGOP, under new chairwoman Amy Carnevale, hosts a free unity event at Off The Rails, a restaurant and event venue. Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis will give opening remarks. RSVP (Saturday, March 18, 2 p.m., Off The Rails, 90 Commercial St., Worcester)




Tues. Mar. 7

Arts & Culture Listening Tour - Session 1

5:00pm to 7:00pm

School Comm. Redistricting Adv. Comm. agenda


Community Preservation Committee Meeting


Weds. Mar 8

Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting


Thurs, Mar 9

Open Space and Recreation Plan Meeting

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Conservation Commission Meeting



Starting Tuesday, lawmakers have opportunities over several weeks to poke holes in Gov. Maura Healey's $55.5 billion budget, although the new governor's arrival corresponds with virtual budget nirvana on Beacon Hill. The state is already basking in record reserves and Healey is using a turbo-charged state revenue base and big projected MassHealth savings to finance one of the most generous spending plans in years while also delivering nearly $1 billion in tax relief. The budget is built on a nominal 4.4 percent increase in tax revenues but that figure does not adequately account for major expansion to the revenue foundation that occurred since the last round of annual budgeting and which, along with a new income surtax, is now enabling Healey to propose eye-popping spending increases. The House gets the first crack at reworking Healey's budget and its leader, Speaker Ron Mariano, is among a dwindling group of lawmakers who have experienced the tough decisions of slashing spending during lean budget years, the last of which occurred at the outset of former Gov. Charlie Baker's first term around the middle of the last decade. While Healey and Senate President Karen Spilka have continue to talk about tax relief, Mariano's enthusiasm for that idea has waned since the House and Senate retreated last summer from their targeted tax relief plan once legislative leaders realized that the state had collected so much money that they had to give $3 billion back to taxpayers in according with a state tax cap law. The annual budget hearings will command attention from legislators in the runup to House budget debate in April, but lawmakers are likely to wrap up work on a supplemental budget before then. Senators are gearing up to take action on the bill the House passed this week that includes nearly $600 million in bond authorizations and critical funding for emergency shelters, food aid and school meals. The Senate has a formal session planned for Thursday but branch leaders didn't indicate Friday what bill or bills they plan to tackle then. Healey's team disclosed this week that it's working on yet another supplemental budget as well. As hearing season slowly builds, another time-sensitive topic -- local road and bridge funding -- is up for discussion Tuesday before the Joint Committee on Transportation. And last year's legislative efforts to legalize sports betting take on a new dimension in the week ahead. For good or ill, Massachusetts, which not long ago was on guard against the perils that could come with casino gambling, drives deeper down the gaming road with the launch of mobile sports betting.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

WU ON 4: Boston Mayor Wu talks with Jon Keller about crime, rent control, and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Marathon bombing. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

CARNEVALE ON 5: State Republican Party Chair Amy Carnevale is the guest on "On The Record," talking about her plans for the party since winning the leadership post in January, her thoughts on the current state of the national GOP, and her take on Gov. Healey's first couple months in office. Roundtable discussion features analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

CULTURAL COUNCIL GRANTS: The Newton Cultural Alliance hosts a celebration for local artists and organizations that benefitted from Mass Cultural Council's $51 million in cultural sector grants. The grant money came from the $4 billion in pandemic relief funds the state received from the federal government, and went to over 5,200 artists and cultural institutions statewide. Sen. Creem is scheduled to attend. (Sunday, 2 p.m., 35 Webster St., West Newton)

Monday, March 6, 2023

SJC SITS IN BOSTON: Supreme Judicial Court meets with five cases on the docket. Two cases deal with the timing of wrongful death lawsuits against tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, and two others concern confidential informant laws. (Monday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Room 1, Boston | Court Calendar | Livestream)

SALEM TRIAL: Trial resumes against two defendants charged with the July 4, 2020, murder of 35-year-old Noe Hernandez of Lynn. The case is prosecuted by the office of new Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker, a former state representative. (Monday, 9 a.m., Salem Superior Court, Courtroom J)

LAWRENCE TRIAL: Trial begins in the case of Martin Rodriguez, charged with the November 2017 first-degree murder of Jose Burgos, 53, of Lawrence. The case is prosecuted by the office of new Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker, a former state representative. (Monday, 9 a.m., Lawrence Superior Court)

MIDDLE-INCOME SENIOR DEVELOPMENT: Brighton-based development company 2Life Communities breaks ground on its first property for middle-income seniors, Opus Newton. Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Congressman Auchincloss, Sen. Creem, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, MassDevelopment President/CEO Dan Rivera, 2Life Communities President/CEO Amy Schectman, and JCC Greater Boston President/CEO Lily Rabinoff-Goldman are scheduled to attend. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Outside of Coleman House, 677 Winchester St., Newton | Ceremony to take place at JCC Greater Boston auditorium, 33 Nahanton St., Newton)

FORMER REP. MALIA HONORED: Women's Bar Association honors former Rep. Liz Malia of Boston, who retired in January, as its 2023 Public Official of the Year at its annual legislative breakfast. Four other lawmakers are scheduled to speak on legislative priorities: Rep. Livingstone on his bill "relative to employment protections for victims of abusive behavior" (HD 3239 / SD 2005), Rep. Tyler on prison phone calls (SD 1441), Rep. Fluker Oakley on "salary range transparency" (HD 2814 / SD 1521), and Sen. Robyn Kennedy on her "perspective of a new legislator and how she advocates for a just society" along with Sen. DiDomenico's bill "to lift kids out of deep poverty" (SD 501 / HD 507). Women's Bar Association President Kristy Lavigne presents Malia with her award honoring "her 24 years of distinguished service." (Monday, 10 a.m., Great Hall)

GRANBY COLD CASE BREAKTHROUGH: Northwestern DA Sullivan holds press conference with First Assistant DA Steven Gagne and Granby Police Chief Kevin O'Grady to "announce a major breakthrough" in the unsolved 1978 "Granby Girl" homicide case. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Granby Police Station, 259A East State St., Granby)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate start the week with informal sessions. (Monday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

UMASS WORKERS PROTEST: Workers at UMass Amherst protest against the school's administration. About 100 workers may lose state benefits and pensions if their positions are eliminated and recreated within the private UMass Amherst Foundation, according to the two unions representing the workers. The Professional Staff Union and University Staff Union claim UMass administrators hope to privatize the workers' jobs to "avoid public oversight." The university sent a letter to the Massachusetts State Retirement Board stating their intention to privatize the jobs after administrators "abruptly broke off negotiations with the unions," a press release from the unions says. The university's letter to the retirement board says they must reorganize the staff for "legal compliance purposes." "We are stunned by what we have seen by our employer," said Leslie Marsland, president of the University Staff Association. "Our members have been given false and misleading information, making them think that their state retirement benefits were in jeopardy unless their jobs could be transferred from the university to a private employer." The PSU and USA filed unfair labor practice charges against UMass Amherst on Feb. 28 at the state's Department of Labor Relations for "bargaining in bad faith, retaliation and anti-union activity." They plan to stand out and gather petition signatures on Monday. In a statement to the News Service, a spokesperson for UMass Amherst said there are legal compliance issues with the university's staff structure that if unaddressed could impact employees' eligibility in the state retirement system. "From the outset, the University has been consistent in its communications with USA and PSU that this process is solely driven by legal and regulatory compliance requirements. The University became aware of the issue as a result of another pension matter and immediately began a review to determine whether UMass employees would be impacted. The unions have also acknowledged that certain positions were non-compliant. As communicated by the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB) in an email that was shared with the unions, having non-compliant positions 'could jeopardize the individuals' retirement benefits as well as the entire pension system.'" (Monday, 12:45 p.m., outside the Whitmore Building, UMass Amherst Campus)

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT TRUST FUND: Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board of Trustees meets, with Treasurer Goldberg as chair. Agenda includes reports on the BabySteps program, National Association of State Treasurers Financial Wellness Grant and "financial wellness for MA state employees and retirees," and updates on Baby Bonds, "Operation Money Wise" financial education grants, and a partnership with Massachusetts libraries. Contact (617) 367-9333 Ext. 613,, or (781) 320-2000 for access information. (Monday, 1 p.m. | Full Agenda)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Massachusetts High Technology Council looks at the "transformative power of artificial intelligence and its impact on the future of work and our economy" in its latest MassVision2050 webinar, cohosted with McKinsey & Company and MITRE. Panel discussions look at "The Big Picture: Artificial Intelligence Today & Tomorrow" and "The Local Picture: Artificial Intelligence and the Massachusetts Economy," with speakers like Onto Innovation CEO Michael Plisinski, Raytheon Technologies associate director of research and AI discipline lead Kishore Reddy, and professor Holly Yanco, director of UMass Lowell's New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. (Monday, 3 p.m. | Registration)

CLEAN WATER TRUST ANNUAL MEETING: Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust holds its annual meeting, featuring election and appointment of some officers including Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz as vice chair. Treasurer Goldberg chairs the meeting, which is expected to recess for the board's Audit Committee to hold a separate meeting. After the break, the full board will consider fiscal 2022 audit results, along with votes on grants including Avon, Haverhill, the Lanesborough Fire and Water District, and the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission. Board is also due to vote on a $12.9 million Clean Water Loan/Local Government Obligation and Financing Agreement for Barnstable. (Monday, 3:15 p.m., Microsoft Teams - Meeting ID: 245 788 661 468, Passcode: MLxfvk | Or, dial (857) 327-9245, Passcode 245239189# | Full Agenda)

NEWTON WOMEN VOTERS: Sen. Creem shares her legislative priorities at Newton's League of Women Voters virtual meeting. (Monday, 7 p.m. | Access)

BRIGHAM & WOMEN'S AT CARDIOLOGY CONFERENCE: American College of Cardiology wraps up a three-day conference in New Orleans, where experts from Brigham & Women's Hospital will present findings from their clinical trials and research about "nudges" to increase uptake of flu vaccines, residual inflammatory risk and virtual care for patients with heart failure. (Monday)

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

LIFE SCIENCES IN CENTRAL MASS.: Massachusetts Biotechnology Council CEO Kendalle Burlin O'Connell headlines a "Central Mass. Life Sciences Forum" hosted by MASSterList, the State House News Service, and the Worcester Business Journal. Two panel discussions zero in on the advantages of Central Mass. as a place for doing business in the life sciences sector, and on the real estate situation in the middle of the state. Panelists include former MassBIO head Robert Coughlin, who is now managing director of life sciences at JLL; Bill Aitchison, senior vice president and head of global manufacturing at WuXi Biologics; UMass Chan Medical School's executive vice chancellor for innovation and business development, Parth Chakrabarti; Marlborough Economic Development Corp executive director Meredith Harris; and Bowditch partner Joshua Lee Smith. "While the epicenter of the industry cluster remains in Kendall Square, the state's strategy calls for the expansion of lab and manufacturing space throughout the state, with the potential for significant growth in Central MA. ... The advantages for companies to expand in Central Massachusetts are significant, including lower cost of land and facilities and access to more affordable housing for employees," organizers wrote. (Tuesday, 7:30 a.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester | Tickets)

ZERO CARBON RENOVATION FUND: Zero Carbon Renovation Fund Coalition hosts a brunch-and-bubbles policy briefing. Advocates say their legislation proposing a $300 million fund would "jumpstart the market for zero carbon renovations in existing buildings in Massachusetts, with the goal of having this fund administered by MassCEC." Visual displays at the briefing include solar panels, a ventilation system, and a section of wall showing how a deep energy retrofit can improve a building envelope. Legislation has been filed by Sen. Gomez (SD 500) and Rep. Vargas (HD 776). Coalition's membership includes more than 150 organizations and companies like the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 350 Mass, Boston Housing Authority, St. Francis House, WinnCompanies, B'nai B'rith Housing, Capstone Communities LLC, and Asian American Civic Association. The "bubbles" part of the briefing will be sparkling cider and orange juice. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room 428)

THE ARC RECEPTION: The Arc of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council hosts their 45th annual legislative reception. Sen. Michael Barrett and Rep. Christine Barber will receive "Legislator of the Year" awards from the Arc and MDDC. Several hundred people with disabilities, their families and industry professionals are expected to attend, as well as several elected officials. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., The Great Hall)

STATE OF ALZHEIMER'S: Sen. Lewis and Rep. Gregoire speak as part of a virtual Alzheimer's Association briefing on "the state of Alzheimer's in Massachusetts" and the organization's 2023-2024 legislative agenda. (Tuesday, 11 a.m. | Zoom Registration)

FIRST FISCAL 2024 BUDGET HEARING: The Joint Committee on Ways and Means holds its first hearing on Gov. Maura Healey's proposed fiscal year 2024 budget proposal. The hearing will cover the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security, the Inspector General's Office and constitutional offices. The gathering will be a chance for Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz to make his case for Gov. Maura Healey's vision of state spending and tax relief, and senators will also have the opportunity to probe areas where they might differ, or prefer alternative approaches. Auditor Diana DiZoglio will also testify. This is the first of eight budget hearings that will take place over the next month and into early April, before the House files its version of the fiscal year 2024 budget. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Gardner Auditorium)

"STUDENTS SPEAK" BRIEFING: Harvard Law School Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative holds a legislative briefing where secondary school students will discuss "what they need in order to do well in school" and the importance of funding safe and supportive schools. Reps. Balser and Garlick and Sens. DiDomenico and Lewis host. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., Room A-2)

UBER, LYFT DRIVERS RALLY ON BEACON HILL: Drivers for ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft gather in support of legislation (HD 2071 / SD 1162) that would guarantee them access to a minimum wage, paid sick time, unemployment insurance, discrimination protection and collective bargaining rights. Union leaders at 32BJ SEIU and the International Association of Machinists are backing the bill, and debate will unfold as the companies weigh whether to launch another ballot question campaign dealing with worker classification and benefits after the courts derailed their effort last year. Bill sponsors Rep. F. Moran and Sens. Miranda and Lewis will join drivers and union organizers. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., State House steps)

ROAD, BRIDGE FUNDING HEARING: Joint Committee on Transportation convenes its first public hearing of the 2023-2024 term to consider Gov. Healey's road and bridge funding legislation (H 52). Healey's bill calls for $400 million in bonding for the Chapter 90 program over a two-year period, marking a departure from the typical one-year authorizations but not from its common funding level of $200 million per year. The Massachusetts Municipal Association for years has called for state government to make $300 million per year available for city and town road and bridge maintenance and to approve multi-year authorizations so local leaders can plan projects more in advance. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

BOSTON RIVER STREET BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to discuss the River Street Bridge, which is currently closed, over Amtrak and MBTA tracks in Boston's Hyde Park. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

ALEWIFE PARKWAY SUPERSTRUCTURE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present an overview of a project to replace the "bridge superstructure" that carries Alewife Brook Parkway over the MBTA Red Line tunnel. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL: The Public Health Council meets. The council will hear updates from Commissioner Margaret Cooke, then plans to vote on whether to promote two regulations related to the registration of sanitarians and certified health officers. They will also hear a presentation updating councilors on the Office of Problem Gambling Services. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. | Access)

SJC SITS IN BOSTON: Supreme Judicial Court meets with five cases on the docket, including one that asks how the COVID-19 state of emergency affected the statute of limitations in an employment discrimination dispute. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Room 1, Boston | Court Calendar | Livestream)

MASSDOT FINANCE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE: Department of Transportation Board of Directors Finance and Audit Committee meets virtually. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: Senate President Karen Spilka joins an International Women's Day celebration hosted by State Street for a discussion on "Embracing Equity." (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 1 Lincoln Street, Boston. Closed press.)

GAMING REGS: Mass. Gaming Commission is expected to meet to finalize a regulation that governs involuntary exclusion from sports wagering. A commission lawyer said the topic would need to be addressed on Wednesday so the regulation can be in place for the Friday launch of mobile betting. The commission could also vote to accept mobile betting platforms' house rules and might hear from Attorney General Andrea Campbell's office on its thinking relative to sports betting advertising regulations. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., More Info TBA)

GUN VIOLENCE PANEL: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a virtual expert witness panel to discuss gun violence prevention, school safety and intervention. The discussion will center around the role that schools, parents, law enforcement and legislators can play in preventing gun violence, according to her office. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. | Register)
ANTI-HATE TASK FORCE: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a meeting of her Anti-Hate Anti-Bias Task Force to discuss the continuing rise of hate crimes in the U.S. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. | Contact for information.)

OBESITY TREATMENT EQUITY: Massachusetts Coalition for Action on Obesity hosts a webinar to discuss health equity in treating obesity. Speakers include Obesity Action Coalition President and CEO Joseph Nadglowski; Angela Fitch, chief medical officer of knownwell; and Guthrie Medical Group director of bariatric medicine Verlyn Warrington. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Register)

HUMANA RATE HEARING: Division of Insurance holds public hearing on Humana Benefit Plan of Illinois, Inc.'s request for approval of proposed rates for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Core Plan to be sold in Massachusetts. People wishing to testify must submit "Notice of Intent to Comment" by March 3 at 5 p.m. to People "requesting solely to attend" the virtual hearing must submit a request by March 6 at 5 p.m. to the same address. Those communications must include name, telephone number, and email address, and refer to DOI Docket No. R2023-01. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Microsoft Teams)

MUNI FINANCE OVERSIGHT: Municipal Finance Oversight Board meets. Auditor Diana DiZoglio will chair the meeting. The board is scheduled to take up a Chapter 44B request for $73 million in state qualified bonds for Fitchburg and long-range municipal fiscal stability. (Wednesday, 11 a.m. | Conference call number: (872) 240-3212, Access code: 228-999-245)

MATAHARI 20TH ANNIVERSARY: Matahari Women Workers' Center celebrates its 20th anniversary at a brewpub party cohosted by Lamplighter Brewing at Lamplighter's Cambridge Crossing location. Party features early-2000s music, games, and Lamplighter and Matahari's "collab beer," the "Rise Up" Witbier. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., 110 North First St., Cambridge | Tickets)

NAHANT TALKS HOUSING: Nahant Housing Production Plan and Metropolitan Area Planning Council host a public forum to discuss the town's housing needs and ways it can comply with a new MBTA zoning law requiring T communities to zone for multi-family housing near transit. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Nahant Town Hall, 334 Nahant Road, Nahant | Register)

Thursday, March 9, 2023

MARCH FOR CHANGE: March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to improve maternal and infant health, meets with lawmakers as part of the organization's annual March For Change to advocate for better health care for mothers and children. The nonprofit is asking for lawmakers to increase access to private health insurance and public health coverage, as well as to expand programs that provide services like Medicaid Postpartum Extension and access to midwives and doulas. Massachusetts received a B- for its preterm birth rate of 9 percent in the latest March of Dimes Report Card, which measures the state of maternal and infant health in the U.S. (Thursday, 9 a.m., State House)

HEALTH CONNECTOR BOARD: The Massachusetts Health Connector Board meets. The Connector is preparing for a flood of new enrollees as Massachusetts residents who qualified for Medicaid under expanded COVID-19 provisions lose their MassHealth coverage. The board is preparing for up to 200,000 new members. Gov. Maura Healey's fiscal year 2024 budget projects a $1.9 billion decrease in state spending on MassHealth from last year driven by forecasted caseload decline as people no longer qualify for the program, and will have to transition to employer-sponsored insurance or insurance purchased through the Health Connector. "We know what we're facing right now this spring with redetermination, we know the work that we need to do," Healey said. She added, "I think those numbers reflect our best educated estimate of what is necessary and appropriate to meet this moment and the needs of folks who have been accessing MassHealth." The Health Connector is opening a special enrollment period from April through November for those who lost MassHealth coverage to make the transition "as smooth as possible." The huge health insurance transition for so many people looms as one of the first major challenges for Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. (Thursday, 9 a.m. | YouTube Livestream)

MBTA AUDIT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE: MBTA Board of Directors Audit and Finance Subcommittee meets virtually. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

"WHEEL OF LUCK" REGS: State Lottery Commission holds public hearing on proposed regulatory amendments that would formally "terminate" the unsuccessful All Or Nothing game and reflect its successor, the new roulette-style Wheel Of Luck game that launched on Jan. 19. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Dial (972) 301-8269, Conference ID 687061386#)

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: The MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence hosts an advocacy day. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room 428.)

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION BRIEFING: The Children's Trust hosts a legislative briefing to educate policymakers about child abuse prevention and the role that family support programming can play. Speakers include Children's Trust Executive Director Jennifer Valenzuela, Children's Trust Director of Home Visiting Steven Pascal, and Andree Gonzalez, a participant in the Healthy Families Massachusetts program. (Thursday, 10 a.m., House Member's Lounge)

MBTA WORKFORCE COMMITTEE: MBTA Board of Directors Planning, Workforce, Development and Compensation Subcommittee meets virtually. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

GAMING COMMISSION: A day before mobile betting is expected to go live, the Mass. Gaming Commission meets and is expected to vote to issue certificates of operation for at least the seven mobile betting platforms that plan to launch Friday. (Thursday, 10 a.m., More Info TBA)

MBTA SAFETY COMMITTEE: MBTA Board of Directors Safety, Health and Environment Subcommittee meets virtually. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SENATE: The Senate plans to meet in a formal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

HOUSE: House plans to hold an informal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

OUTDOOR ADVERTISING MEETING: MassDOT holds a virtual public hearing to provide an opportunity for public feedback and questions on recent outdoor advertising applications. (Thursday, 11 a.m., More Info)

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY: Liberty Mutual's assistant vice president and director for supplier diversity, Erika Gibson, is the featured speaker in the latest installment of Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's "Pacesetters Doing Business" virtual series. The Pacesetters programs "are an opportunity for minority business enterprises (MBEs) to hear directly from procurement officers at participating Pacesetters companies and learn about their supplier diversity initiatives," the chamber says. (Thursday, 3 p.m. | Registration)

O'DiDOMENICO ST. PATRICK'S DAY: Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who for this occasion styles himself as Sen. O'DiDomenico, hosts his annual pol-studded celebration of St. Patrick's Day. In a month filled with a fair bit of Irish-themed craic, DiDomenico's event usually kicks off the season of political jokes and roasts. Scheduled attendees include Gov. Healey, Lt. Gov. Driscoll, AG Campbell, Senate President Spilka, Boston Mayor Wu, Middlesex County DA Ryan, and Suffolk County DA Hayden. Full Irish dinner included along with Irish music, bagpipers, comedians, and "special performance" by The Platters. Tickets $35 per person or $300 per table. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus Council #62, 545 Medford St., Charlestown | More Info)

BASILIERE BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a public meeting to present the design for a replacement of the Private First Class Ralph T. Basiliere Bridge, which carries Bridge Street over the Merrimack River and the abandoned B&M Railroad in Haverhill. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., UMass Lowell Innovation Center, 2 Merrimack St., Haverhill | More Info)

BROADWAY SAFETY MEETING: MassDOT hosts a public hearing to discuss proposed safety improvements and related work on Broadway between Williams Street and City Hall Avenue in Chelsea. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Williams Middle School, 180 Walnut St., Chelsea | More Info)

Friday, March 10, 2023

SJC SITS IN BOSTON: Supreme Judicial Court meets with three cases on the docket, all first-degree murder appeals. (Friday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Room 1, Boston | Court Calendar | Livestream)

MOBILE SPORTS BETTING: Gambling expands in a big way Friday as the Mass. Gaming Commission allows mobile sports betting companies to begin accepting wagers in time for the NCAA basketball tournament. Since casino-style gambling was legalized here in 2011, people have had to physically go somewhere to gamble. But that will no longer be the case as bettors gain access to sportsbooks on their smartphones and laptops, allowing them to bet on sports nearly everywhere in Massachusetts (tribal lands are blocked off) and as far as three miles off the Bay State's coast. The mobile betting operators expected to launch Friday are Barstool Sportsbook (Penn Sports Interactive), BetMGM, Betr, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and WynnBET. BallyBet and Fanatics are expected to launch in May and Betway is planning to wait a year until it begins taking wagers in Massachusetts. Those mobile options will join in-person betting operations at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor to round out the initial sports betting universe in Massachusetts. In other states, mobile betting has accounted for between 85 and 95 percent of all wagering activity, the Gaming Commission was told. (Friday, 10 a.m.)

CHICOPEE IRISH FLAG-RAISING: Chicopee Mayor Vieau holds Irish flag-raising ceremony to celebrate the republic's culture and heritage. (Friday, 10 a.m., City Hall, 17 Springfield St., Chicopee)

NEW JOBS DATA: Labor officials release preliminary Massachusetts unemployment rate and jobs data for January 2023 as well as revised data for 2022. Massachusetts crept closer to achieving a full pre-pandemic level of employment in December when employers added 6,300 jobs and the statewide unemployment rate ticked down to 3.3 percent. (Friday)

CANNABIS CONVENTION: The New England Cannabis Convention meets. The convention is expected to feature over 300 exhibitors, 100 industry speakers, awards, professional workshops and vendor training. (Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m., Hynes Convention Center, Boston)



From the Town of Franklin: Effective Monday, February 27th, 2023, the Franklin Senior Center will undergo a PARTIAL OPENING of the Common Grounds Cafe and Multi-purpose room ONLY. Access through the lobby is prohibited. All visitors will enter through through the multipurpose room doors. (doors left of main entrance). There will be signage indicating the new entry point.

Cafe Hours - Breakfast: 8:30 -10AM and Lunch is 11:30AM - 1PM

Staff at the Senior Center has worked diligently to accommodate programs during this time. Attached is the program schedule for the week of February 27th, 2023. Programs in green will take place in the Cafe, programs in blue will be held in the multi-purpose room, and programs in black have locations assigned to other spaces around town. You can call the senior center at 508-520-4945 with any questions.


Mon. Feb 27.

Library Board of Directors Meeting


Planning Board Meeting


Agricultural Commission Meeting


Tues. Feb. 28

Design Review Meeting Date


Weds. Mar 1.

Board of Health Meeting


Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting


Town Council Meeting


Thurs, Mar 2

School Comm. Community Relations Sub Comm. agenda


ZBA Meeting



Nearly two months after taking office, the nascent Healey-Driscoll administration next week will put to paper its vision of the future of state government and its first major legislation meant to address some of the most pressing issues affecting Bay Staters on a day-to-day basis. Gov. Maura Healey's first annual budget (H 1) and her long-awaited corresponding tax plan are expected to drop Wednesday -- a chance for the new governor to put her imprint on state spending and policy, make good on campaign promises, and providing plenty of opportunity for both supporters and critics to weigh in on her approach. Healey inherited a $52.7 billion annual budget that runs through June, and state tax revenues are expected to rise 1.6 percent next fiscal year, or 4.1 percent when including $1 billion the administration expects to haul in from the state's new income surtax. The governor has already shared preliminary local aid estimates, telling municipal officials to expect a total of $1.26 billion for general government aid (a $24.6 million or 2 percent increase) and $6.585 billion in Chapter 70 school funding (a $586 million or 9.8 percent boost). She previewed other parts of her first annual spending proposal, too: a $25.5 million or 24 percent increase in funding for school transportation reimbursement programs, full funding of charter school reimbursements at $243 million, a temporary change to create greater flexibility for school districts to spend expiring federal funds, and more. In her first speech as governor, Healey said that her first budget would pay for 1,000 new operations-focused workers to be hired at the MBTA by the end of 2023, propose and fund a "MassReconnect" program that will make community college free for people ages 25 and older who don't have a college degree, increase funding for the state university system "so everyone can afford a higher degree," commit at least 1 percent of the budget to environmental or energy agencies, triple the budget of the Mass. Clean Energy Center, and create a "green bank" to spur investment in resilient infrastructure and to attract related businesses to Massachusetts. The budget filing will kick off a months-long process on Beacon Hill that will see both the House and Senate rewrite Healey's proposal before sending the governor their compromise version, probably in late June or early July. Healey has to go first in the budget process, but she will also have the opportunity to amend or veto any final version that hits her desk.

Healey's tax plan is expected to be filed as its own separate legislation, a bill that could wend its way through the Legislature on a track parallel to the budget. Healey made tax relief a central theme of her campaign for governor, but she has so far given far fewer hints about what the tax proposal will include, saying last week that it will be "directed at making life more affordable for folks." Healey has called for an overhauled child tax credit of $600 and supported the package of Gov. Charlie Baker-proposed tax cuts the Legislature initially approved but never finalized last summer. In early August, then-candidate Healey said she was "so disappointed that the Legislature failed to act" on the tax package. "We've got an immediate situation on our hands," Healey told Bloomberg radio nearly seven months ago. "People are hurting right now in our state with high costs, and they can't afford any further delay. The Legislature has got to get back in session now and pass the tax relief package, and the governor needs to sign it." Since then, the Beacon Hill appetite for tax relief and reform has diminished. Last year's package revolved largely around relief for low-income residents, relief targeted to high-cost necessities and relief to address areas where Massachusetts tax law puts the state at a competitive disadvantage. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said that three things have changed since last year's tax talks fell apart, which the organization said together make the case for tax relief even stronger than last year. "The state's fiscal situation has further strengthened; The state has passed the largest tax increase in two decades; Cost pressures on families, low-income residents, retirees, and businesses have risen sharply," MTF said. The group highlighted six income and estate tax changes that it said could "provide relief for child care and housing cost pressures, and rationalize elements of the tax code to reduce disincentives for people and employers to locate in the state" at an annualized budget hit of $1.1 billion. Senate Republicans have also made suggestions to Healey. Led by Minority Leader Bruce Tarr -- who told Healey in early January that he had a "burlap sack of tax cut suggestions" he wanted to unpack with her -- the caucus sent a letter Friday to the governor making specific suggestions, to urge her to make sure her tax package is "substantial and broad-based, and to extend an offer of partnership in efforts to secure passage of a suite of meaningful relief measures."

Healey's budget and tax plan will likely end up pending alongside the three time-sensitive bills (H 47, H 51, H 52) she has already filed, one or several of which might emerge when the House gavels in for a formal session planned on Wednesday. One of those pending bills calls for using $130 million to provide recipients with 40 percent of their previous enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for another three months. Without action, the federal SNAP aid that has been boosted since the start of the pandemic is set to return to its pre-pandemic levels after March 2. Healey's office called her three-month plan an "offramp" to stave off a more abrupt end to the expanded benefits that more than 630,000 families receive. The other two bills she filed also have an eye on the clock, with the state's emergency shelter system running out of capacity and a universal school meals program on the verge of exhausting its funding while classes are still in session.

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023

FLYNN ON 4: Boston City Council President Ed Flynn talks with Jon Keller about the rent control debate, crime concerns, and expansion of city nightlife. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

KEATING ON 5: Congressman Keating is the guest on "On The Record," covering the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine and controversy over funding the replacement of the Cape Cod bridges. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

Monday, Feb. 27, 2023

SPORTS BETTING ROUNDTABLE: Mass. Gaming Commission holds a roundtable discussion to delve into the issue of sports betting marketing affiliates with operators, third-party marketing affiliates, responsible gambling advocates and others. The topics up for discussion include a description of the industry and various compensation arrangements and agreements in other states, a discussion of how marketing affiliates and their compensation arrangements impact the promotion of responsible gaming and consumer choice, and how regulation impacts the market. (Monday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOSPITALITY TRAINING CENTER: The Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport hosts a ribbon-cutting event to formally open its hospitality training center. Former Boston mayor and U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, who will leave that job in mid-March to become executive director of the NHL Players' Association, is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks. Other speakers include Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones, City of Boston Chief of Worker Empowerment Trinh Nguyen, Massport CEO Lisa Wieland, General Manager of the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport Michael Jorgensen, UNITE HERE Local 26 President Carlos Aramayo, BEST Board President Abrigal Forrester, BEST Executive Director Aisha Necoechea, and BEST graduates Tanisha Meranda, William Brown, and Margarida Silva. (Monday, 10 a.m., Marquee Room, Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, 450 Summer St., Boston)

WU ON RADIO: Boston Mayor Wu is a guest on "Radio Boston." (Monday, 11 a.m., WBUR-FM 90.9)

HOUSE, SENATE MEET: House and Senate meet in informal sessions. (Monday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT COMMITTEE: Disability Employment Subcommittee of the Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities meets virtually to hear a presentation from policy expert Nicole LeBlanc about the Maryland Employed Individuals with Disabilities Program. (Monday, 12 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HEALEY, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MEET: Gov. Healey, who must file her annual budget bill by Wednesday, meets privately with legislative leaders after returning to Massachusetts from a family vacation in Florida. A press availability will follow. (Monday, 2 p.m., Room 356)

AMERICAN REVOLUTION COMMITTEE - EDUCATION: Education Subcommittee of the Special Commission on the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution meets virtually to hear presentations from Robert Allison, who chairs the History, Language and Global Culture Department at Suffolk University, and Elyssa Tardif, director of education at the Massachusetts Historical Society. (Monday, 2 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

WORCESTER CHARTER SCHOOL: Board of Elementary and Secondary Education convenes for a special meeting to discuss a recommendation for a new charter school in Worcester. The proposed free public charter school, Worcester Cultural Academy Public School, has been at the center of controversy over the past several months after city and public school officials voiced their opposition to the proposed school. Students at the school, which would open in August 2023 for kindergarten through 4th-grade students and then expand to include students through 8th grade, would spend part of the week in museums and other cultural institutions for lessons. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley voiced his support for the school this week, and recommended that board members vote in favor of awarding a charter to the school. Board members are scheduled to discuss the application and Commissioner Riley's recommendation at Monday's special meeting, before voting on the measure at the board's monthly meeting on Tuesday. (Monday, 5 p.m. | Livestream )

WORCESTER REDLINING: The Worcester Historical Museum and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau host a forum about the history of redlining in Worcester. In December, The Research Bureau released its report "Static Income, Rising Costs: Renting in the Heart of the Commonwealth." As part of its analysis, the Bureau released the first digitized public version of the Federal Home Owners' Loan Corporation 1936 redlining map of Worcester, showing areas that had been systematically denied certain financial services based on residents' race, according to the Bureau. Robert Nelson, University of Richmond American studies professor and director of "Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America," will deliver keynote remarks. (Monday, 5 p.m. | Zoom)

BLACK EMPOWERMENT: Gov. Healey plans to sign an executive order establishing the Governor's Advisory Council on Black Empowerment, appoint more than 30 Black leaders from across the state to serve on it and then convene its first meeting. The council will advise the administration on "issues related to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of Massachusetts' Black community, including education, health care, housing and workforce development," Healey's office said. The council's co-chairs will be Tanisha Sullivan, president of the NAACP Boston and a former candidate for secretary of state, and Anthony Richards, vice president of equitable business development for the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency. (Monday)

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023

STUDENT DEBT RALLY: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley joins advocates and other members of Congress at a People's Rally for Student Debt Cancellation to call on the Supreme Court to affirm President Joe Biden's student debt cancellation plan. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., Steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First Street NE, Washington, D.C.)

EDUCATION BOARD: Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets. The board will take a vote on the application for a new charter school in Worcester, Worcester Cultural Academy Public School. They will also discuss amendments to educator license regulations and a new report on Boston Public Schools' data collection systems, transportation services, facilities, student assignment, and internal BPS complaints concerning student safety and bullying. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant St., Malden | Livestream)

ARCHITECTS & POLS: Rep. Roy of Franklin, co-chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee, gives welcoming remarks at the Mass. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' annual breakfast for new legislators. "The agenda is casual conversation over breakfast touching on topics of importance to the architectural profession," per AIA. RSVP to (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 11 Beacon St., Boston)

SPORTS WAGERING REGULATIONS: Mass. Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to accept input on a set of five regulations dealing with the sports betting industry. (Tuesday, 9:15 a.m., Notice and Access Info)

DENTAL HYGIENE: Lawmakers and State House staff can get oral health exams courtesy of the Mass. Dental Hygienists' Association, which holds its annual Dental Hygiene Day at the State House for the first time since 2020. Registered dental hygienists, public health dental hygienists, and dental hygiene students lobby for priorities like creation of a "dental therapist" role, "adequate reimbursement" for public health dental hygienists, and ability of qualified dental hygienists to administer dermal fillers/Botox and nitrous oxide. Courtesy exams provided throughout the day. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Grand Staircase)

LIGHT OF DAWNN AWARDS: Community organizations and nonprofits hold the 2023 Light of Dawnn Awards, honoring direct-service nonprofit professionals and high school seniors who show a commitment to community service. The awards are given in memory of Dawnn Jaffier, who was shot and killed at a parade in 2014. Participants include Highland Street Foundation Executive Director Blake Jordan, West End House Boys and Girls Club CEO Andrea Howard, John Hancock Director of Community Investment Annie Duong-Turner, Foundation To Be Named Later CEO Allyce Najimy, and Massachusetts Nonprofit Network CEO Jim Klocke. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., West End Boys and Girls Club, 105 Allston St., Allston | Register)

DISABILITY TAX CREDIT: Department of Revenue holds a public hearing on regulations related to the Disability Employment Tax Credit. The proposed regulation, 830 CMR 63.38JJ.1, explains the general rules for calculating and claiming the Disability Employment Tax Credit. The credit for an employee with a disability may be equal to $5,000 in their first year of employment, and $2,000 in subsequent years. This hearing is intended for employers and tax practitioners. (Tuesday, 10 a.m. | Remote Access)

LOTTERY COMMISSION: Mass. Lottery Commission meets, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing. In addition to the usual monthly update on sales and revenue, the commission is also expected to vote on a request to increase contract obligations by $1.5 million for scratch tickets, game designs and marketing. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Contact 781-917-6057 or for access)

GAMING COMMISSION: Mass. Gaming Commission meets and is expected to vote to finalize the temporary license for mobile betting company Digital Gaming Corporation USA and could vote to finalize five regulations that will get a public hearing earlier Tuesday. DGC USA does not plan to launch mobile betting in Massachusetts for another year. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HIGHER ED ADVOCACY DAY The Higher Ed for All coalition organizes an advocacy day at the State House to push for increased investments in public colleges and universities. The coalition's goals include implementing a debt-free college plan to cover tuition, fees and living expenses for higher education students; expanding existing student programs; addressing staffing shortages; and returning to the model of using public funding for public buildings on college and university campuses. A recent poll by Echo Cove Research commissioned by the Massachusetts Teachers Association showed nearly 90 percent of respondents favored boosting pay and providing benefits to adjunct faculty, and more than 80 percent supported both the funding of programs that provide services for disadvantaged students and increasing wages for faculty. Sen. Jo Comerford, Rep. Sean Garballey, MTA President Max Page, American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts President Beth Kontos and others hold a press conference in support of higher education funding. (Tuesday, 11:15 a.m., Room 428)

RARE DISEASE DAY: MassBIO hosts the annual Rare Disease Day at the State House to bring attention to research happening in Massachusetts to treat and cure rare diseases. Reps. Hannah Kane and Jay Livingstone, individuals living with a rare disease, family members and caregivers, health advocates, and patient organizations are scheduled to attend. A panel will discuss rare disease diagnosis and research, including president and founder of Soft Bones, Deborah Fowler, executive director of Massachusetts Sickle Cell Association, Jacqueline Haley, head of development at Moderna, Kyle Holen, vice president of new product launch and business insights at Takeda, Sare Largay, and co-founder and principal of Canary Advisors Jenn McNary. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Great Hall of Flags, State House)

WOMEN'S RIGHTS HISTORY TRAIL: Women's Rights History Trail Task Force meets virtually to discuss extending its reporting deadline. The task force, created in a law Gov. Baker signed in May 2022, faces a March 1 deadline to file recommendations about creating an educational trail of locations in Massachusetts linked to the historical fight for women's rights and women's suffrage. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

GAMING ADS: Boston Interactive Media Association, a network of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, hosts a "thought leadership event" to discuss how gaming companies can "capture the attention of your audience and ensure relevance at a time when competition is at its peak." Topics of discussion include "how to use eye-catching, data-driven creative in the gaming industry ... Why in-game advertising is becoming the next big advertising channel [and] how companies are tapping into the gaming ad space." Gaming ads -- and particularly sports gambling ads -- have taken over commercial breaks during many sports events and are plastered all over social media. More Info (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Mediahub, 2 Drydock Ave., Boston)

BLACK PHILANTHROPY: New England Blacks in Philanthropy holds a webinar on the state of Black philanthropy. Former CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Emmett Carson and business strategist Beverly Grant will join the forum. (Tuesday, 6 p.m. | Register & More Info)

BLUE HILL AVE. MEETING: MBTA hosts a virtual public meeting to solicit public feedback on plans to redesign Blue Hill Avenue in Boston to improve bus service. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

SALEM MAYOR FORUM: Candidates in the upcoming special election for mayor of Salem attend a forum. The forum precedes the March 28 preliminary election that will narrow the field of candidates to two. The final election will be held May 16 for a term ending in 2025. The special election follows the departure of now Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, who served as Salem's mayor from 2006 to 2023. The forum is organized by the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics at Salem State University, the League of Women Voters of Salem, The Salem Partnership, the Point Neighborhood Association, and the Historic Derby Street Neighborhood Association. Seating is limited and registration is required. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts at Salem State University, 356 Lafayette Street, Salem | Register)

MUNICIPAL CYBERSECURITY DEADLINE: Tuesday is the deadline for municipal leaders to respond to an anonymous survey the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Planning Committee, with assistance from the Office of Municipal and School Technology, is conducting to get a baseline on municipal cybersecurity to inform the state's use of $3.1 million in expected federal funds through the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) that will be made available in the fall. More Info (Tuesday)

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

BUDGET, TAX BILL EMERGE: Wednesday marks the statutory deadline for Gov. Healey to file her first annual state budget bill, kicking off months of legislative debate about a spending bill almost certain to carry a bottom line north of $50 billion. Healey has also said she plans to file a tax package the same day as the budget. (Wednesday)

SCHOOL BUILDING BOARD: Massachusetts School Building Authority meets. Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairs the meeting. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. | To access, contact

GAMING AGENDA-SETTING: Mass. Gaming Commission meets to select topics for discussion and action at future commission business meetings. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE FORMAL: House plans to meet in a full formal session, with roll calls starting at 1 p.m. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

UBER, LYFT DRIVERS PRESS FOR UNION: Uber and Lyft drivers gather in Lynn and make a collective drive to Uber local headquarters in Saugus, where organizers say they will demand the ride-hailing platform reinstate workers "unfairly deactivated" and voice support for legislation (HD 2071 / SD 1162) that would give drivers for the companies the ability to unionize, access to a base pay rate and protections such as unemployment insurance. Drivers will leave Lynn at 11:45 a.m. and plan to arrive at Uber's offices at 168 Broadway in Saugus by 12:15 p.m. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., 596 Lynnway, Lynn)

GAMING COMMISSION: Mass. Gaming Commission meets. The agenda calls for possible votes on sports betting-related regulations and a discussion of an annual report involving the sports wagering business manager. (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE DEMS CAUCUS: House Democrats meet in a private caucus before jumping into the business of a full formal session. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Rooms A-1 and A-2)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Governor's Council holds a routine formal session. Gov. Healey has not yet initiated the process of judicial nominations, which constitute the bulk of the council's work. The next step is likely an executive order to reconstitute the Judicial Nominating Commission, a panel appointed by the governor that pre-screens judicial applicants before some of them interview with the administration. "Our chief legal counsel's working hard on that, and so I know that we're reviewing draft executive orders and trying to move forward as expeditiously as possible," Lt. Gov. Driscoll told the News Service after a council meeting on Feb. 8. "We want to make sure we're being thoughtful about the approach, and there aren't any judicial openings right now, so we've got a little bit of time before that group will have to actually get to work." Driscoll said "there will be a few [judicial vacancies] coming up this spring" although "everything [had] been filled as of the end of the year," referring to Gov. Baker's appointment of a spate of new judges as he closed out his term in late 2022. The council is still operating with seven members instead of its full roster of eight, after former Councilor Jubinville chose to join the Judicial Branch following his reelection and was never sworn in for the new term. The state Constitution directs the Legislature to fill such vacancies, but legislative leaders have not signalled any plans to do so. Constituents from Council District 2 (Ashland, Attleboro, Avon, Bellingham, Bridgewater, Brockton, Canton, Dover, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Halifax, Hanson, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Milton, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Randolph, Sharon, Sherborn, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, Whitman, Wrentham, and part of Braintree) do not currently have representation on the council, which will be voting on whether to confirm or deny the new governor's picks for judgeships. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS: 1199SEIU personal care attendants rally for better wages and benefits to help address the shortage of PCAs in Massachusetts, as they begin bargaining with the state for a new contract. Elder and disability advocates, who receive care from PCAs, are expected to join them. Advocates will deliver a joint letter to Gov. Maura Healey "highlighting demands to invest in the future of homecare." (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Embrace Boston Memorial, Boston Common)

STATE OF THE OFFICE: Commercial real estate development group NAIOP Massachusetts holds a panel discussion to consider the role of the office, both past and future, and what it means for the commercial real estate sector. "How has hybrid work changed not only the demand, but also the nature of building amenities? How are employers and building owners 'earning the commute' of employees/tenants?" organizers asked. Event is sold out. (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Verizon, 100 Causeway St., Boston)

WIND PROCUREMENT COMMENTS: Wednesday is the deadline for the public comment period that the Department of Energy Resources, Massachusetts electric distribution companies and the attorney general's office is holding related to the planned fourth round of offshore wind procurements, which is expected to take place by May. Work is beginning on the fourth procurement as questions continue to swirl around the projects selected in the state's third procurement. (Wednesday, 5 p.m.)

SCOTUS PREVIEW: PioneerLegal, the Social Law Library and Federal Bar Association host a discussion of major upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases with Boston University Law School professors Gary Lawson and Jessica Silbey. The event will touch upon decisions that could impact same-sex marriage, redistricting, social media companies and more. (Wednesday, 5:45 p.m., UMass Club, 1 Beacon St., 32nd Floor, Boston | Register)

NEWTON CORNER TRAFFIC SIGNALS: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for traffic signal and safety improvements around exit 127 of Interstate 90 in Newton Corner. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

SOMERVILLE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to provide an update on proposed signal and intersection improvements at McGrath Highway and Mystic Avenue in Somerville. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

Thursday, March 2, 2023

HEALEY ADDRESSES BOSTON CHAMBER: One day after unveiling her first state budget bill and a separate tax package, Gov. Healey delivers her first address to business leaders at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President and CEO James Rooney will moderate a question-and-answer session after Healey's remarks. Press should RSVP to Casey Baines at (Thursday, 9:45 a.m., Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston)

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches plan to hold informal sessions. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

CLEAN ENERGY RALLY: Activists gather for a "Boston Fee Party," calling for reform to New England's electric grid to end its dependence on fossil fuels. "There is no state representation on the board of the regional grid operator (ISO-New England), and that grid operator's decisions have contributed to skyrocketing electric rates tied to rising gas prices," activists write, calling for "No rate elevation without representation." Rep. Mike Connolly of Cambridge is scheduled to attend, along with Noemy Rodriguez of GreenRoots, Gabe Cohen-Glinick of Neighbor to Neighbor, and Mireille Bejjani of Slingshot. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Boardwalk next to Boston Children's Museum, 306 Congress St., Boston)

WELLINGTON CIRCLE STUDY: MassDOT staff host a virtual public meeting about a study examining possible changes to the transportation infrastructure at Wellington Circle in Medford. (Thursday, 1 p.m., More Info)

SUDBURY/WAYLAND RAIL TRAIL MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for a proposed "rail-to-trail" project in Sudbury and Wayland involving the existing MBTA railroad right of way. (Thursday, 6 p.m., More Info)

MANSFIELD CORRIDOR MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for proposed corridor improvements on Route 106, known as Chauncy Street, from state Route 140 to Copeland Drive in Mansfield. (Thursday, 7 p.m., More Info)

Friday, March 3, 2023

COMMUNICATION FOR COMPETITIVE EDGE: Commercial real estate industry group NAIOP Massachusetts hosts a professional development event titled "Effective Communication - Igniting Your Competitive Edge." (Friday, 10:30 a.m., More Info)

Saturday, March 4, 2023

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES CONFERENCE: The Federation for Children with Special Needs hosts the 23rd annual Visions of Community Conference. Participants will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chapter 766, the special education law intended to guarantee the rights of young people with disabilities to an educational program best suited to their specific needs. The Massachusetts law was a model for the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act passed in 2004. The conference will be held virtually. Topics will include: special education, trauma, self-care, self-advocacy, health services and benefits, transition planning and racial equity. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday night, disability advocate Judy Neumann will host a "fireside chat." All other events are on Saturday. (Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m. | Register)


Moments after he secured the job with unanimous support, the incoming chancellor for UMass Amherst set his sights on working together with other universities to build up "the competitiveness of the commonwealth." The University of Massachusetts system's trustees confirmed the selection of Javier Reyes as the next top leader at the flagship campus. UMass President Marty Meehan's recommended Reyes for the job on Wednesday. "This is a pretty historic selection, and since the release went out yesterday, I've heard nothing but a buzz and excitement from folks who have reached out across the state, from the campus to alumni," said UMass trustee Jose Delgado.—State House News Service

Tues. Feb. 21





Open Space and Recreation Plan Public Hearing 1

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Weds. Feb 22

Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting


Thurs, Feb 23

Open Space and Recreation Plan Meeting

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Conservation Commission Meeting



This [past] week's leadership and committee assignments clear a path for significantly more activity in the six-week-old session, but probably not until after school vacation week. Gov. Maura Healey has put three time-sensitive bills (H 47, H 51, H 52) before lawmakers -- each of which are candidates for early action this session -- and the formation of standing and joint committees will permit those bills and others to get public hearings and perhaps begin moving through the Legislature. Healey said this week that she's putting finishing touches on her fiscal 2024 budget bill and a tax package that is expected to provide targeted relief to certain populations. Those two bills are scheduled to land on March 1, after school vacation week, and will trigger budget hearings leading up to the House's consideration in April of a redrafted version of Healey's budget. The Senate's annual budget debate occurs in May. The Boston City Council will help fill the policy void next week with a hearing on a controversial effort, which would require clearance from Beacon Hill, to bring back rent control. Healey says solving the housing crisis is a priority, but has not signaled if she supports the idea offered by Mayor Michelle Wu. Steep rent increases are making life tough for tenants and making the state less attractive for employers, but there's no consensus on whether rent regulation is the best approach or whether other measures should be taken to boost housing supply. The virtual hearing will be held by the Government Operations Committee chaired by Hyde Park Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who also represents Mattapan, Readville and Roslindale residents.

Committees Starting Up Operations

With committee rosters now filled out (Senate Democrats | House Democrats | House Republicans), the early-session organizational work is nearly complete. But before those committees can hit full stride, they have a bit more administrative business to attend to in addition to their members getting to know each other and, in some cases, the new chairpeople. Each joint standing committee has four weeks from its appointment to adopt a set of rules that will govern the committee's conduct for the session. The rules differ from committee to committee, but they generally all address the same things: how the chairs will schedule bills for hearings, who will chair those hearings, the manner in which testimony will be accepted, and how the committee will vote to report bills out to the House and/or Senate or discharge them to other committees. In most cases, the committee chairs are empowered to jointly assemble the hearing schedule, and joint rules call for each committee to submit to the clerks "a schedule for committee hearings to be held from the beginning of the first annual session through the fourth Wednesday in June in said session." Like committee rules themselves, those hearing schedules are supposed to be available to the public on the Legislature's website but not all committees follow through and submit a full schedule to the clerks. Committees can always put additional hearings on the calendar. The co-chairs are often given the power to "use their discretion in scheduling the order of bills to be heard," "group legislation by category," or to schedule hearings "according to subject matter," based on a review of the committee rules from last session on file with the House clerk's office (in some cases they are the same rules used the previous session). The ability to determine the order in which bills come before their committee gives co-chairs a bit of power over the agendas of the House and Senate since most legislation that comes up for a vote gets vetted first by at least one committee. The order in which a committee schedules its bills for hearings can sometimes offer insight into the priorities of the chairs or the legislative leaders who picked the chairs. After a committee has taken testimony on a bill, it generally has two options for reporting it out: the chairs can schedule an executive session of the committee or can decide instead to poll committee members, usually by email. The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security last session allowed the chairs to poll members "in concert with or in lieu of an executive session," and some committees allow for a poll if a member or members request one. Some committees write specific timelines for polls into their rules. The Joint Committee on Education required last session that polls "shall remain open for 24 hours or until such time as all members have responded to the poll" and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs required that members be notified 48 hours in advance of a poll. Other committees, like the Joint Committee on Transportation, require only that members have "a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the chairs" to vote in polls. Electronic polls have become the most common way for committees to advance legislation in recent years and few committees publicize them in the same way many used to with in-person executive sessions, which can leave those not on the inside in the dark. -- Colin A. Young

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023

BICKFORD ON 4: State Democratic Party's outgoing chairman, Gus Bickford, talks with Jon Keller about the party's past and future, its inability to bring down former Gov. Baker, and potential renomination of Joseph Biden for president. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

PRESSLEY ON 5: Congresswoman Pressley is the guest on a special Black History Month edition of "On The Record," talking about key issues for Black and Brown residents. Ed Harding and Jessica Brown host. A roundtable discussion follows with Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker and political analyst Mary Anne Marsh. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

Monday, Feb. 20, 2023

PRESIDENTS DAY FESTIVAL: "Washington's Birthday" under federal law, Monday marks the holiday popularly known as Presidents Day. At Columbia Point, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum hosts a Presidents Day Festival featuring reenactors who portray Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, and First Lady Abigail Adams. After listening to the historical figures, attendees can ask them in-character questions. And because 2023 will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Kennedy administration, the museum will showcase performances of Kennedy campaign songs and host tours that highlight the Bay Stater's 1961-1963 time in the White House. In addition to in-person attendance, a virtual streaming option is available. (Monday, 11 a.m., Kennedy Museum, Columbia Point, Boston | More Info)

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

SALEM TRIAL: Testimony begins in trial of two defendants charged with the July 4, 2020, murder of 35-year-old Noe Hernandez of Lynn. The case is prosecuted by the office of new Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker, a former state representative. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Courtroom J, Salem Superior Court, Salem)

SALEM HEARING: A status hearing is held in the case of an Alabama man charged with murder in connection with the 1988 death of Melissa Tremblay of Salem, N.H., whose body was found in Lawrence. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Courtroom K, Salem Superior Court, Salem)

IWO JIMA DAY: Marine Corps League hosts Iwo Jima Day ceremonies to honor veterans of the Pacific Theatre battle fought 78 years ago. This marks a return for the annual event, which was last hosted in 2020 prior to the pandemic. "There are only a few veterans of Iwo Jima still living. We request that you attend this event to honor them," John MacGillivray of the Marine Corps League wrote in a memo to lawmakers this month. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Memorial Hall)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate hold informal sessions to start the four-day week. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023

BOSTON RENT CONTROL HEARING: Boston City Council's Government Operations Committee, chaired by Councilor Arroyo of Hyde Park, holds online-only hearing on a proposed home rule petition "authorizing the City of Boston to implement rent stabilization and tenant eviction protection." Other members of the committee are Councilors Louijeune (vice chair), Worrell, Mejia, Bok, Coletta, and Flaherty. Hearing is facilitated over Zoom for anyone who wants to speak, but the committee will only make Zoom link available to people who email Christine O'Donnell at Written testimony can also be sent to O'Donnell or to (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Livestreamed at, and on TV: Xfinity 8/RCN 82/Fios 964 | More Info)

FLOATING OFFSHORE WIND -- DAY ONE: Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Sen Ed Markey are among the speakers on day one of a two-day virtual conference on the White House's Floating Offshore Wind Shot, which seeks to cut the cost of floating offshore wind energy by more than 70 percent by 2035. The Department of Energy said the event will "underscore the vast potential of floating offshore wind to reliably power millions of American homes and businesses, lower energy costs, boost local economies and support President Biden's clean energy goals." Floating wind technology could be key to eventual offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Maine, an area that many advocates think could be primed to host some of the dozens of wind farms that will be needed to meet various state and federal procurement goals. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., More Info)

AAPI COMMISSION SWEARING-IN: Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission will be sworn in. The event will feature remarks from Commissioner Saatvik Ahluwalia, Executive Director Padamsee Forbes and Treasurer Goldberg, who will inaugurate commissioners. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Nurses Hall | Agenda and Livestream)

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023

CANNABIS COMMISSION: Mass. Cannabis Control Commission is expected to meet for what would be its second business meeting of the month. (Thursday, 10 a.m., More Info TBA)

STATE RETIREMENT BOARD: Massachusetts State Retirement Board holds its monthly meeting virtually. Treasurer Goldberg chairs. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Agenda | Email for access)

AFTER-SCHOOL LEARNING GRANTS: Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper joins city officials, neighborhood leaders and education professionals to announce $2 million in new after-school learning grants. The event will also feature a roundtable discussion about social emotional learning and quality enrichment. Attendees include Boston After School & Beyond Executive Director Chris Smith, Boston Senior Advisor for Youth and Schools Rebecca Grainger, Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center CEO Toni Wiley, ACEDONE Founder and Executive Director Abdul Hussein, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center CEO Ben Hires, and Boxing Power and Fitness CEO Donald Houston. Four recipients of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's After School/Out-of-School Time Rebound grants will also participate. Press asked to RSVP to by 8 a.m. Thursday. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center, 950 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester)

GAMING COMMISSION: Mass. Gaming Commission plans to hear more about MGM Springfield's illegal acceptance of wagers on Harvard men's basketball games, discuss scheduling the review of Raynham Park's sports betting license, and potentially vote to finalize the temporary licensing process for the mobile betting operators expected to launch March 10. A slate of horse racing matters, including a discussion of unpaid winnings, are also on the agenda. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate likely hold informal sessions. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

FLOATING OFFSHORE WIND -- DAY TWO: Maine Gov. Janet Mills and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards are among the speakers at the second day of the federal government's floating offshore wind summit. Floating wind technology could be key to eventual offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Maine, an area that many advocates think could be primed to host some of the dozens of wind farms that will be needed to meet various state and federal procurement goals. (Thursday, 11 a.m., More Info)

MASS. FREIGHT PLAN: MassDOT's Freight Advisory Committee, which is overseeing analysis of next steps for rail, air, truck, maritime and freight transportation, convenes its second meeting virtually to discuss work completed since the first meeting. (Thursday, 11 a.m., More Info)

DA RYAN TRAINS TAKEDA: Middlesex County DA Ryan holds domestic violence awareness training for employees of Takeda Pharmaceutical's Lexington campus. Closed to press. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Virtual)

"SELMA" SCREENING IN CHICOPEE: City of Chicopee joins with Reps. Arriaga and Finn and Sen. Gomez to host a free film screening and discussion to commemorate Black History Month. Organizers will show "Selma," the 2014 film about the 1965 voting rights marches, followed by a Q&A with local activists and scholars. (Thursday, 4:45 p.m., Chicopee City Hall Auditorium, 274 Front St., Chicopee)

GLOUCESTER BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to discuss the proposed reconstruction of the Western Avenue bridge over Blynman Canal in Gloucester. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

BEACON HILL 101: ACLU of Massachusetts hosts a virtual session called "Massachusetts State Legislature 101: How does it all work anyway?" The hourlong info session will touch upon "the structure of our state legislature, what happens over the course of our 2 year legislative session, and different scenarios for a how a bill becomes law," organizers said. The event is hosted in collaboration with the Boston Public Library. (Thursday, 7 p.m., More Info)

Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

MBTA BOARD MEETING: MBTA Board of Directors meets virtually. (Friday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

MONETARY POLICY FORUM: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins gives remarks via pre-recorded video as part of a panel discussion at the 2023 US Monetary Policy Forum in New York City, hosted by the Initiative on Global Markets of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. (Friday, 1:30 p.m., More Info)

STRETCH CODE COMMENTS: Deadline to submit public comments on the technical guidance that the Department of Energy Resources issued related to the implementation of updates to the existing stretch code and a new net-zero specialized stretch code that the state hopes will encourage builders to shift away from fossil fuel heating in favor of electrification. DOER released its final language for the new net-zero code required by the 2021 climate roadmap law in September and issued the guidance on Jan. 5. Comments can be sent by email to with the words "technical guidance comments" in the subject line or by mail to Ian Finlayson, Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114. (Friday, 5 p.m., More Info)

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023

PRESSLEY AT NAACP AWARDS: U.S. Rep. Pressley attends the 54th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. The two-hour ceremony broadcasted on live television grants awards to people of color for performances in film, television, theater, music, podcasts and literature. Pressley was featured in Hulu's "The Hair Tales," where she discussed her struggles with hair loss, which has been nominated for the NAACP's Outstanding News/Information Image Award. (Saturday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m, Broadcasted on BET)

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