Legislative leaders love to play off deadlines and appear ready to force the action next week ahead of Wednesday's scheduled end of formal sessions until January, when formals will resume for seven more months. A House-dominated committee this week released a mammoth $12.1 billion transportation spending bill (H 3763), which could see further action next week. The House this week passed a military bond bill (H 3334) and a third bond bill, for information technology investments, is also under active consideration. State senators eager to raise the $8 minimum wage to a nation's highest $11 an hour circumvented the committee process and teed up their own proposal (S 1925), which is marked for debate on Tuesday. And the House on Thursday gaveled through a bill designed to replace the 2012 ballot law governing access to diagnostic information for automobile repairs. As the transportation, auto repair and wage floor bills continue their journeys through the branches, House and Senate lawmakers are waiting to see if their colleagues can wrap up secret conference committee talks on legislation overhauling welfare system rules (S 1806/H 3756), regulating the drug compounding industry (H 3672/S 1899), and extending new benefits and services to veterans (S 1885/H 3735).
The House has scheduled formal sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Senate plans to start the week Monday with an informal session, with senators working behind the scenes to determine which minimum wage bill amendments they will push during Tuesday's debate. The Senate plans formal sessions Tuesday and Wednesday. On the heels of this year's tax hikes to support transportation spending, leading business groups reacted negatively to the Senate's sudden minimum wage effort, citing a new economic burden on employers at a time when the economy is still struggling to right itself. Supporters of the wage hike say the gap between the lowest and higher earners is growing, along with the state's poverty rate, and that wages for low-income workers have lost value to the state's rising cost of living.
Speaker Robert DeLeo was traveling Friday, according to aides, and unavailable to discuss pre-recess legislative plans. The conference committee negotiating the welfare bill met for the first time on Friday afternoon, and House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey would not rule out quick negotiations with the Senate in time to bring a bill before both branches before the recess. "It remains to be seen honestly. We're going to see what we can do. We'll know more on Monday or Tuesday. It's a possibility," Dempsey said. The Haverhill Democrat also said the transportation bill released by the Transportation Committee this week and sent to the House Bonding Committee could be ready for a House vote before Wednesday. Dempsey said he planned to meet Friday afternoon with Rep. William Straus, co-chair of the Transportation Committee, to discuss changes made to the bill and conversations Straus has had with Transportation Secretary Richard Davey. "It's a lot of possibilities between now and Wednesday. I haven't spoken to the administration recently, but I know they're making a number of announcements relative to other projects. I think things will crystallize over the weekend," Dempsey said. Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer predicted a busy Tuesday and Wednesday, observing "there's a lot of things" in play. "I suspect that it will be an ambitious Tuesday and Wednesday," Brewer told the News Service after a formal session Thursday.
-- SIGNATURE DEADLINE FOR 2014 BALLOT ACTIVISTS: While legislative leaders have circled Wednesday on their calendars to mark the end of formal sessions, activists frustrated with their inability to push bills through the House and Senate have also circled the day - Wednesday is the deadline for the many groups that have proposed 2014 initiative petitions to file voter signatures locally for certification. This year, activists must file at least 68,911 voter signatures with local officials by next Wednesday to keep their proposed ballot laws alive heading into the election year. If the Legislature fails to act, then petitioners need to gather 11,485 signatures to put the initiative on the 2014 state ballot. While it will take time for registrars to certify signatures, campaigns will have a sense next week of their likelihood of success. In September Attorney General Martha Coakley certified 28 initiative petitions covering 14 topics, while notably not certifying a proposal to repeal the 2011 casino law, noting casino applicants had already invested in the licensing process and have a reasonable expectation that it will play out. Repeal supporters secured an injunction to start collecting signatures and the SJC is expected to eventually rule on whether the proposal is ballot eligible. Other proposals in the mix would raise the minimum wage, expand the state's bottle deposit law, enact nurse staffing standards, limit excessive hospital operating margins, authorize earned paid sick time, roll the sales tax rate back to 5 percent, and repeal the new state law indexing the gas tax to inflation. On Friday, Secretary of State William Galvin speculated about signature-gathering efforts. "With a few days left to gather signatures, it appears that a proposal to update the bottle bill has enough signatures and proposals for a patient safety act, a higher minimum wage, a limit to excessive hospital operating margins, and an act relative to earned sick time are within striking distance of the required minimum," Galvin said in a statement released as part of a press release outlining procedural steps in the process. The full list of petitions filed is at: http://www.mass.gov/ago/government-resources/initiatives-and-other-ballot-questions/current-petitions-filed.html
LAWMAKERS EYE AZORES TRIP
State Auditor Suzanne Bump, Senate President Therese Murray and her presumed successor Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg are part of a delegation to the Azores being led by Sen. Marc Pacheco and Rep. Antonio Cabral that plans to leave next Friday after the conclusion of formal Legislative business until January. The Bay State has strong ties to the Atlantic islands, an autonomous region within the governance of Portugal. Cabral was born on the island of Pico. The delegation plans to visit Lajes Field, a U.S. airbase that is on the hook for Defense Department spending cuts that they say could have an economic ripple effect for family members of laid-off base workers who live in Massachusetts. The roster of attendees includes Sens. Michael Rodrigues, Tom McGee, Brian Joyce, Cynthia Stone Creem, Michael Barrett, James Welch, Salvatore DiDomenico, and Joan Lovely, as well as Reps. Kay Khan, Paul Mark, Paul Schmid, David Vieira, Sarah Peake, Claire Cronin, Second Assistant Majority Leader Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Josh Cutler, James Cantwell, Robert Koczera, Alan Silvia, Michael Brady, and Angelo Puppolo. Also joining the delegation will include Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye, Governor's Councilor Robert Jubinville and UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. Hoye is a local delegate going to visit Taunton's sister city. The officials have planned to pay their own way and will return on Nov. 26, according to a Pacheco aide.
DETERMINATIONS NEAR FOR CASINOS AND SLOTS
The endgame draws closer for prospective casino developers in the east and west of the state, as Milford's casino applicants received a conditional suitability determination Friday ahead of a vote Tuesday on the proposal to build a Foxwoods casino on a patch of woods next to Interstate 495. Suffolk Downs, which is racing to salvage its proposal, after East Boston voted it down and Revere gave it the go-ahead, could announce a new casino partner soon, and will eventually receive a determination from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission about whether it can go ahead with the plan to keep the casino within the city boundaries of Revere. Casino proponents and opponents in Palmer will need to wait another week, until Nov. 26, to see the results of a recount of the Nov. 5 vote. The initial tally had the town rejecting a Mohegan Sun proposal to plant a casino off Interstate 90. As much of the town turned out to vote, only 94 ballots separated the casino from victory in the initial 2,564 - 2,657 results. The result of the Palmer recount could determine whether MGM Springfield, which received voter approval, stands alone in the west, though MGM, which owns a casino in the gaming boomtown of Macau, has yet to receive its suitability determination. Wynn Resorts, which has also received a vote of support in Everett, also has yet to undergo a suitability hearing. Those hearings are likely to take place the first two weeks of December, according to a gaming official.
Meanwhile, opponents of legalized casino gambling and slots parlors will seek to strip from the law books the gaming act of 2011, which started the ball rolling on projects around the state. Wednesday is the deadline to turn in 68,911 signatures from around the state to local officials. Repeal the Casino Deal announced it will have more than 100 signature gatherers on the street this weekend. The attorney general's office has ruled the ballot question ineligible, arguing that it would deprive the casino applicants who paid a $400,000 application fee and additional costs under the presumption that their proposals would receive a fair airing. If the gaming law opponents can collect enough signatures they will win the right to fight for their cause before the state's highest court. The deadline for delivering certified signatures to the secretary of state's office is Dec. 4. The casino situation in the southeastern counties of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard has been delayed as officials wait to see the progress of Mashpee Wampanoag's land-in-trust application with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, a necessary hurdle to allow them to build in a Taunton office park. KG Urban Enterprises is employing the federal courts in their effort to strike out the special tribal application process from the 2011 law, clearing the way for its proposed casino on the New Bedford waterfront. The Aquinnah Wampanoag, meanwhile, have asserted that the tribe already has the federal authority to construct a casino on its land on Martha's Vineyard. While the Claremont Companies allowed the Sept. 30 deadline for initial applications to pass without submitting a proposal, it has said it hopes to partner with one of the other applicants for development of a site in Bridgewater. The pool of also-rans available to team up with Claremont could include Hard Rock, as well as Rush Street Gaming, which has already received a positive suitability determination. The Gaming Commission will also choose one winner from the three slots parlor applicants, a group that includes Penn National Gaming, hoping to build on the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, Cordish Companies, seeking to build in Leominster, and Raynham Park, a former dog track in Raynham.
SATURDAY, NOV. 16, 2013
SUPERSTORM VICTIMS MASS: The Filipino Apostolate of Boston, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston and local Filipino organizations, will celebrate a special Mass to honor of those who perished in the recent typhoon in the Philippines. A collection will be taken to assist those recovering from the disaster. (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston)
SUNDAY, NOV. 17, 2013
FALCHUK BIRTHDAY AND EVENT WITH BROTHER: Independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk and his brother Brad Falchuk, executive producer and co-creator of the hit TV series "Glee" will speak at a campaign event in Newton. Brad will host a Q&A and offer a "behind-the-scenes look" at Glee and "American Horror Story." After the event, Evan will attend a birthday celebration in his hometown of Auburndale, one of Newton's villages. Tickets are $50 per student, $100 per individual and $250 for a family of four. (Sunday, 11 a.m., Woodland Golf Club, Auburndale, Newton)
COAKLEY ADMITS FINANCE MISTAKES: Attorney General Martha Coakley, candidate for governor, appears on this week's Keller at Large program. In her interview with host Jon Keller, Coakley admitted mistakes were made regarding the handling of her campaign funds after reports surfaced that the Federal Elections Commission has investigated her accounts for misuse. According to WBZ, this is the first time Coakley has answered questions about the issue. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV)
RIVERA 'ON THE RECORD': Dan Rivera, the mayor-elect of Lawrence, appears on WCVB's On the Record. Rivera discusses his apparently defeat of controversial incumbent Mayor William Lantigua. The race is undergoing a recount. (Sunday, 11:30 a.m., WCVB)
MONDAY, NOV. 18, 2013
HOUSE FORMAL: The House plans a formal session Monday.
SENATE INFORMAL: The Senate plans an informal session Monday at 11 a.m.
SENATE MINIMUM WAGE AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Under an order adopted Thursday, senators have until 2 p.m. Monday to file amendments to legislation raising the minimum wage in three steps to $11 an hour. The Senate plans to debate the bill on Tuesday.
FRAMINGHAM TRAIN EXPANSION: MassDOT holds the second of two public meetings about the expansion of the Framingham/Worcester Line. The department is looking for public input on additional train times and schedule issues. (Monday, 7:30 p.m., CMRPC, Union Station, 2 Washington Square, 2nd Floor Worcester)
MURRAY ON WOMEN, POWER AND POLITICS: Senate President Therese Murray is the featured speaker Monday at a Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus "Commonwealth Commentary" event. Murray is scheduled to reflect on "women, power and politics." (Monday, 6 p.m., East Bay Grille, 173 Water St., Plymouth)
NAHRO CONFERENCE: Housing Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein delivers the opening remarks at the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials annual conference. (Monday, 9:15 a.m., 1360 Worcester St., Natick)
COMMONWEALTH COVENANT FUND: Steven Grossman will chair the Commonwealth Covenant Fund meeting. (Monday, 11 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 9th Floor Conference Room, Boston)
COAKLEY ON MENTAL HEALTH: Attorney General Martha Coakley tours Veterans Inc., a shelter for homeless veterans, and joins a roundtable discussion regarding the need for greater access to behavioral health care. (Monday, 11 a.m., 69 Grove St., Worcester)
ACA DISCUSSION: Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz joins Sen. Richard Moore and the Health Connector officials to discuss the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Massachusetts residents and employers. The rollout of the law has been beset by technical problems, and President Barack Obama has unilaterally delayed portions of it. (Monday, 8 a.m., Nichols College, 124 Center Road, Dudley)
TRANSPO BILL HEADS TO BONDING: The $12.1 billion, 5-year transportation bond bill is on its way to the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, and Chairman Antonio Cabral said he plans to hold a public hearing on the bill (H 3334), which was originally filed by the governor. "Most likely a public hearing would be scheduled by my committee because it is different than the original bill," Cabral said. Cabral said the bill would likely be referred to his committee on Monday, and from his committee it would go to House Ways and Means. Cabral said he does not believe the bill will come up for debate next week when the House has three formal sessions scheduled. "I don't have any reason to believe that it will," said Cabral, cautioning, "In this building, things can change overnight."
PARCC EXAM MEETING: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting to discuss the plan and timetable for administering MCAS and PARCC exams. The state plans to eventually replace MCAS with PARCC and the new exam will be administered for the first time next year. PARCC is being developed by a 19-state alliance. (Monday, 5 p.m., 75 Pleasant St., Malden)
ROSENGREN IN ABU DHABI: Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren is scheduled to discuss capital regulation Monday as part of a program for financial sector supervisors hosted by the Financial Stability Institute of the Bank for International Settlements. (Monday, 1 a.m. U.S. time, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
STUDENT LOANS/DEBT SUBCOMMITTEE: A legislative subcommittee formed to study and make recommendations on the issue of student loans and debt holds a hearing. Rep. Paul Mark is the House chair and Sen. Eileen Donoghue is the Senate chair. (Monday, 11 a.m., Berkshire Community College, Boland Theater, 1350 West St., Pittsfield)
PATRICK MEETS WITH WALSH: Gov. Deval Patrick meets with Boston Mayor-Elect Martin Walsh, who remains a member of the House. A media availability is scheduled to follow in the Governor's Council Chamber. (CLOSED PRESS) (Monday, 12 p.m., Governor's Office, Room 360)
PORT PLAN: MassDOT and the Ports of Massachusetts Compact will hold public meetings in Boston, Gloucester and New Bedford to share a draft of the new Ports Strategic Plan and to gather public input to guide the final plan. The plan aims to guide future investments, policy, initiatives and planning around the ports in Boston, Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford and Salem. (Monday, 6 p.m., Cruiseport Boston/Black Falcon, First Floor, One Black Falcon Avenue, Boston)
ELDER AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: The Elder Affairs Committee hears nursing home bills. Legislation on the agenda include proposals to update the income calculation for the spouses of nursing home residents and bills to codify policies on reserving nursing home beds for residents taking leaves of absence from the facility. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Room B-1)
DPU'S WESTBROOK, CASH AT FLORIDA CONFERENCE: Department of Public Utilities Commissioners Jolette Westbrook and David Cash will participate Monday morning on panels concerning lost and unaccounted for gas and net metering, respectively. Cash also is scheduled to serve on panels Tuesday and Wednesday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners conference in Orlando, Florida.
BAR JOURNAL MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF GOODRIDGE DECISION: The Boston Bar Association's Boston Bar Journal plans on Monday to produce a special edition to mark the tenth anniversary of the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in Massachusetts. In its 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court wrote, "We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution." The court added, "The marriage ban works a deep and scarring hardship on a very real segment of the community for no rational reason. Limiting the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the basic premises of individual liberty and equality under law protected by the Massachusetts Constitution." On the day of the decision, the seven gay and lesbian couples involved in the lawsuit gathered at for Omni Parker Hotel news conference in Boston. "Without a doubt, this is the happiest day in our life," Gloria Bailey, a social worker from Orleans, said that day. Bailey, 62, had entered the lawsuit with her partner of 32 years, Linda Davies, 57.
HOUSE LAUNCHES TOYS FOR TOTS CAMPAIGN: The Massachusetts House will conduct its annual Toys for Tots campaign from Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 18. House Clerk Steven James has asked donors of new, non-violent unwrapped toys to drop them off in the clerk's office, Room 145.
TUESDAY, NOV. 19, 2013
SENATE FORMAL - MINIMUM WAGE DEBATE: The Senate plans a formal session Tuesday at 1 p.m., with plans to debate legislation raising the minimum wage from $8 to $11 an hour over three years. Top Senate Democrats on Thursday expressed strong support for the bill, describing it as an anti-poverty measure that will bring the wages of low-income workers up to help them cope with the rising cost of living. Business groups, such as the Restaurant and Business Alliance, are bashing the proposal. The alliance opposes tying the minimum wage to inflation, saying that insulates future lawmakers from voting on it, and says any minimum wage hike should apply only to adult, full-time, permanent positions. "There are 700,000 adults on welfare and unemployment. It's wrong to focus on people WITH jobs than those WITHOUT jobs, so that politicians can pontificate and moralize, hurting hard-working owners and employees, without understand the damaging effect," Dave Andelman, president of the alliance, said in a statement.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES COMMITTEE: The Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee hears bills dealing with the Department of Developmental Services. Among the 14 bills on the docket are several on aversive therapy and behavioral modification. Sen. Brian Joyce's S 30 would ban the use of methods causing obvious signs of physical pain, including electric shock therapy, as treatment for developmentally handicapped patients. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room B-2)
FINANCIAL LITERACY TRUST FUND: Treasurer Steven Grossman will chair the Financial Literacy Trust Fund Board meeting. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 10th Floor, Charles River Room, Boston)
REPORT ANALYZING CONSUMER CREDIT COMPLAINTS: The MassPIRG Education Fund plans to release a report Tuesday analyzing consumer complaints about credit scores and credit reports. The fund says the report will show how complaints here stack up against other states and how credit reporting agencies respond to complaints. The report uses data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which plans to host a field hearing in Boston on Wednesday. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., MASSPIRGEDFUND.ORG)
CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE: The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee hears 18 bills, mostly concerning automobile dealerships. H 241 from Rep. David Linksy (D-Natick) aims to solve a dispute involving automobile manufacturer Tesla, who recently opened a store in Natick. The bill would allow a manufacturer to own their own dealership or store, without a franchisee, if that company has had no previous franchise agreement in the state. Diarmiud O'Connell, Vice President of Business Development for Tesla, plans to testify. The committee will also hear a few bills on liquor licenses. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Room A-2)
FDIC FORUM ON HOMEOWNERSHIP: DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein discusses Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Homeownership Compact at an FDIC Forum on Homeownership. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Tip O'Neil, Jr. Federal Building, 10 Causeway St., Boston)
COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS: DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein chairs the monthly meeting of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., Governor's Council Chamber)
BANKING COMMISSIONER TESTIFIES IN D.C.: Commissioner of Banks David Cotney will testify at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee's Joint Subcommittee hearing regarding the present and future impact of virtual currency, including the potential effect on consumers, businesses and the financial system. (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C.)
GATEWAY CITIES CAUCUS FORUM: MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones will speak at a Gateway Cities Caucus Forum on the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room 348, State House)
CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING: DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein delivers keynote remarks at the Boston Center for Independent Living's Annual Meeting. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 1, 2 & 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston)
TEACH-IN ON TYPHOON HAIYAN: UMass-Dartmouth will hold a teach-in on Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines that will explore environmental and disaster management lessons. UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman was born and raised in the Philippines. (Tuesday, noon, UMass Dartmouth Main Auditorium)
ACO DEVELOPMENT: The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium hosts a sold-out event Tuesday on the components of a successful accountable care organization. Dr. Bruce Hamory of xG Health is the featured speaker. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 460 Totten Pond Road, Suite 690, Waltham)
FOSTER CARE / ADOPTION EVENT: Former foster child and the expected successor to Senate President Therese Murray, Sen. Stanley Rosenberg will be featured Tuesday at a reception hosted by The Human Rights Campaign. The campaign plans to recognize the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange as a leader in serving LGBT families. Rosenberg is the co-founder of the Legislature's Foster Kid Caucus. The reception, according to MARE, is designed to raise awareness of the 100,000 children in foster care nationwide who are waiting for adoptive families. MARE, which found families for 178 children last year, estimates 600 children and teens are waiting to join a permanent family in Massachusetts. Robert Chambers and Jim Holland, who have adopted two boys from state foster care, are scheduled to deliver remarks. MARE's Heart Gallery in Doric Hall displays portraits of children and teens in foster care. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Nurses Hall, State House)
POLANOWICZ ON ACA: Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz speaks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Life Sciences about health care reform, cost containment, payment reform and Affordable Care Act implementation in Massachusetts. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 265 Franklin Street, 12th Floor, Boston)
DeLEO GETS AWARD: Speaker Robert DeLeo will receive the American College of Surgeons' Dr. John Collins Warren award at this year's American College of Surgeons Surgical Safety, Access and Education Day. Senate President Therese Murray plans to speak. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Grand Staircase)
BOARD OF ED: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will discuss the first full year of receivership for Lawrence Public Schools, consider decisions for the rollout of the MCAS and PARCC exams, hear an update on the level 5 schools Commissioner Mitchell Chester took into receivership, and begin discussions on proposed changes to teacher standards. The board will also vote on the surrender of charter for the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School in Worcester. (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., 75 Pleasant St. Malden)
FALCHUK WITH BIZ PEOPLE: Independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk will join a "prominent" group of Boston-area professionals. Falchuk will speak about his plans to revitalize economic development. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., One International Place, Boston)
PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE: The Public Health Committee hears bills on professional licensure and scope of practice. The 36 bills cover different medical professions, with proposals on everything from optometry, dentistry, podiatry, nursing homes and more. Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez told the News Service Friday it could be a well-attended hearing due to the scope of the bills. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Room B-1)
BUMP AT HOUSING CONFERENCE: Auditor Suzanne Bump addresses the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' Massachusetts Fall Conference. (Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., Verve Crown Plaza Hotel, Route 9, 1360 Worcester Road, Natick)
PATRICK AT SPRINGFIELD CHAMBER: Gov. Deval Patrick discusses expanding growth and opportunity with the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Springfield Marriott, 2 Boland Way, Springfield)
POLITICO'S HABERMAN AT HARVARD: Senior political reporter for POLITICO Maggie Haberman speaks about the 2013 elections at the Harvard Kennedy School. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Taubman 275, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge)
STUDENT PREPAREDNESS: Gov. Deval Patrick visits the Pathways to Prosperity Program at West Springfield High School to highlight efforts of preparing students for the 21st century economy. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., West Springfield High School, 425 Piper Road, West Springfield)
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 20, 2013
SENATE FORMAL: The Senate plans to hold a formal session at 1 p.m.
COAKLEY AT HYDE PARK SCHOOL: Attorney General Martha Coakley will spend the morning with New Mission's principal, resolving questions from students and observing classroom instruction. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., New Mission High School, 655 Metropolitan Ave., Hyde Park)
BUMP BECOMES PRINCIPAL: Auditor Suzanne Bump serves as honorary "principal for a day" at Mason Elementary in Roxbury. The "Principal Partners" event is co-sponsored by the education advocacy group BPE and the Boston Public Schools. (Wednesday, 8 a.m. 150 Norfolk Avenue, Roxbury)
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: At their regular formal assembly, the Governor's Council will vote on two of Gov. Patrick's judicial nominees, Fitchburg District pick Christopher LoConto and Superior Court nominee Joseph Berman. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Governor's Council Chamber)
BMC PICK VETTED: The Governor's Council will interview Thomas Kaplanes, Gov. Deval Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Boston Municipal Court. (Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Governor's Council Chamber)
CLINTON DISTRICT PICK VETTED: The Governor's Council will interview Dennis Sargent, Gov. Deval Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Clinton District Court. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Governor's Council Chamber)
FRAMINGHAM TRAIN EXPANSION: MassDOT holds the first of two public meetings about the expansion of the Framingham/Worcester Line. The department is looking for public input on additional train times and schedule issues. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., Nevins Hall, Memorial Building, 150 Concord Street Framingham)
HOMICIDE SURVIVORS: Boston City Councilor Michael Ross, chair of the Public Safety Committee, and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute commemorate the 13th Annual Homicide Victims Awareness Month at an opening ceremony for Survivors of Homicide Awareness Month. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Boston City Hall, Curley Room, 5th floor)
FAMILY LITERACY: As part of the Education Department's effort to expand family literacy, Education Secretary Matthew Malone and Elementary and Secondary Education Associate Commissioner Pati Gregson will host a visit to the Intergenerational Literacy Program at the John Silber Early Learning Center. Malone and others will view the program in action and see other family-based English language efforts. November is the 17th annual Family Literacy Month. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 99 Hawthorne St, Chelsea)
PATRICK AT METRO SOUTH CHAMBER: Gov. Deval Patrick discusses expanding growth and opportunity with the Metro South Chamber of Commerce. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., The Conference Center, Massasoit Community College, 770 Crescent Street, Brockton)
DEVELOPMENT TOUR: Gov. Deval Patrick tours the Queset Commons Development site. (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., 7 Roosevelt Circle, Easton)
TRUST ACT PRESS CONFERENCE: Lawmakers and other advocates will hold a press conference in support of the Trust Act (S 1135/H 1613) designed to scale back Massachusetts law enforcement's participation in the Secure Communities program operated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Speakers include Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, Rep. Carl Sciortino, Sen. Jamie Eldridge, a member of United Neighbors of Fitchburg and Centro Presente Executive Director Patricia Montes. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 222)
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: The Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will review a number of bills pertaining to safety issues for firefighters, including building code issues. There is no executive session planned. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Room B-1)
NATIONAL REVIEW BEER SUMMIT: Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and other National Review writers will participate in an event at the Harpoon Brewery, where "wisdom and levity will be leavened by beer, homemade pretzels, and heavy hors d'oeuvres." The writers have made pointed criticisms of the Obama administration and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to Steyn and Goldberg, writers Jim Geraghty, Jay Nordlinger and Kevin Williamson will attend. Attendance costs a minimum of $500 per person. (Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6 p.m., Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave., Boston)
FENIX CHARTER: Commissioner Mitchell Chester and officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a hearing in Lynn to discuss an application by Fenix Charter School in Lynn, a 5-12th-grade school that would seek maximum enrollment of 600 with a plan to open in 2014. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Lynn City Hall, City Council Chamber, 4th Floor, Lynn)
INITIATIVE PETITION DEADLINE: Sponsors of proposed 2014 initiative petitions face a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday to file at least 68,911 certified signatures with local registrars for certification. The deadline for filing the certified petitions with the Secretary of State is Dec. 4.
MSBA BOARD: Treasurer Steven Grossman will chair the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors meeting. The board is scheduled to vote on the approval of final audits for completed school construction projects in Agawam, Brockton, Foxborough, Hancock, Westfield, Cape Cod Regional School District, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District and the Mohawk Trail Regional School District. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., MSBA Headquarters, 40 Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Boston)
HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION: The Health Policy Commission Board meets. Expected agenda items include proposed Office of Patient Protection regulations to comply with the Affordable Care Act and updates on cost and market impact reviews and the framework for reviewing material change notices. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Boston Public Library, Johnson Building, Rabb Lecture Hall, Boylston St, Boston)
CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau holds a field hearing in Boston Wednesday on mortgages and "know before you owe" issues. Director Richard Cordray plans to offer remarks and the agency says remarks will also be offered by consumer and industry groups and members of the public. Treasurer Steven Grossman plans to speak at the hearing. Commissioner of Banks David Cotney plans to offer remarks. Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony attends. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston)
SMART GROWTH CONFERENCE: According to organizers at Solomon McCown, Gov. Deval Patrick will speak at the opening plenary for the first Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference in several years. Organizers expect discussion throughout the day of creating active public spaces in cities, transportation options outside urban areas, and water management. The event's host, the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, is backing zoning reform and brownfields redevelopment legislation. Andre Leroux is the executive director of the alliance. The morning plenary runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and will be followed by a discussion moderated by Marty Jones of MassDevelopment and featuring Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University, Elizabeth Kneebone of The Brookings Institution, and Alexie Torres-Fleming of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Summer St., Boston)
HOSPICE CARE: Hospice and Palliative Care Awareness Month will be celebrated by the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts. According to organizers, hospice agencies will present information and resource materials. Expected speakers include Kathy Bliss, president of the federation's board, Senate President Pro Tempore Richard Moore and Dr. Lachlan Forrow, director of the ethics and palliative care program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Great Hall)
"CELEBRATING THE MOVEMENT" PARTY | The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health hosts its 37th annual "Celebrating the Movement" party benefit and plans to honor Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne Goldstein and others. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester)
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ON SOUTH SHORE: Commissioner of Insurance Joseph G. Murphy provides remarks on the state of the insurance industry to the South Shore Independent Insurance Agents at their fall breakfast meeting. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Granite Grille, 703 Granite St., Braintree)
WORLD GENERIC MEDICINES CONGRESS: The 6th annual World Generic Medicines Congress is designed for senior industry executives interested in understanding future market trends, innovative commercial strategies and opportunities for growth in generic medicines and biosimilars, according to the Patrick administration. Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President & CEO Susan Windham-Bannister will deliver a keynote plenary address entitled "How Public/Private Partnerships Are Accelerating Innovation, and Advancing the Work of the Life Sciences Industry." (Wednesday, 9:15 a.m., The Revere Hotel Boston Common, Carver Ballroom, 200 Stuart St., Boston)
BIALECKI IN FALL RIVER: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki joins local officials to tour housing and economic development opportunities in Fall River. (Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., Sam's Bakery, 256 Flint St., Fall River)
THURSDAY, NOV. 21, 2013
SENATE INFORMAL: The Senate plans an informal session Thursday at 11 a.m.
STATE LOTTERY COMMISSION: Treasurer Steven Grossman will chair the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meeting. (Thursday, 10 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor Conference Room, Boston)
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS: Staff from DPL's Board of State Examiners of Electricians will attend the Massachusetts Electrical Contractors Association 2013 Tradeshow and Annual Meeting. (Thursday, 3 p.m., The Lantana,43 Scanlon Drive, Randolph)
STEAM CHARTER: Commissioner Mitchell Chester and officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a hearing in Andover to discuss an application from STEAM Studio Charter School, high school with a maximum enrollment of 450 seeking to open in 2014. (Thursday, 4 p.m., Memorial Hall Library, Meeting Room, 2 North Main Street, Andover)
TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: The Committee on Transportation has a hearing planned, and though only two bills were on the docket midday Friday, other bills relating to transportation financing and planning may be added later. The committee will take up a bill (H 19) that contains several recommendations from Treasurer Steven Grossman. Grossman will testify about legislation that would eliminate the vehicle "self-insurance" program presently administered by Treasury. (Thursday, 10 a.m., Room A-1)
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: The Committee on Public Service will take up bills dealing with people who served in the military before entering public service and bills addressing civil service. The civil service bills include a local bill for Billerica, as well as bills treating the law more generally. There is no executive session planned. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Room A-2)
COMPASSIONATE HEALTH CARE: According to The Schwartz Center, more than 150 doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who treated those injured in the Boston Marathon bombings will be honored at the 18th Annual Kenneth Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional dance instructor who lost her lower leg in the bombings, will speak at the event (Thursday, 7 p.m., Boston Convention Center, Boston)
ELM RECEPTION: Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg, who is expected to succeed Senate President Therese Murray when she steps down, is the guest speaker at the Environmental League of Massachusetts' "Lawyers & Friends" reception. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Law Offices of Nixon Peabody, 100 Summer St., Boston)
E-ZPASS CENTER: Transportation Secretary Richard Davey and MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola celebrate the grand opening of the E-ZPass Service Center, one of four offices to sign up for the E-ZPass system or add value, resolve violations and buy gift certificates for the holiday season. (Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Square One Mall Saugus, Upper level by Macy's)
PATRICK ON CANADA: Gov. Deval Patrick discusses his recent trade trip to Canada at an event on doing business with our northern neighbors. A panel discussion after Patrick's remarks will include LoJack International Vice President Scott Nilson, Diamond Machining Technology President Mark Brandon and Derby Management LLC President Jack Derby. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Foley Hoag, LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston)
MENINO GETS JANE DOE AWARD: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and wife Angela Menino receive the Delahunt Award for Extraordinary Public Service from Jane Doe Inc. for his work against sexual and domestic violence. Former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, TJX Companies' Jerry Ross, Jim Klocke of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Barbara Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission and other are slated to attend. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Oval Room, Boston)
IRELAND FUND: Senate President Therese Murray attends the 32nd Annual American Ireland Fund Gala. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel)
FRANK VISITS UMASS DARTMOUTH: Former Congressman Barney Frank will visit the southern part of his former district on Wednesday and Thursday, meeting with students at UMass Dartmouth. Frank donated historical documents and papers to establish the Congressman Barney Frank Collection at the Claire T. Carney Library, with materials covering gay rights, financial reform and dating back to his time as a state representative. On Wednesday, Frank will meet with Professor Ken Manning's Constitutional Law class, hold a roundtable at the Charlton College of Business and a Q&A at UMass School of Law. On Thursday, he will breakfast with students at the University Club, meet with Professor Neil Olitsky's class on intermediate microeconomics and deliver a speech called "How to Break the Stalemates: Political & Economic." Frank lost the Dartmouth and New Bedford area during redistricting and cited the rearranged district as a reason not to run for re-election. (Thursday, 2 p.m. speech, Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room, UMass Dartmouth)
CONDITION OF EDUCATION: The Rennie Center is holding a kickoff event for its new annual project: the Condition of Education in the Commonwealth. Education Secretary Matt Malone will speak. A panel will be moderated by Monica Brady-Myerov, formerly of WBUR and founder of Listen Edition, an education program. "Massachusetts has engaged in significant education reforms in recent years, resulting in national recognition as a leader in student achievement," an advisory said. "However, we still face challenges with school readiness, a lingering proficiency gap, and students graduating from high school without the skills and knowledge necessary for college and careers." (Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston)
STATE U STUDENTS TALK TO LAWMAKERS: State university students will thank legislators for increased higher education funding, which avoided tuition and fee increases "for the first time in recent memory," according to any advisory, which estimates about 150 students will show up to thank lawmakers and ask them to continue boosting state funding toward a 50-50 split. "In the FY14 budget, the State University line item was increased by $15 million, collective bargaining agreements between the campuses and the Commonwealth were fully funded, and a $1 million line item for matching the State University system internship incentive program was approved, which provides a critical pathway to jobs," the advisory says. There are nine state university campuses. Students will spend the day meeting with lawmakers and have an hour blocked out to speak with reporters. (Thursday, 12 p.m., Great Hall)
RETAILERS ASSOCIATION MEETING: Treasurer Steven Grossman will be the keynote speaker at the Retailers Association of Massachusetts Annual Meeting. (Thursday, 12:30 a.m., Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham)
UNIVERSITY-CDC COLLABORATION: The Mel King Institute on Thursday plans to discuss the results of its assessment of university-community development corporation collaborations in Massachusetts. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Amilcar Cabral Center, African-American Institute, 40 Leon St., Northeastern University, Boston)
FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 2013
DOOKHAN HEARING: Annie Dookhan will appear in court for a hearing. Dookhan is charged with a range of crimes associated with her allegedly tampering with drug samples at the Hinton crime lab. (Friday, 12 p.m., Suffolk Superior Court)
DPU HEARING: The Department of Public Utilities holds public hearing on petition of National Grid, Bay State Gas and NSTAR Gas for approval of a firm transportation contract with Algonquin Gas Transmission. (Friday, 10 a.m., One South Station, 5th floor, Boston)
JOBS NUMBERS: Information about the state of Massachusetts' economy was temporarily stuck in limbo brought on by the partial shutdown of the federal government in October, but the new monthly jobs numbers for August, September and October. The last release of statewide employment data occurred on Sept. 19, when the office reported Massachusetts added 7,500 jobs in August and the unemployment rate remained flat at 7.2 percent. The new report will included updated August numbers as well as numbers for September and October. The release schedule was laid out by federal officials. The national unemployment rate ticked up from 7.2 percent in September to 7.3 percent in October. (Friday)
ADOPTION DAY: Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz joins Department officials from the Department of Children and Families, the Massachusetts Trial Court's Juvenile Court Department and the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange to celebrate the 11th Annual National Adoption Day in Massachusetts. (Friday, 9 a.m., Edward Brooke Courthouse, 390 Pemberton Square, Boston)
SATURDAY, NOV. 23, 2013
SOUTH EASTON SCHOOL: Treasurer Steven Grossman, Chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy will attend the South Eastern Regional Vocational School ribbon cutting ceremony. (Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 250 Foundry Street, South Easton)