Legislative Update – Week of February 6, 2023

Feb 07, 2023

Last week:

A new legislative session means new rules. The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a rules package on Wednesday which legislators will use during the two-year session. The rules package includes a continuation of some COVID-19 era policies, like allowing for remote participation in hearings by both legislators and members of the public. The new rules end virtual participation in legislative sessions. The House rejected an amendment that would require transparency of legislator votes on bills before committees. The Senate is in session on Thursday to debate Senate and joint rules for this legislative session.

State Representative Kristin Kassner was sworn-in on Friday bringing the House of Representatives to their full, 160-seat membership. Kassner’s swearing-in follows a narrow election where she beat incumbent Republican representative Lenny Mirra by just one vote, and a vote from the House of Representatives against reopening an investigation into the race. Last month, a legislative panel of three House members held public hearings to examine the narrow, but certified recounts in two races for the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The Massachusetts Republican Party has a new state chair in Amy Carnevale, who beat former State Representative Jim Lyons in his re-election bid.

In-person sports betting started in Massachusetts last week at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor.

This week:

On Tuesday at 9:00pm, President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union to a joint session of Congress.

The Health Policy Commission’s Advisory Council meets virtually on Wednesday to hear a report from HPC Executive Director David Seltz and discuss the commission’s 2023 priorities.

On Monday, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper announce a fleet of 20 electric school buses that will begin serving students later this month.

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