Franklin, State House, and Beyond


Above, the ballot question involving the status and benefits for app-based drivers will not go before voters this fall and Attorney General Maura Healey was wrong to certify it for the ballot, the Supreme Judicial Court said Tuesday in a ruling that abruptly put the brakes on an expensive and contentious campaign.


Tuesday, June 21





Wednesday, June 22

Town Council Meeting


Community Preservation Committee Meeitng


Thursday, June 23

GATRA agenda


Conservation Commission Meeting



If legislators could get the state budget done on time, it would free up a lot of energy to focus on the significant remaining workload that awaits before formal sessions come to an end on July 31, and campaign season heats up. But that's a big if. In each of Gov. Charlie Baker's first seven years on the job, he filed an interim budget somewhere between June 19 and June 22 to keep state government running and give Democrats more time to produce a final annual budget. And they've taken that time to extend their talks often well into the new fiscal year, which begins July 1. Extended budget talks in a Legislature where power is centralized can pull decision-makers away from other priorities. Time-sensitive infrastructure and economic development bills have yet to surface in either branch, but they will. And Democrats are also known for, whether intentionally or not, rushing bills through the branches with no notice or debate at the eleventh hour. The House and Senate have each approved major bills addressing marijuana industry rules, climate policies and emission reductions, sports betting, and oversight of the state's two long-term care homes for veterans. Agreements on any of those bills could be struck at any time, or be put off until the negotiators are forced to move by the finality of a deadline. Ballot question supporters and opponents are also at a critical juncture. Opponents of a constitutional amendment imposing an income surtax on wealthy households are awaiting a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that could alter how that proposal is described to voters this election season. And if the Legislature has any plans to step in and pass alternatives to initiative petitions proposing new alcohol licensing rules and mandates on the dental care industry, they have to do so soon. Those campaigns must file a second required round of signatures at the local level by Wednesday and the questions will be locked into the ballot by early next month.

Storylines in Progress

... Gov. Baker is the next decision-maker on election reform and road and bridge funding bills that were pushed to his desk this week. He is expected to sign both, but amendments are always possible ... The MBTA's explosive news on Friday that it is switching to Saturday schedules for the rest of the summer on three major subway lines is likely to fuel debate and responses for weeks to come ... The MWRA meets Wednesday to consider changes in the water and sewer assessments charged to its customers ... The House on Tuesday has a chance to name negotiators to join three senators on a conference panel charged with coming up with a compromise bill addressing problems in the legal marijuana industry ....

Sunday, June 19, 2022

LESSER "ON THE RECORD" | Sen. Eric Lesser is the featured guest with Janet Wu on "On The Record." Lesser is one of the three Democrats running for lieutenant who survived the party's recent convention in Worcester, where party insiders disqualified Sen. Adam Hinds and Bret Bero from further consideration. (Sunday, 11 a.m., Channel 5)

DOUGHTY'S SUNDAY: Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor Chris Doughty and Kate Campanale have back-to-back interviews on WCRN-AM 830 (9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.) to start their day before Campanale heads to a car show in Hyannis (11 a.m.) and Doughty walks in the Semana Hispana parade in Lawrence (1 p.m.)

JUNETEENTH: Sunday is Juneteenth, a federal and state holiday that commemorates the day in 1865 that the last slaves held in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom, two years after President Abraham Lincolm issued the Emancipation Proclamation. (Sunday)

Monday, June 20, 2022

JUNETEENTH OBSERVED: The Juneteenth holiday will be observed in Massachusetts on Monday. The House and Senate are closed for the observance and all non-essential state administrative offices will be closed as well. "I am encouraged that many private sector employers are taking notice and using the new federal holiday to advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and commitments by closing or operating with skeleton crews on June 20th. Some employers who are not unable to shut down their operations are considering holiday pay premiums for working employees or letting employees use PTO or floating holidays on or around Juneteenth," Rep. Bud Williams, the author of the budget amendment that created the Juneteenth holiday, and the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion, said. "This is a great start in recognizing Juneteenth as an All-Inclusive Holiday to be enjoyed and celebrated by everyone!" (Monday)

CAMPANALE WITH CHAMBER: Lieutenant governor candidate Kate Campanale attends the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce's young professionals group kick-off event. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., Exhibit A Brewing Company, 81 Morton St., Framingham)

DOUGHTY AND CARR: Republican candidate for governor Chris Doughty is a guest on the Howie Carr Show. (Monday, 6 p.m., WRKO-AM 680)

MBTA SERVICE CUTS TAKE EFFECT: Red, Orange and Blue Line trains will run less frequently on weekdays under a new summer schedule that takes effect with the start of service Monday. The MBTA will run effectively Saturday schedules on the three lines during the week due to dispatcher shortages in the T's operations control center that federal inspectors warn pose a safety risk to riders and workers. Officials said the new schedule will remain in place "through the summer," unless the T can hire enough dispatchers to bump frequency back up. (Monday)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

SPILKA AT CHAMBER: About three weeks after her counterpart in the House gave remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Senate President Karen Spilka will meet with and address the business group. Much of the agenda for the last six weeks of formal lawmaking is set, but Spilka is likely to highlight her priorities and shed some light on how she sees the 192nd Great and General Court coming to a conclusion. Remarks begin at 8:10 a.m. More Info (Tuesday, 7:45 a.m., InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave., Boston)

POST COMMISSION: Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission meets for the first time since its June 15 deadline for departments to submit the names of officers who are up for recertification this year. Executive Director Enrique Zuniga is expected to provide an update on that process and the group will also take a vote to delegate hiring authority to Zuniga, according to its agenda. Officers who completed training by July 1, 2021, were considered certified under the policing reform law signed in late 2020 and a three-year recertification cycle was established based on where each officer's last name falls in the alphabet. Officers with last names starting with a letter A through H, including chiefs, reserve officers, and retired officers who work details, must be recertified by July 1, 2022. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

NATURE FUNDING LOBBY DAY: Members of Mass Audubon, Mass Rivers Alliance, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions and Mass Land Trust Coalition hold a lobby day to advocate for more funding for nature, including efforts to clean up air, water and natural landscapes, and to build communities more resilient to climate change. Virtual and in-person meetings with lawmakers on Wednesday follow the virtual kickoff event and training on Tuesday. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Sign-up Info)

HERITAGE DAY OF PORTUGAL: Sen. Marc Pacheco and Rep. Antonio Cabral, co-chairmen of the Portuguese American Legislative Caucus, host the 38th annual Heritage Day of Portugal virtually. The event will highlight "the accomplishments of Portuguese Americans in our community" and participants will be able to "enjoy the music and the conversation from home." There are currently 14 members of the Portuguese American Legislative Caucus. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., More Info and Access)

SEAL AND MOTTO COMMISSION: A state commission tasked with reviewing the official Massachusetts seal and motto meets virtually to hear reports from subcommittees and to get a presentation from commission member Micah Whitson, the chief creative officer at Athenahealth who was involved in the redesign of Mississippi's state flag. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., More Info and Access)

HOUSE AND SENATE SESSIONS: Both branches return from the long weekend to start a short week with light, livestreamed informal sessions. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., House and Senate chambers, House Livestream | Senate Livestream)

SENATE AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Amendments are due by 5 p.m. to S 923 updating bail procedures for justice-involved youth pending a report and new draft (S 2943) from Senate Ways and Means; and S 2671 relative to forfeiture reform. The Senate plans to take up the bills Thursday.

MBTA FARE EVASION HEARING: MBTA hosts a virtual public hearing to gather feedback on a proposed new fare evasion regulation that would call for inspectors and transit police to issue a warning to someone who does not pay a transit fare for a first offense in a three-year period and a noncriminal citation with varying fines for subsequent offenses. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Zoom)

REPUBLICAN RALLY: MassGOP hosts a rally with what Republican attorney general candidate Jay McMahon said is "the most diverse slate of candidates in the history of Massachusetts." The rally will feature gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, McMahon, secretary of state candidate Rayla Campbell, and candidates for Congress Donnie Palmer, Dean Tran, Hamilton Rodrigues and Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, as well as a handful of state representative candidates. "The radical left media and extreme progressive Democrat party have made false claims about MassGOP Chairman, Jim Lyons. They claim that Lyons is a racist; and yet Chairman Lyons has put forth the most diverse slate of candidates in the history of the Commonwealth. This slate is much more diverse than ever put out by the Massachusetts Democrat Party," McMahon said. Former secretary of veterans affairs Francisco Urena, who was ousted after the administrative problems at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home came to light, is the special guest. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Athenian Corner, 207 Market St., Lowell)

MICHLEWITZ SPEAKS TO BIZ GROUP: The trustees of the business-based Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation will get to hear from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Aaron Michlewitz. "Chairman Michlewitz’s timely presentation will cover budgetary, tax and other pending issues that the legislature will likely address before the end of the legislative session on July 31st," according to MTF. It's a virtual event, and closed to press. Contact Debbie Carroll for more information at

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

MASSDOT BOARD MEETS: Department of Transportation Board of Directors convenes its monthly meeting. Agenda topics include the department's fiscal years 2023-2027 capital investment plan, a labor agreement, and contract assistance for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY: Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors holds its regular meeting remotely, chaired by Treasurer Goldberg. Email for access info. (Wednesday, 10 a.m.)

PROHIBITION ON NUKES: U.S. Rep. McGovern holds a press conference with U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C., Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and other advocates to call for the United States to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., House Triangle, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.)

JOINT SENATE CAUCUS: Senate Democrats and Republicans hold a joint caucus a day ahead of a formal session that will feature debate on bills dealing with forfeiture reform and bail procedures for justice-involved youth. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate president's office)

HPC ADVISORY COUNCIL: Health Policy Commission's Advisory Council meets to review data and to discuss the agency's upcoming report on the utilization and cost of telehealth, which the Legislature directed the HPC to conduct. HPC staff will give an update on efforts to apply a health equity lens to the HPC's work. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Agenda)

MASS. WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY: Mass. Water Resources Authority holds a virtual meeting of its board of directors. The agenda calls for an update on the lawsuit brought against the MWRA by the Conservation Law Foundation, approval of the fiscal 2023 capital improvement plan, and consideration of final fiscal 2023 water and sewer assessments. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

AQUACULTURE PLAN -- SESSION ONE: NOAA Fisheries holds a hearing to accept public comment on its draft aquaculture strategic plan. "Aquaculture is a resource-efficient way to produce protein and it helps improve nutrition and food security in many parts of the world. Global and domestic demand for seafood is poised to grow, and while we continue to sustainably manage our wild harvest fisheries, we cannot meet increasing domestic demand for seafood through those fisheries alone," the plan says. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Register)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: Joint Committee on Public Service will accept written testimony on H 4861 to appoint retired police officers of the Town of Saugus as special police officers and S 2925 authorizing raising the maximum retirement age of special police officers in the town of Charlton to 70 years old until 5 p.m. Wednesday. (Wednesday, 5 p.m., More Info)

AQUACULTURE PLAN -- SESSION TWO: NOAA Fisheries holds a hearing to accept public comment on its draft aquaculture strategic plan. "Aquaculture is a resource-efficient way to produce protein and it helps improve nutrition and food security in many parts of the world. Global and domestic demand for seafood is poised to grow, and while we continue to sustainably manage our wild harvest fisheries, we cannot meet increasing domestic demand for seafood through those fisheries alone," the plan says. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Register)

BALLOT QUESTION SIGNATURE DEADLINE: Proponents of alcohol licensing reform and dental care ballot questions have until Wednesday to submit a second round of required voter signatures for certification at the city and town level. They need to file at least 13,374 certified signatures for this final round, and signatures must then be filed with Secretary Galvin's office by July 6. (Wednesday)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

MBTA BOARD MEETS: MBTA Board of Directors meets virtually for the first time since the Federal Transit Administration ordered the agency to make immediate changes to address glaring safety issues inspectors have found so far during a federal probe. In response to the feds, T officials said this week they are developing "mitigation measures." (Thursday, 10 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

PIPELINE LEAKS REPORT: MASSPIRG holds a virtual media conference to release a new report by MASSPIRG Education Fund, Environment Massachusetts and The Frontier Group analyzing federal state-by-state data on methane pipeline leaks and making recommendations on how to avoid future gas disasters. Organizers said Friday afternoon that a webinar link would be available soon. (Thursday, 10 a.m.)

SENATE FORMAL SESSION: A formal session in the Senate will feature, at a minimum, consideration of S 2943 a Senate Ways and Means redraft of S 923 updating bail procedures for justice-involved youth, and S 2671 relative to forfeiture reform. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

HOUSE FORMAL: House plans to meet in a full formal session. Speaker Mariano's office did not announce what legislation the House plans to take up, advising representatives to be prepared to consider "items printed on the calendar and papers from the Senate, as may be received." Roll calls begin at 1 p.m. (Thursday, 11 a.m., House Chamber)

HOUSE DEMS CAUCUS: House Democrats meet in a private caucus before roll calls begin in a full formal session. (Thursday, 12 p.m., Rooms A-1 and A-2)

MBTA BUS REDESIGN MEETING: MBTA staff host an in-person meeting at Ashmont Station to gather feedback from riders about a proposed new bus network map that would increase service by 25 percent across the board over a multi-year rollout. (Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Ashmont Station, Dorchester)

WOOSOX FIRST PITCH: Having warmed up in the big leagues, Treasurer Goldberg will throw out the first pitch at a Worcester Red Sox game as part of the celebration of the Mass. Lottery's 50th anniversary. Goldberg will also present a check to the United Way of Central Massachusetts. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Polar Park, 100 Madison St., Worcester)

FARE-FREE BUS HEARING: MBTA hosts a virtual public hearing to discuss a two-year pilot making bus service free of fares on the Routes 23, 28 and 29 in Boston. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Agenda and Access Info)

CONNECTICUT OPEN MEETING LAW: New England First Amendment Coalition kicks off a series of virtual classes about open meeting laws across the region with a look at Connecticut featuring ACLU of Connecticut Legal Director Dan Barrett. Boston Globe journalist Emily Sweeney will moderate each class, which also has support from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, MuckRock and the New England Society of News Editors. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Register)

Friday, June 24, 2022

SOTER SUMMER FEST: Rep. Soter hosts his 10th annual Soter Summer Fest golf tournament and pig roast, which this year serves as Soter's reelection campaign kick-off. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor Chris Doughty and Kate Campanale attend the pig roast portion of the event, which begins at 3 p.m. (Friday, 8 a.m., New England Country Club, 180 Paine St., Bellingham)

LESTER GRINSPOON RECONSIDERED: UMass Amherst hosts a day-long symposium to honor Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatrist and leading voice in the movement to reconsider marijuana prohibition laws, on what would have been his 94th birthday. Psychologist and neuroscientist Carl Hart will deliver the keynote address, and two of Grinspoon's sons, David and Peter, will kick the event off with a talk about their father. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., UMass Amherst Campus Center Auditorium | More Info)

"E.T." LANDS AT FENWAY: Steven Spielberg's classic "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" features at the 2022 Movie Night at Fenway, where the 40-year-old film will play on the stadium's videoboard for fans in the lower bowl and along the first base line. Attendees will be able to walk the warning track ahead of the screening. (Friday, 7:30 p.m., More Info)

BONDING COMMITTEE - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILL: A redrafted $1.2 billion economic development bill goes before the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets for a virtual hearing. The meeting could highlight pressure points between lawmakers over the fate of the roughly $2.3 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan Act money, which Gov. Baker included alongside the $1.2 billion in borrowing in his original downtowns and jobs bill (H 4720). Representatives on the Economic Development Committee stripped all ARPA spending out of the version they advanced (H 4864), a move senators were "not prepared" to make, according to Co-chair Sen. Eric Lesser. Speaker Mariano this week said House and Senate budget chiefs are negotiating how to allocate ARPA funds. (Friday, 11 a.m., Agenda and Access Info)

AMERICAN LEGION CONVENTION: Treasurer Goldberg will receive the "elected official of the year" award at the American Legion Department of Massachusetts' 103rd annual convention. (Friday, 11:30 a.m., Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough)

AQUACULTURE PLAN -- SESSION THREE: NOAA Fisheries holds a hearing to accept public comment on its draft aquaculture strategic plan. "Aquaculture is a resource-efficient way to produce protein and it helps improve nutrition and food security in many parts of the world. Global and domestic demand for seafood is poised to grow, and while we continue to sustainably manage our wild harvest fisheries, we cannot meet increasing domestic demand for seafood through those fisheries alone," the plan says. (Friday, 2 p.m., Register)

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