STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 29, 2014....State government begins to emerge from its August slumber, with a report on health care spending due out on Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court holding its first sessions since Ralph Gants was confirmed as chief justice and July addition of Geraldine Hines, and an announcement about the return of the Tall Ships.

But the focus remains on elections as candidates spend down campaign kitties to finance expensive ads, empty out their opposition research files, and make as many stops as possible to try to energize their voting bases ahead of the Sept. 9 primaries. The Democrats running for governor also have two televised debates on the calendar, and candidates around the state face a major pre-primary campaign finance reporting deadline on Tuesday. Monday morning's Labor Day breakfast in Boston features an added sense of urgency given this year's early primary, and gives unions an opportunity to flex their political muscles.

The tightest high stakes race heading into the final week of campaigning is the battle between Democrats running for attorney general Maura Healey and Warren Tolman. Competitors in Democratic primaries for state treasurer and lieutenant governor appear not be making a big impression on voters, with polls showing many in Massachusetts still have no preference in those races.

The transition into September brings new opportunities for tax scofflaws, who under a new law can avoid penalties for overdue taxes if they pay in full by Halloween.


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The tax amnesty program was authorized in the state budget. Lawmakers hope to pull in millions of dollars that might otherwise remain uncollected.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2, 2014

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches meet in informal sessions at 11 a.m.

COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS: Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett will announce $13.5 million in grants and loans for dams and coastal infrastructure projects. The funds will help rehabilitate dams, protect drinking water supplies and key coastal safety and economic assets in Massachusetts' coastal communities. (Tuesday, noon, Scituate Maritime Center, 119 Edward Foster Road, Scituate.

DEADLINE FOR PRE-PRIMARY FINANCE REPORTS: Candidates for the Legislature, political action committees (PACs), and ward, town and city party committees must file their pre-primary campaign finance reports. The reporting period covers January 1 to Aug. 22 and applies to both party candidates and non-party candidates, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. (Tuesday, 11:59 p.m.)

O'NEILL TUNNEL CLOSURE: Starting Tuesday at 11 p.m. and overnight into Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation plans a complete closure of the I-93 Tip O'Neill Tunnel in the southbound direction through Boston for maintenance. According to MassDOT, I-93 southbound traffic will be diverted to the Mystic Ave off-ramp at Exit 28 for the detour route. Upon exiting the off-ramp, all traffic will be directed through Sullivan Square to Rutherford Ave, following to the Surface Artery southbound. Southbound traffic will reenter I-93 at the onramp at Albany Street and Herald Street. Scheduled work includes power washing signs, ceilings and walls.

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court, headed by Chief Justice Ralph Gants, is scheduled to hear six cases. Tuesday will be the first time the seven members sit with Gants as the chief justice. The court also has a new member: Geraldine Hines, the first black woman on the panel, took the oath of office in July, and replaced Roderick Ireland as a justice. For case information go to: http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/display_calendar.php?dtp=fc. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Pemberton Square, Boston)

CANDIDATE SURVEY ON DRUG SENTENCING LAWS: On Tuesday, Families Against Mandatory Minimums will release a report showing the positions of 24 candidates on mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. The organization polled candidates for governor, attorney general, district attorney and Governor's Council.

LOW-WAGE WORKER MARCH: Backers of a higher minimum wage under the banner of "Fight for $15" hold a "low-wage worker mobilization" and march outside the State House. (Thursday, 10 a.m., State House steps)

CHIA RELEASES HEALTH CARE PERFORMANCE REPORT: An annual state report due out will for the first time includes a calculation of the Commonwealth's total health care expenditures and will also include trends in insurance premiums and benefit levels. Its authors say the report "may surprise you" if you follow premium and benefit level trends for the period from 2009 through 2011. The report is intended to inform cost trend hearings scheduled for Oct. 6-7 before the Health Policy Commission, hearings that this year for the first time will include a review of the state's performance against a 3.6 percent cost growth benchmark intended to keep health care cost growth at or lower than economic growth. The executive director of the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), Aaron Boros, plans a public briefing on the performance report. Health care costs and the impacts of consolidation and competition among providers have surfaced as an issue in this year's race for governor, with a focus on a proposed legal settlement between Attorney General Martha Coakley, a candidate for governor, and Partners HealthCare, the state's largest health care provider. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., One Ashburton Place, Boston)

REPORT ON HOUSING U.S. AGING POP TO BE RELEASED: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation plan to release a report on housing America's older adults at an event in Washington D.C. The report presents research and discusses the needs of an aging population. Executive chairman at CityView and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros will deliver the keynote address. A panel discussion will follow the keynote speech, featuring the director of health policy at the New York Academy of Medicine Ana Garcia, Assistant Secretary for Aging for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathy Greenlee, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners Terri Ludwig and moderator Ann Norton, AARP National Policy Council. Other scheduled speakers include president of the AARP Foundation Lisa Ryerson and acting managing director at the Harvard Joint Center Chris Herbert. (Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC; live webcast at www.jchs.harvard.edu)

MOTIONS DUE IN PROBATION TRIAL: Lawyers for three former probation officials have until Tuesday to file motions for an acquittal notwithstanding the jury's conviction of their clients on public corruption charges. Former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien and two former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III, were convicted in July of various charges associated with rigging the hiring system in the law enforcement agency. Their lawyers will have a chance to appeal to Judge William Young to overturn the jury's verdict. The lawyers had asked for an extension, but that was denied. There is a hearing on the anticipated motions scheduled for Oct. 22. (Tuesday)

MALONE AT WORCESTER STATE: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone will address Worcester State University faculty and staff at "Opening Day". (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Worcester State University's Sullivan Auditorium, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester)

NEW MBTA STATION IN SOMERVILLE: The first new MBTA station in 27 years will open to the public. The last time the MBTA opened a new station was in 1987 when the Orange Line stations between Mass Ave and Forest Hills opened, according to an MBTA spokesman. The new Orange Line station in Somerville, known as Assembly Station, was in the works for years, and is part of a larger transit-oriented development effort in the city, according to Somerville officials. The Orange line previously rolled through Somerville without stopping. The Assembly Square redevelopment district is a planned large-scale, mixed-use redevelopment project which will have residential units, retail and office space, along with a hotel. The $29 million new station was funded by a public/private partnership between state and federal agencies, as well as the developer Federal Realty Investment Trust, according to an MBTA webpage describing the project. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony accompanied by Gov. Deval Patrick and MBTA representatives at the new station located between Wellington and Sullivan Square. "The opening of the Orange Line Assembly Station - the first new MBTA station in more than a quarter-century - is a win not only for Somerville but for the Commonwealth and for sustainability as well," Curtatone said in a statement. Curtatone said the project will bring tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and billions of dollars in investment. (Tuesday, 1:45 p.m., ceremony starts at the Trusses at the intersection of Great River Road and Assembly Row, next to the Baxter Park amphitheater; then a walk through the neighborhood to the new station)

NEW BEDFORD MARINE TERMINAL: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Senior Director of Offshore Wind Bill White will host an informational public meeting regarding the Marine Commerce Terminal project in New Bedford. The public meeting will include a presentation regarding construction and a question and answer session. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford)

AG DEM DEBATE IN WESTERN MASS: The two Democrats running for attorney general, Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, face off in taped debate. The debate is sponsored by the Springfield Republican and CBS3. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., One Monarch Place, Springfield)

BERWICK AND COAKLEY ON BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO: Democratic gubernatorial candidates Don Berwick and Martha Coakley appear on "Boston Public Radio," the WGBH show hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Berwick is scheduled to appear at 12:30 p.m., while Coakley's appearance is set for 1:40 p.m. (Tuesday)

DEM LG CANDIDATES DEBATE: The three Democrats running for lieutenant governor, Leland Cheung, Mike Lake and Steve Kerrigan, will debate at Stonehill College. The forum will be moderated by Rick Holmes of Metrowest Daily News, and Patrick Ronan, of The Patriot Ledger, and Elizabeth Banks, of Milford Daily News will be panelists. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., The Joseph Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College)

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3, 2014

RETURN OF THE TALL SHIPS: Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett will join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh for an announcement regarding the return of the Tall Ships to Boston. (Wednesday, noon, Long Wharf, Boston)

BOSTON CHAMBER TO HOST HEALEY, TOLMAN: Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, the two Democrats running to succeed outgoing Attorney General Martha Coakley, are set to face off again next week. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce plans to host Healey and Tolman for a forum. The attorney general's office wields significant powers in the business regulation arena and the candidates are likely to be face questions about their approaches in that area. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel)

U.S. REP. CLARK MODERATES GUN PANEL: Congresswoman Katherine Clark holds a community panel discussion about gun violence prevention and federal legislation at Tufts University. Clark will moderate a panel of gun safety experts for a policy discussion, organized in partnership with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. (Wednesday, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tufts University, 40 Talbot Ave., Aidekman Arts Center, Alumnae Lounge, Medford)

MALONE IN WOBURN: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone speaks at Woburn Public Schools Convocation. (Wednesday, 8:15 a.m., 88 Montvale Avenue, Woburn)

MALONE IN WOBURN: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits Reading's Parker Middle School. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 45 Temple Street, Reading)

MALONE IN WILMINGTON: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits Wilmington's Woburn Street School. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., 227 Woburn Street, Wilmington)

HOUSING CHIEF IN ATHOL: Housing Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein talks housing needs and potential affordable housing models, including the redevelopment of former mill buildings, with private and nonprofit developers, UMass officials and Rep. Denise Andrews (D-Orange). (Wednesday, 9 a.m., LP Athol Complex, 134 Chestnut Hill Ave., Athol)

REVERE TORNADO ASSISTANCE: Division of Insurance Staffers offer assistance to Revere residents and business owners who have open claims and concerns over the tornado that hit Revere on July 28. (Wednesday, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Revere Police Headquarters, Community Room, 400 Revere Beach Pkwy, Revere)

UMASS - ACADEMIC AFFAIRS: The University of Massachusetts Committee on Academic and Student Affairs meets. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., UMass President's Office, Amherst Room, 33rd Floor, 225 Franklin Street, Boston)

ALLSTON INTERCHANGE MEETING: MassDOT holds a task force meeting on the I-90 Allston interchange improvement project. According to MassDOT, the I-90 Allston Viaduct is nearing the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. The project is part of the state's plan to convert the entire Massachusetts Turnpike to electronic tolling. Task Force members will meet to determine environmental process and designs. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Fiorentino Community Center, 123 Antwerp Street, Allston)

UMASS - ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE: The University of Massachusetts Advancement Committee meets. (Wednesday, noon, UMass President's Office, Lowell/Dartmouth Room, 33rd Floor, 225 Franklin Street, Boston)

DEMS RUNNING FOR AG ON BRAUDE SHOW: Jim Braude, host of New England Cable News's "BroadSide," moderates a live debate between Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, two Democrats running for attorney general. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., NECN, 160 Wells Ave., Newton)

MEDIA CONSORTIUM HOSTS GUV DEBATE: The three candidates for governor - Martha Coakley, Don Berwick and Steve Grossman - square off in a debate sponsored by a Boston media consortium that includes the Boston Globe, Channel 5, Channel 7, WBUR and Bloomberg. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., WHDH)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: Gov. Deval Patrick chairs a full assembly of the Governor's Council, which could vote on four judicial nominees who were interviewed earlier in August. The nominees are longtime defense attorney Thomas Drechsler, Worcester attorney Geoffrey German, Hampshire Probate and Family Court judicial case manager David Dacyczyn and Administrative Judge Lynn Coffin Brendemuehl. Drechsler has been nominated for a seat on the Superior Court; German would fill a seat on the Hampden County Probate and Family Court; Dacyczyn was tapped as an associate justice of the Probate and Family Court's Franklin County division; and Brendemuehl has been nominated for a seat on the Framingham District Court bench. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Governor's Council Chamber)

WORCESTER PROBATE COURT NOMINEE: The Governor's Council interviews attorney Kathryn Bailey, Gov. Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Worcester Probate and Family Court. A Clinton attorney, she is a managing partner at Bailey and Burke. From 1997 to 1999, she represented indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors in Clinton District Court as part of the bar advocate program for the Committee for Public Counsel Services. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Law and Assumption College in Worcester. If confirmed by the Governor's Council, she would replace Judge Susan Ricci. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Governor's Council Chamber)

GROSSMAN ON BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO: Treasurer Steve Grossman, one of three Democrats running for governor, appears on WGBH's "Boston Public Radio." (Wednesday, 1:20 p.m., WGBH 89.7)

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court meets. For case information go to: http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/display_calendar.php?dtp=fc. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Pemberton Square, Boston)

'MEET THE CANDIDATES' BREAKFAST FOR REPUBLICANS: The Ipswich Republican Town Committee hosts a "Meet the Candidates" breakfast. Expected attendees include Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker, Congressional candidate Richard Tisei, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Rep. Brad Hill of Ipswich. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Ipswich Bed & Breakfast, 2 East St., Ipswich)

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4, 2014

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches meet in informal sessions at 11 a.m.

'BROADSIDE' DEBATE FOR DEM GUV CANDIDATES: Jim Braude, host of New England Cable News's "BroadSide," moderates a live debate between Martha Coakley, Don Berwick and Steve Grossman, the three Democrats running for governor. (Thursday, 6 p.m., NECN)

GAMING COMMISSION: The Gaming Commission will hold its last scheduled meeting before the body begins deliberations on awarding a Metro Boston casino license. The commission will consider licenses for gaming vendors and the regulations for certified gaming schools. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Room 102B, Boston)

GROUNDBREAKING FOR PEABODY MIDDLE SCHOOL: Treasurer Steve Grossman and Jack McCarthy, the executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Peabody-Higgins Middle School. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Peabody-Higgins Middle School, 1 King St., Peabody)

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court, established in 1692, meets. For case information go to: http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/display_calendar.php?dtp=fc. (Thursday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Pemberton Square, Boston)

BAKER ON BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO: Charlie Baker, a Swampscott Republican running for governor, talks to Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH's "Boston Public Radio." (Thursday, 1 p.m., WGBH 89.7)

ASK THE GUV: Gov. Deval Patrick participates in his monthly appearance on WGBH radio called "Ask the Governor" when Patrick fields questions from the callers. (Thursday, 12 p.m., WGBH Radio)

ASSISTANCE DOGS: Gov. Deval Patrick plans to visit National Education for Assistance Dog Services.(Thursday, 3:30 p.m., 305 Redemption Rock Trail, South Princeton)

NOMINATION VACANCY DEADLINE: Thursday is the last day for non-party candidates looking to run for statewide or federal office to fill vacancies caused by nomination withdrawals. (Thursday, 5 p.m.)

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES' RECEPTION: The Republican Club of Southeastern Massachusetts hosts a reception, with Patricia Saint Aubin, a candidate for state auditor, expected to be one of the attendees. (Thursday, 5 p.m., The Wamsutta Club, 427 County St., New Bedford)

MALONE AT HOME SCHOOL: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits the Lyndon K-8 School as Boston Public Schools students return for the first day of school, including his own two children Sal and Ava. (Thursday, 8:45 a.m., 20 Mt. Vernon Street, West Roxbury)

MALONE IN HULL: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits Hull High School. (Thursday, 11 a.m., 180 Main Street, Hull)

MALONE IN PRINCETON: Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visits Thomas Prince School. (Thursday, 2 p.m., 170 Sterling Road, Princeton)

DCR PARTNERSHIP GRANTS: Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett will join Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner ack Murray to award 21 DCR Partnership Matching Funds Grants totaling more than $1 million. (Thursday, 10 a.m., State House Hall of Flags)

FRIDAY, SEPT. 5, 2014

CABINET MEETING: Gov. Deval Patrick hosts a Cabinet meeting (CLOSED PRESS). (Friday, 10:30 a.m., Room 360)

BOSTON FED PRESIDENT SPEAKS TO BANKERS: Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren will speak to the New Hampshire and Vermont Bankers Association annual conference. (Friday, 3:45 p.m., remarks given at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, 296 State St., Boston)

KEN BURNS ON ROOSEVELTS: Filmmaker Ken Burns joins historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to discuss his new film "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History." Burns will show excerpts from the upcoming PBS documentary about the Roosevelt political dynasty. (Friday, 5:30 p.m., John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Dorchester)

OCCUPATIONAL SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL: The Occupational School Advisory Council, chaired by Consumer Affairs Undersecretary Barbara Anthony, meets. (Friday, 10 a.m., Division of Professional Licensure, Room 1C, 1000 Washington St., Boston)

LIBERTY UTILITIES FORECAST AND SUPPLY PLAN: The Department of Public Utilities holds a hearing on a petition of Liberty Utilities (New England Natural Gas Company) for review and approval of the company's forecast and supply plan for its Fall River and North Attleboro Service Areas for the forecast period 2013/2014 through 2018/2019. (Friday, 2 p.m., One South Station, Boston - 5th Floor, HR A)

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT: The Supreme Judicial Court, which meets from September to May, hears four cases. For case information go to: http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/display_calendar.php?dtp=fc. (Friday, 9 a.m., John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Pemberton Square, Boston)

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS FUNDRAISER FOR BAKER, POLITO: Young Republican professionals host a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and candidate for lieutenant governor Karyn Polito. Suggested donations range from $25 to $100 per person. (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave., Boston)

SATURDAY, SEPT. 6, 2014

DTC AT RANDOLPH HEALTH FAIR: Department of Telecommunications and Cable staffers offer up information on the Lifeline, a low-income phone service program, and their consumer complaint resolution process at the Randolph Community Health Fair. (Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Randolph Senior Center, 16 Fencourt Ave., Randolph)

HAVERHILL STRAW POLL: The Haverhill Democratic City Committee has invited all statewide and local Democrats to honor Gov. Deval Patrick and hold a straw poll. (Saturday, 10 a.m., Maria's Restaurant, Galleria Banquet Room 85 Essex St., Haverhill, tickets $25)