Legislative Update: Week of January 31, 2022

Jan 31, 2022


Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of his term. Breyer’s retirement gives President Biden his first opportunity to name a new justice to the court.

Governor Baker released his $48.5 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2023. The Commonwealth is expected to bring in $37 billion in revenue in FY23, according to projections released earlier this month by Massachusetts Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz.  

The Massachusetts Senate passed $75 million COVID-19 relief package; a $20 million increase to the package recently passed in the House.

The House of Representatives passed the VOTES Act, legislation aimed to expand voter access in the Commonwealth. A similar version of the legislation passed the Senate last fall. The two chambers will now need to reconcile the differences between the two bills before it can move to the Governor’s desk. The Senate included Election Day Registration (also known as same day registration), which the House did not include in the bill. 

The Massachusetts State House may be open to the public in February, according to Senate President Karen Spilka. Senate President Spilka did not give a specific timeline but said that proof of vaccination could be required for visitors.

Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler announced that she would not be running for re-election to the Massachusetts Senate. Senator Chandler was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1995 and has served in the Senate since 2001. From 2017 to 2018, Chandler served as Senate President. Senator Chandler will serve out the remainder of this legislative session representing the First Worcester District, which includes the city of Worcester and six surrounding towns.

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg announced that she will seek re-election. A Democrat from Brookline, Goldberg has been serving as Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver General since 2015.


Wednesday marks the deadline for most joint committees in the Massachusetts Legislature to report-out bills before the committees, known as the Joint Rule 10 deadline.

The Baker Administration plans to file the Chapter 90 bond bill at $200 million for fiscal year 2023 this week. The Chapter 90 program provides funding to municipalities to support local road and bridge projects. Last year, the Legislature passed $350 million for a transportation package, which included $200 million for Chapter 90 in FY22, and $150 million to support six statewide grants, including electric vehicle infrastructure and multi-modal transportation.

In DC, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “FDA User Fee Reauthorization: Ensuring Safe and Effective Drugs and Biologics,” on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. The hearing will examine reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA), and the Biosimilar User Fee Act (BsUFA).

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