What's ahead in state government this week
Rosenberg to speak to the Falmouth Jewish Congregation
ARTICLE | POLITICS | OCTOBER 10, 2015 06:00 AM | BY STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
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Gov. Charlie Baker has slowly unveiled his policy agenda, waiting until midway through his first year in office to roll out energy and charter school access bills. Next week, the governor plans to file legislation intended to address the damage that's being left behind by heroin and opioid addiction and deaths. And as potentially the full Senate plans to hold a closed caucus on Wednesday to discuss charter schools, following up on a similar caucus this week, Baker plans to personally appeal to the Education Committee on Tuesday to allow more charter schools. The House plans on Wednesday to take a run at passing legislation clearing titles to foreclosed properties and targeting the theft of secondary metals. But the governor by next Thursday also has some decisions to make about the state budget he just signed in July.
After Baker in January inherited a fiscal 2015 budget that was hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance, lawmakers in July reversed tens of millions of dollars in spending vetoes handed down by Baker, whose team recently identified up to $250 million in spending exposures in the three-month-old fiscal 2016 budget. "It's going to be a tight year," Sen. Vinny deMacedo, who has sat in on numerous budget conferences over the years, said Thursday, hours before the Senate passed a $341 million spending bill. Baker's team faces a deadline on Thursday to make adjustments to its budget revenue estimates and the potential spending exposures are in addition to potential shortfalls associated with budget savings initiatives, additional spending stemming from this summer's budget veto overrides, and revenue reductions from the two-day sales tax holiday in August. Baker plans to review agency spending plans, first quarter tax collections, and the final fiscal 2015 spending bill that's nearing his desk. "We're going to want to make sure that as we get done working our way through this process, which will probably be this month, that we believe that we're in good stead financially to get through the fiscal year without having to go back and 9C anything," Baker said this week. "But that's a decision that's going to get made over the course of the next few weeks and we still have some data to collect."
While nominally intended to address "deficient" fiscal 2015 accounts, that bill also includes "supplemental" fiscal 2016 spending, prompting Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr to call it a "sufficiency budget." Tarr expressed concerns about the affordability of new spending authorizations. Senate budget chief Karen Spilka said legislators are "not spending what we don't have" while acknowledging the need to monitor spending. "There is no way to get around that," she said. While Department of Revenue officials report on tax collections twice a month, the Baker administration does not regularly and publicly issue reports that track actual state spending against spending levels approved in the annual state budget. And while tax collections over the first quarter of fiscal 2016 are beating benchmarks by $35 million, Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore told the News Service Friday that administration officials remain concerned that non-tax revenues continue to fall short of projections. "We still have a non-tax revenue problem that wasn't recognized in the '16 budget," she said.
-- THE "SUPP" HEADS TO CONFERENCE: The dirty little secret about budgeting on Beacon Hill is that it's a year-round endeavor and one that regularly makes key legislative leaders unavailable to deal with important non-budgetary matters. That's about to be the case again as Haverhill Democrat Rep. Brian Dempsey and Ashland Democrat Sen. Karen Spilka are preparing to meet up in another closed budget conference. Dempsey and Spilka led the budget conference that stretched past its July 1 deadline to come up with this year's state budget and now face another round of negotiations on a supplemental spending bill that also has a deadline. State Comptroller Thomas Shack needs a completed fiscal 2015 budget by the end of October to meet his deadline to close the books on fiscal 2015.
-- STILL IN THE SHOP: Several major bills identified as priorities by legislative leaders remain in the drafting stage at the committee level, with sponsors and advocates hoping the proposals will emerge and advance in one or both branches before the pre-Thanksgiving break. They include bills easing access to public records, extending explicit public accommodations protections to transgender individuals, making changes in energy laws, and regulating transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. All four of those issues are being worked on in House-controlled committees chaired, respectively, by House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, Judiciary Co-chair Rep. John Fernandes of Milton, Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Co-chair Rep. Thomas Golden of Lowell and Financial Services Co-chair Rep. Aaron Michlewitz of Boston.
-- RISING MASS. WAGE FLOOR: With Massachusetts less than three months from its next increase in the minimum wage - from $9 to $10 an hour - proponents of a $15 an hour wage floor plan to press lawmakers at a public hearing next week to take even bolder steps towards addressing income inequality. Fast food chains and retail store workers, as well as groups working with those individuals, are pressing elected officials around the U.S. for a $15 an hour wage.
-- DEM PREZ CANDIDATES IN VEGAS: Voters have heard a lot from the big field of Republicans hoping to succeed President Barack Obama and next week get their first look at the field of contenders hoping to hold the nation's top office for the Democrats. The candidates are set to meet up in Las Vegas Tuesday night for a televised debate hosted by CNN. A political action committee formed with the goal of spurring Vice President Joseph Biden to run for president plans to run ads starting next week.
-- WINTER, OPEN ENROLLMENT LOOM: On the heels of service failures affecting thousands of Massachusetts residents, Gov. Baker's team has devoted significant time and attention early in his administration towards turning around the MBTA and fixing computer systems at the Massachusetts Health Connector. This week Connector officials expressed hope that their planning and preparations will lead to a considerably improved customer experience when a two-month open enrollment period begins on Nov. 1. In the transportation arena, the deadline is a seasonal one. Winter starts Dec. 21 and Baker administration officials have repeatedly pledged significantly improved MBTA service. System users remain to be convinced. The MBTA, and other statewide transportation issues, are on the table for a panel discussion Tuesday hosted by the News Service and MASSterList and featuring Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
SUNDAY, OCT. 11, 2015
SPEAKER DeLEO "ON THE RECORD": Channel 5 anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu will welcome House Speaker Robert DeLeo as their guest on "On The Record." (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB-TV, Ch 5)
ROSENBERG IN FALMOUTH: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks to the Falmouth Jewish Congregation. (Sunday, 11 a.m., 7 Hatchville Road, Falmouth)
MONDAY, OCT. 12, 2015
PULASKI DAY PARADE: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg attends a memorial Mass and the Pulaski Day Parade in honor of General Casimir Pulaski, a Polish military leader who fought in the American Revolution and is widely regarded as a father of the American cavalry. The parade is organized by the Polish Heritage Committee and Pulaski Day Parade Committee. (Monday, 10 a.m., 171 King St., Northampton)
INTERFAITH CLIMATE GATHERING: Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley hosts "Answering the Call: An Interfaith Gathering for Climate Action." The keynote speaker is Father Bryan Hehir, professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Secretary for Health Care and Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston. Rabbi Joel Sisenwine of Temple Beth Elohim provides the welcome, Imam Ismail Fenni of the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge leads the opening prayer, and Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman serves as master of ceremonies. There will also be remarks from Father Robert VerEecke, Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Mariama White-Hammond, Rev. Fred Small and Rabbi Rachel Saphire. The service and forum was inspired by Pope Francis's encyclical "Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home." (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley)
TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2015
HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches plan to meet in informal sessions Tuesday at 11 a.m.
POLLACK ON TRANSPORTATION PANEL: Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, who is overseeing efforts to address problems at the MBTA and manage the state's overall transportation agenda, will sit on a panel Tuesday concerning the future of transportation in Massachusetts. Pollack will be joined by A Better City CEO Rick Dimino and Charlie Chieppo of Chiepp Strategies for a discussion hosted by MASSterList and State House News Service. (Tuesday, 7:30 a.m., Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Center, 10 Winter Place, Boston)
CNN DEBATE WITH DEM PREZ CANDIDATES: Five candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination will face off in their first nationally televised debate in Las Vegas. The debate will feature former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Vice President Joe Biden continues to consider a run. The cable news network says they will allow Biden to take part if he declares he's running for president before the debate. The two-hour debate will be moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper with anchors Don Lemon, Juan Carlos Lopez as well as correspondent Dana Bash contributing. (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., CNN)
KINDNESS MONTH HEARING: The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight travels to a Burlington elementary school for a hearing on a Rep. Ken Gordon bill (H 2747) seeking to name May as the "official month of kindness." Students at the Francis Wyman Elementary School will testify at the hearing, held during a schoolwide assembly, on a proposal Gordon said was inspired in part by the outpouring of charity after students living in the Lord Baron apartment complex lost their homes in a three-alarm fire in 2013. Twelve of the students came to the State House in January when Gordon filed the bill. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Francis Wyman Elementary School, 41 Terrace Hall Avenue, Burlington)
ELDER AFFAIRS: The Joint Committee on Elder Affairs holds an informational hearing on the issues of elder economic security, transportation and housing. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room B-1)
ELECTION STATISTICS BOOK: The Massachusetts Election Statistics 2014 book will be available Tuesday, Secretary William Galvin has announced. The book contains voter registration data by city and town for the 2014 elections, along with special elections since 2012. The 2014 data is also available at electionstats.state.ma.us. (Tuesday, State House Bookstore, room 116)
JEB BUSH SPEECH ON ACA: Former Florida governor and current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush gives a speech on repealing the Affordable Care Act. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required on Eventbrite (Governor Jeb Bush Policy Speech on Repealing Obamacare). Media interested in attending should email Katelyn Ellison at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire Institute of Politics Auditorium, 100 Saint Anselm Dr., Manchester, N.H.)
$15 MINIMUM WAGE RALLY: Low-wage workers and their supporters rally in favor of $15 minimum wage bills that are on the agenda for the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development hearing. They plan to mobilize on the Grand Staircase at 11:30 a.m., testify at the hearing at 1 p.m., and convene on the State House Steps outside at 2:30 p.m. for a march on McDonald's. Supporters include Fight for $15, the #WageAction coalition and Raise Up Massachusetts. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., State House)
LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development holds a hearing on 32 bills dealing with wages, scheduling and tips. S 1024 and H 1773, which each have more than 20 cosponsors, would raise the minimum wage for employees of fast food chains and big box retail stores to $15 an hour over three years. H 1702 and S 982 would increase the minimum wage for tipped employees - not including those in the hotel and restaurant industry - to $4.50 on Jan. 1, 2018 and $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2021. Rep. Sean Garballey has sponsored a bill (H 1708) establishing fair schedules for employees, such as by requiring an initial schedule 21 days in advance and allowing employees to opt out of a shift beginning less than 11 hours after the end of the previous day's shift. Other bills allow employees to refuse Sunday work at a retail establishment without penalty (H 1752), change the definition of a wait-staff employee (H 1747) and define "part-time" as under 20 hours per week (H 1711). Full agenda: https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2243&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=True (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., A-2)
CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a hearing on 19 bills regarding the Department of Transitional Assistance. H 69, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barrows, requires DTA to establish a random drug testing program for people holding prior drug convictions and now receiving public assistance, excluding food stamps. Sen. Richard Ross has sponsored a bill (S 99) requiring financial aid recipients to pick up every sixth check at their local branch office, in an effort to prevent EBT fraud. H 109, sponsored by Rep. Shaunna O'Connell and Sen. Robert Hedlund, requires DTA and the Division of Medical Assistance to establish a computerized eligibility system. Other bills state that self-declarations of residency will not be accepted (H 103 and H 104), establish a yearly audit of DTA (H 3210) and establish a healthy incentives program for SNAP participants (S 69). Full agenda: https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2264&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=True (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., B-1)
HEALTH CARE FINANCING COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds a hearing on 30 bills dealing with insurance access, cost and coverage. Attorney General Maura Healey will testify in support of legislation that she and House Majority Leader Ron Mariano (D-Quincy)filed. Under the an act relative to protecting health care consumers (H 3678), reports from the Health Policy Commission (HPC) on proposed health care mergers and acquisitions would be given greater legal weight. Rep. Bradley Jones has sponsored a bill (H 1002) establishing the MassHealth Cost Control Commission to investigate the use of copayments for MassHealth members. To discourage use of emergency rooms in non-emergency situations, this would include a study on charging a copayment for emergency care. H 984 and S 606 establish the Barrier-Free Care Expert Panel, to make recommendations on high-value cost-effective health services, treatments and drugs. Rep. Colleen Garry has sponsored a bill (H 990) prohibiting MassHealth from covering treatment for self-inflicted injuries incurred by protesters during illegal protests. Other bills regulate coverage of telemedicine services (S 617), the purchase of prescription drugs from Canadian sources (H 1027), and short-term health care plans (S 637). Full agenda: https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2266&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=True (Tuesday, 11 a.m., B-2)
MASSDOT CAPITAL PROGRAMS: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Capital Programs Committee holds a meeting that will include a public comment period, followed by discussion of a capital investment program and the West Boylston-Worcester I-190 highway improvement project. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., 10 Park Plaza, suite 3830, Boston)
JOBS FOR MASS: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg attends the monthly Jobs for Mass meeting. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Federal Reserve Bank, 31st floor, 600 Atlantic Ave., Boston)
PUBLIC HEALTH TRUST FUND: The Public Health Trust Fund's executive committee meets to discuss the hiring process for the Department of Public Health's director of problem gaming services, measuring gaming related crime and other issues. The Public Health Trust Fund was set up by the state's 2011 expanded gaming law to support social service and public health programs to addressing problem gambling, including research, prevention and treatment. Full agenda: http://massgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/Meeting-Notification-and-Agenda-10-13-15-PHTF.pdf (Tuesday, 2 p.m., Massachusetts Gaming Commission, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston)
EDUCATION COMMITTEE - CHARTER SCHOOLS: The important and usually divisive debate over the role of charter schools within the public education system picks up again Tuesday during a hearing that will feature testimony from Gov. Charlie Baker. The Joint Committee on Education holds a hearing on more than 30 charter school bills. Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday filed legislation that lifts the charter cap in the state's lowest performing districts, allowing for up to 12 charter schools above the existing cap. The Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which opposes charters, plans to have a panel that includes MASC President Patrick Francomano, of the King Philip School Committee; MASC President-elect Jacob Oliveira, of the Ludlow School Committee; MASC Executive Director Glenn Koocher; and Margeaux Webber, of the Barnstable School Committee. Sen. Marc Pacheco has sponsored a bill (S 326) establishing a moratorium on charter schools until Sept. 1, 2018. His bill has 30 cosponsors and is supported by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. H 490, sponsored by Rep. Frank Smizik, seeks to increase transparency through regulations on waitlists, the composition of the governing board, the availability of meeting minutes and more. Rep. Danielle Gregoire has sponsored a bill (H 387) establishing a charter school commission to study finance, caps and innovations in charter schools, along with obstacles to the broader implementation of Horace Mann charter schools. Other bills prohibit advising students to withdraw for minor behavioral infractions or poor academic performance, provide qualifications for the "priority school" designation, allow for the revocation or suspension of a charter within six months of approval, lay out transportation requirements, and order the reporting of certain data on students. The hearing is likely to veer into a broad debate over charter schools and it will be up to the committee to see whether it can agree on legislation to recommend to the House and Senate. Full agenda:https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2271&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=True (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Gardner Auditorium)
CONVERSATION WITH BEN BERNANKE: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce holds a conversation between Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. They plan to discuss Bernanke's career path and the Fed's response to the recession. Each attendee will receive a copy of Bernanke's new book, "The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath." The event is sold out, but those interested in attending can be put on a waitlist by emailing Megan Siegert at email@example.com. Tickets are $75 for members and $125 for non-members. Media representatives are welcome free of charge but must pre-register with Michelle Chapman at 617-557-7354 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Tuesday, 7:45 a.m., InterContinental Boston, Rose Kennedy Ballroom)
SCITUATE COMMUNITY COMPACT: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Scituate Board of Selectmen Chairman Anthony Vegnani sign a community compact. (Tuesday, 2:30 p.m., 600 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Scituate)
DAM AND SEAWALL FUNDING: Gov. Charlie Baker makes an announcement about dam and seawall funding. Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton will also attend. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Scituate Maritime Center, 119 Edward Foster Road, Scituate)
PROJECT SEARCH INFO FAIR: Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), The Carroll Center for the Blind and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind host an informational fair regarding CHA's participation in Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is a year-long workplace immersion program that helps people with developmental disabilities transition from high school. The speaking program will feature Patrick Wardell of CHA, Paul Saner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Dina Rosenbaum of The Carroll Center and Project SEARCH intern Richard O'Driscoll. The fair coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., CHA Cambridge Hospital, Healy Building, second floor, Cambridge)
COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS: The Board of Certification of Community Health Workers meets to discuss opportunities for outreach to new applicants and to review a draft application for training programs. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., 239 Causeway St., 4th floor, Room 417 A&B, Boston)
CONVENTION CENTER FINANCE: The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's administration, finance and personnel committee meets to discuss the fiscal year 2015 audit and to get an update on banking roles. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Meeting room 153A, 415 Summer St., Boston)
CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Licensure holds a hearing on bills related to psychoanalysts and employment regulation. A Rep. Paul McMurtry bill would require physicians to receive training on the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with Alzheimer's and dementia in order to have their registration certificates renewed (H 3384). Sen. Bruce Tarr has filed a bill (S 193) seeking to prevent discrimination on boards of registrations for electricians, plumbers and gasfitters, and sheet metal workers. Also on the agenda are bills regarding liquor licenses in Bolton and Montague. Full agenda:https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2201&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=False (Tuesday, 1 p.m., hearing room A-1)
CLARK ATTENDS PROGRESSIVE POWER HOUR: Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA5) will be a guest of The Alliance for Business Leadership's 'Progressive Power Hour' event. Registration: http://www.allianceforbusinessleadership.org/?page_id=2071#!event/2015/10/13/abl-progressive-power-hour-with-congresswoman-katherine-clark (Tuesday, 6 p.m., David Belluck's Office, 699 Boylston Street, 14th floor, Boston)
MMA DIRECTORS RETREAT: The Massachusetts Municipal Association Board of Directors holds its annual long-range planning meeting. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Warren Conference Center, Ashland)
BOSTON CITY COUNCIL HEARING ON LINKAGE FEES: The Boston City Council's Committee on Economic Development & Planning & Labor holds a public hearing regarding the city's linkage fees, which support the Neighborhood Jobs Trust & Neighborhood Housing Trust. Job training and affordable housing advocates have been urging the City Council to increase the fees in recent months. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., City Hall, Christopher A. Iannella Chamber, 5th floor, Boston)
ARLINGTON OPIATE EVENT: Attorney General Maura Healey will speak to the Arlington community about the attorney general's office's work on the opiate epidemic. The event is hosted by the Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition and organized by Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington). (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington)
EARLY EDUCATION BOARD: The Board of Early Education and Care holds a meeting that is scheduled to include discussion and a vote on the commissioner's evaluation and discussion of reauthorizing the child care development block grant. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 51 Sleeper St., 4th floor, Boston)
MEN OF THE YEAR: A finalist for the award, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will attend the 2015 Men of the Year Finalists Dinner. Rosenberg is a finalist in the legacy category, along with Robert Perry, retired partner of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Greenfield Community College President Robert Pura; Integrity Development & Construction Inc. founder Peter Jessop; and Men's Resources International Director Steven Botkin. The award, given by the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, honors men from western Massachusetts who have made significant contributions to ensure economic and social equity for women and girls. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Twin Hills Country Club, 700 Wolf Swamp Road, Longmeadow)
DCR LISTENS IN WEST BOYLSTON: The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation holds a listening session, part of a series intended to provide the public with the opportunity to hear about the agency's regulatory reform efforts and to offer feedback on DCR regulations. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., John Augustus Hall, DCR Watershed Division, 180 Beaman St., West Boylston)
CONGRESSMAN KENNEDY ON BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO: Congressman Joe Kennedy III is a scheduled guest on Boston Public Radio with co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Kennedy this week testified before the Judiciary Committee in favor of a bill that would prohibit discrimination against transgender peoples in areas of public accommodations. Kennedy also told reporters he has not read former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy's new book and disputed his cousin's claims about a so-called "Kennedy code." (Tuesday, 12 p.m., WGBH, 89.7FM)
SCHOOL EMERGENCY PLANNING: The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education hosts a two-day course providing school officials with "knowledge, skills and tools needed to refine and develop high quality multi-hazard evacuation plans." Trainings run Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., Fitchburg State University Hammond Building, 160 Pearl St., Fitchburg)
DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AUTHORITY: The Massachusetts Development Finance Authority holds a public hearing on the Cottage Brook Apartments project in Dorchester and to consider the issuance of revenue bonds not to exceed $31 million. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., 99 High Street, 11th floor, Boston)
GOLDBERG CHAIRS PRIM MEETING: Treasurer Deb Goldberg will chair the state's Pension Reserve Investment Management (PRIM) Board meeting. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., PRIM Headquarters, 84 State Street, 2nd floor, Boston)
CONVENTION CENTER COMMITTEE: The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's executive committee with meet to get an overview of Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and Hynes Convention Center occupancy, and to discuss the D Street surface lot. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Meeting room 154, 415 Summer St., Boston)
ENERGY POLICY SUMMIT: Energy and Environment Secretary Matthew Beaton will be the featured speaker at the National Energy Marketers Association's New England Energy Policy Summit. Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson will participate in the State of the States panel. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency, 575 Memorial Drive, Cambridge)
WALSH ADDRESSES NEW ENGLAND COUNCIL: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh plans to address the New England Council. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., Bank of America, 100 Federal St., Boston)
DCR REGULATORY HEARING: The Department of Conservation and Recreation holds the first of five listening sessions statewide to provide the public with the opportunity to hear about the agency's regulatory reform efforts under Executive Order 562 and to offer feedback. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., John Augustus Hall, DCR Watershed Division, 180 Beaman St., West Boylston)
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15, 2015
HOUSE - FORMAL SESSION: The House plans a formal session Wednesday at 11 a.m., with roll calls beginning at 1 p.m. Pending reports from the Ways and Means Committee and the Bills in Third Reading Committee, Speaker Robert DeLeo's office has advised members to be ready to consider H 3797 regulating secondary metals dealings, and S 2015 clearing titles to foreclosed properties.· The House has dozens of bills on its calendar but members have shown little interest in taking up most of them. Lawmakers have been working with the scrap metal industry on a bill to help crack down on the thefts of metals and the Senate has approved legislation intended to clear the titles on properties that were previously foreclosed upon. House Democrats plan at noon caucus to discuss the two bills.
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security holds a hearing on legislation related to inspections. Sen. Kenneth Donnelly has filed a bill that would allow sheriffs to create regional lockup facilities (S 1250), and a bill from Sen. Patricia Jehlen (S 1275) would allow pre-trial detainees and criminal defendants to be sent to community corrections programs. A Rep. Bruce Ayers bill (H 2086) would require safety training for operators of jet skis, surf jets and wet bikes. Several bills deal with elevator inspections and building codes. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room B-1)
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: In addition to a bill reinstating the death penalty, more than 50 bills on sentencing, correctional services and re-entry will be given a public hearing before the Joint Committee on Judiciary. Also on the committee's agenda is a Rep. James Miceli bill to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts, a measure that was defeated in the House in 2013. The docket also includes an omnibus bill to address issues with the state's criminal justice systems, end "mass incarceration," and re-invest in communities through the expansion of job and educational opportunities. The bill (S 64/H 1429), sponsored by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Rep. Mary Keefe, would repeal mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug charges, reduce certain low-level felonies (like shoplifting or low-level drug charges) to misdemeanors, and would allow a judge to decide whether a person who is terminally ill or permanently incapacitated should remain in state custody but be transferred out of prison for treatment. The bill would also establish a trust fund with the cost savings expected to then be invested in job training programs, youth jobs and pre-apprenticeship programs. The committee will also hear testimony on a Rep. Fox bill (H 1298) that would allow for the temporary release of committed offenders to, under escort, attend the funeral of a relative or to visit a critically ill relative. Full agenda:https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=2276&eventDataSource=Hearings&isCurrent=True (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Hearing Room A-1)
OPIC WORKSHOP: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation hosts an Expanding Horizons workshop. Expanding Horizons conferences teach the benefits of expanding businesses overseas, government assistance for expanding businesses, and accessing capital for overseas ventures. Other departments represented include the Small Business Administration, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Massachusetts Export Center. The cost of registration is $50. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Westin Boston Waterfront)
MWRA BOARD: The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Board of Directors meets. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., 100 First Ave., Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston)
COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY FORUM: The Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) hosts a forum on student debt. Rep. Jim McGovern gives the keynote address and discusses federal initiatives with Maggie Thompson, campaign manager for the Higher Ed Not Debt campaign at the Center for American Progress. Rep. Paul Mark will address bills pending in the state legislature. Students and experts plan to discuss loan forgiveness, income-based repayment and open resource texts. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., UMass Amherst Student Union)
REFORMING JUSTICE FOR YOUNG ADULTS: The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School presents "Reforming Justice for Young Adults: Time to Rethink How We Serve this Critical Population." The discussion will consider research on extending the reach of the juvenile court, given that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-20s, according to a statement from HKS. The panel will be moderated by Gloria Tan, associate justice in the Middlesex Division of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court. Other panelists: Molly Baldwin and D'Quame Brown of Roca, Adam Foss of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Vincent Schiraldi of HKS, and retired probation officer Wendy Still. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Harvard Law School, Ames Courtroom, 1515 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge)
ENROLLING HISPANICS IN HEALTH INSURANCE: In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, a group of researchers, public officials, community members, organizations and media representatives will gather at the State House for a discussion titled Enrolling Hispanics In Health Insurance: Lessons Learned And Policy Recommendations. The group will include Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez; Dharma Cortes, adjunct assistant professor at the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University; Jim Maxwell, director of research and policy at JSI Research and Training Institute Inc.; Louis Gutierrez, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector; Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director of Health Care for All; and consumer Jose Ayala. Health Care For All will also use the event to announce a new outreach enrollment campaign that will run in partnership with the Health Connector during 2016 open enrollment. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Nurses Hall, State House)
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION COMMISSION: The Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression meets to discuss the commission's past five years, next steps and initiatives. Agenda items include the Department of Public Health annual report, next year's Postpartum Depression Awareness Day, and a Medicaid screening coverage update. Full agenda:https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventCurrentDetail?eventId=253&eventDataSource=SpecialEvents&isCurrent=True (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., House members' lounge)
GETTING THE T ON TRACK: In the fourth session of the Harvard Kennedy School's Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and Bikes) series, a panel of speakers discusses the challenges of getting the MBTA "on track." Panelists include A Better City President and CEO Rick Dimino, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Rooney and MBTA Advisory Board executive director Paul Regan. (Wednesday, 4:15 p.m., Harvard Kennedy School Cason Conference Room, Taubman 102)
WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg offers remarks at the Workforce Solutions Group Jobs and Workforce Summit. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and Attorney General Maura Healey will also attend. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Crittenton Women's Union, Devens Conference Center, Devens)
SENATE JOINT CAUCUS: Senate Democrats and Republicans plan to meet in a joint caucus. The meeting of potentially the full Senate is closed and senators are expected to discuss charter schools with invited guests. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate President's office)
INTERAGENCY PERMITTING: The Interagency Permitting Board meets to consider 43D applications from Freetown and Marlborough. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, Suite 2101, Boston)
CONVENTION CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH: The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's selection committee will meet in an executive session to consider or interview applicants for the position of executive director. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Korn Ferry, 265 Franklin St., 17th floor, Boston)
ASSET MANAGEMENT BOARD: The Asset Management Board holds a meeting at which members are scheduled to consider project proposals on telecommunication leasing for the Massachusetts National Guard's Camp Curtis Guild and three state office buildings in Boston, Springfield and Pittsfield. Also up for consideration is a proposal by the Department of Correction to authorize a long-term lease of an anaerobic digestion facility at MCI Shirley to facilitate compliance with solid food waste ban regulations. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., One Ashburton Place, 15th floor, Boston)
SEN. MARKEY ON BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO: Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is a scheduled guest on Boston Public Radio with co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. (Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., WGBH 89.7FM)
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