People, Power, and Politics


A recent tweet from the Franklin Fire Department brings the news that firefighter/paramedic Nick Brosseau has graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy Career Recruit Class #S31.(FFD image)


Mon. Mar. 27

School Comm. Space Needs & Facilities agenda


Library Board of Directors Meeting


Planning Board Meeting


Agricultural Comm Agenda


Tues. Mar. 28

Design Review Meeting Date


Weds. Mar 29

School Comm. Community Relations Sub Committee agenda


Thurs., Mar. 30

2023 MetroWest Arts and Culture Symposium

6:30pm to 9:00pm

ZBA Meeting



The pace is picking up on Beacon Hill, where Gov. Maura Healey, who has three weeks remaining in her first 100 days, finally has an opportunity to sign her first major piece of legislation. Legislative committees have scheduled eight hearings in the days ahead, including one on tax relief. House Speaker Ron Mariano is coming out of a quiet period with some public appearances that may shed light on the House's early session plans. And the intrigue over the long, and so far fruitless, search for a new MBTA general manager continues while the T limps along with diminished services and plans shutdowns to address track repairs that are lengthening commutes for riders who don't have the option of remote work. Transportation, energy and environmental issues are on the menu for a fiscal 2024 budget hearing Monday in Dartmouth. At the State House on Monday, lawmakers will also gather to hear the Healey administration describe its still-unfulfilled vision of a new state housing secretariat. Health care and human services, including public health and mental health, are up for discussion Tuesday in Arlington in the second of back-to-back budget hearings. Also Tuesday, lawmakers will again gather at the State House, and virtually, for a public hearing on Healey's nearly $1 billion tax relief proposal and related bills addressing the type of tax relief the governor wants. Constitutional amendments are up for debate before the Judiciary Committee the same day, including proposals from Rep. Jenny Armini of Marblehead declaring that the governor's title shall be "Her Excellency, His Excellency, or Their Excellency," and the lieutenant governor's title shall be "Her Honor, His Honor, or Their Honor." Housing and Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao publicly and formally introduces herself on Wednesday to lawmakers, who plan some Q&A and to hear about the economic development, budget and tax policy priorities. Mariano addresses a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday at the Colonnade Hotel. And lawmakers wind down their week with a trip to Cape Ann, where they will meet at Cruiseport Gloucester to discuss labor, workforce, housing and economic development issues. If that's not enough, five planets will start to align in the night sky and be visible in the coming days. "If evening skies are cloud free, one has the chance to see Jupiter, Venus and Mars, plus the crescent moon at sunset. As a bonus, two of the harder-to-spot planets, Uranus and Mercury, will also be closely aligned, making them easier to locate," said UMass Lowell astronomer Silas Laycock.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

CAPE VERDEAN-JEWISH SEDER: Boston City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson and former Councilor Josh Zakim are among the speakers at an annual Cape Verdean-Jewish Passover Seder, which this year is dedicated to the theme of "Traditions That Guide Us." Cape Verdean recording artist Bino Barros and Jewish klezmer vocalist-accordionist Kaia Berman Peters perform, and scholar Zelinda Cohen talks about the Cape Verdean-Jewish connection. "For the past 16 years this event has given Jews and Cape Verdeans the opportunity to share their cultures and celebrate commonalities and interconnected histories. ... Due to two waves of Jewish immigration to Cape Verde and generations of intermarriage, a large number of Cape Verdeans have Jewish ancestors," organizers wrote. (Sunday, 2 p.m., Thelma D. Burns Building, 575 Warren St., Roxbury)

CONGRESSWOMAN CLARK ON 4: Congresswoman Clark talks with Jon Keller about the partisan divide in the U.S. House, where she now serves as minority whip, along with Democrats' prospects for regaining the majority next year and her push for more child care funding. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

SPEAKER MARIANO ON 5: House Speaker Mariano is the guest on "On The Record." Hosts Sharman Sacchetti and Ed Harding ask the speaker about Auditor DiZoglio's probe of the Legislature, affordability of community college proposals, the governor's lengthy process of picking a new MBTA general manager, and sports betting revenue. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

Monday, March 27, 2023

LYNN MURDER CASE: Trial against Lynn resident John Michelin, 37, continues following the 2017 death of Bret Reilly, according to the office of Essex DA Tucker. A grand jury in 2018 indicted Michelin and Darrin Stephens on murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapons charges for Reilly's death. (Monday, 9 a.m., Salem Superior Court, Courtroom J)

BAA UNVEILS NEW MARATHON SPONSOR: After 37 years with lead sponsor John Hancock Insurance, Boston Athletic Association holds "special event" to announce its new sponsorship partner for the Boston Marathon "who will take over ... from 2024 onward." BAA President Jack Fleming speaks along with Boston Mayor Wu, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, and senior officials from the new sponsor. An advisory from the BAA said the exact location of the event would be shared after an RSVP, though the Boston Business Journal reported Friday that the sponsorship unveiling will be at 100 Federal St., which serves as the New England headquarters for Bank of America. Media registration starts at 9:15 a.m. Media RSVP to (Monday, 9:30 a.m., downtown Boston)

APPRENTICESHIP NETWORK: Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce hosts celebration of the Massachusetts Apprentice Network highlighting data from the network's first year and apprenticeship best practices. Speakers include Chamber CEO James Rooney, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones, Pallavi Verma of Accenture, and Heather Hampton of Global partners. The network expects to be responsible for hiring 1,000 apprentices by 2027, according to the chamber. Press RSVP to (Monday, 9:30 a.m., 265 Franklin St., Boston)

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. (Monday, 10 a.m., More Info)

REVOLUTIONARY WAR ANNIVERSARY: Education Subcommittee of the state's American Revolution 250th Anniversary Commission meets to hear from two guest speakers Lee Wright and Carrie Lund. They are the founders of The Pursuit of History, which describes itself as the group behind History Camp Boston. Subcommittee also plans to discuss "next steps" as milestone celebrations approach. This December marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, and there are 25 months left until the Sestercentennial of the Battle of Lexington -- the first shots in the War for Independence. (Monday, 10 a.m., Virtual)

WARREN GOES TO EARLY ED: U.S. Sen. Warren tours Nurtury Early Education in Mission Hill, where she will discuss federal legislation she filed to expand access to affordable child care and boost investment in the industry. Press should RSVP to (Monday, 10 a.m., Nurtury Center at Horadan Way, 38 Horadan Way, Mission Hill)

WU ON RADIO: Boston Mayor Wu makes a monthly appearance on "Radio Boston." The program plans to ask her about the MBTA, rent control, and police. (Monday, 11 a.m., WBUR-FM 90.9)

HOUSING SECRETARIAT HEARING: State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee holds hearing on Gov. Healey's proposal to bifurcate the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. The governor wants to create a new Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities and recast EOHED as the Executive Office of Economic Development. Among the details of the bureaucracy reshuffling is authorization for a new Housing Works program akin to the MassWorks municipal infrastructure grants program. The committee must vote on this proposal within 10 days of the hearing, and the Legislature then has 60 days to approve or disapprove of the plan on the floor. Lawmakers over the years have largely honored the reorganization plans submitted by governors. If the branches don't act on it within those 60 days the Healey plan would take effect, as was the case with some of Gov. Baker's reorg proposals. Those wishing to testify virtually in this hybrid hearing were required to register by 3 p.m. Friday. Written testimony can be submitted to Jordan Latham at or Haley Dillon by 5 p.m. Monday. Committee advised that "the Chairs may schedule an executive session to coincide with this hearing." (Monday, 11 a.m., Gardner Auditorium and Virtual)

BABY BONDS BRIEFING: Treasurer Goldberg and her Office of Economic Empowerment hold a briefing with members of the Legislature on "Baby Bonds." Goldberg's Baby Bonds Task Force recommended the creation of government-sponsored trust funds for eligible children to be created at birth and accessible in adulthood for asset-building investments, like attending post-secondary education, buying a home or starting a business. (Monday, 11 a.m., Zoom)

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches hold informal sessions to kick off the week. Senate leadership hopes to take up the local road maintenance bond bill Thursday, which includes state borrowing for Chapter 90 and other grant programs, and the Senate could use its Monday session to tee it up and set an amendment deadline. (Monday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers | House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

BUDGET HEARING - ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPO: Joint Committee on Ways and Means treks to UMass Dartmouth for its next hearing on Gov. Healey's $55.5 billion fiscal 2024 budget bill, this time planning to focus on environment and energy as well as transportation investments. Both areas are major themes of Healey's state budget proposal, with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in line for a 24 percent funding increase and new investments targeted at the MBTA and Department of Transportation. In addition to EEA and MassDOT, lawmakers plan to hear from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Merit Rating Board, Aeronautics Commission and Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Recreation, Environmental Protection, Energy Resources, Public Utilities, and Fish and Game. (Monday, 11 a.m., UMass Dartmouth, Carney Library, Grand Reading Room | Livestream)

CHILDREN'S CABINET: Child care advocates meet to lobby for legislation to create a "Children's Cabinet." A bill by Reps. Khan and Cabral and Sen. DiDomenico (S 79 and H 189) would create a Children's Cabinet within the governor's office to "promote interdepartmental collaboration to ensure optimal coordination of services to promote the goals of health, safety, economic stability, self-sufficiency, and quality of life of children and families." The bill calls for the Cabinet to include the secretaries and commissioners of the major executive offices and agencies that serve children. The bill would also establish an advisory committee made up of child-serving health care professionals, parents and young people. "Many state programs serve children in the Commonwealth providing critically important services for our most vulnerable children and families. Key services include education, child welfare, MassHealth, family homelessness programs, behavioral health services, early education and care. Yet state entities often fail to communicate and coordinate with each other, leading to inconsistent focus and inefficient resource allocation to advance the health and wellbeing of children in the Commonwealth. The limited available data about the effectiveness of these programs and services makes it difficult to assess quality and progress toward the goal of healthy kids and families," says an advisory for the event. (Monday, 3 p.m., Room 428)

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

YOUTHBUILD COALITION: Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition honors Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence and Sen. Liz Miranda of Boston at its annual State House advocacy day. Coalition plans to "celebrate and elevate the voices of opportunity youth" at its first in-person State House event since 2020. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Great Hall)

GAMING COMMISSION: Among the issues expected to get an airing before the Mass. Gaming Commission is third-party affiliate marketing, in which a company pays content websites and publishers to drive customers to its product, particularly as it relates to the sports betting industry. Advertising regulations that the Gaming Commission promulgated on an emergency basis in January do not allow sports betting companies to enter into revenue sharing or cost-per-acquisition agreements with third-party marketing affiliates if the compensation is based on the number of people who sign up for an account or based on the number or amount of wagers placed because of those advertisements. The industry wants the commission to at least relax its regulation, but Attorney General Campbell's office has been urging commissioners to keep it as it is. The agenda also includes an update on a civil administrative penalty assessed under the state's casino-style gaming law. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

LOTTERY COMMISSION: Mass. Lottery Commission meets, with Treasurer 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 spending on advertising services to the tune of an extra $250,000. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Contact 781-917-6057 or for access)

MARKEY HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION: U.S. Sen. Markey joins Congressman Robert Garcia of California, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs of California and advocates from the Human Rights Campaign and Council for Global Equity for a press conference about legislation Markey's office says will "reaffirm the United States' role in protecting and promoting LGBTQI+ rights on the world stage." (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Senate Swamp, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. | Livestream)

CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS: Rep. Ashe and Sen. Gobi host Massachusetts homeowners for a "Residents Against Crumbling Concrete" legislative advocacy day, where organizers say they will call for legislative action "aimed at addressing the pyrrhotite and crumbling foundation issue" that central Massachusetts residents face. Homeowners for years have been asking Beacon Hill to intervene and help address concrete foundations deteriorating due to the presence of pyrrhotite. Senators signaled last year they were working on a response bill, but little action has been taken. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room 428)

BUDGET HEARING - HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: MassHealth, the largest program in the state budget, will be an area of focus as the Joint Ways and Means Committee holds a fiscal 2024 budget hearing to dive into proposed health and human services spending. Gov. Healey's budget proposes a gross decrease of $1.9 billion in funding for MassHealth, or $254 million after reimbursements, driven by an upcoming process of redetermining eligibility for the state's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program that the administration expects will shrink the rolls by about 400,000. The committee plans to hear from MassHealth officials as well as representatives from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Department of Children and Families, Department of Developmental Services, Center for Health Information and Analysis, and Executive office of Elder Affairs. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Robbins Memorial Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington)

HEALEY TAX BILL HEARING: Supporters and opponents of Gov. Healey's roughly $1 billion annual tax package -- and legislators who are almost certain to rewrite the measure if and when it advances -- make their case at a Revenue Committee hybrid hearing. Healey's bill (H 42) would combine a new $600-per-dependent tax credit for parents and caregivers with larger breaks for renters and seniors, and it would also triple the estate tax threshold to $3 million and slash the short-term capital gains tax rate from 12 percent to 5 percent. Fellow Democrats and left-leaning advocates have given mixed reactions to Healey's bill, praising the dependent credit and breaks for renters and seniors while slamming the estate and capital gains reforms as benefits primarily for the wealthy. Supporters of those measures argue that Massachusetts is an outlier on both fronts and needs reforms to remain competitive as a home for both businesses and residents. Healey's bill is not the only one on the docket for the early-session event, which will also consider about 50 other tax proposals the committee's agenda describes as "germane to" the governor's push. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room A-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

SALISBURY MURDER HEARING: Salem Superior Court holds a bail hearing for 64-year-old Judy Church of Salisbury, according to the office of Essex DA Paul Tucker. Authorities allege that Church fatally poisoned her boyfriend with ethylene glycol, which NBC 10 Boston reported is a chemical often found in antifreeze, ink and hydraulic brake fluid. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Salem Superior Court, Courtroom K)

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Committee on the Judiciary takes public testimony on 11 legislative proposals to amend the state Constitution, including three measures that would linguistically account for non-male governors and lieutenant governors. As currently written, the Constitution assigns titles to the governor and LG -- "His Excellency" and "His Honor." A pair of proposals (H 30, H 31) filed by first-term Rep. Jenny Armini would add "Her" and "Their" versions of both titles. A Sen. Will Brownsberger proposal (S 10) deals more extensively with gender references to the governor and LG throughout the Constitution, replacing male-only pronouns with "he or she" and "his or her," including the section about how a governor can "signify his approbation" of a bill or resolve by signing it. Generally speaking, legislative proposals to amend the Constitution are filed, testimony is heard, they are placed on the Constitutional Convention Calendar, then die toward the end of the term without a floor vote. Proposals are refiled session after session on topics like eminent domain land takings (H 35), a succession plan to fill vacancies in the office of lieutenant governor (H 38), and requiring judicial officers to reappear every seven years for re-confirmation by the Governor's Council (H 34). Committees will be holding early hearings this spring on Constitutional amendments as they face an April 26 deadline to issue a positive or negative report on them. Lawmakers then face a May 10 deadline to call up a proposal to be placed on the Constitutional Convention Calendar, and May 10 also marks the deadline to convene the Con Con for this session. This hearing will be held in a hybrid manner, and those wishing to testify virtually must register by 5 p.m. on March 27. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Full Agenda)

MBTA TITLE VI CHANGES MEETING: MBTA staff host a public meeting to solicit feedback on proposed changes to the T's "disparate impact and disproportionate burden policy" and "public engagement plan process." The policies relate to the agency's compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Proposed updates include language describing the board approval process necessary for major service or fare changes, redefining "major service change" to account for network-wide effects, and information about accessible public meetings. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., La Collaborativa, 318 Broadway, Chelsea | More Info)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

HAO AT AIM FORUM: Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao speaks at an Associated Industries of Massachusetts executive forum on supplier diversity, followed by a panel discussion including Franklin Cummings Institute CEO Dr. Aisha Francis, DRB Inc. CEO Anthony Samuels, and Point32Health vice president of procurement strategic sourcing Keith Wang. Speakers will look at "economic opportunities for all businesses in the state while focusing on how working with diverse vendors can foster innovation, create jobs and recruit and retain employees in this competitive environment." (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Microsoft New England, One Memorial Dr., Cambridge | Registration)

PEACE WALK PREPARATIONS: Louis D. Brown Peace Institute holds community briefing over a continental breakfast to talk about its upcoming 27th annual Mother's Day Walk For Peace, including a new route for the walk and sponsorship opportunities. The walk is set for May 14 and this year's theme is "Cultivating Cycles of Peace." RSVP to Kari Johnston at (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Hampshire House, 84 Beacon St., Boston)

HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE RESEARCH: Health Policy Commission convenes a special event to present new research about health care workforce issues in Massachusetts and specific challenges related to direct care workers, behavioral health providers and registered nurses. Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh will deliver a keynote address at the start of the event. Following the HPC's presentation, two panels will talk about the state of the workforce and possible policy solutions. Industry leaders are grappling with worker shortages that are driving up costs and making it more difficult for people to access services. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Suffolk Law School, Keches Room, 120 Tremont St., Boston | Agenda | Register | Livestream)

IMMIGRANT ADVOCACY DAY: Mass. Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition hosts annual Immigrants' Day at the State House, returning to an in-person event for the first time since COVID-19 hit the state. The coalition expects remarks from Gov. Healey, Rep. Rita Mendes of Brockton, and Crisayda Belen, the campaign director for last year's successful "Yes on 4" push to uphold the immigrant driver's license law. Other speakers include Dr. Laith Almatwari and La Colaborativa health advocate Brenda Romero. Rep. Danillo Sena of Acton emcees. "As we see the immigrant rights movement strengthening in Massachusetts, we also see opportunities for New Beginnings in immigration politics and immigrant-led initiatives," MIRA writes. "After last year's election, we have a legislature that reflects the state's diversity better than ever before and a governor who respects the contributions of our communities. Our coalition has a fresh opportunity to drive policies that expand access and opportunity through improved language access, housing security, healthcare & education access, and much more." (Wednesday, 9 a.m., State House | Registration)

RGGI PROGRAM REVIEW: States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative solicit feedback on electricity sector analysis, a component of its program review, during two virtual meetings that also feature an update on program review considerations. In their third program review, the RGGI states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia) are looking at "the successes, impacts, and design elements of their CO2 budget trading programs." Meetings are held via phone and webinar at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Second session is in both English and Spanish. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Access Info)

DLTA ADVOCACY DAY: Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies host an advocacy day focused on District Local Technical Assistance, or DLTA, which are planning dollars that assist cities and towns with infrastructure, green spaces, and housing projects. Rep. Donato and Sen. Eldridge plan to attend alongside representatives from planning agencies. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Member's Lounge)

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Senate Majority Leader Creem speaks at the Moms Demand Action Massachusetts Chapter's advocacy day about efforts to reduce gun violence. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Gardner Auditorium | Registration)

SECRETARY HAO TALKS TO LAWMAKERS: Lawmakers on the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee hold a "listening session" to hear from Gov. Healey's housing and economic development secretary, Yvonne Hao. The event will feature talk about the administration's economic development priorities "as well as updates on budgetary and tax legislation relevant to the economic development of the Commonwealth." Hao is the only speaker at the invite-only hearing. (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., Room A-2 | Agenda)

SPILKA AT HEALTH CARE CENTER OPENINGS: Senate President Spilka attends the opening of United Health Care's new Framingham facility at 2:30 p.m. (1094 Worcester Rd., Framingham), then joins other elected officials at a celebration of the opening of Tufts Medicine Cancer Center in Framingham at 4 p.m. (MetroWest Medical Center, 67 Union St., Natick). (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.)

SAGAMORE BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to discuss the Cape Cod Bridges Program. Staff plan to provide an update on interchange alternatives for the Sagamore Bridge and next steps for the project. Massachusetts officials have struggled to secure federal funding for the project, whose price tag could swell to nearly $4 billion, and President Biden sought a $600 million commitment to the effort in his federal budget proposal. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Access Info)

DARTMOUTH ROUTE 6 MEETING: MassDOT staff host a public hearing to present the design for proposed corridor improvements on Route 6 between Faunce Corner Road and Hathaway Road in Dartmouth. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

DISTRICT 5 BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for a proposed District 5 Bridge Bundle Design-Build project in Duxbury and Plymouth. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

ROUTE 123 IMPROVEMENTS: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for proposed Route 123 improvements in Norton. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., More Info)

SPILKA TALKS CAREGIVING: Senate President Spilka speaks about "the current state of caregiving facing families, and particularly women, in Massachusetts" at a caregiving-themed event held by the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Upper Town Hall, 703 Washington St., Holliston)

WOMEN OF THE YEAR: Brookline Commission for Women hosts its Woman of the Year honors, to recognize Betsy DeWitt, Ruth Ellen Fitch and Jane Piercy. Treasurer Goldberg, a Brookline resident and former town official, speaks. (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Register)

Thursday, March 30, 2023

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM TOUR: Labor and Workforce Development Committee Co-chair Rep. Josh Cutler hosts a field tour of three Boston apprenticeship sites, with other committee members including Vice Chair Rep. Kip Diggs expected to attend. Tour will highlight a bill Cutler sponsored (H 1857) aimed at "elevating and modernizing the state's registered apprenticeship programs." After starting at 10 a.m. at Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 17 (1181 Adams St.), committee members move at 12 p.m. to Plumbers Union Local 12 (1240 Massachusetts Ave.) and wrap up at 1:30 p.m. at Cengage (200 Pier 4 Blvd.). (Thursday, 10 a.m.)

MARIANO ADDRESSES BOSTON CHAMBER: House Speaker Mariano is the featured guest at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Forum, where he could shed light on his early-session legislative plans and how he's thinking about tax relief and other business priorities. Mariano and other Democrats spiked a tax relief bill last year after learning the state owed taxpayers nearly $3 billion in mandatory relief, and he has signaled little interest in returning to the topic this session. "We have a higher inflation rate, the revenue numbers are down, the economy has slowed a little bit. So it's not the same situation as it was a year ago," Mariano said on Feb. 1. Press should RSVP to Casey Baines at (Thursday, 10 a.m., Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Boston)

TAX CREDITS - EITC AND CFTC: Lawmakers and advocates with the Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition launch a campaign in support of expanding and improving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child and Family Tax Credit (CFTC). The Legislature last year sought to raise the EITC before top Democrats backtracked. Gov. Healey kicked off debate this session with a nearly $1 billion annual tax relief package that features a new $600-per-dependent tax credit but no direct changes to EITC or CFTC. Expected attendees include Sens. Eldridge and DiDomenico, leaders from Boston Medical Center's Children's HealthWatch, MassBudget Policy Director Phineas Baxendall, and MASSCAP Executive Director Joe Diamond. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room 428)

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

SENATE FORMAL: Senate plans to hold a formal session, and President Spilka's office said they are hopeful that the $350 million local transportation infrastructure bill passed by the House on March 23 will be ready for Senate consideration. As approved by the House, the bill (H 3547) includes $200 million in state bonding for the Chapter 90 road and bridge maintenance program and $150 million in borrowing for other local infrastructure grants. The bill was sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee after the House engrossed it 153-0. If the Senate does pick up the Chapter 90 bill Thursday it would represent a significantly faster timeline than in 2022, when the House passed its version in March and the Senate did not bring it to the floor until early June. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

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

"LEARNING TO READ: BEYOND THE POLITICS": Emily Hanford of American Public Media talks with Harvard Kennedy School academic visitor Jim Peyser about the science of reading and "political obstacles that have inhibited broader adoption of proven instructional strategies to ensure all young children learn to read proficiently before fourth grade." Peyser was Gov. Charlie Baker's education secretary. Colloquium program is sponsored by the Kennedy School's Program on Education Policy and Governance. Hanford is the host of the "Sold a Story" podcast. A question period follows. Participation options are in-person or via Zoom. (Thursday, 12 p.m., Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 15 Eliot St., Cambridge | Registration)

RED SOX OPENING DAY: Boston Red Sox start their 2023 campaign, hoping to improve on the 78-84 record that put them in the basement of the AL East in 2022. The Sox will be without shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who signed this offseason with the San Diego Padres, and the middle-of-the-order bat of J.D. Martinez. New to the team this year is outfielder Masataka Yoshida, who played a big role on the World Baseball Classic champions Japan this spring, and Opening Day starter Corey Kluber, a resident of Winchester. (Thursday, 2:10 p.m., Fenway Park, Boston)

EDUCATOR DIVERSITY ACT: Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler and other top education officials join Latinos for Education for a virtual conversation kicking off the group's campaign in support of legislation (H 4539 / S 2748) dubbed the "Educator Diversity Act." The bill would create an alternative certification pathway to support candidates of color, launch a grant program to support hiring and retaining educators from diverse backgrounds, call for districts to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion plans, and stand up educator diversity councils, according to a summary. Higher Education Commissioner Noe Ortega plans to join, as do bill sponsors Rep. Peisch and Sen. Lewis. (Thursday, 4 p.m., Zoom)

STEM GRANT APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are due Thursday for the next round of the Mass. Life Sciences Center's STEM Equipment and Professional Development Grant program. Schools and curriculum providers can ask for up to $200,000 for capital expenses and up to $40,000 for professional development in pursuit of educating students "in real-world scenarios that will prepare them for career opportunities in the life sciences." (Thursday, 5 p.m. | More Info)

TRANSPORTATION ACCESS: MBTA Riders' Transportation Access Group meets virtually to discuss accessibility issues affecting riders with disabilities and older adults. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Access Info)

DISTRICT 5 BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to present the design for a proposed District 5 Bridge Bundle Design-Build project in Wareham, Mansfield and Lakefield. (Thursday, 6 p.m., More Info)

MASS. FREIGHT PLAN: Massachusetts Freight Plan Advisory Committee meets virtually, where members will present some elements of a draft plan dealing with next steps for the state's rail, air, truck, maritime and freight transportation. (Thursday, 6 p.m., More Info)

ROUTE 79 MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to discuss planned improvements to the Route 79-Davol Street Corridor in Fall River. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

MBTA CAPITAL PLAN MEETING: MBTA staff host a public meeting to solicit public feedback on the draft FY 2024-2028 capital investment plan. The five-year, $9.2 billion spending plan outlines proposed investments in construction, modernization, expansion and other major capital work at the T. Some of the largest investments in the draft plan include $390 million toward procurement of new Red and Orange Line cars and $401 million to modernize a Quincy bus facility so it can support a future electric bus fleet. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., More Info)

Friday, March 31, 2023

STUDENT GOVERNMENT DAY: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education hosts the annual Student Government Day at the State House. The day is meant to give high school students "an immersive experience in the state legislative process by allowing students to engage with representatives and empowering them to voice their own informed views on current legislation," DESE said. Students who are elected by their schools assemble at the State House and replicate the activities of the Legislature, debating and voting on bills. The day features simulated committee hearings and now-rare executive sessions, and a simulated joint convention of the House and Senate. Treasurer Goldberg plans to address the students. DESE said the day began with a program originally called Good Government Day, enacted in 1947. More Info (Friday, 8:30 a.m., State House)

BUDGET HEARING - HOUSING, LABOR, ECO DEV: Lawmakers wade into how Gov. Healey's $55.5 billion fiscal year 2024 budget would tackle a statewide housing crisis, address hiring challenges and spur economic growth at the latest Joint Ways and Means Committee hearing. The panel plans to hear testimony from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development -- which Healey wants to separate into two separate offices -- as well as the Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation office, Department of Business Development, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Labor, Board of Library Commissioners, Mass. Cultural Council, Commission on the Status of Women, and Cannabis Control Commission. (Friday, 11 a.m., Cruiseport Gloucester, 6 Rowe Square, Gloucester)

Saturday, April 1, 2023

BOSTON CITIZENSHIP DAY: Boston Mayor Wu's Office of Immigrant Advancement and Project Citizenship host a "Citizenship Day" event to offer free legal help with citizenship applications. Attendees must make an appointment in advance by calling (617) 694-5949. The city says that around 30,000 Bostonians are eligible for U.S. citizenship, though the process can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. Law students and pro bono attorneys will pitch in to help fill out applications for free. Low-income applicants may also qualify for a waiver on paying the USCIS application fee. Language interpretation available. (Saturday, April 1, Reggie Lewis Center, Roxbury)

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