Legislative Update – Week of December 19, 2022

Dec 20, 2022

Last week:

Massachusetts is making investments in STEM education by awarding $5 million to five new STEM Tech Career Academies to encourage high school students to earn associate degrees and certifications, according to Education Secretary James Peyser.

Outgoing Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will be the next president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Baker, a Republican, began serving as Governor in 2015 and was re-elected in 2018.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu plans to increase linkage fees on commercial developments in the city to support affordable housing. Under the new proposal, linkage fees on life sciences labs would double. Additionally, the current Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) for the city requires developments with 10 units or more to include 13% income restricted units. The new proposal would apply to 7 units or more and require at least 20% of square footage to be income restricted. The Mayor’s IDP proposal will go through the public process, including public hearings, before it can be implemented.

At a recent Health Policy Commission (HPC) Cost Trends hearing, a panel on health equity pointed out that the Commission could be lacking the necessary diversity to deliver on their mission to create a more transparent, accountable, and equitable health care system. Of the 11 HPC board members, who are appointed by the governor, attorney general, and auditor, all are white and only four are women.

This week:

In Washington, DC, congressional leaders are working to pass an omnibus appropriations package by Christmas. The legislation, as proposed, would fund the government through September 2023.

The Joint Committee on Mental Health’s Behavioral Health Commission is holding a virtual hearing on Monday to discuss health equity. The hearing follows the release of a report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation this month that points out the higher rates of “fair or poor” mental health among Black and Hispanic people.

Also on Monday, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Committee on Pandemic Recovery and Literacy holds its first meeting. The meeting will cover topics related to early literacy for young students and recommendations to address these challenges.

Have a happy New Year! MassBio offices will be closed until Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

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