STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE -- After once-a-week formal sessions set the pace for most of the past 18 months, legislative leaders are now grinding out the final two weeks of formal sessions, using the pressure of the July 31 deadline to force bills through, often with little or no debate. Many of the 2013-2014 session's priority bills are in various stages of final passage, including several that are being negotiated privately by six-member conference committees. Legislative leaders who often face criticism for being too reactive and taking too long to address issues are suddenly taking the opposite approach, redrafting and fast-gaveling bills to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk at a clip that affords little if any time for review. The expectation among lawmakers is that most if not all of the major bills will get to the governor, but there will be surprises along the way, such as this week's implosion of efforts to allow more charter schools, and bill sponsors are mindful of legislative trap doors.
ACTIVE CONFERENCE COMMITTEES
Conference committees are negotiating bills to facilitate economic development and job creation (H 4181/S 2241), make investments in environmental and energy programs (H 4150/S 2263), authorize long-term spending on information technology (H 3770/S 2230), toughen laws to prevent and prosecute domestic violence (S 1897/H 4307), and improve recycling rates for products containing mercury (S 1758/H 3601).
MAJOR BILLS BEFORE GOVERNOR
Gov. Deval Patrick next week will have a chance to sign bills to provide homeowner's insurance relief to coastal property owners (H 3783) and to overhaul sentencing laws to ensure individuals who committed murder while juveniles are eligible for parole (H 4307). Legislation financing the expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (H 4308) will likely reach Patrick's desk next week. Lawmakers also returned to Patrick several sections of the fiscal 2015 budget that he had returned with amendments, dispensing with three of his proposals and giving him the option now of signing or vetoing the proposals which include raises for the state's district attorneys. Lawmakers adopted three of Patrick's budget recommendations and returned them to him. Also on Patrick's desk are bills allowing retail alcohol sales starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, rather than noon (H 228), and banning the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins (H 4088).
MAJOR BILLS STILL IN THE WORKS
The Senate on Thursday approved omnibus legislation aimed at reducing gun violence and that bill will head next to a six-member conference committee. Four other high-profile bills have been approved in one branch but await action in the other. The Senate this week sent the House bills designed to ensure safe access to reproductive health clinics and to lower retainage rates on private construction projects (S 2271). The House on Wednesday approved a bill designed to make local housing authorities more accountable (H 4306) and House members are waiting on the Senate to act on a bill raising campaign contribution limits and implementing disclosure requirements on super PACs (H 4226).
Major bills that have not been sent to conference include proposals to make investments in water infrastructure (H 4212/S 2021) and to make substance abuse services (H 4236/S 2142) more widely available. It appears legislative leaders may be trying to work out compromises on those bills without formally sending them to negotiating panels.
A WORD ABOUT END OF SESSION
It's often erroneously reported that July 31 marks the end of the session. Informal legislative sessions will continue after July 31, probably through December, allowing lawmakers to advance most bills upon which there is unanimous agreement among those attending sessions, which are often lightly attended. However, bills requiring roll calls - such as bond bills, land takings and veto overrides - must be acted upon by July 31, which means some of Gov. Patrick's budget vetoes (H 4300) could surface from Ways and Means for votes in the next few days. In short, the 2013-2014 session is far from over.
JURY DELIBERATIONS IN PROBATION TRIAL
Jury deliberations are scheduled to continue Monday in the trial of former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien and two of his former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III. The three are accused of rigging the hiring system in the probation department, committing mail fraud and conspiracy to commit racketeering along the way. The trial has dragged on into the busiest part of the legislative session and roped in Speaker Robert DeLeo, branded a co-conspirator by the prosecution though he has not faced any charges. Jurors began deliberating Wednesday morning and continued their discussions through Thursday and Friday. Jury deliberations in the probation trial will extend beyond the weekend. Friday passed with anxious idle for the lawyers and defendants at the Moakley Courthouse. The jurors deliberated solely among themselves providing only their legal and logistical questions and their countenances as sources of speculation about what their discussions entail. On Friday afternoon, before going home for the day, jurors requested sticky notes, tape and tabs, and the office supplies were given to them, perhaps signaling a new level of discussion. Before U.S. District Court Judge William Young dismissed them around 3 p.m. one of the jurors let out a sigh, though it was unclear if it was meant as any type of commentary. The jury is working to determine whether the defendants committed crimes by operating a secret patronage system within the probation department. "This whole entire process now turns on you," Young advised the jurors.
BILLS ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK
Major and minor bills are on Gov. Patrick's desk. They include:
-- H 4307 juvenile life sentences for first degree murder;
-- H 4088 prohibiting the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins;
-- S 2212 fostering economic independence, the second part of Legislature's welfare reform two-part compromise; Gov. Patrick already signed the first part which handled policy;
-- H 4294 increasing the salaries of district attorneys;
-- H 4295 relative to county government financial management;
-- H 4296 authorizing the commonwealth to reimburse qualifying municipalities for federal military reservation students;
-- H 4297 a resolve for a special commission on establishing a tax credit for medical devices or manufacturing companies;
-- H 4298 authorizing the transfer of members of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to the state employees' retirement system;
-- H 4299 expenditures from the Community First Trust Fund;
-- H 228 authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday mornings;
-- H 3783, filed by House Speaker DeLeo and Attorney General Martha Coakley, aiming at curbing spikes in flood insurance premiums;
-- H 3936 filed by House Speaker DeLeo, establishing a district to operate a regional public safety communications and dispatch center for Revere and Winthrop
-- S 2045 relative to the UMass police department
-- H 4203 sick leave bank for Department of Correction employee
-- H 4120 authorizing the lease of air rights over a portion of a municipal off-street parking
-- H 3946 allowing for citizenship not to be a factor in granting of licenses under state mixed martial arts, boxing and kickboxing laws
-- H 2282 designating May 4 as PANDA/PANS Day to raise awareness of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome;
-- S 2109 Department of Community Development in Ware;
-- H 4202 sick leave bank for Executive Office of Administration and Finance employee;
-- H 2387 granting creditable service to employees of the Dedham Westwood Water District;
-- S 1789 authorizing Heath to continue employment of police chief;
-- S 2185 sick leave bank for Department of Transportation employee
SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014
DEMS LAUNCH GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN: The Massachusetts Democratic Party, in conjunction with the Organized to Win Coordinated Campaign led by U.S. Senator Ed Markey, kicks off its grassroots campaign to engage voters for November with its "Weekend of Action". Door-to-door canvasses are scheduled in Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Fitchburg, Framingham, Holyoke, Lexington, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Milford, New Bedford, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester. (Saturday)
SUNDAY, JULY 20, 2014
MCCORMICK ON KELLER: Independent gubernatorial candidate Jeffrey McCormick appears on WBZ's Keller at Large program. The wealthy venture capitalist sits down with host Jon Keller to talk about South American refugees heading into the United States, the charter school bill that recently failed in the Senate and whether McCormick sees himself as a spoiler candidate for Republican Charlie Baker. (Sunday, 8:30 a.m., WBZ-TV)
DEMS FOR TREASURER 'ON THE RECORD': The three Democrats running for State Treasurer, Deb Goldberg, Sen. Barry Finegold and Rep. Thomas Conroy, took part in a debate Thursday set to air on WCVB's On the Record program Sunday morning. According to a report on the station's website by host Janet Wu, the candidates aggressively accused one another of not understanding the problems of the common citizen. The three spar over their personal and professional experiences dealing with economically depressed areas. (Sunday, 11 a.m., WCVB)
RMV TRANSACTION OUTAGE: RMV customers will be unable to perform online or telephone transactions with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV has scheduled a mainframe operating system upgrade and system testing between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to a MassDOT spokesman. (Sunday, 3 a.m.)
MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014
HOUSE AND SENATE: Both branches meet in informal sessions Monday at 11 a.m.
PATRICK OFFERS REMARKS AT 'GRAND BOULE': Gov. Patrick speaks at Sigma Pi Phi's "Grand Boule" opening ceremony. (Monday, 8:30 a.m., Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston)
PATRICK TRAVELS TO MAINE: Gov. Patrick is scheduled to travel to Maine to aid the gubernatorial candidacy of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and return to Massachusetts in the evening. According to John Walsh, Patrick's top political aide, the governor will attend a Michaud fundraiser, a Democratic Governor's Association fundraiser and a grassroots organizing event. (Monday)
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE - SOUTHFIELD BILL: The Economic Development Committee holds a public hearing Monday on legislation aimed at facilitating the redevelopment of Southfield, the sprawling land mass at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano filed the bill and Sen. Robert Hedlund is pushing it as well. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., Room A-2)
WESTERN MASS. MEETING WITH JUDICIAL NOMINEE: Governor's Councilors Robert Jubinville and Michael Albano are holding another meeting with a judicial nominee in western Massachusetts, and asking for a new rule that would require at least two hearings per year on judicial nominations to be held outside the State House and in the jurisdiction where the nominee will serve. The councilors said Councilor Eileen Duff chairs the council's rules committee. The two said they will meet in Pittsfield with William Rota, a Pittsfield attorney up for a judgeship in the Southern Berkshire District Court. Jubinville said the meeting July 14 in Springfield with nominee William O'Grady was an "overwhelming success" attended by 84 people with 19 testifying on O'Grady's behalf. Rota's formal confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at the State House. (Monday, 4:30 p.m., Berkshire Superior Court)
EDUCATION SECRETARY ON MORNING NEWS: Education Secretary Matthew Malone appears on New England Cable News' morning news show to discuss school safety and security. (Monday, 8:30 a.m., 160 Wells Ave., Newton)
WALPOLE ELECTRIC LINES: The Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing regarding NSTAR's plans to construct and operate new transmission lines on existing rights of way between Walpole and Holbrook, a new switching stating in Sharon and modifications to substations in Walpole and Holbrook. (Monday, 7 p.m., Walpole High School Auditorium, 275 Common Street, Walpole)
NEW CAMPAIGN FINANCE SCHEDULE: Statewide office seekers are required to start making campaign finance reports every two weeks starting Monday. Many candidates have already adopted the bimonthly timetable. The report due Monday covers the first two weeks of July. Leading up to the Monday deadline, statewide candidates could file reports twice-per-month or monthly.
LYNCH IN CENTRAL AMERICA: Congressman Stephen Lynch continues to take part in a congressional delegation mission to Central America to see firsthand the causes behind a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. According to the Congressman's office, Lynch was in Central America Friday afternoon and is set to return to the U.S. early next week. (Monday)
BRAILLE TRAIL OPENING: Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett and Commissioner for the Department of Conservation and Recreation Jack Murray will join members of the Perkins School and local officials to break ground on the Waterside Riverside Park and Braille Trail. The $1.38 million trail and sensory garden will be fully accessible. (Monday, 10 a.m., Charles River Road at Irving St., Watertown)
FISH PIER CENTENNIAL: Massport celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Boston Fish Pier and the contributions of the Port of Boston with a breakfast and panel discussion. Scheduled attendees include Harbor Association President Vivian Li, Massport CEO Thomas Glynn, IFP Vice President Rob Shepard, Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz, International Longshoremen's Association Business Agent George McEvoy, Holland America Line & Seabourn Business Development Manager Kristine Esposito and John Martin, Martin Associates. (Monday, 8 a.m., the Exchange Conference Center, Boston Fish Pier, 212 Northern Ave, Boston)
BARNEY FRANK CELEBRATION: UMass Dartmouth holds a celebration honoring former Congressman Barney Frank for his contributions to UMass Dartmouth and the Commonwealth. Proceeds will benefit his archive collection at UMass Dartmouth. (Monday, 6 p.m., Claire Carney Library, UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth)
WORK PROGRAMS: Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian tours the "Transitions to Work" program for disabled job seekers at the CVS Caremark Training Center in partnership with Jewish Vocational Services. Monday, 11 a.m., 29 Winter Street, Boston)
ASSESSING FISH STOCKS: UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman, Sen. Mark Montigny and Rep. Antonio Cabral will join UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science & Technology Dean Steven Lohrenz and SMAST Chair of Fisheries Oceanography Kevin Stokesbury at SMAST's campus to highlight "the importance of supporting collaborative research to produce the best science for sustainable fisheries." Fishermen have sought to update the science of stock estimates, using cameras and other technology to count fish the way scallops have been counted. The state budget includes $450,000 for SMAST research. (Monday, 9 a.m., 706 South Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford)
ALL-ELECTRONIC TOLLS ON TOBIN: Starting Monday, the Tobin Bridge will start collecting tolls exclusively by electronic E-ZPass transponders. For drivers without a transponder, photographs of the car's license plate will lead MassDOT officials to send an invoice to the car's registered address. The transportation department is holding E-ZPass sign up sessions across the state as it moves to install more electronic-only tool systems on major highways. (Monday)
BARRIER AND BRIDGE MEETING: MassDOT holds a public information meeting the I-90 median barrier replacement and Commonwealth Ave. Bridge that brings Commonwealth Ave. over the turnpike. (Monday, 6 p.m., Boston University's CGS Auditorium (Jacob Sleeper Auditorium) Room 129 871, Commonwealth Ave, Boston)
REVERE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Massachusetts School Building Authority Executive Director Jack McCarthy plans to attend a "topping out" ceremony at Hill Elementary School in Revere. The authority is contributing up to $29,551,048 for the new school. (Monday, 11:30 a.m., 51 Park Ave., Revere)
CLARK HOSTS IMMIGRATION PANEL: Congresswoman Katherine Clark hosts a district policy panel on immigration reform and its effects on women and their families. The first in a series, this district policy panel will bring together a panel of immigration experts and will be moderated by Rep. Clark. (Monday, 6:30 p.m., Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 206, Cambridge)
LGBT AGING COMMISSION: The LGBT Aging Commission will hold a listening session on Cape Cod, where members of the public can raise issues dealing with health, housing and other concerns of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Written comments can be sent to MALGBTAgingCommission@gmail.com. The commission is chaired by Sen. Patricia Jehlen and Rep. James O'Day, who are co-chairs of the Elder Affairs Committee in the Legislature. (Monday, 3 p.m., 150 Rock Harbor Road, Orleans)
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014
SENATE SESSION: The Senate has scheduled a formal session Tuesday at 1 p.m.
CHILD WELL-BEING DATA: Gov. Deval Patrick and others will participate in the announcement of the The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which measures national and state data on child well-being. An advisory says there are "notable changes" in the state rankings. The organization is providing an early embargoed copy to reporters who agree not to release it early. (Tuesday, 9:15 a.m., Nurtury Learning Lab, 33 Bickford St., Jamaica Plain)
CHICOPEE SCHOOL: Massachusetts School Building Authority Executive Director Jack McCarthy attends a groundbreaking ceremony at Chicopee Academy. The MSBA is contributing up to $30,100,581 of eligible expenses towards renovations at the school. (Tuesday, 11 a.m., 650 Front Street, Chicopee)
EDUCATION SECRETARY ON WGBH: Education Secretary Matthew Malone talks school safety and security with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on WGBH's "Boston Public Radio" show. (Tuesday, 12:15 p.m., WGBH, One Guest St., Brighton)
LAW ENFORCEMENT DEATHS: Sixty-seven law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty as of June 30, 2014, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which will issue a report on law enforcement deaths in the first half of the year. Of those, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents and 25 were killed in firearms-related incidents. Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd will be available for comment. (Tuesday)
WALPOLE ELECTRIC LINES: The Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing regarding NSTAR's plans to construct and operate new transmission lines on existing rights of way between Walpole and Holbrook, a new switching station in Sharon and modifications to substations in Walpole and Holbrook. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Stoughton High School Auditorium, 232 Pearl Street, Stoughton)
DPU HEARING: The Department of Public Utilities will review NSTAR's 2013 distribution rate adjustment/reconciliation filing. (Tuesday, 2 p.m., One South Station, fifth floor, Boston)
LOCAL AREA UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS: The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development releases local area unemployment statistics for June 2014. (Tuesday)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014
SENATE SESSION: The Senate has scheduled a formal session Wednesday at 1 p.m.
HOUSE FORMAL: The House has scheduled a formal session at 12 p.m. Democrats plan to caucus in Room A-1 at 11 a.m.
DONNELLY TO FILE BILL RESPONDING TO BACK BAY FIRE: Sen. Ken Donnelly, Arlington Democrat and a former firefighter, and State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan will unveil legislation seeking to regulate the welding and "hot works" trade. Members of the firefighting community and the welding and "hot works" trade will join them. The legislation is in response to a March 26 fire in a Back Bay apartment building that killed two firefighters, who were trapped in the basement by wind-whipped flames as the fire hit nine alarms. The fire was reportedly caused by welders working on the building next door. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Nurses Hall)
STATE ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE: The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight hears three local bills. The bills include a Rep. Lawn bill (H 4252) authorizing the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance to convey certain parcels of land in Waltham; a Rep. Bradley proposal (H 4232) preserving a memorial to landing ship tanks in Hingham; and a Rep. Beaton bill (H 4231) authorizing the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey a certain parcel of land in Shrewsbury. The committee is chaired by Rep. Peter Kocot and Sen. Ken Donnelly. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m., Room B-2)
BERKSHIRE JUDGE NOMINEE: The Governor's Council interviews William Rota, Gov. Patrick's nominee for a seat on the Southern Berkshire District Court. Rota has practiced civil and criminal litigation for over 30 years and worked as an assistant district attorney in Berkshire County from 1983 to 1986, according to Patrick's office. He received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1980 and resides in Lee. The vacancy on the court was created by the retirement of Judge James McElroy. (Wednesday, 11 a.m., Room 222)
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL: The Governor's Council is joined by its chair, Gov. Deval Patrick, for a full assembly. The council is expected to vote on two of Patrick's judicial nominees, Siobhan Foley for the Plymouth Juvenile Court and William O'Grady for the Chicopee District Court. Councilors could also schedule confirmation hearings for three new Superior Court nominees - Josh Wall, Gregg Pasquale and Thomas Drechsler. (Wednesday, noon, Room 222)
EDUCATION SECRETARY AT FARM SCHOOL PROGRAM: Education Secretary Matthew Malone visits students at the Farm School Summer program. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., 488 Moore Hill Rd., Athol)
ACCESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The MBTA's Access Advisory Committee's Board of Directors will meet at 10 a.m. with a full meeting of AACT members at 1 p.m. At the later meeting several transportation officials are scheduled to discuss the new commuter rail vendor Keolis, system-wide accessibility and other topics. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 2nd Floor, Conference Rooms 2 and 3)
MA HIGH TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING: The Massachusetts High Technology Council holds its annual meeting to mark the launch of New England Tech Vets, an initiative to support veterans as they re-enter civilian life by connecting them with technology employers throughout New England. Featured speakers include co-founder and chairman of Boston Scientific Pete Nicholas, president and CEO of the Consumers Electronics Association Gary Shapiro, executive vice president of Monster Worldwide Steve Cooker and executive director of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond. (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton)
JOB ALLIANCE CONFERENCE: Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian addresses the America's Job Link Alliance annual conference. (Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Parker House Hotel, Boston)
ENERGY TALK IN WASHINGTON: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, a Fall River native, will give the keynote address at the Driving Resources into Energy Innovation conference, where Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton will speak on a panel entitled "Unlocking Innovation Investment through Public Authorities." (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Renaissance Washington, Renaissance Ballroom, 999 Ninth St., NW, Washington, D.C.)
FARNHAM CONNOLLY PARK: Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett will join Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jack Murray, Sen. Brian Joyce and Canton officials to open and dedicate DCR's Farnham - Connolly Memorial Park. The six-acre park, which was formerly the site of the Canton Airport, will be dedicated to two World War II servicemen from Canton: 1st Lt. Arthur Farnham and Sgt. Thomas Connolly Jr. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., Farnham--Connolly Memorial Park, 705 Neponset St., Canton)
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2014
SENATE SESSION: The Senate has scheduled a formal session Thursday at 1 p.m.
POSSIBLE HOUSE FORMAL: The House has advised members to be prepared for a possible formal session at 11 a.m.
REGULATORY REFORM: Gov. Deval Patrick celebrates the success of his administration's regulatory reform initiative in helping business across the Commonwealth expand and succeed. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., 345 West First Street, Boston)
ASK THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Deval Patrick appears live on "Ask the Governor" on WGBH radio. (Thursday, 12 p.m., WGBH)
WORLD BOSTON HAPPY HOUR: World Boston hosts a young professionals happy hour for members of its WB2030 network. Attendees will be provided with free appetizers and a sneak peek at the upcoming International Trivia Night in September. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., GEM Restaurant, 42 Province Street, Boston)
SUMMIT ON INFLUX OF IMMIGRATION DETAINEES: House Minority Leader Bradley Jones Jr. (R-North Reading) holds a summit on the housing of immigration detainees in Massachusetts. Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday, July 16 said he was looking into whether it would be feasible to offer shelter to some of the more than 50,000 children who have crossed the southwestern border from Central America. The meeting will include Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson and Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy as well as members of law enforcement, local and federal officials, and state lawmakers to discuss this issue. (Thursday, 10 a.m., room 124, the State House)
MASS. BAIL FUND FORUM: The Massachusetts Bail Fund, a project of the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, is holding a forum to discuss the flaws with the current cash bail system, and possible alternatives. The organization said research "suggests" people jailed before their trial are more likely to be convicted and receive harsher sentences. The fund helps low-income defendants in Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk counties pay bail. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Stone Soup, 4 King St., Worcester)
FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014
SENATE SESSION: The Senate has tentatively scheduled a formal session Friday at 1 p.m.
CABINET MEETING: Gov. Deval Patrick hosts a cabinet meeting. (CLOSED PRESS) (Friday, 10:30 a.m., Room 157, State House)
IRELAND'S LAST DAY ON HIGH COURT: Chief Justice Roderick Ireland is slated to retire from the Supreme Judicial Court on July 25. Ireland's seat will be filled by Justice Ralph Gants, a former prosecutor who was appointed as an associate justice in 2009, after serving as a Superior Court judge. A Springfield native, Ireland is retiring ahead of turning 70 years old, the mandatory age of retirement for judges in Massachusetts, and before the court's new term starts in September. Appointed to the 7-member court by Gov. William Weld in 1997, Ireland was tapped by Patrick for the chief justice role in 2010. Ireland, who is the high court's first African American justice, turns 70 on Dec. 3, and in March he wrote a letter to Patrick informing him of his plan to step down from the bench in July. Gants, who turns 70 in Sept. 2024, will be sworn in as chief justice on Monday, July 28. (Friday)
SHIRLEY SOLAR FOR DEVENS BIZ: Department of Energy Resources Acting Commissioner Meg Lusardi will speak at a solar open house to celebrate the completion of a 3-megawatt system, the first of a three-phase solar development. The power is being sold to Devens Utilities for use by businesses in Devens. (Friday, 11 a.m., Shirley Water District land off Paterson Road, Shirley)
TRUST DISBURSES SIX BILLIONTH DOLLAR: Treasurer Steven Grossman will offer remarks at the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust "and the disbursement of their six billionth dollar." (Friday, 10 a.m., Deer Island, Wastewater Plant, 190 Taft Avenue, Winthrop)