STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - MONDAY, AUG. 4, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

PATRICK MOVING BACK INTO RENOVATED CORNER OFFICE

Gov. Deval Patrick is getting his old third floor Corner Office back after the place underwent a $9 million renovation. The renovations included improvements to the lobby that will allow visitors to access the balcony that looks out onto Boston Common, Beacon Street and the city's skyline. The renovations also include upgrades to the HVAC system, new wiring, energy efficient windows and security cameras. During the renovations, which started in January, Patrick has worked out of a temporary executive suite on the second floor in the building's west wing. According to his public schedule, Patrick on Wednesday will chair the Governor's Council, which signs off on judicial nominees, in Room 360. The council, which vets judicial nominees, was also displaced by the project and has been meeting in a hearing room on the second floor. Patrick on Wednesday also plans to use his revamped executive suite to swear-in Karen Charles as commissioner of the Department of Telecommunications and Cable and Charlotte Golar Richie, a former aide and Boston mayoral candidate, as a commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The Senate chamber around the corner, and the House chamber down the hall, also may be in store for renovations.


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A bond bill lawmakers sent to Patrick's desk on Wednesday authorizes $20 million in improvements in both the House and Senate chambers. It's typically up to governors to decide which capital projects to move ahead with, choosing from a long list of authorizations. The House and Senate this session delivered on all of Patrick's more than $20 billion in bond bill requests, sending him revamped versions of transportation, housing, military, environmental, technology projects bills. - G. Dumcius/SHNS

SUPPORTERS OF GUV'S MIGRANT SHELTER PLAN TO RALLY

On the heels of a late-July rally that drew scores of protesters to the State House to oppose the Patrick administration's offer to shelter unaccompanied migrant children in Massachusetts, supporters of the proposal are planning their own rally Thursday in Copley Square. According to the MIRA Coalition, the "Stand Up for All Children" rally will include participants from faith organizations, peace and human rights groups, student organizations and immigrant advocacy groups. Ralliers plan to gather at Copley around 5:30 p.m. and march to Boston Common from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Remarks from public officials and others are planned at the steps of the Robert Gould Shaw memorial at 7:30 p.m. "There's no doubt that Governor Patrick put the state at the forefront of national news with his offer to provide temporary housing to unaccompanied Central American children fleeing harm," Cristina Aguilera, organizing director at MIRA, said in a statement. "Now, we feel that the nation is looking to Massachusetts to gauge our residents' response to his brave proposal." - M. Norton/SHNS

ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TOUR HYBRID COMPANY

Two Patrick administration Cabinet secretaries spent Monday morning touring XL Hybrids in Boston. A company official declined to allow a News Service reporter to join the tour, which was promoted Friday by communications aides in Environmental and Energy Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett's office. Transportation Secretary Richard Davey joined Vallely Bartlett on the company tour. The company is focused on aftermarket hybrid electric systems to help owners of commercial fleets reduce fuel consumption, save money and reduce emissions. "We hadn't planned on the press being there," Vallely Bartlett said after touring the facility for a little more than an hour. She said, "We are visiting a private company, so it was just simply that they hadn't been prepared for it, and we had not asked them to allow you in." - A. Metzger/SHNS

KEENAN, TARR HANDLE SENATE SESSION

The state Senate shifted into informal session gear Monday, with Sen. John Keenan of Quincy and Sen. Bruce Tarr of Gloucester handling light session duties. After the full 40-person Senate inundated Gov. Deval Patrick's desk with major and minor bills on Thursday, the last day of scheduled formal sessions for the year, Tarr and Keenan voted to send Gov. Deval Patrick one more bill - legislation authorizing the MWRA to dispose of property in Boston (S 2139). The Senate also approved a bill raising an existing property tax exemption in Somerville (H 4188) and legislation affecting the mayor's term in Salem (H 3915). The Senate's next session is Thursday morning. The House returns Tuesday morning for its first session since bleary-eyed lawmakers left Beacon Hill early Friday morning after stumbling to the formal session finish line. - M. Norton/SHNS