People, Power, and Politics


Cannabis Control Commission Chairwoman Shannon O'Brien was suspended from her position Thursday by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who chose her for the job a year ago, as upheaval continues to collide with the CCC's hefty regulatory and policy responsibilities.


Monday, Sept. 18

Planning Board Meeting


Sustainability Subcommittee


Tuesday, Sept 19

Davis-Thayer Building Reuse Advisory Committee


Land Use Subcommittee


Wednesday, Sept, 20

Charles River Pollution Control Executive Director and Monthly Meeting


Town Council Meeting


Thursday, Sept. 21

Conservation Commission Meeting



Legislators have shown little interest so far in taking up significant standalone bills in the House or Senate, and next week plan to stay in informal-session-only mode and continue to churn through public hearings with fall around the corner. Much of the action that has occurred in the General Court this year has involved spending bills, which have become targets for policy stakeholders hoping to hitch their priorities on to one of the few legislative vehicles that is moving. There's a new one in play. The House plans to rework another supplemental budget just filed by Gov. Maura Healey, this one to close the books on fiscal 2023, and put it up for a vote sometime this fall. Healey has yet to outline housing policies to address the crisis she flagged during her campaign for governor last year, but is working on details of what is expected to be a major housing bond proposal. During her first months in office, the governor has been playing defense by contending with the continuing subpar performance on the MBTA and an expanding shelter crisis driven by the ongoing arrivals of families fleeing other countries. She's playing offense with her push to enact a package of tax relief measures, but so far has been unable to convince her colleagues, who are butting heads on the topic in the Legislature, to join the rush and get a compromise bill to her desk. The governor has also talked frequently about clamping down on emissions and speeding the transition to a clean energy economy. So far, however, she has not delivered on a plan she hyped at her first press conference as the state's new CEO, when she issued an order creating a state climate chief and signaled her intent to bring executive office operations more in line with the state's climate goals. Also on the clean energy front, a pair of major offshore wind contracts have essentially been scrapped this year, with the state planning to start procurements over again. There is a win within reach for Healey when the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to vote on the first update to the state's sex and health education guidelines in 24 years, an idea recommended by the governor.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023

FLYNN ON 4: Boston City Council President Flynn talks with Jon Keller about voters ousting Councilors Arroyo and Lara in the Sept. 12 preliminary election, ideological divisions on the council, and his evaluation of the work of Mayor Wu and Schools Superintendent Skipper. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

SWIFT ON 5: On "On The Record," former Gov. Swift shares her thoughts on former Gov. Romney's retirement from the U.S. Senate, the current state of the Mass. Republican Party, and the rise of women in statewide politics. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

NYC CLIMATE MARCH: About 400 people from Massachusetts plan to participate in a climate march in New York City to call on President Biden to declare a climate emergency and phase out fossil fuels. The group includes members of 350Mass, Mothers Out Front, Mass Youth Climate Coalition, Salem Alliance For the Environment, Andover Indivisible, Slingshot, Elders Climate Action, Extinction Rebellion Boston, Mass Power Forward and more. (Sunday, 1 p.m., 56th and Broadway, New York City, N.Y.)

Monday, Sept. 18, 2023

HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Higher Education holds a hearing on bills that deal with student hunger and state investment. Among them are Rep. Andy Vargas' and Sen. Joan Lovely's bills (H 1293 / S 835) establishing the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, which would create a hunger-free campus grant program to address food insecurity at public higher education institutions, authorize the Department of Higher Education to hire a director for the program and conduct surveys to gauge need, and require annual reporting to the Legislature. The Massachusetts Hunger Free Campus Coalition says food insecurity remains a predominant issue for many students at the state's public colleges. The organization supported a $1 million line item in the fiscal 2024 budget that establishes a grant program to ease food insecurity on college campuses. The Department of Higher Education will distribute grants to colleges to raise awareness about federal food assistance benefits such as SNAP and WIC among eligible students. The money will also go towards developing infrastructure for on-campus food vendors to accept SNAP-EBT benefits, as well as supporting existing food pantries that serve college students. The committee will also take testimony on the so-called Cherish Act (S 816 / H 1260), legislation that would create a "debt free college scholarship program" and increase pay and access to benefits for staff and faculty, including adjunct faculty teaching at public colleges and universities. The measure has long been supported by the Mass. Teachers Association and the MTA board last month voted to support a campaign pushing for its passage. MTA President Max Page and Vice President Deb McCarthy plan to meet supporters of the legislation "arriving on the buses starting at 9 a.m. outside the State House" ahead of the hearing, according to an advisory. (Monday, 10 a.m., Gardner Auditorium | More Info)

CANNABIS COMMISSION: Mass. Cannabis Control Commission meets to discuss and potentially vote to adopt the draft marijuana industry regulations that were subject to a public hearing on Sept. 8. The changes, including measures to clear the way for people with past criminal records to work in marijuana shops, to crack down on host community agreements, and to allow all cities and towns to eventually host cannabis cafes, are intended to reflect the cannabis industry reform law signed last summer. The CCC has similar sessions planned for Tuesday and Wednesday in case the discussion takes more than one day. (Monday, 10 a.m., Worcester Union Station, Worcester | Agenda and Remote Access)

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

TOURISM COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development holds a hearing on bills concerning the creative economy, historical landmarks, and cultural spaces. Rep, Mary Keefe and Sen. Robyn Kennedy propose (H 3246 / S 2190) to create a new "program for local art and community engagement fund" that would assist with the selection, design, creation, acquisition, installation, maintenance, and/or conservation of public art in or on commonwealth-owned, managed, or occupied buildings. Sen. Nick Collins and Rep. David Rogers have legislation (S 2186 / H 3248) related to enforcement and penalties for certain agencies and organizations that "deacquisition any Native American funerary objects, human remains, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony." And Rep. Rogers also has a bill (H 3249) that would establish the Rep. Chris Walsh Massachusetts Artists Disaster and Emergency Aid Fund. Walsh, a Framingham Democrat, died in 2018 after battling cancer. (Monday, 10 a.m., Hearing Room A-1 | More Info)

MMA GRANTS WEBINAR: Massachusetts Municipal Association holds a webinar to outline available federal and state grants, as well as "best practices" for securing and administering grants. Speakers include Jennifer Rait, executive director of the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments; Kate Harke, Somerville's director grants and external funds; and Kristina Johnson, Hudson's planning and community development director. (Monday, 12 p.m., Virtual | Registration)

MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery holds a hearing on 15 bills related to opioids. Rep. James Arciero and Sen. Walter Timilty have a bill (H 1962 / S 1272) that would require the Department of Public Health to develop and publish an educational pamphlet regarding the use of non-opioid alternatives for the treatment of pain and to require providers to discuss non-opioid treatment options with patients. Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Tackey Chan has a related bill (S 1254 / H 1970) to develop training programs to inform prescribers of non-opioid alternative care options. Rep. Peter Capano proposes (H 1968) to require pharmacists to attach a label with "a clear, concise warning that the opiates dispensed can cause dependence, addiction and overdose" when filling a prescription for an opiate. Middlesex DA Ryan plans to testify in support of H 1969, which would increase accessibility to naloxone at a greatly reduced cost or free of charge to those who need it. (Monday, 1 p.m., Hearing Room A-1 | More Info)

EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Education holds a hearing on legislation related to school buildings and school finance. School building projects have become more complicated in recent years amid economic volatility and supply chain issues, and the escalation in construction prices has outpaced the growth in Mass. School Building Authority funding limits. MSBA officials acknowledged last month that legislative action will be required to tackle some of the "bigger picture" issues the authority is facing. On the committee docket are bills (S 309 / H 568) from Sen. Jason Lewis and Rep. Adam Scanlon establishing a commission to study the effectiveness of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and bills (H 441 / S 251) from Rep. Dan Cahill and Sen. Brendan Crighton "modernizing school construction." Sen. Edward Kennedy has a bill (S 298) to use $150 million in federal relief funds "as a means of providing available assets for previously approved school building projects adversely affected by increases to material costs." (Monday, 1 p.m., Hearing Room A-2 | More Info)

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses holds a hearing on a slate of bills that speak to some of the state's most pressing zoning and housing issues. Sen. Paul Feeney and Rep. David Vieira each have legislation (S 131 / H 241) encouraging the adoption of smart growth and starter home zoning districts. Rep. Angelo Puppolo proposes (H 233) to require that zoning ordinances or by laws permit multifamily development by right in one or more zoning districts that together cover not less than 1.5 percent of the developable land area in a city or town, and Rep. Jeffrey Turco has a bill (H 237) that would increase the zoning incentive payments the state makes to municipalities with approved smart growth zoning districts. And Sen. John Velis has a bill (S 138) authorizing municipalities to use funds for flood control infrastructure and floodplain preservation. (Monday, 1 p.m., Hearing Room B-2 | More Info)

MGM CYBERSECURITY: Mass. Gaming Commission plans to meet and expects to vote to go into an executive session to continue discussion of the cybersecurity issue that has been affecting MGM Resorts properties, including MGM Springfield. The Financial Times reported that the FBI is investigating "as guests at one of the world's largest casino operators struggled with digital room keys and reservations, and some slot machines remained inoperable." (Monday, 2 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a hearing on bills that deal with the Department of Developmental Services. Two bills (S 109 / H 201) deal with supported decision-making, an arrangement that the Mass. Developmental Disabilities Council describes as "an alternative to guardianship that allows an individual to make decisions about his or her own life with a team of chosen supporters." The bills touch upon guidelines for supported decision-making agreements, state training programs for supporters, and more. Two other bills up for a hearing relate to people with disabilities and interactions with the justice system. Sen. Joan Lovely has a resolve (S 110) establishing a commission on the treatment of intellectually and developmentally disabled offenders in the criminal justice system, and Rep. Michael Finn proposes (H 163) to establish a pilot diversion program for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. (Monday, 1 p.m., Room B-1 | More Info)

BLUE ECONOMY AT NEC: New England Council holds a forum on blue economy innovation. Richard Spinrad, an administrator at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, is the keynote speaker. There will also be a panel discussion on new technology and workforce demand featuring Diane Foster of the University of New Hampshire, John Mandelman of New England Aquarium, Christopher Montferret of General Dynamics Missions Systems, Richard Murray of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Barbara Wolfe of the University of Rhode Island. (Monday, 2 p.m., New England Aquarium, Harbor tent, 1 Central Wharf, Boston | More Info)

HATE CRIMES: Task Force on Hate Crimes holds a virtual meeting. Agenda includes an update on the Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which comes after Gov. Healey moved to reduce some of its funding through a budget veto. There's also a presentation from LA vs Hate, which supports residents and communities in Los Angeles County that are "targeted for hate acts of all kind." (Monday, 2 p.m. | Agenda and Access Info)

COMMUNITY POLICING: Community Policing Behavioral Health Council holds a virtual meeting, where members will vote on accepting a crisis report. The council helps oversee training programs tied to responding to mental health and substance use crises. (Monday, 2:30 p.m. | More Info and Livestream)

AUTISM COMMISSION: Autism Commission holds a meeting, which includes updates from the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. (Monday, 3 p.m. | For access info contact

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023

BOARD OF ED - SEX ED FRAMEWORK VOTE: Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets, and members are expected to vote on the first update to the state's sex and health education guidelines in 24 years. Gov. Healey announced a push in June to modernize the guidelines, which would make them more inclusive of LGBTQ+ identities and cover topics such as bodily autonomy, dating safety, violence prevention, sexually transmitted infections and consent. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received nearly 5,400 public comments on the proposed changes over a summer-long period, which like previous DESE public comment solicitations took place fully in writing without in-person events. The comments included responses to a survey as well as emailed and paper mailed feedback, and a DESE analysis found that a vast majority of mailed commentary "expressed opposition to the revised draft." Individual districts will still craft their own curricula, and officials have said the state's framework serves as a guideline, not a mandate. Other topics on the board's agenda include results from the spring 2023 MCAS exams, a historical overview of the MCAS and competency determinations, education spending in the fiscal year 2024 state budget, and a salary adjustment for Commissioner Riley. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 75 Pleasant St., Malden | Agenda | Livestream)

GLOBE SUMMIT - DAY ONE: Boston Globe kicks off its Globe Summit 2023, which features panels, networking, fireside chats, book talks, and more. A 9:05 a.m. panel will examine the future of higher education and what that means for New England. At 9:45 a.m., Labor Secretary Lauren Jones will talk about the state of the tech workforce with David Chang, general manager of Hunt Club's Expert Network, and WBUR Deputy Managing Editor Beth Healy. Other panels focus on quantum computing, Boston sports teams' strategies for success, climate change and spirituality, and artificial intelligence. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Ave., Boston | Register)

MANUFACTURING MASH-UP: Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative hosts its annual mash-up event for manufacturers and students to network, collaborate, and "promote ground-breaking work being done in the state's manufacturing sector." The center said manufacturing is a $56 billion industry in Massachusetts and that the mash-up is "a chance for companies to showcase products that streamline the production and development of raw materials, create sustainable solutions for climate resiliency, and strengthen the competitiveness of industries such as robotics, defense, and transportation." (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Polar Park, 100 Madison St., Worcester)

GAMING DATA PRIVACY: Mass. Gaming Commission holds a roundtable to discuss data privacy in the sports wagering world. Commissioners will get into the issue with representatives from sports betting companies, technical experts, responsible gaming representatives and other stakeholders. The commission intends to ask operators to detail "the specific requirements of the Commission's regulation not currently imposed in other jurisdictions that present challenges" and to "explain how you see this regulation affecting the user experience and the differences in the backend and/or user experience of your platform in each jurisdiction, if any." (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

CANNABIS POLICY HEARING: Fourteen bills dealing with various aspects of marijuana are on the agenda for a Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy hearing. Topics targeted by the legislation include limiting the exposure of youth to the cannabis industry, such as by prohibiting alcohol and marijuana advertising within a mile of a school zone or setting a minimum age of 21 years old to attend a marijuana-related event, forum or convention. Several other proposals seek additional regulations on advertising and marketing for the growing industry, which launched in Massachusetts after voters in 2016 approved a ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana use. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

MEDICAL PAROLE BRIEFING: Lawmakers, criminal justice reform advocates and inmates host a legislative briefing about a bill (H 2319 / S 1535) that seeks to eliminate barriers to medical parole for incarcerated individuals. Organizers argue that in the five years since a 2018 criminal justice reform law, the Department of Correction has fallen short of facilitating release of inmates who are terminally ill or permanently cognitively or physically incapacitated. Bill sponsors Rep. Domb and Sen. Jehlen plan to speak alongside advocates, experts and incarcerated speakers from MCI-Shirley and MCI-Norfolk. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Room 428 | Virtual Access)

ELECTION LAWS COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Election Laws gavels in a hybrid hearing to consider legislation tackling the topics of federal voting methods, political designations, primary dates, ballots and poll security, election audits and voter identification. Several bills seek to implement new voter identification requirements such as the need to present a photo ID at the polls, an idea that Democrats have rejected in the past. Other proposals would move the statewide primary date from September -- typically one of the latest state primaries in the nation -- to May (S 425, S 416). A bill from Rep. Holmes of Boston (H 693) would overhaul the timing of scheduling special elections to fill vacancies in a range of elected offices, including state representative. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room B-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

LABOR COMMITTEE: Wage theft will be the focus at a Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development hearing. All 10 bills on the agenda deal with topic, proposing new accountability and compliance mechanisms to ensure workers are properly paid their earnings. One set of bills (H 1868 / S 1158) reflects compromise legislation seeking to crack down on wage theft that lawmakers developed but did not steer across the finish line last session, according to committee co-chair Rep. Cutler. A pair of the proposals (H 1881 / S 1177) focus on preventing hospital workers from being deprived of wages. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

EV HEARING: The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resoources holds a virtual public hearing on a proposed regulation outlining eligibility criteria, for both applicants and vehicles, for the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) Program. The regulation also outlines rebate amounts for different vehicles -- including light-duty vehicles and trucks -- and outlines how certain dealerships can receive rebates. (Tuesday, 1 p.m. | More Info and Registration)

OPIOID SETTLEMENT FUNDS: JSI Research and Training Institute, through a contract with the Department of Public Health, holds a regional meeting to outline resources for municipalities as they use opioid settlement funds. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Virtual | Registration)

VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs hosts a hybrid hearing to weigh legislation about recognitions, definitions and designations for veterans. One proposal from Rep. Kearney (H 3512), a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves, would include anyone who served in the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Space Force in the definition of "veteran." Another from Rep. Turco (H 3835) would make those who served in the National Guard or Reserve for 20 or more years eligible for veterans' benefits. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Room A-1 and Virtual)

NEW ENGLAND LEGAL FOUNDATION EVENT: Auditor DiZoglio attends a New England Legal Foundation event featuring cocktails and jazz. (Tuesday, 5 pm., 333 Washington St., Suite 850, Boston)

MBTA RED LINE MEETING: MBTA staff hosts a public meeting to discuss a planned 16-day closure of the Red Line's Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line for track repairs. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., VietAID Center, 42 Charles St., Boston)

PRELIMINARY ELECTIONS: Preliminary elections are held in Amesbury, Brockton, Everett, Fall River, Gloucester, Lawrence, Melrose, Newburyport, Pittsfield, Revere and Westfield, as well as in some Framingham and Westfield districts. It's an open mayoral race in Pittsfield, while mayors in other cities -- including Brockton, Fall River and Revere -- are facing multiple challengers. (Tuesday)

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023

HEALTH EQUITY RALLY: Ahead of a committee hearing, members of the Health Equity Compact -- representing more than 80 leaders of color -- hold a rally to support proposals meant to bolster equity health equity and standardize data reporting. The legislation, filed by Reps. Williams and Garcia and Sens. Payano and Miranda, would also create a new secretariat called the Executive Office of Equity, expand MassHealth coverage for eligible people regardless of immigration status, reduce cost burdens for certain medications and ensure reimbursement parity for telehealth services, among other provisions, according to the coalition. The bill sponsors are slated to speak at the rally, as well as Michael Curry of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Manny Lopes of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Bisola Ojikutu of the Boston Public Health Commission, and Assaad Sayah of Cambridge Health Alliance, among others. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., State House steps)

FIRE & LIFE SAFETY CONFERENCE: Department of Fire Services kicks off its two-day annual Public Fire & Life Safety Education Conference, which will bring together fire educators, prevention officers, teachers and others. The conference that runs Wednesday and Thursday will feature 30 workshops and a keynote address from National Fire Protection Association President and CEO Jim Pauley. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, 14 Mechanic St, Southbridge | More Info)

GLOBE SUMMIT - DAY TWO: The second day of the Boston Globe's Globe Summit 2023 focuses on business and health. A 9:05 a.m. panel convenes female media leaders and a 9:45 a.m. panel examines the real estate market in downtown Boston. Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao talks to Globe business reporter Jon Chesto about Boston's competitiveness at 10:25 a.m. and former Gov. Charlie Baker, who is now president of the NCAA, talks to Globe sports columnist Chris Gasper about making the transition from politics to college athletics in an 11:45 a.m. fireside chat that will also feature opening remarks from former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Ave., Boston | Register)

MASSDOT BOARD: Department of Transportation Board of Directors meets. Topics on the agenda include a discussion of the Sumner Tunnel reopening, roadway safety, and a revised FY24 operating budget. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 10 Park Plaza, Boston | Livestream)

PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Public Health holds a hybrid public hearing on about 60 bills focused on patient safety, health equity, emergency medical services and human remains, among other topics. Proposals from Reps. Higgins and Lewis and Sen. Creem aim to expand after-death care options beyond cremation, including alkaline hydrolysis or natural organic reduction. Another bill would prevent health care providers from performing intimate exams on unconscious patients without their informed consent. Also on the agenda are proposals from Reps. Sabadosa and Sen. Mark to bolster grant funding for community-based responses to emergency calls that don't need law enforcement to be on scene; the goal is to prevent and deescalate violence, as well as connect residents with human services. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

DEJOY IN BOSTON: Postmaster General DeJoy is the keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. at an event representing the postmaster customer councils of Boston, Providence, Western Massachusetts, southern Connecticut and northern Connecticut. Attendees can participate in educational sessions, as well as meet with industry representatives and vendors. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Boston General Mail Facility, 25 Dorchester Ave., Boston | More Info and Registration)

TIM SCOTT IN NH: U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the featured speaker at the latest installment of "Politics & Eggs." The series is a joint initiative of The New England Council and The New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Castleton Banquet and Conference Center, 58 Enterprise Dr., Windham, N.H.)

TRAUMA MEETING: Trauma Systems Committee, which advises the Department of Public Health on proposals to update the state's trauma system, holds a virtual meeting. Lauren Rarochelle, a senior epidemiologist at DPH, will give a presentation on suicide data. (Wednesday, 10 a.m. | Agenda and Access Info)

HEALTH CARE FINANCING: Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds a hybrid public hearing on 10 bills tied to health equity. A Rep. Cutler bill aims to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities in health care settings; that includes in crises that could deny treatment based on a "presumption that an individual's life is less worth saving due to a disability or chronic health condition." A proposal from Reps. Driscoll and Barber and Sen. Cronin would expand eligibility for insurance coverage through a ConnectorCare pilot for people who are at or below 500 of the federal poverty level. Also on the agenda are bills looking to increase access to doula care, which comes as MassHealth is separately planning a regulation allowing doulas to enroll as MassHealth providers. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Gardner Auditorium | Agenda and Livestream)

LAWMAKERS AT CARPENTER TRAINING CENTER: Labor Committee co-chairs Rep. Josh Cutler and Sen. Pat Jehlen tour the newly updated and expanded North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Center in Boston. The center serves around 3,500 carpenters and delivers training to apprentice and journey-level union carpenters. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., 750 Dorchester Ave., Boston.)

WATER QUALITY DISCUSSION: Coalition for Safe Drinking Water presents MassINC Polling Group survey results about drinking water quality and private wells. The coalition says more than 500,000 Bay Staters rely on private wells for drinking water, which are not subject to statewide water quality testing requirements. Attendees include The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts President and CEO Amie Shei, RCAP Solutions Director of Development Jenna Day, Education Development Center Senior Research Scientist Kim Dash, and MassINC Polling Group Senior Research Director Richard Parr. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 428)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Governor's Council meets and could vote on the confirmation of Parole Board nominee Sarah Beth Coughlin. A clinical social worker, Coughlin would fill one of three vacant spots on the seven-seat board. Gov. Healey has not yet announced picks for the other two positions. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE: Boston Blockchain Week kicks off its first day with opening remarks from Quincy Mayor Koch and QUBIC Labs co-founder Ian Cain. The three-day conference "celebrates the people who are harnessing the power and promise of blockchain technology to transform our global community." Wednesday's program includes a panel discussion at 12:45 p.m. titled, "Since the Federal Gov't Won't Legislate, It's up to the States!" featuring Rep. Lipper-Garabedian of Melrose and BitAML founder Joe Ciccolo. A 2:15 p.m. panel moderated by the Globe's Shirley Leung focuses on "Blockchain/Web3 Workforce Development in Massachusetts" with Rep. Cutler of Duxbury, co-chair of the Labor Committee; QUBIC's Ian Cain; and Jason Hoch, deputy director of the Innovation Institute @ MassTech. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Day caps off with an evening reception at 6 p.m. at the 16C Restaurant in Quincy. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Quincy | Full Agenda)

STATE ADMINISTRATION AND REGULATORY OVERSIGHT: The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hybrid public hearing on about three dozen bills tied to procurement, labor and ethics. A Rep. Kearney bill would clarify that legislative employees have collective bargaining rights, a point of contention last year as Senate President Spilka quashed staffers' unionization push despite backing from a bevy of elected state and congressional leaders. Auditor DiZoglio is slated to testify on the bill. Other bills deal with lobby law violations and loopholes, transparency for travel gifts within the state's conflict of interest law, a moratorium on procuring or modifying structures that would emit PFAs chemicals, and local land transfers in Fall River and Lancaster. Also on the docket is a proposal from Reps. Biele and Hunt that would require state contractors to employ individuals with disabilities. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Room A-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS, UTILITIES, ENERGY: Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy holds a hybrid public hearing on about a dozen bills surrounding grid transmission and distribution, green financing and environmental justice. As Senate and House committee leaders continue to feud over procedural matters and hold separate hearings, Sen. Barrett will chair this hearing. A proposal from Reps. Higgins and Kushmerek aims to make low- and moderate-income houses in certain cities more energy efficient by installing clean heating and cooking technologies and providing electricity through renewable energy sources. Also on the agenda are bills that would require electric distribution and transmission companies to submit climate vulnerability and resilience plans; establish a "Green Bank" at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center; and create a department of energy transformation planning within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2 |Agenda and Livestream)

CYBERSECURITY MEETING: Massachusetts Cybersecurity Planning Committee holds a virtual meeting. Members will go into executive session for a discussion about the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, which provides funding to help local and state governments deal with cybersecurity risks and threats. (Wednesday, 2 p.m. | Agenda and Access Info)

UMASS ADMINISTRATION: Two committees of the UMass Board of Trustees hold a joint meeting: the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs and the Committee on Administration and Finance. Agenda items include an appointment of a UMass Amherst "chancellor emeritus," authorization to submit a UMass fiscal 2025 budget request, and approval of a university five-year capital plan for fiscal years 2024 to 2028. Committees move into executive session to discuss tenure appointments and honorary degrees. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus, Shaw Hall, 1st floor, 100 Carlson Ave., Newton | Zoom Access)

ROUTE 110 ROADWORK HEARING: MassDOT staff host a virtual public meeting to discuss proposed roadwork on Route 110 in Lowell, Dracut and Methuen. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Zoom)

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023

AUDIT MEETING: Auditor DiZoglio attends the New England Intergovernmental Audit Forum's virtual fall meeting, which is focused on "information accountability." Discussion topics include leadership, cybersecurity, and diversity, equity and inclusion in auditing. (Thursday, 8 a.m. | Registration)

MUNICIPAL HR CONFERENCE: The annual fall conference of Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources will explore collective and impact bargaining, policing, diversity, equity and inclusion, and recruitment. A morning session will focus on collective bargaining and recent case law in the public sector. During an afternoon session, Enrique Zuniga, executive director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, recaps the group's work since its inception in 2020. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Sea Crest Beach Hotel, 35 Quaker Road, Falmouth | More Info and Registration)

MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL: The statewide Mental Health Advisory Council holds a virtual meeting. The agenda includes a legislative update; other topics listed deal with commissioner updates and the Health Equity Task Force. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m. | Agenda and Access Info)

UMASS GOVERNANCE: Governance Committee of the UMass Board of Trustees meets, anticipating a report from its chair and a vote to approve 2023-2024 officers and committee leadership. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus, Dedham Room, Campus Center, 3rd floor, 100 Carlson Ave., Newton | Zoom Access)

DIGITAL GOVERNMENT SUMMIT: Executive Office of Technology Services and Security is among the organizations participating in the 2023 Massachusetts Digital Government Summit. EOTSS Secretary Jason Snyder gives opening remarks at 9 a.m., two-time Paralympic silver medalist John Register gives a keynote about turning adversity into advantage at 9:15 a.m., Office of Municipal and School Technology Director Susan Noyes moderates a panel on cybersecurity at 10:15 a.m. featuring MassCyberCenter Director John Petrozzelli, and representatives from the State Police and EOTSS. Curt Wood, the former secretary of EOTSS who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government, moderates a panel at 11:15 a.m. on equitable digital service delivery and a 1:45 p.m. panel on innovation "done the right way." Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, the House chair of Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity, is the featured afternoon speaker at 3:05 p.m. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Westin Boston Seaport District, 425 Summer St., Boston | Register)

GLOBE SUMMIT - DAY THREE: The final day of the Boston Globe's Globe Summit 2023 focuses on climate and lifestyle. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark will talk with Globe D.C. bureau chief Jackie Kucinich at 9:05 a.m. about women leaders shaping climate policy. At 1:35 p.m., former New England Patriots star Devin McCourty will talk about "the rise of Black athletes speaking out against systemic racism and the power they hold to create social change" with Globe columnist Shirley Leung and Makeeba McCreary, president of the New Commonwealth Fund. Red Sox Manager Alex Cora and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart will close out the event at 4:05 p.m. with a discussion of "what it takes to lead groups of individuals who are the best in the world at their craft, and how to encourage collaboration among these elite performers." (Thursday, 9 a.m., WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Ave., Boston | Register)

MUNICIPAL LAW SEMINAR: Division of Local Services holds "What's New in Municipal Law" seminar that highlights new laws and court decisions that affect local government. There are also workshops on paperless billing and abatement applications, health insurance, and affordable housing. Registration required. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Bentley University Conference Center, 175 Forest St., Waltham | More Info)

PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Public Health holds a hearing on professional licensure and scope of practice. The bills on the docket deal with chiropractors (H 2121 / S 1340 and H 2122 / S 1346), psychologists as part of a health care team (H 2129 / S 1337), physician assistants (H 2135 / S 1354), podiatry (H 2150 / S 1453), acupuncture detoxification specialists (H 2162 / S 1446) and more. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Hearing Room A-1 | More Info)

UMASS BOARD: UMass Board of Trustees meets, with an agenda that includes appointment of a UMass Amherst "chancellor emeritus." (Thursday, 10 a.m., UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus, Shaw Hall, 1st floor, 100 Carlson Ave., Newton | More Info | Zoom Access)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS, UTILITIES AND ENERGY: Rep. Jeff Roy chairs a hearing of the House side of the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy. The docket includes bills that touch upon grid modernization, green financing, environmental justice and competitive supply. Among them is legislation (H 755 / S 2091) from Rep. Natalie Blais and Sen. Jo Comerford that would create a Department of Energy Transformation Planning within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to "reform energy system planning for equity and climate transformation." Roy also has a bill (H 3220) that deals with advanced metering infrastructure, a meter and technology that measures, records, and transmits electricity usage by the end user at a minimum of hourly intervals and transmits the data in real time. The hearing could host the latest volley of debate in a long-running issue about competitive electric suppliers, companies that sell electricity to customers directly from a supplier instead of via a utility. High-profile regulators including Attorney General Campbell and Boston environment chief White-Hammond want lawmakers to approve a Sen. Crighton bill on the committee's agenda (S 2106) that would ban competitive suppliers from signing new generation services contracts with residential customers, warning that predatory practices are widespread. Industry figures, however, argue the ban would deprive consumers of "freedom of choice" and instead back another reform bill from Rep. Chan (H 3155). (Thursday, 10 a.m., Hearing Room B-1 | More Info)

DRIVER UNIONIZATION BRIEFING: Supporters of a proposal that would allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize host a legislative briefing to update lawmakers on their campaign. The effort is unfolding on two fronts, with organized labor groups and some drivers backing both legislation before the Financial Services Committee (H 1099 / S 666) as well as a potential ballot question that could go before voters in 2024. Organizers with the Drivers Demand Justice group behind the push say the coalition represents more than 7,000 drivers, and they pitched the briefing as the first time a sponsor will present it alongside rank-and-file drivers and union leaders. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft continue to support another potential ballot question -- opposed by the unions -- that would declare their drivers to be independent contractors instead of employees while extending them some new benefits. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Room 428)

GALVIN AT THE BIG E: Secretary of State Bill Galvin visits the Big E to celebrate Massachusetts Day at the fair. Galvin's office has a booth outside of the Massachusetts building, where residents can register to vote or get information about other services provided by the office. (Thursday, 11 a.m., The Big E, West Springfield)

HOUSE AND SENATE: House and Senate both plan to hold informal sessions. Each branch's last formal session was 52 days ago, on July 31. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers)

BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE: Boston Blockchain Week conference holds its second day of panel discussions. City of Quincy CFO Eric Mason is on a 4:15 p.m. panel alongside Paolo Bortolin, deputy CFO of the City of Lugano, Switzerland, talking about "tokenizing municipal bonds." Another program at 3:45 p.m. covers the intersection of blockchain and global economic/community development, featuring the City of Lugano's economic development director, Pietro Poretti; Foundry Deploy director Adrian Hale; and Republic senior director Matt Melbourne. Registration opens at 11 a.m. Evening program includes an outing at the Widowmaker Brewery Beer Garden in Kilroy Square, and a "meetup" for Boston DAO, "a crypto-native community formed out of the greater Boston area," at QUBIC Labs on Hancock Street. (Thursday, 12:10 p.m., Quincy | Agenda)

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression holds a hybrid hearing, featuring an update on severe maternal morbidity data from Dr. Hafsatou Diop, director of the Division of Maternal and Child Health Research and Analysis at the Department of Public Health. A DPH report released in July found the rate of people experiencing severe complications during pregnancy and delivery almost doubled from 2011 to 2020. There will also be a presentation and discussion on perinatal mental health resources, followed by announcements and public comment. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Room B-1 |Agenda and Livestream)

OPIOID SETTLEMENT FUNDS: JSI Research and Training Institute, through a contract with the Department of Public Health, holds regional meeting to outline resources for municipalities as they use opioid settlement funds. (Thursday, 2 p.m., Virtual | Registration)

REP. CUTLER AT TECH SCHOOL: Rep. Cutler of Duxbury, House co-chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, visits the South Shore Technical School to highlight a new round of Career Technical Initiative programs in welding, manufacturing, automotive, and culinary arts. The state's CTI grants help fund evening and weekend training for unemployed or underemployed people. (Thursday, 3:30 p.m., 476 Webster St., Hanover)

KORNACKI AT UMASS LOWELL: Steve Kornacki, an NBC News and MSNBC national political correspondent, gives a presentation on the 2024 presidential election as part of a speaker series at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The event is free and open to the community. (Thursday, 3:30 p.m., UMass Lowell's O'Leary Library, 61 Wilder St., Lowell)

GOLDBERG IN D.C.: Treasurer Goldberg is in the nation's capital to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Public Finance during the organization's 27th annual conference. A 4:45 p.m. award ceremony and "champagne toast" is followed by a 5:30 p.m. cocktails and hors d'oeuvres reception. Earlier in the day, the WPF conference features a keynote speech on "thriving in chaos" and "energy management" by author Dr. Arin Reeves, and a panel about "hot topics and candid conversations" with the Southern California metro water district's assistant GM, a former CFO of Chicago, and the CFO of Dallas Area Rapid Transit. (Thursday, 4:45 p.m., Salamander Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. | Agenda)

NORTH CENTRAL MASS. CANDIDATE RECEPTION: North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce holds a reception designed to connect local business and community leaders with elected officials and candidates. The list of attendees so far includes Auditor DiZoglio; Sen. Cronin; and Reps. Durant, Ferguson, Higgins, Kilcoyne, Kushmerek, Scarsdale, Whipps and Zlotnik. "It is crucial for our region's business leaders, legislators, and policymakers to have this opportunity to meet and network so they can engage and learn from each other," said James Vander Hooven, who is chair of the chamber's board of director and president of Mount Wachusett Community College, which is sponsoring the event. (Thursday, 5 p.m., Chocksett Inn, 59 Laurelwood Road, Sterling)

ELLIOT BRIDGE PRESERVATION: MassDOT staff host a virtual public meeting to discuss a proposed project to preserve the Elliot Street bridge over the Charles River. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Fiorentino Center, 123 Antwerp St., Allston | More Info)

Friday, Sept. 22, 2023

MMA HR CONFERENCE: The annual fall conference of Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources continues through noon. A morning session will focus on transgender and nonbinary workplace inclusion, led by Regina Ryan of Discrimination & Harassment Solutions and motivational speaker Trevor Boylston. The last session is a roundtable discussion on employee recruitment and retention. (Friday, 8 a.m., Sea Crest Beach Hotel, 35 Quaker Road, Falmouth | More Info and Registration)

BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE: Kicking off the Boston Blockchain Week conference's final day, Mari Tomunen of Flipside Crypto referees a "moderated debate" over federal regulation of digital assets between Meghan Spillane, a partner in Goodwin's Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, and Gus Coldabella, a partner at True Ventures. Friday's agenda also includes a panel on crypto compliance and risk management with Eyhab Aejaz, CEO of Breach Insurance; State Space CEO Yasir Bugrara; Thomas Hook, global chief compliance officer at Moonpay; and Patrick O'Kain of RW3 Ventures. Registration starts at 9 a.m. (Friday, 10 a.m., Quincy | Agenda)

STUDENT DEBT CANCELLATION: U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley hosts a policy discussion on student debt cancellation at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual legislative conference. Borrowers and student debt advocates, including National Education Association President Becky Pringle, NAACP Director of Youth Strategy Wisdom Cole, and Center for Responsible Lending Director of Federal Campaigns Jaylon Herbin will be part of the discussion. (Friday, 1 p.m., Walter E. Convention Center, Room 201, 801 Mt. Vernon Plaza NW, Washington, D.C.)

SUMNER TUNNEL CLOSURE: To speed up restoration work, MassDOT is closing the Sumner Tunnel for the weekend again. The tunnel will be closed at about 11 p.m. and will reopen to traffic no later than 5 a.m. Monday. Closures have also been scheduled for the weekends of Sept. 29, Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, and Nov. 10. (Friday, 11 p.m.)

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023

MASSDEMS CONVENTION: Massachusetts Democratic Party hosts its state convention, where delegates will be asked to adopt an agenda for the coming year. The event is the first fully in-person convention since COVID-19 hit in 2020. Speakers will include Gov. Healey, Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Attorney General Campbell, U.S. Sens. Warren and Markey, and Congresswoman Trahan, according to a party spokesperson. MassDems Chair Steve Kerrigan described the convention as "a chance for us to come together and begin the planning and organizing for 2024," a year when Democrats such as President Biden and Warren are seeking reelection. Politico reported that Auditor DiZoglio, who is attempting to subject the Legislature to audits but faces resistance from House and Senate Democrats, hopes to bring forward a resolution at the convention that would give party support to her office's audits of the Legislature and "any necessary legal action against any impediments." (Saturday, 10 a.m., Tsongas Center, 300 Arcand Dr., Lowell | More Info)

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