STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

SENATE PLANS BUSY WEEK WITH SUPER PACS, CHARTER SCHOOLS, GUNS ON TAP

Senate President Therese Murray told the News Service her branch has a packed schedule for next week with three days of formal sessions planned to debate gun violence, super PAC disclosure and charter school cap lifting legislation that has all cleared the House. Murray and other key senators planned to huddle after the Senate adjourned Thursday afternoon to discuss the direction of the charter school legislation, which was also a topic of conversation during the Senate Democrats' caucus earlier in the afternoon, according to senators who attended. "I think there will be some differences from the House," Murray said. "There are lots of different opinions on it." The Senate plans a somewhat rare informal session on Friday morning when one or more of those bills could emerge in rewritten form differing from what was received from the House. - M. Murphy/SHNS

SENATE PASSES $1.9B ENVIRONMENTAL BOND BILL

The Senate passed a $1.9 billion borrowing bill for long-term investments in land preservation, parks, and clean energy after tacking on scores of amendments totaling roughly $200 million in additional spending for everything from the development of Greylock Glen in Adams to the replanting of trees in western Massachusetts destroyed by the 2011 tornadoes. The bill passed the Senate unanimously 38-0. "It's great to see the Senate take steps forward on climate change and preparedness," said Steve Long, director of government relations for the Nature Conservancy. Long noted the inclusion in the bill of an infrastructure fund and regional grants for climate change preparedness and financial support for a statewide climate adaption management plan. With just 21 days left on the formal legislating calendar, the House and Senate also sent three major bills to conference. To negotiate a bond bill authorizing spending on information technology, the Senate appointed Sens. Brian Joyce, Cynthia Creem, and Richard Ross to join Reps. Peter Kocot, Thomas Golden and Nicholas Boldgya. Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer, Sen. Gale Candaras and Sen. Donald Humason were named as negotiators to a conference committee for economic development and job creation legislation (S 2241/H 4181) where they will be joined by Reps. Joseph Wagner, Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Susan Gifford. Representing the Senate on a conference committee dealing juvenile sentencing (4184/S 2258) are Sens. William Brownsberger, Jennifer Flanagan and Bruce Tarr. They will negotiate with Reps. Christopher Markey, Garrett Bradley and Bradford Hill. - M. Murphy, A. Metzger/SHNS

PATRICK TO SIGN BUDGET FRIDAY MORNING

Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday will sign the fiscal 2015 budget at 9:45 a.m. at the base of the Grand Staircase, his office said Thursday. The House and Senate sent a $36.5 billion budget to his desk nine days ago. Patrick told reporters late Thursday morning that there will be a "few vetoes," calling it a "really great budget." Patrick's schedule also includes a 10:30 a.m. cabinet meeting before he heads out to Springfield Technical Community College for an announcement about training workers in the Pioneer Valley. He will also visit the Eureka! Scholars program at Girls Inc. in Holyoke to discuss the goal of encouraging women to enter science, technology, engineering and math fields. - G. Dumcius/SHNS