Legislative Update – Week of January 16, 2023

Jan 17, 2023

Last week:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced key dates for implementation of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program established through the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed into law last year.

  • By September 1, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish the first 10 Medicare Part D drugs selected for the program.
  • By September 1, 2024, the negotiated maximum fair prices for these drugs will be announced.
  • On January 1, 2026, the new prices will be in effect.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey appointed to her cabinet last week Lauren Jones as Secretary of the Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Healey is expected to appoint more secretariats. In her inaugural address, she announced plans to file legislation separating the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to establish a dedicated housing secretary. Both Secretary Hao and Jones will be sworn-in on Tuesday, January 17.

On Friday, a legislative panel of three House members, Representatives Michael Day (D-Stoneham), Dan Ryan (D-Charlestown), and Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading), held two public hearings to examine the narrow, but certified recounts in two races for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The Special Committee to Examine the Returns heard testimony from Democrat Kristin Kassner and incumbent Republican representative Lenny Mirra. Kassner beat Mirra by just one vote in the race for the Second Essex District. The Committee then heard testimony from Democrat Margaret Scarsdale and Republican Andrew Shepherd. Scarsdale beat Shepherd by seven votes in the race for the First Middlesex District. The Secretary of State and the Governor’s Council certified the results in both races following district-wide recounts.

The Embrace,” a statue dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, was unveiled on Friday on the Boston Common. Designed by artist Hank Willis Thomas, the 20-ft tall bronze statue shows four intertwined arms modeled after a hug shared by Coretta and Martin when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The statue is just feet from where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a rally of 22,000 in the Boston Common on April 23, 1965. Martin and Coretta met in Boston as students at Boston University.

This week:

The bill filing deadline in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives is Friday, January 20.

Attorney General Andrea Campbell will be sworn-in on Wednesday, January 18. Campbell is the first Black woman attorney general in state history and the first Black woman to win a statewide election in Massachusetts. Five years ago, Campbell made history as the first Black woman to be elected Boston City Council president.

Also on Wednesday, former state Senator Diana DiZoglio will be sworn-in as State Auditor. Deb Goldberg will be sworn-in to her third four-year term as Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts.

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