Legislative Update – Week of August 8, 2022

Aug 08, 2022

Last week:

The U.S. Senate passed a reconciliation bill, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 including provisions that allow the government to set prices for drugs in Medicare. Read MassBio CEO Joe Boncore’s statement on the bill here

Vice President Kamala Harris joined Massachusetts leaders for a reproductive rights panel in Boston last week. The Vice President was joined by Governor Charlie Baker, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Executive Director of “Reproductive Equity Now” Rebecca Hart Holder, and Massachusetts State Representative Kate Hogan.

The MBTA announced last week that all Orange Line service will be suspended from August 19 through September 18, and Green Line service north of Government Center will be suspended from August 22 through September 18. Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley have called for all MBTA subways and buses to be fare-free during these planned service suspensions, citing federal COVID-19 relief funds that can be used to cover the costs. The planned shutdowns come on the heels of safety emergencies on both the Orange Line and Green Line and the Federal Transit Administration’s safety review of the MBTA.

Governor Baker has signed a new law requiring animal research and testing facilities in Massachusetts which use dogs and cats to offer healthy animals for adoption once their time in research has ended.

The Biden Administration has declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

The city of Salem is planning to spend $9.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds on housing affordability and availability.

This week:

Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 are the annual sales tax-free weekend in Massachusetts. The state’s 6.25% sales tax will be exempt on most items valued under $2,500 on these days. More information and list of qualified purchases here.

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