People, Power, and Politics


PFAS: Massachusetts could have led the nation in banning disposable food containers made from polystyrene a decade ago, a leader of an environmental advocacy group said Thursday as she pitched legislation that has instead stalled on Beacon Hill. More than 10 states and 60 Massachusetts municipalities have passed various bans on polystyrene, which can be made as a hard plastic or foam, said Jess Nahigian, political director of the Sierra Club's Massachusetts chapter. "Polystyrene is unsustainable, it's toxic -- it is a synthetic petrochemical that doesn't degrade," Nahigian said at a Joint Committee on Public Health hearing. "It creates microplastics that we find in our air, our water, our soil, shellfish, etc. It can't be recycled." The latest proposals from Rep. Marjorie Decker, the committee co-chair, and Sen. Michael Barrett (H 3627 / S 1328) would apply to single-use disposable products including plates, cups, bowls, hinged or lidded containers, straws, cup lids and utensils. --SHNS


Tuesday, October 10

Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Meeting


Design Review Meeting Date


Franklin School Committee Meeting


Wednesday, October 11

Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting




Town Council Meeting


Franklin Cultural Council Meeting


Thursday, October 12

ZBA Meeting


Saturday, Oct. 14

DPW Touch A Truck

10:00am to 2:00pm

Civilian Conservation Corp Camp Presentation & Walk Through



Fall session activity picks up with Tuesday's public hearing on gun law changes and pressure on the state to get a handle on the mounting logistical and financial challenges of caring for migrants pouring into Massachusetts from other countries. Gov. Maura Healey two months ago declared a state of emergency around the migrant arrivals and later requested another $250 million from taxpayers to finance the state's response to the humanitarian crisis. But that money is "just the beginning," House Speaker Ron Mariano said Thursday, after asking for help during a virtual meeting with members of the state's Congressional delegation. "We have no idea what the total bill is going to be," the Quincy Democrat told reporters. "And the hope is - and it's only a prayer - that cold weather slows the flow of the families coming over the border. But we're not even sure that will work ... The frustration is the numbers change dramatically daily, and with that comes the amount of money that we need to pay for this. So unless we get help, we are going to have some difficult decisions to make." Legislators will need to make some kind of decision soon, as they face pressure to pass a spending bill closing the books on fiscal 2023, which ended on June 30.

The migrant situation is spreading the debate over border crossings to more states, not just those on the southern border. In recent interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley repeatedly said she believes the southern border is secure, lamented "longstanding broken policies," and called for federal investments to help migrants. Pressley's take on border security drew an incredulous response. "If you have millions of undocumented migrants coming into the country, how is the border secure?" Tapper asked. This week brought news that the Biden administration is waiving 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow border wall construction, a development with implications for the presidential election and the paths taken by scores of asylum seekers. The approaching presidential campaign and the leadership crisis unfolding in the U.S. House doesn't bode well for the likelihood that Washington will find any immigration policy consensus soon.

With just over five weeks before their schedule calls for another long break, House Democrats next week plan to circumvent the usual joint committee process and hold a rare House Ways and Means Committee hearing on gun law changes they plan to put up for a vote in the House later this month. "Moving it through Ways and Means was the most expedient way to keep the bill moving," Mariano said Thursday. "We've invested a lot of time in this bill so we wanted to move it as quickly as we could and this is the best opportunity to do that." Top House and Senate Democrats can't agree on which committee should hear scores of firearms-related bills but Senate President Karen Spilka this week said she believes the branches will "definitely" agree on a consensus bill this session to send to Gov. Healey. The governor has not publicly outlined her preferences for new gun laws. Healey plans to spend time in the coming days promoting new tax relief options available under a law she signed this week, while the wait continues for the governor to unveil promised housing and climate proposals and for her administration to further explain why the brand new Green Line Extension has run into so many problems. The gun bill hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, when a two-day climate conference starts at the New England Aquarium, voters settle a contested Senate special election Republican primary, and the Labor Committee holds a hearing on bills affecting the rights of app-based drivers. On Wednesday, Attorney General Campbell delivers remarks at a maternal health policy forum, Treasurer Deb Goldberg addresses Boston business leaders, and controversial transfer fee bills are aired before the Joint Committee on Revenue. The Mass. AFL-CIO holds a multi-day convention next week in Everett, with Gov. Healey expected to address the labor group on Thursday and Chrissy Lynch reportedly poised to be elected as President Steve Tolman's successor. The legislative pace winds down on Friday, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has a speaking event planned in Manchester, N.H. as he continues his presidential campaign.

Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023

WU ON 4: Boston Mayor Wu talks with Jon Keller about controversy over the MCAS standardized test, policing in the city and her Mass. and Cass plan. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

SEN. EDWARDS ON 5: Sen. Edwards of East Boston is the guest on "On The Record." The program planned to ask her about the new tax relief law, gun reform legislation, and criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the migrant crisis. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

PRESSLEY ON 10: Congresswoman Pressley is on "@Issue" talking about the ouster of U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and student debt relief. Also on the program: a panel celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Veterans' Services Secretary Jon Santiago, Rep. Judith Garcia of Chelsea, and former Labor Secretary Rosalin Acosta. Rebroadcasts at noon, 2:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. on NECN. (Sunday, 11:30 a.m., WBTS-TV Ch. 10)

MASS BLACK EXPO FAMILY DAY: After two days of speeches and discussions in Boston focused on building Black wealth in the commonwealth, the Mass Black Expo continues with a family day in western Massachusetts. Organizers say there will be free, family-friendly activities. (Sunday, 12 p.m., Springfield Boys & Girls Club, 100 Acorn St., Springfield | More Info)

Monday, Oct. 9, 2023

Columbus Day: No public events scheduled.

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023

AUCHINCLOSS AT NEC: Congressman Auchincloss addresses business leaders at a "Capitol Hill Report" in Boston hosted by the New England Council. Press should email to RSVP. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Hampshire House, 84 Beacon St., Boston)

MUNICIPAL PARTNERSHIPS CONFERENCE: Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and a panel of yet-to-be-announced Cabinet secretaries are expected to kick off the 2023 Statewide Municipal Partnerships Conference, co-hosted by the Massachusetts Regional Planning Agencies and Division of Local Services. Break-out sessions will cover climate action plans and resilience, livable communities, post-pandemic public health, rural empowerment, and federal funding opportunities. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., College of the Holy Cross, Hogan Campus Center, 1 College St., Worcester)

MASSDOT CAPITAL PROGRAMS COMMITTEE: Department of Transportation Board of Directors Capital Programs Committee meets virtually. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., More Info)

CLIMATE BEACON CONFERENCE - DAY ONE: Policymakers, industry leaders and climate advocates gather for the first day of the inaugural Climate Beacon Conference, which describes itself as "built for and about practitioners of climate change solutions." Speakers for Day One include U.S. Sen. Markey, U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk, Ceres President and CEO Mindy Lubber, UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, and New England Aquarium President and CEO Vikki Spruill. Gov. Healey served as an honorary co-chair of the conference, but a spokesperson said she is "unfortunately not able to attend." Former Gov. Deval Patrick aide Alex Richman, who was also interim president of the Alliance for Business Leadership and on the founding staff of Hubweek, launched the Climate Beacon Project and is its executive director. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., New England Aquarium, Simons Theater | Agenda)

SPORTS BETTING LICENSE REGS: Mass. Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to accept input on regulations dealing with temporary license procedures and renewal of licenses in the sports betting world. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Notice and Access Info)

CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a hybrid public hearing on 16 bills dealing with accessibility. Proposals look to ensure safety for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities whose hospital discharge plans call for the use of life-supporting technology, machines or equipment in their homes or residential facilities. Other legislation would establish a grant program for individuals with disabilities who need to retrofit their homes with ramps, wider doors and hallways, and elevators. Another grant program would support capital improvements and projects to improve accessibility efforts among organizations in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences sector. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room B-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: Committee on Public Service holds a public hearing on civil service bills. Topics include hiring lists, resident preferences, and a host of bills exempting police in certain communities from the civil service law. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Access Info)

HIGHER EDUCATION: Joint Committee on Higher Education holds a hybrid public hearing on more than two dozen bills focused on student aid. Proposals look to provide tuition and fee waivers for college students raised by a grandparent or other relative, as well as launch a pilot program for tuition and fee waivers for people 60 and older. Also on the agenda is a proposal meant to facilitate the student aid process by requiring high school students to submit FAFSA forms before they graduate. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room B-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

GOLDBERG AT ADL FORUM: Anti-Defamation League New England hosts its "The Good Fight" forum about confronting anti-Semitism. Treasurer Goldberg plans to speak around 11 a.m. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress St., Boston)

PAYANO DISTRICT TOUR: Sen. Pavel Payano of Lawrence shows senators and staff including Senate President Spilka around the 1st Essex Senate District as part of the so-called "SenaTOURS" series. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Lawrence)

TAX CUT TOUR: Gov. Healey and Lt. Gov. Driscoll visit the Northborough Senior Center to discuss tax relief measures for older adults and their families in the law Healey signed. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Northborough Senior center, 119 Bearfoot Road, Northborough)

VETERANS REINTEGRATION: The Veterans Reintegration Advisory Committee holds its first meeting. The body is tasked with exploring ways to support veterans to reduce the rate of suicide, PTSD, depression and anxiety; it will also study the "complexities" of returning to civilian life and how community peer liaisons can help that process, according to the Executive Office of Veterans' Services. (Tuesday, 11 a.m. | Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE: House holds an informal session. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber | Livestream)

SENATE: Senate meets without a calendar. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber | Livestream)

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: Restorative Justice Advisory Committee meets virtually. Agenda includes an update on a research report on the creation of a state restorative justice office, plus a review of public comment about launching the office. (Tuesday, 11 a.m. | Agenda and Livestream)

HOUSE GUN BILL HEARING: House Democrats have laid out their vision of new gun laws, and now the public gets its first chance to air feedback directly to representatives about the plan House Democrats are advancing. Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Michael Day, who authored and then redrafted the major legislation (HD 4607), leads the hearing alongside House members of his committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Senators are not expected to participate. It's part of the slow erosion of some relations between the branches. Senate Democrats are working privately to craft their own gun reform bill. Gun safety groups have praised the House bill as a much-needed improvement, particularly amid a rise in untraceable "ghost guns," while gun owner organizations continue to oppose it despite a redraft that attempted to narrow some of its controversial provisions. Written testimony can be submitted by email to (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Gardner Auditorium)

MASSHEALTH REDETERMINATIONS - NEW BEDFORD: Press conference on the MassHealth redetermination process, with organizers planning to focus on ensuring coverage for people in the New Bedford area as they trim the MassHealth rolls. Speakers include MassHealth COO Elizabeth LaMontagne, Health Connector Director Audrey Morse Gasteier, and Health Care For All Director Amy Rosenthal. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., Immigrants' Assistance Center, 58 Crapo St., New Bedford | Livestream)

40th HANNA AWARDS: Gov. Healey, Lt. Gov. Driscoll and Public Safety and Security Secretary Reidy host the 40th Annual George L. Hanna Awards for Bravery, the highest state honor awarded to law enforcement personnel. The award is named for a State Police trooper killed in the line of duty in 1983. Healey's office said nine people from police departments in Worcester, Revere and Boston will receive awards this year. The event also plans to recognize former Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito "for their steadfast support of law enforcement during their time in office," Healey's office said. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Mechanics Hall, Great Hall, Third Floor, 321 Main St., Worcester)

CANNABIS COMMISSION: Cannabis Control Commission meets with an agenda limited to an executive session and "business not anticipated." The agenda says the CCC might go into executive session "to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation." Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion is acting as chair while Chairwoman Shannon O'Brien fights Treasurer Deborah Goldberg's removal of her from the CCC. O'Brien has sued Goldberg, but not the CCC. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

LABOR COMMITTEE: Labor and Workforce Development Committee holds a hybrid public hearing on bills affecting workplace safety and workers classified as independent contractors. The independent contractor law has been the subject of years of debate, and recently has been drawn into the discussion over the rights and benefits afforded to app-based drivers. One of the bills on the agenda (H 1848), offered by Rep. Mark Cusack, is backed by app-based driving companies such as Uber and Lyft and resembles a possible 2024 ballot question. It would extend new benefits while legally classifying drivers as independent contractors, not employees. Other bills on the agenda deal with warehouse workers, psychological workplace safety, and a standard for prevention of heat illness in outdoor public sector workers. Several employees pushing for better workplace conditions with the group End Workplace Abuse will testify in support of legislation that would expand legal recourse against employers for toxic work environments and limit the use of forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements. Speakers on that topic will include former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson; Rowena Chiu, a former assistant to Harvey Weinstein; and Pentagon whistleblower Jackie Garrick. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-1, Agenda and Virtual Access Info)

MASSHEALTH REDETERMINATIONS - FALL RIVER: As part of the ongoing effort to redetermine the eligibility of MassHealth enrollees, officials turn their focus to Fall River residents in an attempt to ensure residents maintain some type of insurance coverage. Speaking at a press conference are MassHealth Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth LaMontagne, Health Connector Executive Director Audrey Morse Gasteier, and Health Care For All Executive Director Amy Rosenthal, among other local officials.(Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., SER Jobs For Progress, 164 Bedford St., Fall River | Livestream )

POLS TOUR THE CHARLES: Charles River Watershed Association staff talk about issues like flooding, pollution, recreation, and public access, while hosting government officials on a "fun and informative" boat tour of the Charles. The group has invited 52 senators and representatives whose districts include part of the river's watershed, along with executive branch officials and others. Boat seats 75 and registration is limited to two people per office. All aboard at 1:45 p.m. at the Cambridgeside Mall; boat casts off at 2 p.m. Light refreshments. (Tuesday, 1:45 p.m., Charles Riverboat Company, 100 Cambridgeside Pl. #320, Cambridge | Registration)

PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS: The Personal Care Attendant Workforce Council meets virtually. Agenda includes several items dealing with MassHealth, including pay complaints. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., | Agenda and Livestream)

SENATE SPECIAL PRIMARY: Voters in the Worcester and Hampshire Senate district that stretches across a swath of central and western Massachusetts will get their first chance to weigh in on a special election to fill the seat that has been vacant since June 4. The competitive primary is on the Republican side, where Rep. Peter Durant of Spencer and Bruce Chester of Gardner are facing off for the nomination. The winner there will face Gardner Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik, who is the only Democrat on the ballot. The purple district was represented by former Sen. Anne Gobi, who resigned more than four months ago to become Gov. Healey's rural affairs director. (Tuesday)

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023

TRANSPORTATION WEBINAR: Rep. Owens participates in a webinar about Transportation Demand Management, which are strategies for reducing traffic congestion, boosting sustainable travel options and tackling climate change, according to the Mass Commute coalition. Other presenters include Allison Simmons of NorthEase Consulting Group, David Straus of the Association for Commuter Transportation, Gideon Schreiber of the City of Watertown, and Erin Bump of Anchor Line Properties. Melissa Zampitella, president of MassCommute, moderates the webinar. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. | Registration)

CLIMATE BEACON CONFERENCE - DAY TWO: Policymakers, industry leaders and climate advocates return for the second day of the inaugural Climate Beacon Conference, which describes itself as "built for and about practitioners of climate change solutions." Speakers for Day Two include Boston Mayor Wu, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Tepper, The Trustees President and CEO Katie Theoharides, and Black Economic Council of Massachusetts President and CEO Nicole Obi. Gov. Healey served as an honorary co-chair of the conference, but a spokesperson said she is "unfortunately not able to attend." (Wednesday, 9 a.m., New England Aquarium, Simons Theater | Agenda)

PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL: Public Health Council meets virtually and hears an update from Department of Public Health Commissioner Goldstein. Members are slated to vote on amending, on an emergency basis, regulations for implementing the Controlled Substances Act. Also on the agenda are informational presentations about performance standards for local public health and resources for families experiencing homelessness. (Wednesday, 9 a.m. | Agenda and Livestream)

MATERNAL HEALTH POLICY FORUM: Attorney General Campbell delivers remarks at a maternal health policy forum hosted by the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans. Dr. Hafsatou Diop, director of the Division of Maternal and Child Health Research and Analysis at the Department of Public Health, provides a briefing on severe maternal morbidity data. A session called "Turning Grief into Action" will feature personal stories from Stephanie Crawford of Propa City Community Outreach and Nneka Hall of Mother IS Supreme Inc. There's also a panel discussion about solutions for improving maternal health outcomes with former Rep. Jamie Belsito, Dr. Thea James of Boston Medical Center, Sen. Liz Miranda, and Michele Wolfsberg. To register, email (Wednesday, 9:15 a.m., Amherst room at UMass Club, One Beacon St., Boston)

GOLDBERG AT CHAMBER FORUM: Treasurer Goldberg speaks at a government affairs forum hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. (Wednesday, 9:45 a.m., Bank of America, 100 Federal St., Boston | Tickets)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - SISITSKY HEARING: Governor's Council holds pre-confirmation interview with Adam Sisitsky, a partner at Boston law firm Mintz who was nominated to a Superior Court judgeship by Gov. Healey on Oct. 4. If confirmed, Sisitsky would fill the vacancy left by Judge Thomas Drechsler, a Gov. Patrick appointee who retired in March. Sisitsky's resume describes him as an "[e]xperienced trial attorney, litigator and counselor for over 25 years" with experience representing corporations and individuals in both state and federal courts. He served on the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments for five years during Gov. Baker's administration and chaired the panel from 2018 to 2019. The New England School of Law graduate also holds a bachelor's in political science from American University and a master's in public administration from Framingham State College. He has coached basketball and baseball in Framingham, according to his application materials, and serves on the board of Newton-based Independent Jewish Community, Inc. A onetime Democratic primary opponent of Karen Spilka's when she first sought her MetroWest Senate seat in 2004, Sisitsky is also the son of Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky. Councilor Terrence Kennedy of Lynnfield fills in to chair this hearing since Sisitsky's home district does not currently have council representation. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

"RENEWABLES ON THE RISE" REPORT: Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center hosts an event to release the latest version of the "Renewables on the Rise" interactive dashboard, which tracks clean energy trends over the past decade. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., UMass Boston, West Parking Garage, Eight Floor underneath solar canopy, Columbia Point, Boston)

TRANSFER FEES HEARING: Lawmakers officially wade into the topic of ongoing debate -- real estate transfer fees, where an additional levy is imposed on the sale of property to help fund affordable housing efforts. The Joint Committee on Revenue hearing docket features home rule petitions from cities and towns that want state permission to establish transfer fees, including Boston, Somerville, Arlington and Provincetown. In the face of a worsening crisis in housing affordability, House and Senate Democrats are facing pressure to embrace the proposals, which have been kept down in past sessions in the face of strong resistance from the real estate lobby. Supporters such as Boston Mayor Wu argue that adding an extra tax on property sales -- especially for higher-value transactions -- can generate much-needed revenue to steer into affordable housing. Other bills on the committee's agenda deal with the estate tax that just got reformed, creation of a business tax to fund homelessness prevention, and taxing social media data collection. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

FUNDING FOR CRIME VICTIMS: The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) holds a legislative briefing on a multi-year state funding request prompted by what it describes as "devastating cuts" to the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). The briefing is a collaboration with Rep. Decker and Sen. Comerford. MOVA says the Legislature has allocated $40 million so far for the VOCA Bridge to support victims services and programs. But MOVA says another $25 million is needed in fiscal 2025 to maintain programming. MOVA Executive Director Liam Lowney gives remarks. A panel discussion includes Chaplain Clementina Chéry of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Diana Mancera of New Hope, Inc., Jeffrey Trant of the Children's Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin, and Beth Leventhal of The Network/La Red. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 428 | Livestream)

EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Education holds a hybrid public hearing on more than 50 bills focused on curriculum and instruction. The agenda includes the Healthy Youth Act from Rep. O'Day and Sen. DiDomenico (H 544 / S 268), which requires school districts to provide "medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual health education" that's deemed appropriate for all students "regardless of gender, race, disability status, sexual orientation, or gender identity." The legislation allows parents and legal guardians to withdraw students from all or part of the instruction. The hearing comes less than a month after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved an updated and more inclusive sex and health education framework, which offers guidelines for teaching about bodily autonomy, sexually transmitted infections, and emotional health, among other topics. Opposed to the legislative proposals, the Massachusetts Family Institute issued an action alert for the hearing, telling members the "radical, pornographic Sex Education Mandate bill" is "anything but healthy for the youth of Massachusetts." The hearing was slated for Tuesday in Gardner Auditorium, but the space is now being used for the House Ways and Means Committee's gun bill hearing. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room B-2 | Agenda and Livestream)

CONCON RETURNS: House and Senate gather jointly as the state's Constitutional Convention returns from a five-month recess. Most ConCon sittings quickly gavel in and out, and most proposed amendments die without a vote at session's end. This year's Joint Calendar features nine proposals for amendments dealing with issues like restoration of the right to vote for incarcerated felons, the mandatory judicial retirement age, and eminent domain land takings, along with a proposed edit to reflect the preponderance of municipal "select boards" as opposed to the once-prevalent "boards of selectmen." (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber | Livestream)

CHILD CARE LEGISLATION RESEARCH: UMass Boston researchers present a new brief that they say estimates the likely "utilization, employment and financial assistance" from legislation aimed at expanding access to affordable child care and early education. Lawmakers have been weighing additional action to help families navigate sky-high child care costs, and Senate President Spilka has suggested the issue is one of her top priorities this session. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 222)

GAMING AGENDA-SETTING: Mass. Gaming Commission meets to select the topics it will discuss in greater detail or act upon at future commission business meetings. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Governor's Council meets. No pending nominations are expected up for a vote. Lt. Gov. Driscoll usually presides. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources holds a hybrid public hearing on 40 bills dealing with forestry, parks and recreation, land policy and open spaces. Proposals look to crack down on "excessive parking fees" at beaches, including those that restrict access to residents or renters in municipalities where those beaches are located. Other bills look to make trails accessible for people of all abilities; create an outdoor recreation trust fund intended to benefit underserved communities; and establish a program to help municipalities seek funding and technical assistance to plant and replace trees, with one goal aiming to expand the urban tree canopy cover in environmental justice neighborhoods. Also on the agenda is legislation to strengthen protections for wildlife management areas, including places that have a "high capacity for ongoing carbon capture and storage" or that "contribute to the mitigation of climate change impacts." (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Room A-1 | Agenda and Livestream)

EARLY ED MEETING: The Board of Early Education and Care meets. The agenda includes discussion and action on proposed regulations for child care licensing and the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund Grant Program, with funding meant to support construction and renovation of early education centers. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Department of Early Education and Care central office, 50 Milk St., 5th floor, Boston | Agenda and Livestream)

MASS. AFL-CIO CONFERENCE - DAY ONE: The Massachusetts AFL-CIO kicks off its three-day Biennial Constitutional Convention, where attendees will hear from elected officials and are expected to select a new top leader. Chrissy Lynch, the group's secretary-treasurer, is running unopposed to succeed retiring president Steven Tolman with the election set for the convention's first day, according to the Boston Globe. National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler plans to address the convention Wednesday, according to a spokesperson. The event is closed to press, the spokesperson said. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Encore Boston Harbor, 1 Broadway, Everett)

HATE CRIMES: The Task Force on Hate Crimes' legislative subcommittee meets virtually. The agenda includes a discussion of 10 bills dealing with hate crimes, including proposals to strengthen protections for victims and to expand the definition of a hate crime. (Wednesday, 3 p.m. | Agenda and Livestream)

CHINESE AMERICAN ALLIANCE GALA: New England Chinese American Alliance holds its annual gala. Tickets are $125 and Auditor Diana DiZoglio and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are listed as "VIP guests." (Wednesday, 5 p.m., City Hall Plaza, Boston)

HEALTH COUNCIL AWARDS: Massachusetts Health Council holds its annual awards reception, featuring food made by local "celebrity chefs" and high school culinary students. Organizers say funds raised through the event will support projects like the Student Health Careers Project, meant to create a pathway for students to access health care jobs. This year's honorees are Christine Schuster of Emerson Health; Ivana Magovcevic-Liebisch of Vigil Neuroscience; Edward Kaye of Stoke Therapeutics; and leaders from the Health Equity Compact, including Rosa Colon-Kolacko, Michael Curry, Filaine Deronnette, Juan Fernando Lopera, Manuel Lopes, Nancy Norman and Jeffrey Sánchez. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Cyclorama, 539 Tremont St., Boston | More Info)

WARREN TOWN HALL: U.S. Sen. Warren participates in a town hall focused on arts and higher education. It's hosted by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Mass Creative, and the State Universities of Massachusetts Council of Presidents. Doors open at 5 p.m. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., MassArt Tower Auditorium, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston)

BOSTON CITY COUNCIL FORUM: A Boston City Council candidate forum for District 7 features Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson and her opponent, former at-large city councilor Althea Garrison. It's moderated by political strategist Jacquetta Van Zandt. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., 122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury | Registration)

SHARED USE PATH: MassDOT staff host a virtual public hearing to discuss a proposed shared use path along Mount Tom Road in Easthampton and Northampton. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Zoom)

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023

MASS. AFL-CIO CONFERENCE - DAY TWO: The Massachusetts AFL-CIO returns for day two of its Biennial Constitutional Convention. A Mass. AFL-CIO spokesperson said speakers will include Gov. Healey, U.S. Sen. Warren, Attorney General Campbell, Boston Mayor Wu, and NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha Sullivan. The event is closed to press, the spokesperson said. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Encore Boston Harbor, 1 Broadway, Everett)

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

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

HOUSE TUE HEARING: The House side of the "Joint" Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy convenes a public hearing to consider bills that would affect municipalities, two weeks after their Senate counterparts held a hearing on the same topic. Most of the proposals focus on energy infrastructure at the city and town level, such as municipal light plants and load aggregation programs. Officials are working to transition to clean energy sources across the state to help achieve a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 enshrined in law. Those with an opinion on the legislation will need to testify a second time at the House-only hearing to ensure all lawmakers on the committee hear their message. Committee co-chairs Sen. Michael Barrett and Rep. Jeff Roy have been unable to reach agreement on a way to work together and have instead been holding bifurcated proceedings. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room A-2 and Virtual | Agenda and Access Info)

CANNABIS COMMISSION: Cannabis Control Commission is expected to meet for its typical October business meeting. Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion is acting as chair while Chairwoman Shannon O'Brien fights Treasurer Deborah Goldberg's removal of her from the CCC. (Thursday, 10 a.m., More Info)

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

OUTDOOR ADVERTISING: MassDOT Office of Outdoor Advertising holds a virtual meeting. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Zoom)

HOUSE: House plans to hold an informal session, its second and final informal meeting of the short week. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

SENATE: Senate plans to meet without a calendar and close out the short week without a formal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

FACIAL RECOGNITION: Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, Rep. Dave Rogers, and Rep. Orlando Ramos host a briefing on their legislation aimed at limiting police use of facial recognition technology. The bills (H 1728 / S 927) contain last year's recommendations from the state Facial Recognition Technology Commission, according to the ACLU, and would "enable police to use facial recognition technology to investigate serious crimes, while establishing safeguards to guarantee civil rights and due process." A journal article from July in the MIT Technology Review said the proposal "would be one of the strictest pieces of statewide legislation in the country and could set the standard for how face recognition is regulated elsewhere," while "[o]n the other hand, if a vote is delayed or fails, it would be yet another sign that the movement is waning as the country moves on to other policy issues." Both bills have sat in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary since February and have not yet been advertised for a public hearing. Panelists at the briefing include UMass Amherst computer scientist and AI expert Erik Learned-Miller, Rahsaan Hall of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and Kade Crockford and Gavi Wolfe from the ACLU of Massachusetts. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Room 428)

MERIT RATING BOARD: Merit Rating Board, part of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, meets virtually. (Thursday, 2 p.m., Zoom)

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE: The Human Rights Advisory Committee, housed within the Department of Mental Health to protect the dignity and respect of clients, meets. Agenda includes updates on child and adolescent services, as well as community services. For Teams access, email (Thursday, 2 p.m., Department of Mental Health central office, 25 Staniford St. | More Info)

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

MASS. AFL-CIO CONFERENCE - DAY THREE: The Massachusetts AFL-CIO wraps up its three-day Biennial Constitutional Convention. Auditor DiZoglio and Secretary of State Galvin are scheduled to speak. The event is closed to press, the spokesperson said. (Friday, 9 a.m., Encore Boston Harbor, 1 Broadway, Everett)

MASSDOT FINANCE COMMITTEE: Department of Transportation Board of Directors Finance and Audit Subcommittee meets virtually. (Friday, 10 a.m., More Info)

WHITE CANE AWARENESS DAY: The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) holds a White Cane Awareness Day celebration. The white cane, according to MCB, is "recognized around the world as a means for identifying and empowering people who are blind and visually impaired." White Cane Day has been a national observance since 1964, according to MCB. Attendees can use the accessible State House entrance at Ashburton Park; people using rideshare services can use 122 Bowdoin St. as a drop-off address. MCB says guides will be on hand to help guests. (Friday, 11 a.m., Great Hall)

DeSANTIS "POLITICS & EGGS": Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, is the guest at a "Politics & Eggs" event hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College. Media asked to RSVP online. (Friday, 2:30 p.m., New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Rd., Manchester, New Hampshire)

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023

ASPERGER WORKS ANNUAL DINNER: Asperger Works holds its annual Dinner of Hope, with plans to mark the nonprofit's 11th anniversary, celebrate everyone on the autism spectrum, and "focus on their struggles to become accepted in our communities as employed individuals." According to the organization, its funding dried up during the pandemic and it was unable to pay rent at an office in Lawrence. "The owner of the building was rather magnanimous and allowed us to stay in our office rent-free for a number of months. But eventually, we had to pack up the office and move," according to Asperger Works. "In March 2021, we rented space at a local church in Haverhill, where we stayed until August 2022. Since then, we have been operating mostly through the use of ZOOM, phone calls, and email. It is our hope that soon we will be able to find an affordable new home." Governor's Council member Eileen Duff is scheduled to speak and Auditor Diana DiZoglio plans to receive an award. (Saturday, 6 p.m., Maria's Family Restaurant, 81 Essex St., Haverhill | More Info)

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