Legislative Update – Week of August 22, 2022

Aug 22, 2022

Last week:

President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including more than a $300 billion investment in clean energy infrastructure and policies to achieve climate goals as well as provisions that allow the government to set prices for drugs in Medicare. Read MassBio CEO Joe Boncore’s statement when this policy first passed in the Senate version of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The planned shutdown of the Orange Line began Friday and is scheduled to continue through September 18. Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-Boston), who sits on the Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, shared his support of federal receivership of the MBTA. He cited the transit authority’s staffing vacancies and subsequent safety concerns. A report released last week by Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) underscoring the “full-blown crisis” at the MBTA. MTF suggested the T focus on “rebuilding trust” among riders and prioritize “safe and reliable core services” before expanding regional rail.

With the school year beginning at the end of August and early September, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has announced in their fall guidelines that masking and testing are no longer required.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education increased the MCAS scores high school students are required to achieve in order to earn their high school diploma.

This week:

Beginning Monday, the Green Line will be closed from Government Center to Union Square through September 18. The planned maintenance is part of the MBTA’s Green Line Transformation. The previous phase ended on Sunday, where MBTA crews spent 16 days replacing more than 2,750 feet of track on the E branch.

Early in-person voting begins Saturday, August 27 for the September 6 state primary elections. Between Saturday and Friday, September 2, voters will be able to cast Democratic or Republican primary ballots for the state’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, Governors Councilors, District Attorneys, and representatives in the state Legislature.

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