People, Power, and Politics


Total enrollment in MassHealth increased by about 0.3 percent in April, the first month of a yearlong effort to redetermine eligibility for all 2.4 million members for the first time since the pandemic hit. Officials expect 300,000 to 400,000 people to be dropped from the MassHealth rolls over the course of the process, with significant losses anticipated in the coming months. This graphic shows MassHealth enrollment numbers by county as of April 30. [MassHealth]


Mon. June 5

Franklin School Committee Budge Sub Committee Meeting


Planning Board Meeting




Weds. June 7

Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting


Town Council Meeting


Friends of Franklin Library Meeting


Thurs. June 8

ZBA Meeting



MBTA riders face more consequences if the transit agency isn't able to come up with an acceptable safety plan by Monday. The first day of the workweek will also bring the first monthly tax revenue report since April, when collections dropped so far that elected officials had to start talking about ways to balance this year's state budget rather than about another emerging surplus. Those numbers will be of interest to everyone, and perhaps especially the six legislators appointed this week to draft a final state budget for fiscal 2024, which begins in four weeks. House and Senate Democrats this year haven't found much that they agree on. The House has approved a significant tax relief package while Senate Democrats still haven't tackled that topic, or said when they will. The branches have scores of major differences to settle in their nearly $56 billion fiscal 2024 budget proposals. And in some instances, lawmakers appointed to co-chair legislative committees can't even agree on some of the basics, like hearing schedules and committee rules. Even on a topic where there's substantial agreement - a $350 million package of local road and bridge funds and transportation infrastructure grants - Democrats haven't been able to close a deal. April and now May have passed since both branches approved similar perennial proposals to help pay for local projects. While some committees are spinning their wheels, others have found traction and the week ahead brings 10 more public hearings on a host of important proposals. A pair of representative-elects from Boston -- Democrats John Moran of the South End and Bill MacGregor of West Roxbury -- await election certification and swearing-in plans. And next week could bring specifics on primary and special election dates to fill the Senate seat that Anne Gobi is giving up to take a job in the Healey administration. Away from Beacon Hill, there will be plenty of activity next week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where state officials will play host to an international bio convention and roll out initiatives designed to boost Massachusetts' image in the life sciences and biotech worlds. Representatives from other states and countries will be in town competing for workers and businesses in that unique sector. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu makes a splash at the conference on Monday, followed by Gov. Maura Healey on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

MCGOVERN IN THE DISTRICT: U.S. Congressman McGovern hosts "Coffee with your Congressman" to speak with constituents. (Saturday, June 3, 9 a.m., Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst) He will later travel to Worcester for the 40th anniversary of its Albanian Festival. (2:30 p.m, St. Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church, 535 Salisbury St., Worcester)

TOUCH-A-TRUCK EVENTS: Massachusetts Department of Transportation hosts "Touch-A-Truck" family-friendly events. Attendees can interact with equipment including dump trucks, bucket trucks and plows. The events coincide with National Public Works Week at the end of May, Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca said. Highway district depots are located at 270 Main St.,Lenox; 811 North King St., Northampton; 499 Plantation Parkway, Worcester; 519 Appleton St., Arlington; 1000 County St., Taunton; 73 Granite Ave., Milton. (Saturday, 10 a.m., MassDOT depots)

MCGOVERN ON NEPM: U.S. Congressman McGovern joins a live NEPM radio interview with host Monte Belmonte at the Asparagus Festival in Hadley. (Saturday, June 3, 12 p.m., Hadley Town Commons, Russell St., Hadley)

GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING CELEBRATION: Fifteen organizations who say they're on the frontlines of Boston's movements for justice and liberation hold a lobster picnic and joint fundraiser, according to the Matahari Women Workers Center. It's the 10th annual Celebration of Grassroots Organizing, previously called the Lobster Feed, meant to raise $200,000. There will be guest speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, organizers say. (Saturday, 1 p.m., First Parish Dorchester, 10 Parish St.)

NO-LICENSE FISHING: The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife holds its annual free freshwater fishing weekend, opening up the state's public lakes, ponds, reservoirs, streams, and rivers to no-license fishing. (Saturday, June 3 | More Info | Map of Fishing Locations)

NCSL MEETING: Senate President Spilka attends the 2023 spring Executive Committee meeting for the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Saturday, June 3, Omni Providence Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island)

Sunday, June 4, 2023

CAMPBELL ON 4: Attorney General Campbell talks with Jon Keller about a need for tighter regulation of online sports betting, the gap between crime statistics and the public's fear of crime, and progress on policing reform. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

WORLD OCEAN DAY: The New England Aquarium hosts events focused on conservation for World Ocean Day. Aquarium scientists will share about their work, artists will lead an ocean animal art activity, and aquarium educators will lead an activity focused on migratory ocean species, among other activities and presentations. (Sunday, 10 a.m., Central Wharf Plaza, Boston)

COMMUTER RAIL EMERGENCY DRILL: MBTA conducts emergency evacuation drill involving a commuter rail train from about 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Media and observers welcome to watch. Media is asked to check in with MassDOT security personnel by 9:30 a.m. at large tent on Grossman Drive. Drill will take place away from the main rail line and regular passenger rail service is expected to operate throughout. "The drill is a learning exercise that will include a scenario in which a train carrying passengers on this section of track makes contact with a vehicle at a grade crossing and derails. Several passengers are injured, and others must evacuate the train," MBTA says. Participating agencies include MBTA Railroad Operations, MBTA Transit Police, Keolis, CSX, Braintree police and fire departments, Quincy police and fire, Weymouth Fire Department, Fore River Railroad, and Brewster EMS. (Sunday, 10 a.m., Grossman Drive Yard tracks, Braintree)

MBTA GM ENG ON 5: MBTA General Manager Eng talks with Sharman Sacchetti and Ed Harding on "On The Record," followed by a political roundtable with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

NO-LICENSE FISHING: The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife holds its annual free freshwater fishing weekend, opening up the state's public lakes, ponds, reservoirs, streams, and rivers to no-license fishing. After Sunday, anglers once again need a license. (Sunday, June 4 | More Info | Map of Fishing Locations)

Monday, June 5, 2023

BIO CONVENTION: The BIO International Convention kicks off, with more than 100 sessions planned over the week for global biotechnology and biopharmaceutical leaders. At 11 a.m., Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, introduced by MassBio CEO Kendalle Burlin O'Connell and accompanied by Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones and Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Reshma Kewalramani, will "make a special announcement on the future of Boston’s life sciences ecosystem" at the main lobby of the convention center. Mayor Wu at 11 a.m. plans a "major life sciences workforce announcement," according to her office, and will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the MassBio Pavilion at noon. The day's session highlights include "Tackling the Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance -- What Will It Take?" at 1 p.m. with Christopher Burns of Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Joe Larsen o Locus Biosciences, Inc.; Kevin Outterson of CARB-X; Lynn Filipi, assistant director of One Health and Antimicrobial Resistance Health Outcomes Division for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President; and Sen. Todd Young of Indiana. At 2:15 p.m. there's "Enhancing Public Health Preparedness through Policy and Partnership" with Pierre Delsaux, director-general of the Health Emergency and Preparedness Response Authority of the European Commission; Emma Wheatley, deputy general counsel and head of collaborations at CEPI; Chris Frech, senior vice president of global government affairs at Emergent; and Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At 3:30 p.m. there's "Friend or Foe: How COVID-19 changed the dynamic with global regulatory agencies" with Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Henrietta Ukwu, executive vice president and chief regulatory officer at Novavax; and Sabine Haubenreisser, principal scientific administrator in the Stakeholders and Communications Division of the European Medicines Agency. (Monday, 9 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. | More Info)

CIVICS PROJECT SHOWCASE: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education hosts the Generation Citizen Civics Showcase. Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler will make a keynote speech, and students will present their civics projects, science-fair style. A 2018 law intended to promote civic engagement incorporated civics projects into eighth grade and high school curriculums. The projects can be done by individuals, small groups or entire classrooms. Students will be given awards for their projects at the event. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, Columbia Point, 210 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston)

SENATE SESSION: The Senate meets in an informal session, and could set a special election date to fill former Sen. Gobi's central Massachusetts seat. Gobi, a Spencer Democrat, resigned effective June 4 and starts Monday as Gov. Healey's rural affairs director. Democrat Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik of Gardner has already jumped into the race, and the Herald reported that Republican Rep. Peter Durant of Spencer plans to announce his candidacy this week. Also possible in the Senate this week: release of a tax reforms package. The last time the branch held a formal session, May 25, senators spoke of a tax relief debate happening in the coming weeks. Senators have not indicated why they are slow-walking tax relief, which has already been recommended by Healey and adopted by the House, despite widespread calls for it dating back more than a year, including from Senate President Karen Spilka. (Monday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber | Senate Livestream)

HOUSE SESSION: House meets in an informal session. The House hasn't met in a formal session in five and a half weeks, since wrapping up its budget debate April 26. (Monday, 11 a.m., House Chamber | House Livestream)

HEART ON THE HILL: Advocates from the American Heart Association host their annual lobby day, Heart on the Hill, with a focus on hands-only CPR in schools and telecommunicator CPR. There will be a short speaking program. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., Great Hall)

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT: U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy discusses youth mental health during a visit to Boston University. BU School of Public Health Dean Dr. Sandro Galea and U.S. Sen. Markey also participate. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., BU School of Public Health, Hiebert Lounge, 14th Floor, 72 East Concord St., Boston)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS, UTILITIES AND ENERGY COMMITTEE: Sen. Barrett chairs a hybrid public hearing of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. House members -- who voted on their hearing schedule for the rest of the session without participation from Senate members -- do not plan to attend and will hold a separate hearing later in the week, House Chair Rep. Roy told the News Service. Attorney General Campbell is slated to testify in support of proposals from Rep. Frank Moran and Sen. Crighton (H 3196/ S 2106) that would halt the electric supply market for individual residential consumers. Energy suppliers, brokers and marketers would be blocked from entering into contracts with individual residential retail customers after Jan. 1, 2024, and the attorney general could take legal action against companies that break the law. Campbell in a radio interview last month said that "vulnerable residents are really being preyed upon by these competitive electric suppliers each year." (Monday, 1 p.m., Room A-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure holds a hybrid public hearing on more than 20 bills tied to trades, reform and financial matters. Multiple proposals seek to ease the burden of medical debt, including by not allowing such debt to be included on certain consumer credit reports. A Reps. Mendes and Paulino bill (H 3563) would allow applicants for occupational licenses to prove their identity through their individual taxpayer identification number or another document, instead of a Social Security number. (Monday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

JUNE DAY: Gov. Healey and Lt. Gov. Driscoll participate in the June Day anniversary celebration of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., Boston Common)

LEADERSHIP MEETING: The "Big Three" of Beacon Hill -- Gov. Healey, Senate President Spilka and House Speaker Mariano -- gather for a semi-regular meeting. Topics on the agenda will likely include the fiscal year 2024 budget and promised tax relief. Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the budget, and it is now heading behind closed doors for negotiations over a final measure. A key piece of the Senate bill is a policy rider that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who have attended the state's public high schools, though the measure wasn't included in the House. On the House side, representatives will likely try to sway senators to sign onto legalizing online Lottery sales, which the Senate shot down in their budget deliberations. The Senate has also held off on introducing their plan for the tax relief Beacon Hill has promised to taxpayers, but top Democrats have signaled it is coming soon. (Monday, 2:30 p.m., Governor's Office)

HOUSING CONVERSATION: Massachusetts Law Reform Institute hosts a conversation with Stephanie Leydon, director of special projects for "Priced Out" at GBH News. The event also includes a panel discussion with Sen. Edwards; Leydon; Norieliz DeJesus, policy and organizing director at La Colaborativa; and Annette Duke, senior housing attorney at MLRI. Discussion will focus on "the responsibilities of reporting on housing justice, and how storytelling can and should shape the housing justice movement," according to event organizers. (Monday, 5 p.m., Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon St. | More Info and Registration)

MASSDOT CAPITAL PLAN - CENTRAL MASS.: MassDOT and Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission solicit public feedback on MassDOT's draft five-year Capital Investment Plan. One in a series of similar meetings, this one is geared toward the central Massachusetts region. (Monday, 6 p.m., Online)

MCAS FORUM: Massachusetts Teachers Association hosts a virtual forum on "high-stakes testing." The MTA has thrown its weight behind legislation to remove the requirement that students pass the statewide Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam in order to graduate, which the union says is a "punitive, high-stakes, rank-and-shame accountability system." New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman, the sponsor of the federal More Teaching, Less Testing Act, will join a panel discussion. The panel will also include Wayne Au, an education professor and author of "Unequal by Design: High Stakes Testing and Standardized Inequality" and Domino Morel, a professor of political science and public service, and author of "Takeover: Race, Education and American Democracy." The forum will also feature a recent graduate from Fall River and students from Lowell public schools. Jack Schneider, a professor who leads the Beyond Test Scores Project, will moderate the discussion. (Monday, 6 p.m. | Register)

MBTA SAFETY PLAN: MBTA officials must submit a revised safety work plan with "direct and focused actions" to federal regulators Monday or risk being denied right-of-way access, which is critical to running trains. A T spokesperson said the plan "will be publicly available upon request through our public records request portal." The Federal Transit Administration rejected the proposal the MBTA submitted last month, arguing long-term protections -- meant to bolster safety for employees and prevent trains from hitting them -- were "insufficient" since they wouldn't be finished until late 2023 and 2024. Invoking "imminent risk to worker safety," Federal Transit Administration Chief Safety Officer Joe DeLorenzo told MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng in a May 19 letter that the revised work plan must outline safety processes and procedures to be implemented within the next 60 days. The FTA in April sounded the alarm over employee safety after there were five "near misses" between trains and workers in as many weeks, and the agency has already shown that it will not tolerate business as usual at the T. In June 2022, the MBTA had to dramatically cut service on the Red, Orange and Blue Lines -- effectively deploying Saturday schedules that remain in effect -- after the FTA flagged "continuous safety violations" like insufficient staffing at the agency's operations control center that monitors where subway trains are in the system. Staffing shortages, particularly among dispatchers, have hampered the MBTA from boosting transit frequency. (Monday)

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

BIO CONVENTION: Gov. Healey delivers welcome remarks at the second day of the BIO International Convention. Journalist Katie Couric delivers the keynote address at 10 a.m. Session highlights include "Dismantling Disparities in Healthcare through Partnerships and Policy" at 1:45 p.m. with Charles Henderson, CEO of the American Diabetes Association; Dr. Russel Ledet, co-founder and president of The 15 Whitecoats; Sonali Chopra, executive director of patient advocacy relations at Genentech. Senate President Spilka is scheduled to attend the convention at 10 a.m. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. | More Info)

FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Financial Services hears testimony on 28 bills dealing with various types of insurance, including property, casualty, and life insurance. Four House bills are aimed at flood insurance, including a measure filed by Quincy Rep. Ayers dealing with civil liability for improper flood hazard determinations. Another Ayers bill would direct the insurance commissioner to conduct a biannual investigation of rates, looking at their affordability and "whether the flood insurance premiums accurately reflect the risk of loss." Sen. Gobi refiled a bill on insurance coverage for home heating oil leaks that the Senate unanimously passed last April (S 648). She characterized it as important both to consumer protection and environmental protection. A Rep. Chan of Quincy bill on travel insurance could draw interest following pandemic-related flight disruptions (H 971). And bills sponsored by Sen. O'Connor and Rep. Gregoire would extend insurance coverage to the "provision of pasteurized donor human milk and donor human milk-derived products" for certain infants who are unable to breastfeed or whose mother "is medically or physically unable" to produce the needed breast milk (S 696 / H 1030). (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

POLICE CERTIFICATION REGULATIONS: Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission holds a public hearing to gather input on proposed regulations outlining requirements and procedures for individuals to be newly certified as a law enforcement officer and for "independently" applying officers, including constables, to be certified under a police reform law. Another set of proposed regulations deals with a process for the public to request POST commission advisory opinions or additional regulations. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., More Info)

HEALTH CARE FINANCING: Joint Committee on Health Care Financing seeks public comment on 21 bills related to prescription drug access, cost, and transparency, including proposed reforms around pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which act as a negotiator between drug manufacturers, pharmacies, and health plans. Sponsored by Committee Co-chair Rep. Lawn, the PBM bill (H 1215) is one of four measures endorsed this session by the new "Patients Not PBMs" coalition. Former Gov. Jane Swift plans to testify in support of Lawn's bill alongside her daughter, Lauren Hunt, who "has direct, personal experience with PBMs preventing her ability to access medication for juvenile arthritis," according to an advisory. Swift plans to speak about "the experience of helping her daughter navigate a complex and frustrating maze of phone calls, emails and time spent trying to secure access to medication her daughter needs." The Senate has passed bills in recent sessions aimed at licensing and regulating PBMs, but those proposals never advanced in the House. Also at Tuesday's hearing, insurance industry representatives plan to testify on another bill filed by a committee co-chair -- Sen. Friedman's so-called Pact Act (S 749), a re-file that passed the Senate 39-1 last year. Mass. Association of Health Plans personnel plan to talk about Friedman's proposal following the release of MAHP's new policy brief on prescription drug spending, titled "Rx Reality Check." Other bills on the agenda deal with a proposed senior prescription drug rebate program, treatment of epilepsy and seizure disorders, and coverage for chronic illness. A Sen. Lewis of Winchester bill would place limits on informational presentations that pharma and medical device manufacturing companies give to health care practitioners, such as keeping it to "modest" meals and refreshments. "Presentations shall not occur in locations that are otherwise recreational in nature, including, but not limited to, resorts, sporting clubs, casinos or other vacation destinations," the bill states. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room A-1 and Virtual | Full Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSING TRANSFER, TAX OR FEE? | Local Option for Housing Affordability Coalition hosts a "day of action" with Rep. Connolly and Sen. Comerford in support of proposals (H 2747/ S 1771) that would enable municipalities to impose transfer fees on real estate transactions to fund affordable housing. Opponents label the proposals as taxes while supporters call them fees. Either way, they would not apply to all transactions. Dan O'Connell, former secretary of housing and economic development, will give remarks. Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chatham, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Provincetown, Somerville, and Wellfleet have each filed home rule petitions, with Northampton and other communities working on their own, according to the coalition. The bills authorize communities to adopt a transfer fee, and any exemptions, of between 0.5 percent and 2 percent on real estate transactions above $1 million, with all funds raised by the fee dedicated to affordable housing production and Preservation. The tax would extend to lower-priced home sales in communities that lack sales above $1 million, by authorizing fees on transactions above the county median sale price for a single family home (if a municipality's county median sales price is below $750,000). Median home sale prices in April were well below $750,000 in every Massachusetts county, except for Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, according to The Warren Group. In the 200-seat Legislature, Connolly's bill has two dozen cosponsors and Comerford's has 14, including ten Senate Democrats. The bills were assigned to the Joint Committee on Revenue in February and have not yet received a public hearing. Other speakers include NaDaizja Bolling of the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Lise Holdorf of Barrett's Mill Farm), Pamela Schwartz of the Western Mass. Network to End Homelessness), Etel Haxhiaj of Central Mass Housing Alliance), and Brian Sullivan of the Nantucket Association of Real and Nantucket Affordable Housing Trust). (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room 428)

MIRANDA DISTRICT TOUR: Sen. Miranda visits Nubian Square as part of her "SenaTOUR." Senate President Spilka joins. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Nubian Square, Roxbury)

REVENUE COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Revenue solicits public comment on 49 bills related to tax credits and deductions, including bills related to rolling stock -- the tax on sales of trucks, tractors, and trailers used to transport goods across state lines. The committee awarded a favorable report to similar legislation last year, though it died without further action in the House Ways and Means Committee. The Truckers Association of Massachusetts makes a competitiveness argument for exempting rolling stock sales and use from taxation, and says such reforms would follow 37 other states. In advance testimony for Tuesday's hearing, the TAM wrote that "various truck companies, who may be domiciled in Massachusetts or have repair facilities in Massachusetts, are now seeking to locate them outside of the state," and added that "any company with a nexus within the Commonwealth is being charged sales and use tax by the DOR even though the rolling stock was purchased in other states." This session's rolling stock bills (S 1949, S 1778, and H 2841) are sponsored by Rep. Jones and Sens. Crighton and Tarr. Senate Ways and Means Chairman Rodrigues sponsored a similar bill in 2019. Also on Tuesday's agenda is a Rep. D. Rogers bill that would establish a maximum $1,500 tax credit for certain family caregivers based on the value of eligible expenditures like home alterations or hiring a home care aide. Increases to the conservation land tax credit are eyed in bipartisan bills sponsored by Reps. Jones, Pignatelli, and Kane, and Sens. Tarr, Eldridge, and Moore (H 2839 / S 1940). And Seekonk Rep. Howitt has a bill with bipartisan cosponsorship to boost the Title 5 income tax credit for septic system repair or replacement, a credit Gov. Healey also proposed increasing in her tax relief package. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room B-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

GAMING COMMISSION HEARING: Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing on the proposed development across the street from Encore Boston Harbor. The commission voted in February to expand the casino's gambling operations in Everett to a new development east of Broadway. Encore parent company Wynn Resorts plans to construct a new building across Broadway from its resort casino to host a dedicated poker room, a second sports betting parlor, a relocated nightclub, a theater, parking garage and more. It would be connected by a pedestrian bridge to the casino that opened in 2019. The hearing will be an opportunity for public input on the first phase of this development, to determine whether to include it as part of the casino. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m | Register to Speak, Livestream)

LGBTQ FAMILIES BRIEFING: Massachusetts Parentage Act Coalition holds a briefing on the new national report "Relationships at Risk: Why We Need to Update State Parentage Laws to Protect Children and Families," and legislation re-filed this session by Sen. Cyr and Reps. Peake and Kane. The bill (H 1713 / S 947) would provide every child the same rights and protections as any other child regardless of their parents' marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation, or whether they were adopted, conceived through surrogacy or other means of assisted reproduction. Supporters say that the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it is willing to curtail LGBTQ rights, including a case they will decide soon, 303 Creative v. Elenis, about whether disapproval of same-sex marriage can justify ignoring nondiscrimination laws -- leading to a need for states to update their laws to ensure legal security for LGBTQ families. (Tuesday, 12 p.m. | RSVP for Link)

POWER FORWARD LUNCHEON: Mass Power Forward Climate Community hosts an luncheon to highlight legislation that would impose a moratorium on combustible fuel facilities (H 3237 / S 2135) and create a "climate change adaptation cost recovery program" that would levy charges on parties that contribute to climate change and use the revenue to fund resiliency programs (H 872 / S 481). Environmental attorney and scholar Rachel Rothschild and economist Peter Howard speak. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., House Members' Lounge)

PUBLIC HEALTH HEARING: The Joint Committee on Public Health holds a hybrid public hearing on bills related to reproductive and sexual health and pharmacy. Bills before the committee include legislation to regulate insurance coverage for screenings for postpartum depression (H 2163), allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives without a previous prescription from a doctor (H 2133 / S 1430), require manufacturers to list the ingredients included in menstrual products (H 2138 / S 145), and promote access to midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth options ( H 2209 / S 1457). Sen. Feeney will testify on his bill to create a "Date Rape Drug Response and Intervention Task Force" to study and recommend regulations related to patient access to hospital care for victims of those drugs. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Gardner Auditorium | Virtual)

CANNABIS POLICY HEARING: The Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy holds a hybrid public hearing on bills related to medical marijuana, research and labs. A Rep. Russell Holmes bill before the committee would require written informed consent before a physician or health care provider can test a person for the presence of marijuana (H 110). Other bills would require the Cannabis Control Commission to maintain a public database with information on the presence of pesticides, heavy metals and microbiological contaminants in products from independent testing laboratories (H 105 / S 62), provide consumers of adult-use and medical dispensaries with access to a medical professional for consultation (H 109), and waive application and registration fees for a medical marjuana card for veterans (H 120). (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 | Virtual)

EDUCATION HEARING: The Joint Committee on Education holds a hybrid public hearing on bills related to "at risk" students, English language learners and bilingual education, literacy, recovery high schools, school discipline and the Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity (METCO) voluntary school integration program. Testimony is expected on bills that are intended to promote comprehensive literacy instruction (H 579 / S 263), after recent data on student literacy showed large learning gaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In last year's statewide standardized test scores, students at all levels showed deterioration in English language arts compared to 2021. Just 41 percent of third- through eighth-graders scored in the "meeting or exceeding expectations" range, a drop of 5 percentage points from 2021. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said that grades three through five showed sharper declines than grades six through eight, "indicating challenges in early literacy." Among 10th graders, 58 percent met or exceeded expectations, down 6 percentage points from 2021. Members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and public school superintendents are expected to testify on the literacy bills. Other bills before the committee include legislation to require school attendance up to age 18, prevent student dropouts, and support students expecting or parenting children of their own. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room B-2 | Virtual)

MEDTECH SHOWCASE: UMass Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies hosts the 2023 Point of Care showcase and pitch event. Medical technology and life sciences entrepreneurs and investors plan to come together to showcase new technologies, intended to improve the health of patients with heart, blood, lung and sleep disorders. Head of medtech for Broadview Ventures Dr. Maria Berkman and vice president of venture investments at Johnson & Johnson V. Kadir Kadhiresan will give keynote addresses. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Mintz, 1 Financial Center, 40th Floor, Boston)

REPRO EQUITY NOW 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Attorney General Campbell is among the honorees scheduled to speak at Reproductive Equity Now's 50th anniversary gala. Known until 2021 as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the group was incorporated in 1972 as the Massachusetts Organization to Repeal Abortion Laws (MORAL). Other honorees are Transhealth President and CEO Dallas Ducar, recipient of the Ellen Paradise Fisher Award for Activism in Action, and A Better City President and CEO Kate Dineen. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Westin Copley Place Hotel, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston | Tickets)

I-93 TUNNEL CLOSURE: The I-93 Tip O'Neill Tunnel southbound tunnel closes to traffic for maintenance, beginning at exit 20 in Sullivan Square. On-ramp locations in the tunnel will be closed, including access to the Tobin Bridge from Route 1 and from Storrow Drive. The area will reopen to traffic at 5 a.m. Wednesday. (Tuesday, 11 p.m., I-93 Tip O'Neill Tunnel southbound)

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

LABOR SECRETARY AT WORKFORCE BREAKFAST: Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones delivers the keynote address at the Operation Able annual breakfast. The organization provides training programs and employment services to people looking for jobs from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Virtual | More Info)

SPILKA AT MASSBAY: Senate President Spilka attends a legislative breakfast hosted by MassBay Community College. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., MassBay Community College, Newton)

WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST: Sen. Miranda and Rep. Kane are among the panelists at a Women's Leadership Breakfast event held by the Mass. Women's Political Caucus. GBH News reporter Katie Lannan moderates a discussion with Meet Boston executive vice president Hilina Ajakaiye and Eastern Bank executive vice president and general counsel Kathleen Henry about "the reshaping of our commonwealth for a more inclusive economy." (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School St., Boston | Registration)

BIO CONVENTION: FDA Commissioner Robert Califf delivers the keynote address on the third day of the BIO International Convention. Session highlights include "Psychedelics ... the trip continues" at 1:45 a.m. with Clara Burtenshaw, partner and investor at Neo Kuma Ventures; Kurt Rasmussen, chief scientific officer, Delix Therapeutics, Inc.; and Peter Silverstone, CEO and director of Zylorion Health. At 3 pm. there's "A New Framework for Applying AI to Mental Health Drug Development'' with Dr. Amit Etkin, founder and CEO of Alto Neuroscience Inc; Maha Radhakrishnan, chief medical officer at Biogen; Jeff Cottrell, head of neurodevelopment and psychiatry at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; and Dr. Sahil Kirpekar, chief business officer at atai Life Sciences. At 4:15 p.m. there's "The Inflation Reduction Act - a Market-Driven Event Impacting the Development of New Treatments'' with Robert Truckenmiller, head of U.S. market access at GSK; Amanda Mott, vice president of U.S. market access at Viiv Healthcare; and J. Lance Grady, practice director of market access at Avalere Health. (Wednesday, 9:15 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. | More Info)

"IDEAL SCHOOL" WINNER: Treasurer Goldberg and leaders of the Mass. School Building Authority announce the winner of the agency's 14th annual "My Ideal School" contest. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Senate Reading Room)

ANIMAL LOBBY: Reps. Nguyen, Howard, and Montaño are expected to participate in a coalition "Lobby Day for Animals" focused on animal protection legislation. Sponsors are the Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Among the coalition's priority bills is a measure that MSPCA says would prohibit discrimination based on a dog's size, weight, or perceived breed by public housing authorities and certain housing agreements like condo bylaws and some leases (S 876 / H 1367). Other bills deal with animal cruelty laws (S 1142 / H 1718, S 1076 / H 1703) and a prohibition on using elephants, big cats, primates, bears, and giraffes in "traveling shows" in Massachusetts (S 2197, S 2189, H 3245). Attendees are encouraged to bring old towels, blankets, sheets, and unused pet food to donate to shelter animals. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Great Hall)

PRIDE FLAG RAISING: Lawmakers, government officials and guests raise a Pride Flag outside the State House to honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., State House)

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security hears public testimony on 26 bills touching on recreation, fire safety, and local matters. Two bills deal with toxic chemicals in firefighters' protective equipment, Rep. Decker filed a bill requiring all higher education institutions to have students complete a "comprehensive fire safety curriculum from an expert source," and Sen. Tarr sponsors a bill requiring that fire hydrants be painted in high-visibility colors "and do not include the color white unless used as a secondary color to contrast with the surroundings of the area." Sen. Moore has separate proposals on novelty sparklers, operating drones, and the establishment of local emergency management agencies. Another bill by Rep. Robertson would award a "Legacy Firefighter" title to 20-year firefighters and give them a "campaign ribbon or like insignia." (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Full Agenda and Access Info)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Governor's Council meets, and could potentially vote on certification of special election results for Reps.-elect Bill MacGregor and John Moran, who were elected May 30 to represent districts anchored in West Roxbury and the South End. Overseas ballots postmarked by election day could still arrive and be counted by Friday, but both Democrats ran without any general election opponents and the council could opt to confirm them as victors this week, then amend the returns if any overseas ballots do show up, according to Secretary Galvin's office. The council will also vote on the Treasury warrant, which allows the state to pay its bills, and new notaries public and justices of the peace. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

HPC BOARD: Health Policy Commission Board meets to review preliminary findings from the upcoming 2023 Health Care Cost Trends Report, including a review of spending performance, and trends in "excessive spending." Commissioners will also discuss policy options related to reducing unnecessary administrative complexity and receive an update on the implementation of the federal so-called "No Surprises Act," which protects people covered under group and individual health plans from receiving surprise medical bills from emergency services, ambulance rides, and treatment from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities. The meeting will end with an update on agency activities from HPC Executive Director David Seltz. (Wednesday, 12 p.m. | Agenda, Livestream)

MBTA ACCESSIBILITY: Judge Patrick King hosts semi-annual status update on MBTA's accessibility work on bus, subway, and commuter rail lines toward compliance with the 2006 settlement agreement in Daniels-Finegold v. MBTA. T officials are slated to answer questions. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Online)

CLEAN WATER TRUST BOARD: Mass. Clean Water Trust Board of Trustees meets remotely. Treasurer Goldberg attends. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Zoom)

"YOUTH JUSTICE" LOBBY DAY: Sen. Crighton, chair of the Senate Committee on Juvenile and Emerging Adult Justice, speaks during Youth Justice Lobby Day, which is sponsored by multiple organizations including Citizens for Juvenile Justice, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. The event will spotlight raise-the-age legislation filed by Reps. O'Day and Cruz and Sen. Crighton (H 1710/ S 942) that's meant to keep 18-to 20-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system. Other legislation includes proposals from Reps. Decker and Khan and Sen. Creem (H 1451/ S 936) to expand expungements of juvenile and criminal court records, as well as from Rep. Fluker Oakley and Sen. Creem (H 1495 / S 940) to broaden access to community-based interventions that are alternatives to the juvenile justice system. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Room 428)

EDU SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS: Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Brookline Educators Union sponsor a forum on "the statewide campaign for fair pay and working conditions for education support professionals." Education support professionals include cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, security and teacher's aides. Heather McGhee, author of "The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together" will speak, and a panel discussion will follow. The panel will be led by Nick Juravich, assistant professor of history and labor studies and associate director of the Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston. (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Brookline High School Theater, 22 Tappan St., Brookline | Registration)

Thursday, June 8, 2023

CYBERSECURITY CONFERENCE: MassBay Community College hosts the 10th annual cybersecurity summit. Attendees hear presentations on cybersecurity threats, emerging technologies, and trends and developments in information security. The keynote speaker is David Sherry, Princeton University's chief information security officer, who will discuss, "How Important is Culture to Security Success?" (Thursday, 7:30 a.m., MassBay Community College, 50 Oakland St. | Register)

MBTA BOARD: MBTA Board of Directors meets. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza - 2nd floor, Boston | Livestream)

BIO CONVENTION: The fourth day of the BIO International Convention includes an FDA town hall with Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, and Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA. There's also a fireside chat at 9 a.m. with Ernst Kuipers, the Dutch Minister of Health. The farewell happy hour reception is at 1:30 p.m. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. | More Info)

LGBTQ HEALTH SUMMIT: The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association hosts a virtual summit on LGBTQ+ people's health and wellbeing. The conference will focus on creating a culture and environment for inclusive care, fostering a welcoming space for all patients, and collecting and using data. Director of the Division of Education and Training at The Fenway Institute Alex Keuroghlian, medical director of Oxbow Primary Care & LGBTQ Services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Miranda Balkin, and researcher and advocate with Transgender Healthcare Access rNic Tompkins-Hughes will discuss "LGBTQ+ promising practices in data collection and care." (Thursday, 9 a.m. | Register)

TELECOMMUNICATION, UTILITIES AND ENERGY COMMITTEE: Rep. Roy chairs a hybrid public hearing of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utility and Energy, with 30 bills on the agenda tied to utilities and consumer protection. House committee members plan to attend, while Senate members hold a separate hearing as co-chairs Roy and Sen. Barrett continue to work apart and spar over committee rules. Bills from Rep. Blais and Sen. Comerford (H 3143/ S 2088) seek to protect consumers from unreasonable utility rate hikes, while bills from Reps. Sabadosa and Barrett and Sen. Mark (H 3223/ S 2149) would subject average utility rates to an inflation cap in a bid to keep prices fair and stable. Proposals from Sens. Creem and Gomez look to expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program with a low-income cooling assistance program. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

STATE ADMINISTRATION HEARING: Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hybrid public hearing on bills related to land transfers, labor and procurement. One bill (S 1975), filed by the committee co-chair Sen. Nick Collins, would require that any state or quasi-state agency that takes private property by eminent domain and does not use the land for its intended purpose return the property back to its previous owner at the cost at which it was taken. Collins was one of several South Boston politicians who recently accused the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority of planning under "false pretenses" to develop land taken by eminent domain for mixed use rather than convention-related purposes, as was originally intended in the taking. "Based off of what's going on with the convention center, there's clearly a need for reform, and the committee will be looking at that this session," Collins said in February about the controversy with the MCCA. The authority has since canceled bids for the disputed land. Other bills before the committee seek to authorize project labor agreements related to infrastructure projects and public building construction and give preference to American manufacturing and materials. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room A-2 | Virtual)

ANTI-HATE TASK FORCE: Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan hosts a meeting of her Anti-Hate Anti-Bias Task Force to discuss the impacts of housing discrimination. (Thursday, 10 a.m. | Virtual, contact for access)

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

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

CORE PLAN MEETING: CORE Plan Statutory Committee meets virtually. Treasurer Goldberg attends. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Zoom)

ASHLAND RIBBON CUTTING: Senate President Spilka attends a ribbon cutting for the Ashland Public Safety Building. (Thursday, 12 p.m., 12 Union St., Ashland)

MASSBAR AWARDS: Senate President Spilka gives keynote address at MassBar Association Access to Justice Awards Celebration (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham)

Friday, June 9, 2023

MASS. HIGH TECH COUNCIL: CNBC special correspondent Scott Cohn gives a presentation on "critical insights into the future of Massachusetts' economy" at the Mass. High Technology Council annual meeting. Other speakers at the luncheon program include Gov. Healey, the council's outgoing chair, Putnam Investments CEO Robert Reynolds, and incoming chair John Lee, the CEO of MKS Instruments. (Friday, 11 a.m., Seaport Hotel, One Seaport Ln., Boston | Info and Registration)

RECYCLING FACILITY UPGRADE: Casella Waste Systems holds a "grand reopening" ceremony for a Charlestown recycling facility, touting a "full retrofit" at the material recovery plant as the "largest recycling infrastructure investment in company history." The company says it can now process up to 33 percent more material with a "higher quality output." Casella expects city officials to speak at the ceremony. A neighboring Casella facility was the site of a fire May 30. (Friday, 11 a.m., 24 Bunker Hill Industrial Park, Boston)

JFK CIVIL RIGHTS SPEECH: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is the keynote speaker at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's 60th anniversary commemoration of President Kennedy's June 11, 1963 civil rights speech. The event, titled "An Unfinished Agenda," also features a panel discussion including Attorney General Campbell and Urban League of Eastern Mass. President Rahsaan Hall, moderated by Globe senior opinion writer Kimberly Atkins Stohr. Kennedy's 1963 speech "implored a nation divided by race, to rise to the challenge of that moment, to create a society in which all its citizens were afforded equal opportunity under the law," organizers said. Open to invited guests only, with a livestream available online. Press is invited and can RSVP to (Friday, 1 p.m., Smith Hall, Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Boston)

Saturday, June 10, 2023

CANNABIS CENTER LAUNCH: Parabola Center for Law and Policy, a nonprofit organization founded by former Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title, hosts a launch event. The group is led by women of color working in the cannabis industry and focuses on achieving "a more equitable future of federal legalization." Commissioner Ava Concepcion and former Sen. Chang-Diaz attend. (Saturday, June 10, 9:30 a.m., Rabb Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St. | More Info)

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