Franklin, State House, and Beyond



Tuesday, June 14

COA Meeting


Municipal Affordable Housing Trust


Design Review Commission Meeting


Wednesday, June 15

School Committee Negotiations Sub Committee agenda


Finance Committee Meeting


Thursday, June 16

Town Council Office Hours


Senior Coffee Hour w/ State & Local Officials


ZBA Meeting



Lawmakers put a driver's license access bill on the books this week over Gov. Charlie Baker's veto but will try to get his signature on an historic elections `reform’ bill that could reach his desk next week. The bill (S 2924) that would make mail-in and early voting permanent sailed through the Senate Thursday on a 37-3 vote and is expected to easily clear the House. After a Senate vote this week, the branches also have an opportunity before summer to send the governor a bill authorizing $350 million in investments in local roads and transportation projects, including $200 million that will be run through the Chapter 90 formula used to spread aid among the 351 cities and towns. This week's sudden announcement of a House-Senate agreement on the election bill served as a reminder that it's the point in the two-year session when the branches can strike sudden accords on major bills, or start advancing bills that have been toiling all session in committees. The Ways and Means committees, which are graveyards for many major bills, also become more active in June and July, popping out bills that often quickly cruise to passage. This week, Speaker Ron Mariano said he believed bills were ripening that would address workplace violence and access to prescription drugs. While conference committees continue to shape the annual state budget, a climate and emissions bill, and sports betting legislation, the branches have a long way to go -- and about seven weeks to get there -- on a major economic development bill and legislation designed to help the state capture its share of federal infrastructure funds and, perhaps, to take a major step toward passenger rail service to the state's westernmost regions. Another investment bill, the so-called general government bond bill focused on upkeep of state assets, is set to be amended and approved Thursday when the Senate plans a formal session. The House version of that bill totaled about $5 billion. Also next week, things are heating up before the Governor's Council, where Gov. Baker has a chance during his final months in office to load up the judiciary with scores of appointees. Among the nominees set for hearings on Wednesday: state Rep. James Kelcourse, an Amesbury Republican picked to join the Parole Board.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

WU ON 4: Boston Mayor Wu talks with Jon Keller about the Boston Public Schools, AG Healey's gubernatorial campaign, and preservation of Boston City Hall. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV Ch. 4)

DRISCOLL ON 5: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, candidate for lieutenant governor, is the guest on "On The Record" followed by a roundtable with analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV Ch. 5)

FREDERICK DOUGLASS READING: Salem Athenaeum hosts a public reading of the Frederick Douglass speech, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July," followed by a reception. Supported by a Mass Humanities grant, the event is free with donations accepted on behalf of The Salem Pantry. (Sunday, 3 p.m., Tabernacle Congregational Church, 50 Washington St., Salem)

Monday, June 13, 2022

MBTA SAFETY COMMITTEE: MBTA Board of Directors Safety, Health and Environment Subcommittee convenes its monthly meeting virtually. Discussion topics include an update on the Federal Transit Administration's safety management inspection into the T, an update on the June 1 Green Line crash near government center, and talk about trains taken out of service. (Monday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches meet in informal sessions. (Monday, 11 a.m. | Livestreams for House and Senate)

GRAHAM VS. SANDERS, SEEKING CIVILITY: The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is helping to bring together Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) for an Oxford-style debate, one of three planned by a coalition comprising the Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation. Topic of Monday's encounter: the economy. The two senators couldn't be farther apart on many issues, but the point of the project, the institute says, is to overcome the often mean-spirited and thoughtless bellosity that characterizes most modern disagreements on policy and philosophy. The debate will be streamed on FOX Nation, and moderated by Bret Baier of FOX. (Monday, 12 p.m., Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, 210 Morrissey Blvd., Boston)

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT TRUST: Economic Empowerment Trust board meets over Zoom, with Treasurer Goldberg as chair. Email or call 617-877-7761 for meeting access. (Monday, 1 p.m.)

BAKER, SPILKA, MARIANO MEET: Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito host Speaker Mariano, President Spilka, and other legislative leaders for a semi-regular meeting. A press availability typically follows. (Monday, 2 p.m., Room 360)

LICENSE BILL CELEBRATION: Lawmakers and advocates hold what they describe as a "ceremonial bill signing" to mark the state's new driver's-license access law, which is set to take effect in July 2023. The bill making Massachusetts illegal immigrants
eligible to apply for standard state driver's licenses became law without Gov. Baker's signature after the Legislature on Wednesday and Thursday overrode his veto. The measure is now officially on the state's books as Chapter 81 of the Acts of 2022, although candidate for governor Geoff Diehl says he'll back an effort to repeal the law. Event participants include Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Reps. Barber and Farley-Bouvier, Sens. Crighton and Gomez, Roxana Rivera of 32BJ SEIU, and Lenita Reason of the Brazilian Worker Center. (Monday, 4 p.m., State Library, State House)

BOND BILL AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Senators have until 5 p.m. to file amendments to S 2926, the Senate Ways and Means Committee's redraft of H 4807 financing the general governmental infrastructure of the Commonwealth, which is teed up for Thursday's session. (Monday, 5 p.m.)

BOSTON SCHOOLS MASK MANDATE LIFTS: Most students and staff in Boston Public Schools will no longer be required to wear masks indoors starting Monday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

GAMING AND PUBLIC SAFETY: Public Safety Subcommittee of the Gaming Policy Advisory Committee meets with an agenda that calls for review of a research paper on the impact of casinos on OUIs and OUI-related crashes, discussion of sports betting regulation impacts and a discussion of human trafficking. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

GOLDBERG FIRST PITCH: Treasurer Goldberg throws the first pitch at Tuesday's Red Sox game against the Oakland Athletics, part of a celebration honoring the State Lottery's 50th anniversary. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Fenway Park)

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

495/METROWEST PARTNERSHIP: President Spilka gives a keynote address at the 495/MetroWest Regional Partnership's "State House Day" in Framingham. The partnership writes that while it usually holds the annual event on Beacon Hill, "as the State House is not yet open to outside events, this year we are bringing the region's legislative delegation to you." Attendees must RSVP and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., McCarthy Center, Framingham State University, 93 State St., Framingham)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - DISTRICT COURT NOMINEE: Governor's Council interviews District Court judicial nominee Kimberly Foster, who currently serves as clerk magistrate of Somerville District Court. Foster previously chaired the Division of Insurance's Board of Appeal, was a criminal defense lawyer at Petruccelli and Foster, a Middlesex County prosecutor, and an aide to Sen. Charlie Shannon and Somerville Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay. Councilor Kennedy chairs. It's the start of a busy day for the council, which also has hearings on the docket for two Parole Board nominees and two Appellate Tax Board nominees, and plans a formal session to vote on a District Court candidate. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

MASSDOT BOARD MEETS: Department of Transportation Board of Directors convenes its monthly meeting. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Agenda | Livestream)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - PAROLE BOARD: Governor's Council plans back-to-back hearings on Gov. Baker's latest picks for the Parole Board: four-term Rep. James Kelcourse of Amesbury (10:30 a.m.) and forensic psychologist Dr. Maryanne Galvin of Plymouth (1 p.m.). Kelcourse, a defense attorney, has served in the House since 2015. If he is confirmed and departs the Legislature, his exit would drop the House GOP caucus to 27 members. Galvin, who works for behavioral health agency Forensic Health Services, "has conducted evaluations and consultations for the Commonwealth Trial Courts for several decades," Baker's office wrote. She worked from 1998 to 2021 for the state Department of Mental Health. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

SENATE DEMS CAUCUS: Senate Democrats meet in a private caucus ahead of a Thursday formal session. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., President Spilka's Office)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - ASSEMBLY: Governor's Council meets and could vote on the nomination of Westwood lawyer William Galvin, a former Suffolk County prosecutor, to a District Court circuit judgeship. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL - APPELLATE TAX BOARD: Governor's Council holds back-to-back hearings on Appellate Tax Board nominees. Mark DeFrancisco (3 p.m.), who already sits on the quasi-judicial board, is Gov. Baker's pick to serve as chair. The ATB hears and decides appeals of state and local tax decisions. Patricia Good (3:30 p.m.), a member of the board since 2013, is nominated for reappointment. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., Council Chamber | Livestream)

GAMING REVENUE: Mass. Gaming Commission is due to report on gaming revenues at the state's two casinos and one slots parlor during the month of May as well as the state's tax take for the month. Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor generated a cumulative $99 million in gross gaming revenue during April, a step back from the highs of March but still one of the best months on record for the industry that's been legal here for more than a decade. (Wednesday)

SALES TAX HOLIDAY DEADLINE: A 2018 law that also made changes to the state's minimum wage and premium-pay rules made a two-day break from the 6.25 percent sales tax an annual feature in Massachusetts, and tasked the Legislature with setting a specific date for the holiday by June 15. If lawmakers do not schedule the sales tax-free weekend by Wednesday, it will be up to the Department of Revenue to announce by July 1 which weekend in August it will suspend the sales tax on most items up to $2,500. Massachusetts has had a sales tax holiday weekend most years since 2004 and while critics have knocked the idea as a gimmick that just shifts when people make purchases, it is likely to be a popular topic on Beacon Hill this year as residents contend with sky-high gas prices and persistent inflation while the state sits on a glut of tax revenue. (Wednesday)

Thursday, June 16, 2022

FUNDING SCHOOL PROJECTS: Massachusetts School Building Authority holds a superintendent roundtable on funding school projects. Treasurer Goldberg participates in the Zoom event. Email for access. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m.)

SENATE FORMAL: Senate meets in a formal session with plans to take up a Senate Ways and Means redraft (S 2926) of a House-backed general government infrastructure bond bill (H 4807). The House's roughly $5 billion bill authorizes borrowing toward maintenance and modernization projects at state buildings, funds cybersecurity work and food infrastructure grants, and orders a five-year moratorium on prison and jail construction. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

BABY BONDS TASK FORCE: Baby Bonds Task Force holds a virtual kickoff meeting. Treasurer Goldberg offers welcome remarks. Email or call (781) 320-2000 for call-in info. (Thursday, 1 p.m.)

ALLSTON MULTIMODAL MEETING: MassDOT hosts a virtual public meeting to discuss a Notice of Project Change document for the proposed Allston megaproject that would place four rail tracks, 12 highway lanes, and a Charles River pedestrian boardwalk side-by-side. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Zoom)

U.S. OPEN IN BROOKLINE: For the first time since 1988, the U.S. Open will tee off at The Country Club in Brookline, where amatuer Francis Ouimet stunned the golf world with his victory in the 1913 U.S. Open. Practice rounds will take place Monday through Wednesday and the actual competition will run Thursday through Sunday, or longer if a playoff is necessary to determine a winner. More than 175,000 spectators are expected to attend, the town of Brookline said. "The tournament will bring in thousands of visitors and raise foot traffic for local businesses. That means more business for places like hotels and restaurants, as well as more tax revenue for the whole town," Brookline says on a website it maintains to connect residents with various U.S. Open-related resources. One of golf's four major championships, the U.S. Open comes as the golf world is roiled by the emergence of the new LIV Golf Series, a tour backed by Saudi Arabian money that has drawn some big names -- Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson among them -- away from the PGA Tour. The LIV Golf Series, which has drawn criticism as an attempt to "sportswash" the atrocities of the Saudi Arabian regime, is planning to host a tournament at The International in Bolton in September. Massachusetts has hosted the U.S. Open nine times previously -- 1898, 1901, 1905 and 1908 at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton; 1913, 1963 and 1988 in Brookline; 1919 at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton; and 1925 at Worcester Country Club. (Thursday, The Country Club, 191 Clyde St., Brookline)

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