Governor Charlie Baker announced a $3.5 billion economic development package, which includes millions of dollars in investments for climate resiliency, COVID-19 recovery, workforce development, and housing. The legislation, An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD) includes $2.3 billion in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and over $1.256 billion in capital bond authorizations.
As a result of a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle voiding a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention masking requirement for public transportation, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that masks are no longer required on MBTA vehicles and properties.
In DC, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “FDA User Fee Agreements: Advancing Medical Product Regulation and Innovation for the Benefit of Patients, FDA Center Directors” on Tuesday at 10:00AM. The witnesses will include: Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration; Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration; and, Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration.
Also, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will appear at the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday at 10:15AM. and then before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Thursday at 10:30AM. At both hearings, he will discuss the fiscal year 2023 Health and Human Services (HHS) Budget.
This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives debates the fiscal year 2023 budget. Over 1500 amendments have been filed to the $49.6 billion House Ways and Means proposal. Representative Coppinger filed an amendment (#650) to eliminate the expiration of copay assistance programs in Massachusetts, as the current law is due to sunset on January 1, 2023. If the sunset is not eliminated or extended by the Legislature before the end of 2022, Massachusetts residents will not be allowed to access coupons or vouchers under any circumstances.
The Massachusetts Senate holds a formal session on Thursday to debate legislation that would legalize sports betting. The House of Representatives passed sports betting legislation last year.