What's happening in state government this week

Week of March 29-April 3, 2015

Baker: New Taxes - NO,
Change Tax Code - YES.

Gov. Charlie Baker has made clear that he's against raising taxes or creating new ones but he's not opposed to making changes in the current tax code. Baker wants to put in place an expanded credit to deliver tax relief to more low-income families and to strip off the books a tax break that supporters say has drawn film industry work to Massachusetts. Those tax proposals, along with Baker's budget and proposed early retirement program, are set to be placed under the legislative microscope at a series of public hearings early next week. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash plans to make the case for the governor's tax law changes during a hearing on Tuesday.

Obama, Biden, at UMass on Monday

Before state officials dig into their workload for the week, they'll gather in Dorchester with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other members of Congress Monday to open the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. UMass-Boston plans to close Monday for the president's visit, which will be his second to the campus. As a U.S. senator, Obama delivered the university's commencement address in 2006.

-- Proposals to spend $200 million on local road repairs and launch an early retirement program for executive branch employees cleared the House this week and are on to the Senate. A joint committee plans a public hearing Monday on the early retirement proposal, which the House approved without formally vetting first. State emergency shelter funding meanwhile is about to run out with an infusion of new appropriations hung up in conference committee talks between the House and Senate on a roughly $350 million supplemental budget that has cleared each branch, but in different forms.

-- The state's film industry tax credit comes up for discussion Tuesday along with Gov. Baker's proposal to double the earned income tax credit during a Revenue Committee hearing on the first major tax proposals from the governor. Baker says he's been getting a "positive vibe" from the Legislature about the earned income tax credit expansion. The fate of the film industry tax credits appears less certain, with House leaders favoring that tax break and large differences of opinion on its value to Massachusetts taxpayers.

-- Gov. Charlie Baker's budget proposals in the areas of housing, economic development, workforce training and business regulation are up for a discussion at a public hearing Wednesday in Everett. Baker deputies travel to Methuen Tuesday to field questions and explain proposals covering transportation, energy and the environment.

-- A task force assigned by Gov. Baker to probe the MBTA in the wake of its winter service failures is expected to submit a draft to Baker next week. The governor said this week that he didn't expect a public release of the report until the week of April 6. Baker this week said the task force had met with many people, and that he had sat in on some of the meetings. "I feel very good about where they are and where they're going," he said. As the draft begins circulating, the Legislature's Transportation Committee plans a pair of oversight hearings on transportation issues next week.

-- The House could soon have its full roster of 160 members. Voters in Shrewsbury and Westborough, as well as East Boston, go to the polls Tuesday to elect successors to Matthew Beaton and Carlo Basile, who stepped down after being elected last November to join the Baker administration. Democrats are in good position to keep the East Boston seat and Republican Hannah Kane is trying to seize the seat held by Beaton, her former business associate. Democrat Jason Palitsch is Kane's competition.

SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2015

ROSENBERG ON SENTENCING REFORM: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks at an End Mass Incarceration Together event. The event aims to create an action plan for legislation ending mandatory minimum sentences in Massachusetts. (Saturday, 11:45 a.m., Universalist Unitarian Church, 165 Main Street, Amherst)

GINORMOUS CLIMB TO RAISE AWARENESS: The Suffolk Children's Advocacy Center will be holding the second annual Ginormous Climb to the top of John Hancock Tower to raise awareness for abused children in Massachusetts. Climbers plan to raise $75,000 to support young children and their families that visit the Children's Advocacy Center. They will be joined by Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, as well as Susan Goldfarb, Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. (Saturday, 8:30 a.m., John Hancock Tower, 200 Clarendon St.)

SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2015

TREASURER AT UMASS: Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is scheduled to speak at the ADL's Nation of Immigrants Community Seder. (Sunday, 3 p.m., UMass Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd.)

VICKI KENNEDY 'ON THE RECORD': On the Record travels to the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate to interview Victoria Kennedy, the late U.S. senator's widow. Kennedy provides a sneak peak at the new Columbia Point institute and talks to host Janet Wu inside the center's replica of the U.S. Senate chamber. (Sunday, 11 a.m.,. WCVB)

BUMP AT HYDE PARK AWARDS: Auditor Suzanne Bump attends Hyde Park's "Women Amongst Us" awards event which will honor Dr. Erica Hirshler, Marietta Phinney and Brittany Butler. (Sunday, 2 p.m., Riverside Theatre Works, 45 Fairmount Avenue, Hyde Park)

AG HEALEY ON KELLER: Attorney General Maura Healey appears on WBZ's Keller at Large program. According to host Jon Keller, Healey will discuss the potential for a ballot question on the 2024 Olympics bid for Boston, the budding casino industry in the state and the question of legalizing marijuana, which Healey opposes. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV)

MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2015

HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches start the week with informal sessions Monday at 11 a.m.

COMMUTER RAIL DUE BACK ON FULL SCHEDULE: The MBTA's commuter rail plans to resume full service Monday, following weeks of reduced schedules brought about by equipment failures during a span of heavy snowstorms.

OBAMA HEADLINES EMK INSTITUTE DEDICATION: The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will welcome President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to the institute's dedication ceremony. Obama will be joined by current and former members of Congress, members of the Kennedy family, as well as other government officials including colleagues of the late senator, Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. John McCain, and Gov. Charlie Baker. The 10 a.m. formal dedication of the institute will be followed by the 12:15 p.m. dedication of the Senate Chamber, with a reception to follow. Remarks are scheduled from Obama, Biden, Baker, Kerry, McCain, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Ed Markey; former Sens. Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Connecticut state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, co-founder and president of the board of directors of the EMK Institute; and Dr. Jean MacCormack, EMK Institute President. UMass-Boston is closed Monday for the president's visit. (Monday, 10 a.m., Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Columbia Point, Boston)

OBAMA DNC FUNDRAISER: President Barack Obama will visit Area 4 in Cambridge midday Monday for a Democratic National Committee "roundtable" fundraiser, where around 30 supporters are expected to attend. The maximum contribution is $33,400, according to a DNC official. Obama is in town for the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. The restaurant is situated near MIT, biotech companies and startups around Kendall Square and is named after the neighborhood between Central Square and Kendall. (Monday, midday, Area 4, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge)

BAKER, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MEET: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo sit down for their regular weekly meeting. (Monday, 2 p.m., Speaker's Office)

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE: The Public Service Committee holds a public hearing Monday on Gov. Charlie Baker's bill proposing an early retirement program for executive branch employees. The House this week approved the bill (H 61). Sen. James Timilty of Walpole and Rep. James Murphy of Weymouth co-chair the committee. (Monday, 11 a.m., Room A-1)

ROSENBERG AT POVERTY EVENT: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks at the COMPASS for Kids Graduation. The organization works on family poverty and workforce development issues. (Monday, 6 p.m., 354 Merrimack Street, Lawrence)

ROSENBERG IN LAWRENCE: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg tours the Lawrence Police Department with Sen. Barbara L'Italien. (Monday, 7 p.m., 90 Lowell St, Lawrence)

NEW BEDFORD TERMINAL OPERATOR: Proposals are due Monday from potential New Bedford marine terminal operators. The Patrick administration issued the bid for an operator to work with offshore wind developers and cargo transporters out of a facility that was recently built. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released a request for proposals for professional marine terminal operators, and five potential operators responded to an April 2014 request for information, including three based in the United States, one based in Germany and one from Canada. State officials reported the respondents indicated they would be able to manage the deployment of offshore wind projects as well as the handling of cargo such as industrial equipment, steel, wood pellets, fresh fruit and paper products. Proposals are due on Monday. Cape Wind, an offshore energy project targeted for Nantucket Sound, had planned to lease space at the terminal but backed out of that lease after it was unable to assemble financing to advance its project.

FINANCIAL LITERACY BOARD MEETING: Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will chair the Financial Literacy Trust Fund Board meeting. The agenda items include discussing the development committee and voting on the elder financial empowerment summit. (Monday, 2 p.m., One Ashburton Place, 10th Floor, the Charles River Room)

MASS DEMS REGIONAL ORGANIZING SERIES: The Massachusetts Democratic Party plans to host an organizing meeting to bring together Democratic State Committee members, City and Town Committee members, local activists and elected officials to discuss the future of the party. (Monday, 5:30 p.m., East End Social Club, 15 W 4th St.)

MASSRECYCLE: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg will be the keynote speaker at the MassRecycle Conference. (Monday, 9 a.m., Quincy Marriott)

TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT HEARINGS: The first of two Oversight Hearings by the Joint Committee on Transportation will be held. The panel, purportedly discussing "MassDOT Analysis: Finances, Capital Assets/State of Good Repair, Governance and Organizational Structure" will see Secretary Stephanie Pollack of MassDOT, Dana Levenson, MassDOT CFO and Tom Tinlin, Acting Highway Administrator speaking. Other speakers will include Frank DePaola, Interim MBTA General Manager; Jonathan Davis, MBTA Assistant General Manager; Sean McCarthy, MBTA Assistant GM of Operations; Jeff Gonneville, MBTA Chief Mechanical Officer; John Jenkins, Chair of the MassDOT Board of Directors; and Paul Regan, Executive Director of the MBTA Advisory Board. (Monday, 1:30 p.m., State House Hearing Room B-2)

URBAN FUTURE PANEL DISCUSSION: The Nature Conservancy's Future of Nature 2015 Boston Speaker Series will begin with a panel discussion titled, "The Future of the City: Can Cities be the Key to a Greener World?" The panel will be moderated by WBUR's Bruce Gellerman, and explore whether urban areas can be environmentally sound and how they can be made that way. Panelists include Kent Larson, principal research scientist at the MIT Media Lab; Nigel Jacob, urban technologist in residence at Living Cities; and Pascal Mittermaier, global managing director of resilient cities at The Nature Conservancy. Prior to the panel, there will be an hour-long reception starting at 5:30 p.m. (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, Wimberly Theatre, 527 Tremont St.)

MASSDOT PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: MassDOT's Public Private Partnership Oversight Commission meets. The department is considering the idea of widening Rt. 3 South with additional toll lanes. At a meeting with the South Shore Coalition earlier this week, MassDOT officials presented the findings from a study on the plan. A slideshow provided by MassDOT to the News Service on the plan says the proposed 17 mile toll lane would run from the Norwell-Marshfield line north of Exit 12 to Exit 18/19 at the Braintree split and beyond Exit 6 on I-93 in Quincy. The toll lanes would be in the highway's median and along a restored road shoulder. MassDOT reports that the corridor includes many high-crash locations. The study will continue to determine appropriate toll prices that would allow for a continuous speed of 45mph for drivers. The report estimates construction would take about four years and cost $600 million to $800 million. The seven-member panel is chaired by Alan MacDonald and includes former U.S. Rep. John Olver, Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists President Joseph Dorant, former Boston Transportation Commissioner John Vitagliano and other engineers and transportation specialists. The commission was created by the Legislature as part of the 2009 transportation reform law and reviews public-private partnership opportunities for transportation infrastructure projects. South Shore lawmakers reportedly expressed skepticism about the toll lane idea during an event this week in Hingham. (Monday, 10 a.m., State Transportation Building MassDOT Boardroom 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3830 Boston)

QUINCY OUTPATIENT CLINIC RIBBON CUTTING: The VA Boston Healthcare System will celebrate the relocation of its Quincy Outpatient Clinic with a ribbon cutting. Primary care services to more than 1,400 veterans living in the Quincy, Braintree and Weymouth area will be delivered at the new location. Gov. Baker plans to attend. (Monday, 1 p.m., 110 W. Squantum St., North Quincy)

BUMP AT STONEHILL: Auditor Suzanne Bump is the featured speaker at the Martin Institute for Law and Society at Stonehill College. Bump is set to discuss accountability in government. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., Martin Institute Auditorium, Stonehill College, 320 Washington St. (Route 138), Easton)

HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES' FORUM - NEW BEDFORD: Health care and home care workers, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, local lawmakers and health care advocates take part in the first of two health care workers' forums to promote investments in health care and the adoption of a $15 minimum wage. (Monday, 6 p.m., New Bedford Senior Center, 1 Oneida St., New Bedford)

TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015

HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTIONS: Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday in East Boston, Shrewsbury and parts of Westborough. Voters in those areas will replace two former House lawmakers who joined the Baker administration earlier this year: Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton (R-Shrewsbury) and Chief Secretary Carlo Basile (D-East Boston). Democrat Jason Palitsch, a Shrewsbury School Committee member and former State House aide, is vying with Republican Hannah Kane, a former Beaton business partner, for Beaton's seat. Both coasted through their respective primaries. Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have hit the trail for Kane, while Palitsch has picked up support from Congressman Jim McGovern and Auditor Suzanne Bump. The district has been historically placed in Republican hands, with Polito among GOP members who have represented the 11th Worcester House District. The district also includes two precincts in Westborough. In East Boston, Democrat Adrian Madaro will face off against independent Joanne Pomodoro, a social worker, for Basile's former seat. Madaro won a five-way primary on March 3. East Boston is in Suffolk County, a Democratic stronghold, and Democrats such as Sen. Anthony Petruccelli have previously held the seat.

WAYS AND MEANS - FISCAL 2016 BUDGET HEARING: Transportation, energy and the environment will be the topics of discussion at a fiscal 2016 budget hearing in Methuen. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack plans to testify along with MBTA Interim General Manager Frank DePaola and Acting Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin. Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton plans to testify and he will be accompanied by Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources John Lebeaux, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection Martin Suuberg, Commissioner of the Department of Fish & Game George Peterson, Director of the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement Colonel James McGinn, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Conservation & Recreation Jack Murray, Chair of the Department of Public Utilities Angela O'Connor, Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Energy Resources Steve White and Acting CFO the Executive Office of Energy and Environment Kevin Miller. Rep. Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Senate Economic Development Chairwoman Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell) will co-chair the hearing. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Methuen High School, 1 Ranger Road, Methuen)

TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT HEARINGS: The Transportation Committee plans an oversight hearing to delve into the winter train service problems. Lawmakers plan to hear from Gerald Francis, General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services unit in Boston. Keolis runs the commuter rail system, which has been plagued by equipment failures and train cancellations and delays this winter. Lawmakers will also hear from Tom Murray, President of Transport Workers Union - Commuter Rail, and Jim O'Brien of the Carmen's Union. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., State House Hearing Room A-1)

REVENUE COMMITTEE: Lawmakers have reserved the State House's largest meeting room for what could be the most extensive discussion of tax policy so far this session. The Revenue Committee plans a public hearing Tuesday on Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal (H 62) to expand the earned income tax credit and eliminate a tax credit set up to draw film industry business to Massachusetts. The bill also includes a non-filer tax amnesty program that the governor hopes will generate $100 million in fiscal 2016. Baker's plan would deliver up to $1,874 in annual tax relief to low-income working families, up from $937 per year. The governor claims the film tax credit primarily benefits individuals who live outside Massachusetts and wants to phase it out by July 1, 2017. Secretary of The committee will also take testimony on earned income tax credit bills filed by Reps. Marjorie Decker (H 2479) and Brad Jones (H 2563) and a Rep. Tackey Chan bill (H 2469) removing the film tax credit's expiration date. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and Department of Revenue officials are expected to testify for the Baker administration. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Gardner Auditorium, State House)

EARLY EDUCATION LEGISLATION: Education Committee Co-chair Rep. Alice Peisch, Senate Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Sal DiDomenico and Early Education Commissioner Tom Weber plan to announce a new campaign around early education and to promote legislation designed to allow more children to attend high quality pre-kindergarten programs. Organizers of an event Tuesday say other attendees will include Reps. Decker and Silvia, Lowell Superintendent Jean Franco, Jason Williams of Stand for Children, Chris Martes and Amy O'Leary of Strategies for Children, and Brenda Powers of Nazareth Child Care Center in Boston. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., Room 222, State House)

MASS. FOOD TRUST IMPLEMENTATION: Sens. Moore and Chang-Diaz and Reps. Donahue and Hunt are sponsoring a briefing Tuesday on the health and economic benefits that could come from implementing the Massachusetts Food Trust program, which was created to provide loans, grants and other technical assistance to support the development, renovation and expansion of healthy food retailers and food enterprises in low-income communities. Attendees include Rebekah Gewirtz of the Mass. Public Health Association, Miriam Manon of The Food Trust, Sajan Philip of the New York Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund, Dwayne Boudreaux of Circle Food Store in New Orleans, and Chris Flynn of the Massachusetts Food Association. (Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., House Members' Lounge, Room 350, State House)

ASH AT EVERETT CHAMBER: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash offers remarks to the Everett Chamber of Commerce. (Tuesday, 7:45 a.m., BNY Mellon, 135 Santille Highway, Everett)

MASSTERLIST TRIVIA: Mike Deehan hosts the third annual MassterList Trivia Challenge, an evening of locally focused team trivia competition for readers of the free daily news email. Question categories will include "The Life and Times of Charles Duane Baker Jr.,"Around the State House," political history and various television shows about the White House. Food and prizes will be furnished by sponsor the Liberty Square Group. The game will begin at 6 p.m. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Market, 21 Broad St, Boston)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Department of Energy Resources Acting Commissioner Burgess will chair a meeting of the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council. (Tuesday, 1 p.m., 100 Cambridge Street, Boston)

UMASS PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH: The UMass Presidential Search Committee will hold its second meeting. The search committee will provide an update on recent UMass campus visits, and discuss next steps in the search process. The meeting is open to the public. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., UMass President's Office, Amherst Room, 33rd Floor, 225 Franklin St.)

MASS STATE LOTTERY COMMISSION: Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is scheduled to chair the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meeting. (Tuesday, 10 a.m., One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor Conference Room)

BOSTON COLLEGE CHIEF EXECUTIVES CLUB LUNCHEON: Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is scheduled to attend the Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon. (Tuesday, 12 p.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Wharf Room, Boston)

ASH ADDRESSES SMALL BIZ CAUCUS: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash offers remarks to the Small Business Caucus in the House Members' Lounge. (Tuesday, 12:00, Room 350, State House)

POLITICS & EGGS: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will be the featured speaker in the latest installment of Politics & Eggs, a forum for potential presidential candidates. A Democrat, Gov. O'Malley served two terms as governor of Maryland. Before that he was mayor of Baltimore. (Tuesday, 8 a.m., The Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way, New Hampshire)

BAKER AT AG DAY: Gov. Charlie Baker attend Massachusetts Agriculture Day. (Tuesday, 11:15 a.m., Great Hall)

HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES' FORUM - SPRINGFIELD: Health care and home care workers, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, local lawmakers and health care advocates take part in the second in a set of health care workers' forums to promote investments in health care and the adoption of a $15 minimum wage. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 17 John St., Springfield)

CASA MYRNA EVENT: Casa Myrna, a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to delivering solutions to end domestic and dating violence, will host an event - Make It Your Business - which will feature remarks by Gov. Charlie Baker. Casa Myrna will present the Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence to Carol Churchill of Distrigas of Massachusetts and Risa Sherman of the Boston Beer Company. Gov. Baker plans to attend at 6:30 p.m. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Metro Credit Union, 1071 Mass Ave.)

U.S. AMBASSADOR TO PORTUGAL VISITS UMASS: The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture will host U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Robert Sherman. The ambassador will discuss his experiences in Lisbon over the past year, and the common interests of the United States and Portugal. Prior to becoming ambassador, he was a founding member of the Boston office of Greenburg Traurig, an international law firm, and has also served as an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts. (Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., Claire T. Carney Library Robert F. Stoico/FirstFed Charitable
Foundation Grand Reading Room, UMass Dartmouth)

ROSENBERG ON WBUR: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg sits down for an interview with WBUR's Radio Boston program. (Tuesday, 3 p.m., 890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston)

"FIGHT FOR $15" FORUM: Health care and home care workers, legislators, health care advocates and community leaders plan to host a community forum to call for a $15 an hour living wage, as well as new investments in health care services. It's part of the emerging "Fight for $15" movement. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Mr. Calvary Baptist Church, 17 John St., Springfield)

COAKLEY CELEBRATION: "Martha Coakley - a tribute" will celebrate former Attorney General Martha Coakley's 28 years of public service as a prosecutor and the state's top legal official. The event serves as "an opportunity to her many friends, colleagues and supporters to say thank you," to Coakley, according to an invitation. Proceeds from the event will go to the Youth Villages Germaine Lawrence Campus in Arlington. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Liberty Hotel, Boston)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2015

SENATE JOINT CAUCUS: Prior to their 2 p.m. formal session, the Senate plans to hold a meeting with senators from both parties behind closed doors. Since taking over the chamber in January, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has been holding semi-regular closed meetings with both the Democratic and Republican caucuses. The meeting is closed to the press. (Wednesday, 11:45 a.m., Senate President's Office)

SENATE FORMAL SESSION: The Senate plans a full formal session. The House this week sent the Senate bills establishing an early retirement program for certain state employees and authorizing $200 million in local road repair funds. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Senate Chamber)

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT: The Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board will hold a public meeting. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Phoenician Restaurant, 12 Alpha St., Haverhill)

WAYS AND MEANS - FISCAL 2016 BUDGET HEARING: Economic development, housing and libraries will be focuses of a House and Senate Ways and Means hearing on the fiscal 2016 budget filed by Gov. Baker. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash plans to attend along with Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk, Assistant Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham, Undersecretary for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation John Chapman and Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. In addition, libraries and the cultural council will be up for discussion. Senate Vice Chairman of Ways and Means Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) and Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose) will lead the hearing. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Everett High School Library, 100 Elm Street, Everett)

MBTA WHITE PAPER: Municipal and business leaders who support additional funding for the MBTA will join with transit advocates to release a white paper detailing the importance of the T to the economy, its funding needs to operate and fulfill its state-of-good-repair backlog and the financial support necessary to "enhance service capacity" to accommodate increased ridership demands. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council President Rick Sullivan, Littleton Town Administrator Keith Bergman, Dennis DiZoglio of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, A Better City Chair Michael Cantalupa, Tedd Saunders, of the Saunders Hotel Group, Jesse Mermell, from the Alliance for Business Leadership, and others plan to attend. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Park Street T Station)

SOLAR ENERGY AND NET METERING: A bill filed by Rep. Calter and Sen. Eldridge aims to boost the state's solar energy sector and align net metering policies with the state's 1,600 megawatt solar goal. The legislation (H 2852) exempts projects under 1 megawatt from the net metering cap and sets a 20 percent solar by 2025 target for Massachusetts while directing the state Department of Public Utilities to initiate an energy storage program. Organizers of a legislative briefing Wednesday say a presentation is expected at the event from Mass Solar. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., House Members' Lounge, Room 350, State House)

HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION: The Health Policy Commission's Cost Trends and Market Performance Committee meets, with plans to discuss the commission's "research topics and dashboard" and the commission's role in the determination of need and essential services review process. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 50 Milk Street, 8 Floor, Boston)

HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION: The Health Policy Commission's Care Delivery and Payment System Transformation Committee plans to meet to discuss the commission's certification programs, including Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Framework and Model Payment. Staff will also present on the Registration of Provider Organizations (RPO) Data Submission Manual for Initial Registration: Part 2. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., 50 Milk Street, 8 Floor, Boston)

MASS DEMS REGIONAL ORGANIZING SERIES: The Massachusetts Democratic Party holds a regional organizing meeting to bring together State Committee members, City and Town Committee members, local activists and elected officials to discuss the future of the party. The sixth meeting will be held in Plymouth County. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., West Branch Library, 540 Forest Ave., Brockton)

STATE UNIVERSITIES DAY: House Speaker Robert DeLeo speaks at the State Universities Advocacy Day. Sen. Michael Moore and Rep. Tom Sannicandro, the co-chairmen of the Committee on Higher Education, also plan to speak at the event where students will call for increased state investment in the nine state universities. (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Gardner Auditorium)

MUNI OVERSIGHT: Auditor Suzanne Bump chairs the Municipal Finance Oversight Board meeting. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Auditor's Office)

SEX OFFENDER RECIDIVISM: The Legislature's Special Commission to Reduce the Recidivism of Sex Offenders meets. After a presentation by Assistant Parole Supervisor Beth Lind, the panel will plan for upcoming meetings which will cover the Sex Offender Registry Board, the Department of Probation and public hearings. (Wednesday, 3 p.m., One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Matta Conference Room)

LIFE SCIENCES BREAKFAST: Sen. Thomas McGee, Angus McQuilken of the Mass. Life Sciences Center, Dr. Eugene Wong of Endicott College and Dr. Martha Farmer of North Shore Innoventures discuss the innovation economy on a panel hosted by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., Peabody Marriott Hotel, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody)

ASH TOURS VERTEX: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash plans to tour the Vertex Pharmaceuticals facility and meet with staff. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Fl. 14, Boston)

GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: The Governor's Council meets for their formal assembly. Gov. Charlie Baker has yet to nominate any judicial appointees. The seven-member panel has only routine duties on its agenda. (Wednesday, 12 p.m., Governor's Council Chamber)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE RALLY: According to Common Cause, a rally is planned Wednesday that is part of events throughout the country calling on President Obama to issue an executive order requiring financial disclosure of election contributions made by federal contractors. In making their appeal, attendees plan to remind the president of his recent call for "better politics." (Wednesday, 12:00, State House steps)

BEVERLY DRAWBRIDGE COMMUNITY MEETING: Area officials will join MassDOT, MBTA and HNTB personnel for a community meeting to discuss the rehabilitation and replacement project for the Beverly Drawbridge. The drawbridge carries the Rockport and Newburyport commuter rail lines over the Danvers River; the project will necessitate a 21-day train service shutdown. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Beverly High School Auditorium, 100 Sohier Rd., Beverly)

DOMESTIC WORKERS RIGHTS LAW TAKES EFFECT: Nannies, housekeepers and others who work in their employer's home will be granted a series of new rights Wednesday. The Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers plans to mark the date the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights law takes effect. The 2014 law provides rights for time off, meals and private communication for those whose workplace is someone else's home. "This new law is the most expansive in the country and provides more protections than the United Nations Convention for domestic workers," the coalition said. Ai Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, will attend the event at a Dorchester union facility. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., 1199 SEIU, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester)

DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW: Rep. Cory Atkins plans to host a luncheon briefing to address the distracted driving Law, an event moderated by Dr. Jay Winsten, Associate Dean for Health Communication at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Health Communication. Participants plan to discuss the shortcomings of the law and how other states are tackling the problem, and is sponsored by the Center for Health Communication at Harvard University. (Wednesday, 12:15 p.m., House Members' Lounge, State House)

OPEN MEETING LAW EDUCATIONAL FORUM: Attorney General Maura Healey's office hosts a free educational forum to inform the public and government officials on the Open Meeting Law and its requirements. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Hanover Town Hall, Large Meeting Room, 550 Hanover St.)

UMASS CELEBRATION: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg attends the UMass 2015 Celebration in Dorchester. (Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Columbia Point, Dorchester)

RIBBON CUTTING AT UMASS BOSTON: The University of Massachusetts Boston plans a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Integrated Sciences Complex. UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley; Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President Susan Windham-Bannister; UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Woolridge; UMass President Robert Caret; and James Burns, head of the Sanofi Boston R&D Hub will all be in attendance. (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Integrated Sciences Complex, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester)

LOW-INCOME WOMEN EXHIBIT: The Caucus of Women Legislators and Crittenton Women's Union plan to co-host an event highlighting the struggles faced by low-income women to educate legislators and stakeholders. The event will also highlight an exhibit, which features five women who participated in a unique memoir project, called "Close to Home: Reflections on Poverty, Perseverance, and Promise." Rep. Gloria Fox and Sen. Anne Gobi plan to attend, along with author Michael Patrick MacDonald and the five women whose memoirs will be on display. The exhibit itself will be on display in Doric Hall, Monday to Friday during State House Hours. (Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Nurses Hall)

BAKER AT TOP OF THE MARKET: Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at Top of the Market. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Four Seasons, 200 Boylston Street, Boston)Press: Open

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015

SENATE INFORMAL: Both branches plan to meet in informal sessions. (Thursday, 11 a.m., Senate Chamber)

CNN'S KING AND WALSH DISCUSS MAYOR'S YEAR ONE: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh sits down with CNN correspondent and Dorchester native John King at the JFK Library. Walsh will reflect on his first year in office as the first new mayor in the City of Boston in over 20 years. Highlights of Walsh's first year included his involvement in the state's casino sweepstakes, his long search for a school superintendent, his support for the Boston 2024 summer Olympics bid, and his management of snow emergencies. (Thursday, 6 p.m., John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Dorchester)

ROSENBERG IN HOLYOKE: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks at a Holyoke Chamber of Commerce event. (Thursday, 11:30 a.m., Delaney House Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Rd, Holyoke)

ROSENBERG AND TARR ON NECN: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg appears on NECN's Broadside alongside Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. (Thursday, 6 p.m., 160 Wells Avenue, Newton)

POLITO AT FUNDRAISER FOR MASSGOP CHAIR: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito headlines the re-election kickoff of Quincy City Councilor Kirsten Hughes, who is also chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Common Market Restaurant, 97 Willard St., Quincy)

HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION: The Health Policy Commission will host a public hearing Thursday on the HPC's proposed regulation stemming from the new law governing nurse staffing ratios in ICUs. The proposed regulation quality measures proposed in connection with the regulation will be open for public comment through April 6. (Thursday, 12 p.m., Worcester State University, Student Center, Blue Lounge)

COAKLEY, HAGAN AND OTHER HARVARD FELLOWS MEET WITH ROSENBERG: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg meets with Harvard Resident Fellows in his office. The current class of fellows includes former Attorney General Martha Coakley, former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, former New York City Councillor and candidate for mayor Christine Quinn, former deputy executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Matt Lira, TIME correspondent Jay Newton-Small and political satirist Bassem Youssef. (CLOSED PRESS) (Thursday, 2 p.m. Senate President's office)

LIBRARY BOARD: The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will receive a report from Chairman Gregory Shesko and Director Dianne Carty, and consider a fiscal 2015 budget revision for Massachusetts Center for the Book and consider a request from Woburn Public Library for an extension to confirm local funding and accept a grant award. (Thursday, 10 a.m., 98 North Washington St., Boston)

OPIOID CRISIS WORKING GROUP: Gov. Baker's 17-member Opioid Crisis Working Group holds a listening session to gather feedback and ideas. The sessions are intended to culminate in a statewide strategy to combat opiate addiction submitted in May. Gov. Baker plans to attend. (Thursday, 3 p.m., Gardner Auditorium, State House)

BAKER AT AUTISM DAY: Gov. Charlie Baker attends Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day. (Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Great Hall)

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK BREAKFAST: Santander Bank and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce will host an economic outlook breakfast. The audience will participate in an interactive, real-time business climate survey, after which a panel of business leaders will offer insight into the key issues and challenges that face the Bay State. Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; Roman Blanco, CEO of Santander Bank; Mike Lee, Managing Director of Corporate Real Estate Banking, Santander Bank; and Michael Goodman, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Executive Director of the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth and Editor of MassBenchmarks will all be attending. The panel discussion will feature Pat Hughes, President and CEO of Fallon Health; Chris Anderson, President of Massachusetts High Tech Council; Dr. Zorica Pantic, President of the Wentworth Institute of Technology; and Tom Glynn, CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority. (Thursday, 7:55 a.m., Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Harbor Ballroom, 425 Summer St.)

SIMMONS LEADERSHIP LUNCH: State Auditor Suzanne Bump attends the Simmons College Leadership Conference luncheon. (Thursday, 12:15 p.m., Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston)

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015

ASH TALKS TO CHAMBER EXECS: Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash offers remarks at the Mass. Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., Embassy Suites, 123 Boston Post Road, Marlborough)

ROSENBERG IN GREENFIELD: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg attends an open house kickoff event for the Greenfield District Court Service Center along with Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey and Court Administrator Harry Spence. The new center aims to bring Franklin County residents better access to criminal justice services. (Friday, 9 a.m., Franklin County Courthouse Greenfield Corporate Center, 101 Munson Street, Greenfield)

CLEAN ENERGY TECH: Department of Energy Resources Acting Commissioner Burgess will speak at the Advanced Clean Energy Technologies for College Campuses Seminar and Expo, an event for state universities and community colleges to explore clean energy technologies that reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. (Friday, 8:30 a.m., Quinsigamond Community College Worcester)

MASS. MARKETING PARTNERSHIP: The Massachusetts Marketing Partnership, which includes agencies dealing with film and sports, marketing and international trade and investment, plans a board meeting. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash chairs the board. (Friday, 10 a.m., 10 Park Plaza, Suite 4510, Boston)


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