What's ahead in state government this week

11/30/14 to 12/6/14: Therese Murray bids farewell - Orleans gets a new judge

On Cape state government and political events

WEDNESDAY, DEC 3, 2014

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING IN PLYMOUTH: Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein participates in an event to mark the formal opening of the Southfield Supportive Housing Program. State housing officials say the program "will increase the number of senior public housing complexes providing 'an assisted living like' environment to seniors who choose to 'age in place,' rather than in long term care facilities in Plymouth." (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Southfield Community Room, 105 South Street, Plymouth)

FRIDAY, DEC. 5, 2014

ORLEANS JUDGE SWORN IN. ADDITIONAL JUDGES RECEIVE OATH OF OFFICE: Gov. Patrick swears-in Holly Broadbent as an associate justice of the Gloucester District Court at 10:15 a.m., Michael Fabbri as a judge of the Framingham District Court at 1 p.m., Lisa Edmonds as a judge of the Orleans District Court at 1:15 p.m., and Paula Clifford of the Hingham District Court at 1:30 p.m. (Friday, Room 360)

SATURDAY, DEC. 6, 2014

GROSSMANS RECEIVE AWARD: Treasurer Steven Grossman and his wife, Dr. Barbara W. Grossman will receive the "Straight For Equality Champion Award" at the 1st annual Promise Place School Gala. (Saturday, 6 p.m., Hyannis Doubletree Hilton, 287 Iyannough Rd, Hyannis)

Cape-related events over the bridge

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 3, 2014

PATRICK TOUTS GREEN COMMUNITIES PROGRAM: Gov. Patrick highlights the Green Communities program. In 2008, Patrick signed a law allowing cities and towns to become designated Green Communities if they meet five criteria. In turn the communities become eligible for state grants to pay for renewable energy or energy efficiency and management initiatives. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Great Hall)

THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014

SENATE FAREWELL SPEECHES: Massachusetts Senate members have largely steered clear of Beacon Hill since the end of formal legislative sessions in the early morning hours of Aug. 1. And while formal sessions won't resume again until January, senators are scheduled to return to the State House next week to hear departing members deliver public farewell speeches. The senators who are not returning in 2015 are Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth), Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Brewer (D-Barre), Senate President Pro Tem Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge), Election Laws Committee Chairman Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Andover), and Economic Development Committee Co-chair Sen. Gale Candaras (D-Wilbraham). Murray and Brewer did not seek re-election. Republican Rep. Vinny deMacedo picked off Murray's seat for the GOP while Rep. Anne Gobi of Spencer helped keep Brewer's seat for the Democrats. Finegold was defeated in the September state treasurer primary. Candaras lost her bid for Hampden County Register of Probate to Westfield independent Suzanne Seguin, and Moore was upended by Rep. Ryan Fattman, a Webster Republican. (Thursday, 2 p.m., Senate Chamber)

WIND ENERGY REPORT RELEASED: A report from Environment Massachusetts will be released that quantifies the potential of wind energy and evaluates the benefits to the state. New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell, Cape Wind officials and campaign organizers from Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy plan to attend the event, and call for policies to promote wind energy development. Participants include Mark Rogers, Communications Director, Cape Wind; Brian Kuhn, Chief Development Officer and Co-Founder, Aeronautica Wind; Megan Amsler, Executive Director, Self-Reliance; and Julia Persinger, Campaign Organizer, Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center. (Thursday, 11 a.m., front steps of New Bedford City Hall, 133 William St., New Bedford)

The end of the Murray reign on Beacon Hill

Senate President Therese Murray has helped engineer an orderly transition to her successor, Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, and managed to put an extensive chamber renovation plan, including funding, in place prior to her departure and in the midst of criticism of harmful cuts to state programs and services. As Murray's historic term as the first woman to lead the Senate winds down, some in government still harbor hope that she will help pass pay raises for public officials before she steps down. Next week brings farewell addresses from Murray and other departing senators as well as the release of the final recommendations of a commission that's been examining pay levels of constitutional officers and lawmakers. Members of that panel say they don't plan to let their proposals gather dust and instead are considering an outreach effort aimed at bringing more attention to the rationale behind their ideas. Citizens for Limited Taxation on Friday said a 1998 constitutional amendment that tied legislative base pay to changes in median household income prohibited the Legislature from changing the base compensation of lawmakers.


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