STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 1, 2014......Ten and 39 are the new operative numbers in Massachusetts policy and politics. Gov. Deval Patrick gets 10 days to review the stack of bills the Legislature frantically sent to his desk Thursday night and into the wee hours of Friday. The rush to paste together important bills led to mistakes in several of those proposals, adding another dimension to the usual scrutiny of legislation by Patrick's team. Thirty-nine is the number of days until the Sept. 9 primary elections that are now more squarely the focus of lawmakers, their challengers and candidates for statewide office, including races for the open governor's, treasurer's and attorney general's office.
Massachusetts residents and businesses in the coming weeks will get to learn about the benefits and compliance requirements of new laws, major and minor, that Patrick is poised to sign in the coming days. With the Legislature still meeting in twice-weekly informal sessions, lawmakers will have an opportunity to act on any amendments Patrick proposes to the bills he just received. The threshold for passage of amendments or any bills, however, has just been raised with the transition into informal sessions that will run from August through the end of the year. Unanimous consent is required to advance any legislation during informal sessions, which means everyone present must agree.
BILLS ON PATRICK'S DESK
The list of high-profile bills on the governor's desk include proposals to prevent domestic violence and extend new tools to prosecute batterers, institute new methods to prevent gun violence and suicide, facilitate economic development and job creation, expand access to substance abuse treatment, clear titles in foreclosure cases, overhaul housing authority governance, and invest $2.2 billion in both environmental programs and water infrastructure over the coming years. Patrick on Friday signed a bill (H 4366) pertaining to super PAC disclosures of funding. "You know, I'm sure that there are members of the Legislature who, like this governor, wish they hadn't waited till the last minute to get so much of it done," Patrick said Friday. "Because they left so much to the end, there is some uncertainty about or lack of clarity about what's in all of these bills. So we're going to take the time that's allowed by the constitution to actually do the evaluation. But there's certainly a number of bills that we're very excited about: the economic development bill, all of the bond authorizations, which enable us to continue to invest in infrastructure, are enormously important." When a reporter asked whether the process of late-night lawmaking could be changed, Patrick said the Legislature controls its calendar. "I think, you know, when I first got here that sort of thing used to bother me more than it does now because I've come to understand that there is a certain amount of strategy in holding things to the end because there is horse-trading that happens, and I get that," he added. "I think that there are many members of the Legislature and there are many members of the public that that wish some of these harder bills, more complicated things, didn't wait until the end because then they run out of time to work out the complexities."
Here's a list of some of the more significant bills sent Patrick's way on Thursday alone:
-- S 1987 clearing titles to foreclosed properties.
-- S 2142 to increase opportunities for long-term substance abuse recovery.
-- S 2334 relative to domestic violence
-- H 4376 relative to the reduction of gun violence.
-- H 4386 relative to simulcasting.
-- S 2214 relative to credit for thermal energy generated with renewable fuels.
-- H 4237 relative to real lives.
-- H 4254 modernizing licensing operations at the Division of Professional Licensure.
-- S 2021 improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
-- H 2779 relative to insurance in the Commonwealth.
-- H 4378 relative to organ retention.
-- H 4374 relative to local housing authorities.
-- H 3789 regulating regional school district planning committees.
-- H 4375 providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the Commonwealth.
-- H 4377 act promoting economic growth across the commonwealth.
-- S 1218 relative to labor relations.
-- H 2222 relative to sons and daughters of correction officers.
-- H 4327 requiring national background checks.
-- S 795, protecting persons who in voluntary services at the scene of catastrophe or disaster.
-- H 4368 fair retention payments in private construction.
-- S 2249 uniform adult guardianship and protective proceedings jurisdiction.
-- H 2551 changes in laws regarding the taxation of forest, farm and recreational land.
-- H 4019 regional school transportation reimbursement fund.
-- H 4112 relative to the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation.
-- H 4047 assisting individuals with autism and other intellectual or developmental disabilities.
-- S 1882 relative to the Massachusetts Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee.
DECISION TIME NEARING FOR CONNECTOR
A decision is expected from the federal government sometime in early August about whether the Massachusetts Health Connectors revamped website will be sufficient to meet Affordable Care Act requirements or whether Massachusetts must use Healthcare.gov for the 2015 open enrollment. Connector officials reported Friday they are making "good progress on meeting project targets and milestones" with their vendor, hCentive, delivering Version 2.0 of its software to the systems integrator on July 30 for testing and quality assurance. Authority officials expect a decision to be announced before their next scheduled board meeting on Aug. 14.
FIRST LOOK AT FISCAL 2015 REVENUES
Department of Revenue officials next week will likely release tax collection totals for July, the first month of the new fiscal year. The Patrick administration and legislative leaders are counting on taxpayers this fiscal year to deliver $24.43 billion to state government's coffers, after adjusting for the impacts of a tax amnesty program, delays in delivering business tax deductions and "enhanced" tax law enforcement by the DOR. Through July 15, tax receipts of $573 million up $33 million over the same period in July 2013.
SATURDAY, AUG. 2, 2014
CELLUCCI TRIBUTE ROAD RACE: Gov. Deval Patrick joins members of the Cellucci family and former Gov. William Weld for the kick-off of the inaugural Governor Cellucci Tribute Road Race. (Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Elks Lodge, 99 Park St., Hudson)
COAKLEY IN WHITMAN:Attorney General Martha Coakley, a candidate for governor, drops by McGuiggan's Pub. (Saturday, 5 p.m., 546 Washington Street, Whitman)
COAKLEY AT PORTUGUESE FEST: Attorney General Martha Coakley, Democratic candidate for governor, meets with voters at the Fall River Portuguese Festival. (Saturday, 189 Essex Street, Fall River)
FALCHUK IN SCITUATE: Evan Falchuk, an independent candidate for governor, attends Scituate Heritage Days, hosted by the Scituate Chamber of Commerce. (Saturday, 2 p.m., intersection of Front St. and Otis Place Scituate)
SUNDAY, AUG. 3, 2014
GROSSMAN CANVASSES IN NEW BEDFORD: Treasurer Steve Grossman, a candidate for governor, kicks off a canvass in New Bedford. (Sunday [8/3], 10 a.m., 105 William St., New Bedford)
BAKER 'ON THE RECORD': Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker appears on WCVB's On the Record interview program. The former health care executive is making his second attempt at capturing the corner office and hopes to bring GOP control back to the executive branch after eight years under Democrat Deval Patrick. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB)
CANDIDATES AT PUERTO RICAN FESTIVAL: Candidates for governor Martha Coakley, Steve Grossman, Don Berwick and Evan Falchuk are scheduled to attend the Puerto Rican festival outside Boston City Hall. (Sunday, City Hall Plaza, Boston)
MONDAY, AUG. 4, 2014
SENATE: The Senate meets in an informal session Monday at 11 a.m.
TIERNEY ADDRESSES NEW ENGLAND COUNCIL: U.S. Rep. John Tierney, who is facing several Democratic rivals on the ballot in September, speaks to the New England Council, a regional business group. About 100 members of the group are expected to attend. (Monday, 8 a.m., Bank of America, 100 Federal St., 2nd floor, Boston)
COAKLEY TOURS iROBOT: Attorney General Martha Coakley, a candidate for governor, joins the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council to tour the iRobot Corporation. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., 8 Crosby Drive, Bedford)
EEA SECRETARY TO VISIT HYBRIDS FACILITY: Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett will tour the XL Hybrids facility with MassDOT Secretary Rich Davey and Mass Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton. (Monday, 10 a.m., 145 Newton Street, Boston)
UMASS DARTMOUTH IN FALL RIVER: UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman plans to join local officials and the school's international students education program for a ribbon cutting at the second floor of a building in the Fall River campus. The event will celebrate the university's bond with international education partner Navitas in downtown Fall River. The school aims to bring 100 students to Fall River, where they will be able to dine out using their university ID. Mayor William Flanagan plans to attend along with Reps. Carol Fiola, Alan Silvia and Paul Schmid. (Monday, 11 a.m., Cherry and Webb building at 139 South Main St., Fall River)
GREEN LINE EXTENSION OPPORTUNITIES: Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Therese McMillan, Congressman Michael Capuano, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott, Education Secretary Matthew Malone and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone will highlight the innovative Massachusetts Workforce Initiative Now program, aimed at opening up transportation-related training, employment and career opportunities in connection with the Green Line Extension project. (Monday, 10:30 a.m., Omni Parker House, Gardner Room, 60 School Street, Boston)
MASSWIN PROGRAM DISCUSSION: Federal, state and local officials will discuss the Massachusetts Workforce Initiative Now (MassWIN) program, which is focused on creating transportation-related training, employment and career opportunities in connection with the Green Line Extension project. Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, Congressman Michael Capuano, MBTA general manager Beverly Scott, Education Secretary Matthew Malone and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone are scheduled to attend. (Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Omni Parker House, Room 30, 60 School Street, Boston)
FALCHUK ON YOUTH VIOLENCE: Evan Falchuk, an independent candidate for governor, tours UTEC and speaks during the "Youth Violence Prevention Policy Series." (Monday, 2 p.m., 34 Hurd St, Lowell)
ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits students at Artists For Humanity. (Monday, 12 p.m., 100 West Second Street, Boston)
TUESDAY, AUG. 5, 2014
HOUSE: The House meets in an informal session Tuesday at 11 a.m.
BOARD OF REGISTRATION IN PHARMACY: The Board of Registration in Pharmacy meets Tuesday with an agenda that includes a new associate executive director, new board makeup and a legislative update regarding implementation of Chapter 159, the new law governing regulation of prescription drug compounding companies. In executive session, the board plans to consider "discussing strategy with respect to litigation because discussing in open session would have a
detrimental effect on the litigating position of the board. Specifically, the board members will discuss pending litigation: Zogenix, Inc. v. Patrick, et. al., United States District Court, District of Massachusetts." (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 239 Causeway Street ~ Room 417 A&B, Boston)
PATRICK PERFORMS AT TANGLEWOOD: Gov. Patrick performs "This Difficult Song" at Tanglewood on Parade. (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., Tanglewood, Lenox)
ATLANTIC FISHERIES MEETING: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries, an interstate compact for managing fisheries, will hold its summer meeting outside the nation's capital on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, the American Lobster Management Board will meet. Bay State lobstermen are concerned about a new National Marine Fisheries Service rule restricting lobstering off the Massachusetts coast. Other groups will meet throughout the week tackling matters concerning eel, flounder, spiny dogfish and seabass. (Tuesday - Thursday, Crowne Plaza Hotel Old Town, Alexandria, Va.)
INSURANCE AWARENESS: Commissioner of Insurance Joseph Murphy visits the Northampton Farmers Market to raise awareness of insurance. (Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Corner of Main & Old South Streets, Northampton)
NAACP FORUM FOR AG CANDIDATES: The NAACP Brockton branch plans a voter education forum with Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, both Democrats running for attorney general. Republican John Miller was invited. Leonard Alkins will serve as master of ceremonies and the candidates will face questions from a panel, including Phoebe Soares, Kamisha Lauture and others. (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton)
TOLMAN CAMPAIGN LABOR MEETING: The campaign to elect Warren Tolman attorney general will hold its weekly labor meeting at campaign headquarters, according to the AFL-CIO. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., 125 Walnut Street, Suite 102 in Watertown
EEA SECRETARY TO SPEAK AT FOOD BANK: Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett will attend a press conference at the Greater Boston Food Bank to speak on the current role of the technology in the state (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., 70 South Bay Avenue, Boston)
SUCCESS STORIES FROM EDGE4VETS PROGRAM: Former participants from Edge4Vets workshop at UMass Lowell will share their success stories with peers during a training session. The Edge4Vets program, which was first implemented at UMass Lowell in February, helps student-veterans translate their military strengths into tools for the civilian workforce and helps them secure jobs. (Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell)
OLD ROCHESTER REGIONAL HIGH: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone plans to visit students at Summer Adventures in Learning at Old Rochester Regional High School. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., 135 Marion Rd, Mattapoisett)
MASSASOIT COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone will visit students and faculty at Massasoit Community College, Middleboro campus. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., 49 Union Street, Middleboro)
GROSSMAN IN QUINCY: Treasurer Steve Grossman, a Democratic candidate for governor, attends Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch's annual BBQ. (Tuesday, 5 p.m., Pageant Field, Merrymount Parkway, Quincy)
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 6, 2014
GOLAR RICHIE SWORN IN AS MCAD COMMISSIONER: Gov. Patrick swears-in Charlotte Golar-Richie, a former top Patrick aide and candidate for Boston mayor, as a commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. (Wednesday, 3:45 p.m., Room 360)
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Gov. Deval Patrick chairs an assembly of the Governor's Council, the panel that hears and determines approval of judicial nominees. There are no judgeships ready to be voted on before the Council this week and the panel is expected to take up routine business. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Room 222)
SUPERIOR COURT NOMINEE: The Governor's Council interviews Gregg Pasquale, Gov. Deval Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Superior Court. Pasquale became an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County in 1985 and has been in private practise in Plymouth County since 1989. If confirmed, the Rockland resident would fill the seat left vacant by the death of Judge Joseph Walker. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Room 222)
BERWICK AT NORTH SHORE FORUM: Don Berwick, a Democrat running for governor, attends a gubernatorial forum put together by the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium of the Greater North Shore. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Beverly High School Auditorium, 100 Sohier Rd., Beverly)
APPEALS COURT NOMINEE: The Governor's Council interviews Gregory Massing, Gov. Patrick's pick to sit on the Appeals Court.
Massing joined the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office in 1993 before going to the Essex County District Attorney's Office and Boston firm Laredo & Smith. Massing was the General Counsel at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security from 2007 to 2011 and has been the Executive Director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School since 2012. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Room 222)
NATICK HOUSING: Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein joins Natick Housing Authority officials and residents to celebrate the renovation of public housing units that were previously vacant, which is part of the Patrick administration's initiative to re-occupy vacant public housing units across the Commonwealth. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Cedar Gardens Community Center, 40 Cedar Ave., Natick)
TELECOM COMMISSIONER SWORN IN: Gov. Patrick swears-in Karen Charles as commissioner of the Department of Telecommunications and Cable, where she has worked as chief of staff. (Wednesday, 3:15 p.m., Room 360)
HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION MEETING: The Community Health Care Investment and Consumer Involvement Committee meets to discuss the development of the HPC's study on community hospitals. The committee also receives an update on the CHART Investment Program. The program aims to grant up to $60 million to eligible Massachusetts community hospitals in its next phase of funding. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Daley Room, Two Boylston Street, 5th floor, Boston)
HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION MEETING: The Cost Trends and Market Performance Committee discusses proposed regulations to govern the agency's review of notices of material change (MCN). MCNs are a 30-day review process on material changes in the Massachusetts health care market. The HPC considers various factors, such as cost, market and access, to determine whether a material change is likely to have a significant impact on the Commonwealth's ability to meet the health care cost growth benchmark. If such a determination is made, a cost and market impact review will be initiated. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Daley Room, Two Boylston Street, 5th floor, Boston)
FALCHUK ON WBUR: Evan Falchuk, an independent candidate for governor, will be live on WBUR's "Radio Boston." (Wednesday, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., 90.9 FM)
DENTAL INSURANCE: The Special Commission on Dental Insurance meets to discuss the results of the commission's survey on dental contracts by the top insurance providers. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Division of Insurance, Hearing Room 1E, 1000 Washington St., Boston)
GROSSMAN AT SOMERVILLE PICNIC: Democratic candidate for governor Steve Grossman attends the Somerville Senior Picnic. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Powder House Park, Broadway, Somerville)
THURSDAY, AUG. 7, 2014
SENATE INFORMAL: The Senate plans to hold an informal session. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)
HACKCESS TO JUSTICE HACKATHON: Suffolk University Law School hosts the "Hackcess to Justice Hackathon" organized by the American Bar Association Journal. During the two-day hackathon, teams of lawyers, programmers, designers and law students will work together to develop new solutions to problems of access to justice. According to the Legal Services Corporation, only 20% of low-income people with civil legal problems are able to get help. At the end of the competition, a panel of experts will rate each team's work and select a winner. A total of $3,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top three hacks. The hackathon coincides with the beginning of the American Bar Association's Magnitude 360 Annual Meeting in Boston. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston)
CEDAC: Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein chairs the monthly meeting of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. (Thursday, 8:30 a.m. One Center Plaza, Boston)
IDENTITY THEFT: Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony participates on a panel about data security and identity theft alongside Stephen Chow, attorney at Burns & Levinson LLP, and Ellen Giblin, attorney at the Ashcroft Group LLC. The Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education event requires paid registration. (Thursday, 2 p.m., MCLE Conference Center, 10 Winter Place, Boston)
BERWICK AT WORKBAR: Gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick, a Democrat and former Obama health care official, attends the Workbar gubernatorial speaking series. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Workbar, 45 Prospect St., Cambridge)
FALCHUK AT HOMELESS ORG: Evan Falchuk, an independent candidate for governor, will be visiting the Horizons for Homeless Children organization (Thursday, 1 p.m., 1705 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury)
FRIDAY, AUG. 8, 2014
MARSHFIELD HIGH SCHOOL: Treasurer Steven Grossman, chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy will attend the Marshfield High School ribbon cutting ceremony. The MSBA is contributing up to $48.6 million of eligible expenses towards the new high school. (Friday, 10 a.m., Marshfield High School, 167 Forest Street, Marshfield)
FALCHUK AT COMMENCEMENT: Evan Falchuk, an independent candidate for governor, will deliver the keynote speech at Porter & Chester Institute's commencement ceremony (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Woburn Memorial High School, 88 Montvale Ave, Woburn)