Legislative Update: Week of April 11, 2022

Apr 11, 2022


Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Jackson’s nomination was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.

President Biden issued a Presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate a new effort across the federal government to develop and issue the first-ever interagency national research action plan on “long COVID.” The effort will advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and provision of services, supports, and interventions for individuals experiencing Long COVID and associated conditions. 

On Friday, Medicare finalized its decision to restrict coverage on a new Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (Aduhelm), only paying for patients to get the new Alzheimer’s drug if the patients are participating in clinical trials. The coverage decision is not just specific to Aduhelm but applies to all drugs in the class. See MassBio’s statement on this decision here.

Massachusetts Senate staff announced last week their intent to unionize, with around two hundred Senate staffers asking for voluntary recognition through IBEW Local 2222. Senate President Karen Spilka has directed Senate Counsel to carefully review the union’s request.

Boston Public Schools will have an all-electric bus fleet by 2030. The city will support this goal through the use of federal COVID-19 relief funds.


The Healthcare Financing Committee holds a public hearing Monday on the Governor’s healthcare bill. The legislation includes numerous drug pricing provisions including assessing drug manufacturers when prices exceed cost growth benchmark, imposing penalties on excessive drug price increases, and establishing new oversight authority for pharmacy benefit managers (PMBs). MassBio’s Chief of Corporate Affairs, Zach Stanley, will testify at the hearing. Read MassBio’s statement on the Governor’s healthcare bill.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Committee holds a public hearing on the Governor’s transportation bond bill, a proposed $9.7 billion investment in transportation infrastructure and climate resilience in Massachusetts.

The House Committee on Ways and Means will release its fiscal year 2023 budget proposal on Wednesday.

The Senate holds formal session on Thursday to debate a trio of bills, including legislation to promote clean energy and offshore wind.

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