Franklin, State House, and Beyond


Gov. Charlie Baker looks toward House Speaker Ron Mariano at a May 2 press availability, after a reporter asked Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka whether they planned to act on any of Baker's legislative goals during his final year in office.


Monday, May 16

Franklin For All - Public Forum: Draft Recommendation Review


EDC Meeting


Library Board of Directors Meeting


Tuesday, May 17

School Committee Agenda




CANCELED - Community Preservation Committee Meeting


Wednesday, May 18

Thursday, May 19

Town Council Office Hours


Senior Coffee Hour w/ State & Local Officials


Cultural District Committee Partners Meeting


ZBA Meeting



Come November, Republicans in Massachusetts are at risk of being swept in statewide races, including the contest for governor, and seeing their minority ranks in the Legislature shrink even further. With that backdrop, party members will spend next week gearing up for their election-year nominating convention in Springfield and testing out messages they hope will resonate with voters. Only two of the statewide races that will feature at the convention have multiple Republican candidates: the contest for governor, which involves former Rep. Geoff Diehl and businessman Chris Doughty, and for lieutenant governor, where a pair of former reps, Leah Cole Allen and Kate Campanale, will face off. The other hopefuls -- attorney general candidate Jay McMahon, secretary of state candidate Rayla Campbell, and auditor candidate Anthony Amore -- are all positioned as presumptive Republican nominees. GOP Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are calling it quits this year, and Democrats are feeling good about retaking the governor's office. In a WBUR radio interview Thursday, Baker took an apolitical approach when asked about the future of his party. Instead of talking up Republicans, Baker, without mentioning any party, said he would support candidates he believes in and urged a place at policymaking tables in Massachusetts and nationwide for "moderates." Baker's roots as a moderate Republican extend back to the 1990s with GOP Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci. Gov. Jane Swift, also a moderate, gave way to Mitt Romney, who brought his own Republican brand to Beacon Hill. By defeating former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, Democrat Deval Patrick broke the GOP's run in the governor's office for eight years before Baker and Polito grabbed the key office back for Republicans. But Baker and Polito are not attempting to pass the torch to a successor. Perhaps the biggest surprise when the duo announced their plans this year was the fact that Polito would not run for governor. Baker and Polito, who would have faced strong intraparty opposition had they run, won't be in Springfield when party delegates choose a nominee for governor. Their exits from the political stage leave the party's future in the hands of candidates who face long uphill climbs in their attempts to lure voters from across the political spectrum into their corners. While Democrats hold a roughly three-to-one voter registration advantage over Republicans in Massachusetts, the GOP has always banked on grabbing votes from independent voters, who are the largest voting bloc in the state. The convention is scheduled to gavel in at 9 a.m. May 21 at the MassMutual Center. According to the party, more than 3,000 delegates were qualified at caucuses in February to consider candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor. The guest speakers include Congressman Byron Donalds of Florida, former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan, and former 40 Days For Life leader David Bereit.

Back on Beacon Hill, top Democrats appear in no rush to wrap up work on multiple bills they have already passed in some form or named as priorities. Most of the major pieces on the Legislature's board for the final two and a half months of formal sessions, including tax breaks and a pair of multibillion-dollar bills targeting infrastructure and economic development, did not move at all over the past week. As Speaker Ronald Mariano put it in February: "There's 'legislative' quickly and then there's 'press' quickly." Something is brewing in the House, which plans to meet in back-to-back formal sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, but Mariano's office did not make clear by the end of the day Friday what bills it would bring forward. Senators will have a light workload next week, allowing the Ways and Means Committee and Senate leaders to work through the 1,178 amendments filed to the chamber's $49.68 billion fiscal 2023 budget bill ahead of the start of debate on May 24. The House and Senate still have not officially named a conference committee that will be tasked with closing the significant distance between the two branches' approaches to legalizing sports wagering, though Senate President Karen Spilka said Friday the measure is "going to conference right now." After keeping constituents in the dark on her personal views about sports betting, Spilka -- who also committed to ensuring each senator's position gets recorded if and when a final proposal emerges from negotiations -- told GBH's "Boston Public Radio" that she is "not a fan of gambling" but "would have voted yes on this particular bill based on the very strong pieces of consumer protection (and) problem gaming" it included.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

BAY STATE ECONOMY: Jon Keller talks with management expert and market analyst Peter Cohan of Babson College about the threat of a recession, layoffs in the local tech industry, Beacon Hill debate over cutting taxes and suspending the gas tax, and lessons of the pandemic for the Massachusetts economy. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

Monday, May 16, 2022

MUNICIPALITIES COMMITTEE - WRITTEN TESTIMONY: Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government accepts written testimony through 5 p.m. Thursday on four home rule petitions dealing with local charters and boards as well as a water resource funding bill (S 2869). (Monday, 9 a.m., More Info)

ENERGY STORAGE REPORT: Storage of electricity is a crucial part of the strategy for a global clean energy future, and with the task of decarbonizing the power grid growing more urgent every day, the MIT Energy Initiative will release a three-year study of the storage question in Washington, D.C.. The initiative plans to make policy and technology recommendations as part of its Future of Energy Storage report, and the event seems likely to garner international attention from the academic, public and private sectors. The storage report draws conclusions from a three-year study investigating the possibilities and most promising options for batteries that can make full use of the electricity generated by wind turbines, solar arrays and other components of the renewable energy grid. The report will highlight pathways to scale up the leading storage technologies to the capacity needed to enable a full-size green energy infrastructure. Details at (Monday, 9:30 a.m., American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.)

HOUSE, SENATE INFORMALS: House and Senate plan to meet, both in informal sessions. (Monday, 11 a.m., House and Senate Chambers)

MBTA SAFETY SUBCOMMITTEE: MBTA Subcommittee on Safety, Health and Environment meets. The federal government is in the midst of an intervention and investigation into MBTA safety in the wake of numerous crashes and safety concerns at the authority. (Monday, 11 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

CONSUMER SHOPPING RIGHTS: Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation co-hosts event with the Worcester County District Attorney's Office in conjunction with the West Brookfield Council on Aging to discuss consumer shopping rights including expressed and implied warranties, return policies, defective merchandise, pricing discrepancies, and shopping online. (Monday, 12:30 p.m., 73 Central St., West Brookfield | Registration)

MASS GENERAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN DUE: Mass General Brigham, the state's largest hospital system, faces a deadline to submit a performance improvement plan with the Health Policy Commission. The HPC, which in April approved a 60-day extension to MGB's deadline, for the first time exercised its authority requiring a plan targeting spending growth after regulators said MGB had more cumulative commercial spending in excess of the state's health care cost growth benchmark than any other provider. (Monday)

GAMING REVENUE: Mass. Gaming Commission is due to report April gross gaming revenue and the state's take. In terms of revenue, March was the best month on record for Encore Boston Harbor, the third-best month ever for MGM Springfield and the second-best month for Plainridge Park Casino since Encore opened. (Monday)

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

BUSINESS SYMPOSIUM: Charles River Regional Chamber holds virtual Spring Business Symposium "focused on the opportunities and challenges our region's businesses and non-profits need to make the remainder of 2022 a success." Panelists include Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Vice President Hilina Ajakaiye, Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst, and ArtsBoston Executive Director Catherine Peterson. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Registration)

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION COMMISSION: Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression meets virtually to recognize Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Day. The event will feature a presentation from MCPAP for Moms, a panel discussion on the out-of-hospital birth care model, and a presentation on "screening and uplifting fathers." (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

UI TRUST FUND COMMISSION: A commission tasked with studying the state's unemployment insurance system and recommending ways to keep it solvent convenes a hybrid meeting, where chairs expect to vote on the group's final proposals. The flood of joblessness during the COVID-19 pandemic left the account, which is funded by employers, in the red before Massachusetts borrowed more than $2.2 billion from the federal government to keep benefits flowing. Officials have also been grappling with how to handle unemployment benefits mistakenly overpaid. The meeting will take place both in a State House hearing room and via livestream. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Room A-2 | Agenda and Access Info)

SEAL AND MOTTO COMMISSION: A state commission tasked with reviewing the official Massachusetts seal and motto meets virtually to hear a report from the group's History and Usages Subcommittee. The panel's chairs also expect to discuss the scope of a new design or revision to the seal and motto. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HEALTH CARE LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING: Health Care For All holds virtual briefing to discuss the health care issues the progressive policy group sees as most critical to Massachusetts residents, including the affordability of health care and inequities in maternal health. "The briefing will also cover policy decisions to address these key issues and challenges that the Massachusetts health care system will face in the coming years. Legislators and their staff are invited to join," said HCFA in its announcement. (Tuesday, 1 p.m.,Agenda and Access Info)

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS PANEL: University of Massachusetts Amherst hosts an online panel discussion titled, "The End of Roe? From the Past of Reproductive Rights to the Future of Reproductive Justice." Panelists are Carrie Baker, the Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Chair of American Studies and professor in the program for the study of women and gender at Smith College; UMass Amherst legal studies and political science professor Paul Collins; Marisa Pizii of Reproductive Justice (Western MA) and the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts; Tannuja Rozario, a doctoral student at UMass, co-founder of the South Queens Women's March and board member of the New York Birth Control Access Project; and UMass associate professor of political science and legal studies Jamie Rowen, director of the Center for Justice, Law and Societies. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Registration)

BRIDGEWATER STATE HOSPITAL TALK: Criminal Justice Reform Caucus and Disability Law Center host a briefing, where Rep. Balser and Sen. Creem plan to discuss their legislation (H 2063 / S 1267) that would transfer Bridgewater State Hospital from the Department of Correction to the Department of Mental Health. Other speakers include DLC Interim Executive Director Tatum Pritchard, Massachusetts Association for Mental Health Co-Director of Public Policy Jennifer Honig and National Alliance on Mental Illness Chapter Board Member Tom Kavanaugh, who is also a parent of a Bridgewater State patient. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Register)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

MASSDOT BOARD: MassDOT Board of Directors meets. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE - WRITTEN TESTIMONY: Joint Committee on Public Service collects written testimony on five late-filed bills dealing with local police officers and creditable service. Testimony will be collected through 5 p.m. Thursday. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., More Info)

LAWMAKERS RECOGNIZE MISSING CHILDREN'S DAY: Sen. Gobi and Rep. Smola host a virtual event to recognize Missing Children's Day 2022, featuring speakers who will call for legislative initiatives to help find missing people and identify risks. Dr. Ann Marie Mires, director of the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly at Anna Maria College, and Melanie McLaughlin of Product Productions LLC will also host. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - JUDGE RAYBURN: Governor's Council interviews District Court Judge Katie Cook Rayburn, who was nominated to the Superior Court bench by Gov. Baker on May 4. Rayburn, of Weymouth, has sat as a judge in Plymouth and Bristol counties since 2017. As a Bristol County prosecutor she was assigned to the Conrad Roy/Michelle Carter texting-suicide case. Councilor Iannella presides. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

HOUSE FORMAL: House plans to meet in a full formal session, the first of two days of back-to-back formals. Speaker Mariano's office did not inform representatives what legislation will be brought forward for debate. Roll calls are set to begin at 1 p.m. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

HOUSE DEMS CAUCUS: House Democrats meet in a hybrid caucus ahead of the start of roll calls in a full formal session. Those who participate in-person will gather in Rooms A1 and A2. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Room A1 and A2)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - CONFIRMATION VOTES: Governor's Council is scheduled to meet and could vote on whether to confirm three Gov. Baker nominees: criminal defense attorney Joseph Griffin Jr. to the Boston Municipal Court bench; Barbara Yolette Burton, currently acting clerk magistrate pro tempore of Chicopee District Court, as permanent clerk magistrate in that courthouse; and Springfield/Hartford sole practitioner Brandon Freeman as a District Court judge, filling the vacancy left by Judge John Payne Jr.'s retirement last year from Springfield District Court. The three votes were due up at a council assembly May 11, but that session was cancelled. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - JUDGE ELLIS: Governor's Council interviews District Court Judge Sarah Weyland Ellis, whom Gov. Baker tapped May 4 for a move to the Superior Court. A former legal policy director and deputy general counsel to the District Court system, Ellis has sat as first justice of Waltham District Court since December, following nearly five years as an associate justice. Councilor Devaney presides. Devaney announced the date of the Ellis hearing at the council's May 4 assembly and made a "plea" to her colleagues that they schedule only one hearing per day. "I respectfully ask that the councilor who has two [nominees], please do not schedule them the same day," Devaney said, turning to Councilor Iannella. She added, "I will make mine two weeks from now, and I hope it'll be the only one, and out of respect I hope the council will honor that." Iannella subsequently scheduled the Judge Rayburn interview for Wednesday morning. (Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GREEN LINE UPGRADES: MBTA's Green Line Transformation team holds public meeting to discuss the installation schedule for the Green Line Train Protection System and track rehabilitation work on the line's B, C, D, and E branches. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Zoom)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

MASSPORT BOARD MEETS: Massachusetts Port Authority Board of Directors meets. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

PRIM BOARD MEETING: Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board meets virtually. Treasurer Goldberg Chairs. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE FORMAL: House plans to meet in a full formal session for the second straight day. Speaker Mariano's office did not inform representatives what legislation will be brought forward for debate. Roll calls will start at a time to be determined. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

SENATE SESSION: Senate meets in an informal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

OFFSHORE WIND WEBINAR: Offshore wind in New England is the featured topic in a webinar hosted by The Nature Conservancy. Tricia Jedele, Atlantic coast offshore wind policy manager at TNC, discusses the state of offshore wind in the region and how the group is working to advance siting of new turbines. (Thursday, 12 p.m., Register)

AFGHAN RESETTLEMENT WEBINAR: International Institute of New England holds a virtual town hall to discuss its work to resettle Afghan evacuees in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. IINE staff will talk about firsthand experiences and answer questions. (Thursday, 5 p.m., Registration)

BUS NETWORK REDESIGN: MBTA holds virtual meeting to present a draft map as part of a bus network redesign project, answer questions, and listen to public feedback. The T says the map will be shared for extensive public feedback in May, June, and July. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Zoom)

Friday, May 20, 2022

UNEMPLOYMENT, JOBS NUMBERS: Labor officials release Massachusetts unemployment rate and jobs data for April. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in March as employers added 21,000 jobs. (Friday)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

MASSGOP 2022 CONVENTION: Massachusetts Republicans gather at the MassMutual Center for their 2022 Nominating Convention. Delegates selected by local caucuses will consider Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor, each of whom must receive the votes of at least 15 percent of delegates to qualify for the Sept. 6 primary election ballot. Only two of the races feature two or more candidates: former Rep. Geoff Diehl and businessman Chris Doughty for governor, and former Reps. Leah Cole Allen and Kate Campanale for lieutenant governor. Every other candidate for a statewide office to be considered at the convention -- Jay McMahon for attorney general, Rayla Campbell for secretary of state and Anthony Amore for auditor -- does not face a Republican opponent, according to a party spokesperson. Guest speakers include Congressman Byron Donalds of Florida, Fox News contributor and former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, and strategist David Bereit.

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