The Massachusetts state budget, which both legislative chambers on Beacon Hill passed Monday, was late. It passed 31 days after the last budget expired on June 30. A 10-day period for Governor Maura Healey has begun when she will review the document and issue any vetoes.
Not even a month ago, the Ludlow School Committee faced a controversial proposal to remove several titles from school libraries. Ultimately, it failed without a vote last month. On Monday, Ludlow’s legislators introduced bills to blunt the national book-banning movement before it takes root in the commonwealth.
In what came as something of a surprise to some, Governor Maura Healey included $12.5 million for Western Mass rail work in her Fiscal Year 2024 budget. While not necessary for East-West rail between Boston and the 413, the money for work in Palmer and Pittsfield was a positive sign. Then the legislature began its budget process.
SPRINGFIELD—Tucked between passage of the House’s budget and the Senate’s introduction of its version was a briefing on Beacon Hill happenings from the legislative delegation for the commonwealth’s third city. Last Tuesday, Springfield’s five reps, one senator and staff for the other, took turns describing their priorities.
With Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka’s release of committee assignments, the upper house on Beacon Hill can now get down to legislating. Lawmaking will soon begin in earnest with full Democratic control of Beacon Hill for the first time in nearly a decade.
Not quite Santa Claus, but Lego was coming to town. The Danish toymaker known for colorful, interlocking pieces ably licensed both from and to blockbuster films, was relocating their offices and 740 jobs from Connecticut to the Hub. Further west, the news hit like a ton of bricks.
BOSTON—There was no outdoor swearing-in ceremony in the cold. No members received admonitions to stay away. There was a feast in the Great Hall and cake in the Senate reading room at the inaugural festivities of the 193rd General Court that formally installed the House and Senate.
The year 2022 has come and gone with much affecting the City of Springfield. As a part of the commonwealth, nation and world, it felt inflation, the war in Ukraine, national political contests and the state’s own elections.
Less than a day before 2022 closed, Ludlow Senator-elect Jake Oliveira announced his staff for his upcoming term, signaling both continuity and his priorities. Devin Sheehan will be his chief of staff, among other hires.
BOSTON—Days before Eric Lesser gave his last speech as a state senator from Western Massachusetts, the commonwealth, jointly with Amtrak, applied for a $108 million federal grant. In the twilight of his Senate tenure, the project took one of its greatest leaps toward reality.