What's ahead in state government this week
Commission on the Status of Women in Yarmouth this week
ARTICLE | POLITICS | JANUARY 23, 2016 06:00 AM | BY STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
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Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday night broadly outlined a limited non-budgetary agenda focused on shoring up the state's energy future, expanding educational opportunities and fighting drug addiction. Next week the governor will get into details, filing a fiscal 2017 budget bill on Wednesday that will reflect his vision for government after having spent a year with access to its inner workings. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, on the same day that Baker files his budget, plans to address the full House about his priorities for the year ahead. Then on Thursday, Baker plans to file an economic development bill and the Senate is set to gavel in to take up pay equity legislation and a bill to keep the state on track towards its air pollution reduction goals while prepping Massachusetts for the dangers of climate change, along with a bill increasing the type of lobster parts that can be processed for sale in the state. Between the budget and the jobs bill, it would not be surprising to seek Baker's team leak out some of his plans bit by bit next week.
-- BAKER'S BUDGET: Baker has exhibited a strong interest in government operations, a role he says is intended to ensure agencies are operating in the public's interest and not outside of fiscal limits of taxpayers. The big challenge that Baker faces next week is funding broad swaths of state government after spending the majority of the roughly $1.2 billion in new discretionary state revenues on transportation, pensions, health care, debt service and local aid. Those spending categories continue for years have swallowed up new state resources and the trend is continuing. Baker's budget, called House 2, will reveal details of his plans to address those accounts and sock away money in the state's rainy day or stabilization fund, which has been drawn down in recent years.
-- THE SPEAKER HAS HIS SAY: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Gov. Baker this week took advantage of opportunities to lay out their priorities and House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Wednesday plans to do the same. DeLeo is set to address the House on his priorities for 2016, which based on past experience will become the House's priorities. The address to members, a formality that helps cement the power base rooted in the speaker's office, was started by former Speaker Thomas Finneran and continued during former Speaker Salvatore DiMasi's tenure. Many of the priorities DeLeo outlined in a similar address a year ago - energy and opioid abuse legislation, for example - remained unresolved. Be on the lookout for any attempt by DeLeo to take sides in the debate over charter school expansion - pressure from Baker and DeLeo on charters would add a new dynamic to the internal debate in the charter-unfriendly Senate. It would also not be surprising if DeLeo accentuated his hopes for an economic development bill since such bills are always popular in an election year and Gov. Baker has already said he'll offer a jobs bill.
-- PAY EQUITY, EMISSIONS ON SENATE AGENDA | The Senate on Thursday seemed to run out of time and energy and wound up postponing action on its climate change and emissions reduction legislation (S 2092) and a bill (S 469) regulating the processing of lobsters until its next formal session, which isThursday. Senators on Thursday also plan to take up a pay equity bill recommended by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Amendments to that bill are due by 5 p.m. Monday. The bill (S 2107) defines "comparable work" within the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, increases the fine for pay equity violations from $100 to $1,000, and requires employers to post a notice to employees of their rights under the act. The bill also bans employers from reducing the pay of an employee to comply with the act, clarifies that the attorney general may bring an action to collect unpaid wages on behalf of one or more employees, and adds four conditions, in addition to seniority, where variations in pay may exist for comparable work, according to a bill summary. The Senate also has tentative plans to take up a fourth bill (H 1354) relative to juries and the Office of the Jury Commissioner.
-- THE POLLS ARE NOW OPEN: House Ways and Means opened polls late Friday afternoon on 11 bills, some of which could surface for votes Wednesday when the House meets to hear from SPeaker DeLeo. Members of the committee have until 10 a.m. on Monday to cast their votes. The bills moving include:
* H 2048 to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in the commonwealth.
* H 2782 establishing the Massachusetts Farm to School Month and commending farm to school programs
* H 3566 relative to a technical correction of the pension statute to protect the rights of ex-spouses who were named the retirement option C beneficiary in a Domestic Relations Order while still providing a current spouse with a partial benefit under the accidental death benefit.
* H 3765 relative to closing a workers' compensation loophole allowing for the double dipping of municipal pension benefits and workers compensation benefits for disability.
* H 2111 creating a special commission studying cutting, welding and hot work processes regulated by the state fire code.
* H 82 providing for an investigation and study by a special commission relative to gender-responsive programming for juvenile justice system involved girls.
* H 2208 relative to the employment benefits for Patricia Kannler
* H 3792 authorizing the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to convey property to the town of Acton in exchange for other real property.
* H 3416 authorizing the release of certain land in the town of Cummington from the operation of an agricultural preservation restriction.
* H 2838 authorizing the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to grant an easement in certain land in the city of Salem.
* H 3844 relative to the conveyance of a certain parcel of land in the town of Grafton for the Massachusetts State Police Museum and Learning Center
-- OPIOID, SOLAR BILLS IN CONFERENCE: Lawmakers are waiting on their colleagues to come up with compromise bills aimed at curbing opioid addiction and deaths and fostering growth of solar energy. It's been a long wait on the solar bill, which is entering its tenth week in conference committee. Sen. Benjamin Downing and Rep. Thomas Golden are the chair of the solar conference. Rep. Brian Dempsey and Sen. Karen Spilka, who are in position to commence reviews next week of Gov. Charlie Baker's budget, are helming a conference on competing bills aimed at opioids. The bills could pop out of conference or remain there for extended periods - there's no way of knowing for sure since conference committee deliberations are private and lawmakers generally refuse to discuss their talks, citing custom.
-- DRIVING BILL IN SPEAKER'S HANDS | The House has given initial approval to legislation requiring drivers in Massachusetts to refrain from using handheld devices but just as the Senate this week was passing its own version of the bill House Speaker Robert DeLeo gave supporters of the legislation pause. DeLeo says he wants to more input in the bill from some of its skeptics, a pronouncement that could mean a lot of things, including a possible indefinite delay in further action on the legislation in the House. Bill supporters say the 2010 ban on texting while driving is being flouted regularly by drivers and the law needs to be toughened to prevent injuries and deaths related to distracted drivers.
-- WORKERS' COMP COSTS GOING UP? | Insurance Commissioner Daniel Judson has to decide whether an average 6.4 percent increase in workers' compensation premiums is justified and reasonable? A hearing on the industry's rate request is set for Friday morning.
SATURDAY, JAN. 23, 2016
BOSTON CHARTER SHOWCASE: Amid a push by Gov. Charlie Baker and others to expand charter access, Boston charter schools will host an information session and showcase to talk to parents about enrolling their children and why they hope to see the caps on new charters lifted. Nineteen Boston charter schools enroll over 9,000 students. Parents can meet with school leaders and fill out enrollment forms for the fall 2016 school year. Admission to the autonomous public schools is determined via lottery, which is held in March. Translators who speak Cape Verdean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese will be available. Applicants may be required to submit copies of up to two proofs of address and a copy of the student's birth certificate per enrollment form. (Saturday, Jan. 23, Wentworth Institute of Technology Watson Auditorium, 550 Huntington Ave., Boston)
SUNDAY, JAN. 24, 2016
NORTHBOROUGH'S BIRTHDAY: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito offers remarks at the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the town of Northborough. (Sunday, 2 p.m., Unitarian Church, 40 Church St., Northborough)
BOSTON'S ECON CHIEF TALKS GE DEAL: WBZ's Jon Keller will talk with John Barros, Boston's chief of economic development, about the pros and cons of the GE deal. The company announced last week that it would be moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston's Seaport District.(Sunday, 8:30, WBZ-TV, Ch. 4)
MONDAY, JAN. 25, 2016
HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches plan to meet in informal sessions at 11 a.m.
TEACHING U.S. ECONOMIC HISTORY IN K-12: The Pioneer Institute presents "Big Business and Big Labor: Teaching U.S. Economic History in Schools," focused on the importance of teaching K-12 students about America's journey from 13 colonies into "our second Gilded Age." A panel of historians, biographers, and teachers will include T.J. Stiles ("The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt") and Philip Dray ("There Is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America"). (Monday, 8 a.m., Omni Parker House, 60 School St., Boston)
DEM PREZ CANDIDATES FINAL MEETING BEFORE CAUCUS: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley will participate in a forum days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses. The forum will be held at Drake University and moderated by CNN's Chris Cuomo. It will be broadcast on CNN as well as CNN International and CNN Espanol. The event will also be streamed live on SiriusXM satellite radio. (Monday, 9 p.m., CNN)
BAKER, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MEET: Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, House Minority Leader Bradley Jones and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr hold a private meeting. (CLOSED PRESS) (Monday, 2 p.m., Governor's Office, Room 360)
BOSTON COUNCIL PREZ SITS DOWN WITH THE GLOBE: Boston Globe City Hall reporter Meghan Irons holds a public conversation with new City Council President Michelle Wu, discussing her agenda and "historic ascendancy to the presidency as the first Asian-American and the first woman of color to hold that post." (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Capital One Cafe, 799 Boylston St., Boston)
UNEMPLOYMENT TASK FORCE: Gov. Charlie Baker makes an announcement about a task force on chronically-high rates of unemployment. (Monday, 11 a.m., Year Up Boston, 45 Milk St., Boston)
BOARD OF ED - SOUTHBRIDGE RECEIVERSHIP: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a public forum in Southbridge to hear from the community as members consider whether to designate the town's schools as a Level 5 district under receivership, as recommended by Commissioner Mitchell Chester. Two other districts -- Holyoke and Lawrence -- are currently in receivership. A Level 5 designation marks a "chronically underperforming" school or district. In recommending state control for Southbridge, Chester cited "low academic performance, low graduation rates and unstable leadership." A vote on receivership would likely occur on Feb. 23, according to the board. (Monday, 4:30 p.m., 25 Cole Ave., Southbridge)
FIRST FARE HEARING: For the first time MBTA officials will hear from riders about the proposed fare hikes - inflating prices either 6.7 or 9.7 percent on average - in a public hearing specifically for the subject. The public will also have a chance to weigh in on commuter rail schedule changes. The fare hikes would go into effect on July 1 and there are more than 180 different individual fares, according to Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. The more expensive scenario would generate $49.4 million in additional money from riders while the cheaper scenario would boost fare revenues by $33.2 million. The cost of a monthly $75 Link Pass for the bus and subway would rise to $82.50 or $84.50 under the scenarios, meaning a regular rider could pay $90 or $114 more per year. (Monday, 6 p.m., Breed Middle School, 90 O'Callaghan Way, Lynn)
MBTA CONTROL BOARD: The Fiscal and Management Control Board will discuss a newly established task force on the Ride, hear about the state of the Red Line, potentially take action on a Green Line Extension consultant contract, and discuss indemnification. The board will also hear about comments received in regards to late-night service, which is slated to be eliminated or privatized, and meet in a closed-door executive session. (Monday, 12 p.m., MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, suite 3830, Boston)
MAYOR HEDLUND ON GREATER BOSTON: Jim Braude welcomes Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund as a guest on Greater Boston. (Monday, 7 p.m., WGBH-TV Ch. 2)
FALLS PREVENTION COMMISSION: The Massachusetts Commission on Falls Prevention meets for a presentation of a survey of Massachusetts primary care physicians on older adult fall risk assessment and intervention. Members will also discuss work plans for 2016 (Monday, 1 p.m., 250 Washington St., first floor, Boston)
MILFORD REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attends the Milford Regional Medical Center's annual meeting. (Monday, 7 p.m., Doubletree Hotel Milford, 11 Beaver St., Milford)
SOUTH COAST DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP: Jay Ash, secretary of housing and economic development, attends a South Coast development partnership event. (Monday, 8:15 a.m., UMass-Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 151 Martine St., Fall River)
TUESDAY, JAN. 26, 2016
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES LUNCH: The Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers holds a legislative luncheon to discuss disability concerns and will recognize its "elected official of the year." Gov. Charlie Baker will speak at noon. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Hall of Flags)
REVOLVING FUND PLAN ANNOUNCEMENT: Treasurer Deb Goldberg gives remarks at a State Revolving Fund 2016 plan announcement. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District, 50 US-20, Shrewsbury)
JOB TRAINING STUDY: The Job Training Alliance will release findings of a report, which found job training helps low-income workers increase their wages to $14.20 per hour. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II will speak about the Baker administration's job training initiatives. The study was funded by a grant from the non-profit SkillWorks. (Tuesday, 10 to 11 a.m., State House, Room 428)
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY, HIGHER EDUCATION BOARDS MEET: The Board of Higher Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education hold a joint meeting at Roxbury Community College's Reggie Lewis Track Center. The two boards have been working to incorporate civic learning and engagement into the definition of "college and career readiness," and on Tuesday will discuss and potentially vote on the revised definition. The boards will also discuss early college programming at high schools and other cross-sector initiatives. (Tuesday, 8:30, 1350 Tremont St., Roxbury)
SPILKA TALKS NONPROFITS: Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Sen. Karen Spilka will be a special guest for a roundtable discussion on issues affecting the nonprofit sector hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Her appearance marks the first of MNN's 2016 Policymaker Roundtable Series, which offers MNN members a chance to meet and discuss issues regarding non-profit organizations with government leaders. The roundtable is only open to members of MNN. The network's CEO is former Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President James Klocke. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., The Nonprofit Center, 89 South St., Community Room, 1st floor, Boston)
GAMING COMMISSION PETITION DEADLINE: Tuesday is deadline to petition the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that a term or terms of a best and final offer in a surrounding community agreement in Region C are "fundamentally inconsistent" with the state's gambling law. Region C covers southeastern Massachusetts, where Mass Gaming & Entertainment is seeking the resort casino license to build in Brockton. (Tuesday)
POLS PARTICIPATE IN SOUTH END FORUM: Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Rep. Byron Rushing, and Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan are scheduled to participate in a political forum hosted by The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association. The forum will cover a range of issues including legislative updates, plans for economic development, education, and safety. A Q&A will follow the discussion. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston)
ROSENBERG ON HERALD RADIO: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg visits Boston Herald Radio for his monthly interview. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., 70 Fargo St., Boston)
DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection holds a public hearing on proposed changes to the state's drinking water regulations, which incorporate provisions of the new Federal Revised Total Coliform Rule. The proposed changes also include incorporation of other federal requirements and guidance, clarifications to staffing requirements to reflect current industry standards, and adoption of the Association of Boards of Certification's new treatment. Regulations: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/water/laws/rr/310cmr22rl.pdf (Tuesday, 11 a.m., 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville)
BOARD OF ED MEETING: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education holds its regular monthly meeting, with discussion planned on Commissioner Mitchell Chester's recommendation to designate Southbridge Public Schools as "chronically underperforming," placing the district under state control. The board plans to vote on whether to revoke the charter for Dorchester Collegiate Academy Charter School and will discuss graduation and dropout rates from the last school year. Graduation rates hit a three-decade high in 2014-2015, with the dropout rate falling to below 2 percent. (Tuesday, 10:15 a.m., Reggie Lewis Track Center, Roxbury Community College, 1350 Tremont St., Boston)
BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION: The Board of Higher Education meets, with an agenda that includes votes to sign off on the creation of new degree programs approved by its Academic Affairs Committee this week and the revocation of the degree-granting authority for the shuttered Marian Court College. The board will also hear a presentation on $30,000 degrees under the Commonwealth Commitment program and a report from its Student Advisory Council. (Tuesday, 10:15 a.m., Reggie Lewis Track Center, Roxbury Community College, 1350 Tremont St., Boston)
MASS CULTURAL COUNCIL: The Massachusetts Cultural Council holds its 128th council meeting, with an agenda including an update on fiscal 2016 finances, the fiscal 2017 budget request, and recommendations for an artist fellowship program. The council will also vote on cultural districts in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. A 3 p.m. coffee and cannoli reception follows the meeting. Reception registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2DMVM8W (Tuesday, 12 p.m., North Bennet Street School, 150 North St., Boston)
ASK THE AG: Attorney General Maura Healey joins hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for her monthly "Ask the AG" segment on WGBH's Boston Public Radio. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., WGBH studio, 1 Guest St., Boston)
LOCAL JOBS NUMBERS: The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development releases December 2015 unemployment rate and job statistic estimates for local labor markets. In November seasonally adjusted jobless rates held in 11 labor market areas and rose in 13 others. (Tuesday)
POWER GRID BRIEFING: Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England, will update reporters on the state of New England's power grid. In his State of the Commonwealth address, Gov. Charlie Baker said New England stands to lose about 10,000 megawatts of electricity generation as older plants shut down, representing enough energy to supply Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire combined. Members of the media may register by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, by contacting Gae Warman-Gold at (413) 535-4138 or email@example.com, or Jeffrey Jurgensmier at (413) 540-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., via conference call)
UNUM THERAPEUTICS RIBBON CUTTING: Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Vice President for Communication & Marketing Angus McQuilken and MassBio President & CEO Robert Coughlin attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Unum Therapeutics. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., 200 Cambridge Park Dr, Suite 3100, Cambridge)
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on Public Service hears testimony on collective bargaining legislation and a portion of Gov. Charlie Baker's municipal government reform bill. The portion of Baker's bill before the committee (H 3907) deals with a trust fund for post-employment benefit liability. The collective bargaining bills include several dealing with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (H 2248, H 2247, H 2244, S 1410 and S 1424). Others address dispute resolution (S 1425, S 1339 and H 2237) and agency service fees (H 2256 and H 2233). A Rep. Byron Rushing bill (H 2395) would allow public employees to strike, but only if an investigation first "concludes that such strike, slowdown or withholding of services by such public employees has been caused by the commission of unfair labor practices by the employer." (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2)
FARE HEARING: The MBTA will host a public hearing on proposed fare hikes in Brockton. The two proposals on the table would raise fares between $33.2 million and $49.4 million. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., West Middle School Auditorium, 271 West Street, Brockton)
CHAPA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash attends the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association Policy Leadership Council meeting. (Tuesday, 1:45 p.m., 10 Post Office Sq, Boston)
COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN: The Commission on the Status of Women holds a public hearing, followed by a full commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., South Yarmouth Library, 312 Old Main St., South Yarmouth)
BOROUGHS ECONOMIC SUMMIT: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attends the Boroughs Economic Summit, which focuses on business in Northborough, Westborough, Southborough and Marlborough. (Tuesday, 7:15 a.m., Westborough Doubletree Hotel, 5400 Computer Dr., Westborough)
HOPKINTON COMMUNITY COMPACT: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito meets with town officials in Hopkinton to sign a community compact with the town. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 18 Main St., Hopkinton)
BELLINGHAM AND MILLVILLE COMMUNITY COMPACTS: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito meets with town officials from Bellingham and Millville to sign community compacts with the towns. (Tuesday, 11:45 a.m., Bellingham Municipal Center - Arcand Meeting Room, 10 Mechanic St., Bellingham)
CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE: Real estate bills are on the Consumer Protection Committee's agenda for a hearing on Tuesday, but the panel is also sprinkling in bills dealing with identity fraud (S 128), sheet metal work (H 3952), body piercing and art (S 1120 and S 1126) and microwave ovens (S 158). The real estate bills pertain to document disclosure, home improvement contractors, disclosure of wetlands, alarm system installation and real estate appraisal services.Committee Agenda (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-1)
VETERANS AND FEDERAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Massachusetts Veterans' Long-Term Care and Housing Master Plan Commission is scheduled to deliver a presentation Tuesday to the Legislature's Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. The committee also plans to take testimony on Rep. Arciero's bill (H 3547) eliminating certain payments made to disabled veterans from the computation of rental housing vouchers. Committee Agenda (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room B-2)
TEACHER EVALUATIONS: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to release data on educator evaluations from the 2014-2015 school year. (Tuesday)
KASICH ON 'NIGHTSIDE' | Ohio Gov. John Kasich is scheduled to check in with Dan Rea on "NightSide." Kasich polled second in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary in five out of six recent surveys. (Tuesday, 8 p.m., WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27, 2016
BAKER RELEASES FISCAL 2017 BUDGET: Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday plans to release his fiscal 2017 budget bill. The governor faces a gap of between $700 million and $900 million between projected revenues and projected maintenance expenses. The governor has about $1.12 billion in new tax revenue to allocate but much of that is already spoken for in transportation, school construction, and pension accounts. Baker plans to increase unrestricted local aid by more than 4 percent but is calling for a $72 million, or 1.6 percent increase in school aid despite his campaign pledge to boost education aid by the growth in state revenues - 4.3 percent - in his second year in office.
CONGRESSMAN CAPUANO ON THE RADIO: Congressman Mike Capuano is a scheduled guest on Boston Public Radio with co-hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., WGBH-FM 89.7)
GREEN BUDGET BRIEFING: Members of the fiscal 2017 Green Budget Coalition, corporate leaders, and the Environmental League of Massachusetts will hold a Green Budget briefing. They plan to address fiscal 2017 funding priorities endorsed by local businesspeople and 75 of the state's environmental groups. Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee chairs Sen. Anne Gobi and Rep. Paul Schmid will host. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 437)
SPEAKER OUTLINES PRIORITIES IN ADDRESS: The House will meet in a full formal session, with roll calls are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and House Speaker Robert DeLeo planning to deliver a public, mid-session address to his colleagues. Reps and others will be listening to hear which issues the powerful House leader plans to tackle in the few months before formal sessions close down for the 2015-2016 General Court. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House chamber)
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: House Democrats plan to caucus. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Room A-1)
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: The Governor's Council meets, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presiding. The council could vote on Gov. Baker's nomination of Linda Sable to serve on the Juvenile Court. Sable, who has worked at her own practice in Plymouth, was previously assistant attorney general in the criminal bureau in 1990 following a couple years as an assistant district attorney in Plymouth County. Gov. Baker nominated her on Dec. 21 to succeed Judge John Corbett. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Council Chamber, Room 360)
SUFFOLK POLLSTER ON PREZ ELECTION: Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos discusses the presidential election at an event hosted by O'Neill and Associates. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston)
CLARK TALKS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: Congresswoman Katherine Clark is scheduled to join the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression at its meeting to discuss the federal bill titled, "Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act." Also on the meeting's agenda are reports on various initiatives, including a 2015 awareness day, and an update on Medicare screening coverage. Rep. Ellen Story and Sen. Joan Lovely chair the commission. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., House Members Lounge)
THE RIDE UPDATE: The Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA will hear an update on the Ride program initiatives from MassDOT Deputy Administrator-Transit Michael Lambert. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, second floor)
SENATE CAUCUS: Senators gather for a caucus in Senate President Stanley Rosenberg's office ahead of Thursday's formal session. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Senate President's Office)
FEINBURG HOSTS 'NIGHTSIDE' | Local talker Todd Feinburg will sit in for Dan Rea on "NightSide." Feinburg, who formerly hosted WRKO's morning show alongside former House Speaker Tom Finneran, now hosts a weekly podcast called the "Harvard Lunch Club." (Wednesday, 8 p.m., WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
MASSBIO POLICY BREAKFAST: The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council hosts a policy leadership breakfast, with opening remarks on opioids and drug pricing from Attorney General Maura Healey. A panel discussion will examine the role of innovation in combating opioid abuse, with input from Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Dennis Dimitri, Kaleo CEO Spencer Williams, Collegium President and CEO Michael Heffernan, Alkermes Chairman and CEO Richard Pops and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. WBUR health care reporter Martha Bebinger moderates. After the panel, a "fireside chat" among MassBio president and CEO Robert Coughlin, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts president and CEO Andrew Dreyfus and Sarah Emond, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review's chief operating officer, will explore balancing access, quality and cost of health care. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Omni Parker House, 60 School St., Boston)
FARE HEARING: The MBTA will host a public hearing on proposed fare hikes and commuter rail schedule changes in Malden. The two proposals on the table would raise fares between $33.2 million and $49.4 million. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Malden High School Auditorium, 77 Salem Street, Malden)
MUNICIPAL FINANCE OVERSIGHT BOARD: The Municipal Finance Oversight Board meets, with Auditor Suzanne Bump as chair. Fall River is requesting over $30 million in qualified bonds for water and sewer improvements, computer hardware and software, fire department equipment, improvements to the Lewiston Street garage, industrial park paving improvements, repairs at the Westall Elementary School and a Durfee High School feasibility project. The Franklin County Technical School District is requesting over $4 million in qualified bonds for window and door replacement, roof repairs and paving repairs. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., auditor's office)
LOTTERY COMMISSION: The Massachusetts Lottery Commission meets. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., One Ashburton Place, room 1207, Boston)
SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY: Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Massachusetts School Building Authority. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 40 Broad St., fifth floor, Boston)
LOOMWORKS RIBBON CUTTING: Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for Loomworks, a new apartment development in Worcester's Main South neighborhood. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 93 Grand St., Worcester)
THURSDAY, JAN. 28, 2016
SENATE: The Senate meets in formal session. Bills set to be taken up include climate change and emissions reduction legislation (S 2092) and a bill (S 469) regulating the processing of lobsters, both left over from the last formal session. The Senate also plans to take up a pay equity bill (S 2107) and one dealing with jury selection laws (H 1454). (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate chamber)
BAKER JOBS BILL: Gov. Charlie Baker plans to file his jobs bill Thursday. Details of the bill could leak out during the week. At his State of the Commonwealth address, Baker said the forthcoming bill would include $75 million in career and technical schools - slated for capital costs. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash said the bill would be filed on Thursday. Baker's economic development plan and implementation strategy, filed last year, identifies seven policy priority and implementation focus areas: preparing communities for success, fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing key clusters and industries, creating a balanced regulatory and business cost environment, expanding workforce development and talent retention, adopting housing policies that support economic growth, and improving transportation access. "The state will partner with each community and region to leverage their unique assets in ways that are consistent with their own growth plans and opportunities," the plan said. "Efforts will support high-growth, established and emerging communities. The Commonwealth will remain focused on Gateway Cities, and will expand programming to recognize the importance of Gateway Cities as regional sources of stability and growth. The Commonwealth will renew its focus on regional development opportunities. An Urban Agenda will also be pursued, along with efforts to advance suburban and rural interests." (Thursday)
MAYOR WALSH 'PROGRESSIVE POWER HOUR': The Alliance for Business Leadership hosts Mayor Martin Walsh for an "ABL Progressive Power Hour." (Thursday, 12 p.m., Offices of David Belluck, 699 Boylston St. - 14th floor, Boston)
BIOSIMILARS/BIOLOGICS FDA REGULATIONS: Mintz Levin holds a webinar on FDA and regulatory issues in the biosimilars and biologics-based therapeutics industry. Featured speakers include Joanne Hawana, of counsel to Health Law Practice, and Linda Bentley, member of Corporate & Securities Practice. They will cover the Biologic Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA). This is the second in a five-part webinar series. (Thursday, 3 p.m.)
GENETIC COUNSELORS BOARD: The Board of Registration of Genetic Counselors meets, with policies related to probation and the Valor Act on the agenda along with an overview of board powers.(Thursday, 9:30 a.m., 239 Causeway St., room 417, Boston)
CASINO MEETING IN HOLBROOK: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public input meeting to gather feedback on Mass Gaming & Entertainment's proposal for a resort casino in Brockton. Written comments may also be submitted to email@example.com with "Holbrook meeting" in the subject line. (Thursday, 4 p.m., Holbrook Junior-Senior High School auditorium, 245 S. Franklin St., Holbrook)
REFUGEE PANEL TO FEATURE MOULTON: A panel discussion on how New England is responding to and resettling refugees will start with opening remarks from Congressman Seth Moulton. The panel, moderated by the Boston Globe's Maria Sacchetti, will feature Lewiston, Me., Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau; Executive Director Eva Millona of the MIRA Coalition; and Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigrat