Legislative Update: Week of July 26, 2021

Jul 27, 2021


Last week in DC, the Congressional Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Caucus hosted a launch event to explore opportunities to improve the impact of services delivered to address social determinants with the support of federal funding. The webinar highlighted the opportunities for coordination to improve health outcomes and maximize existing and future federal investments in health, food, housing, transportation and other important drivers of health.


This week in Massachusetts, the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management held an oversight hearing on COVID-19 vaccinations for children at the Museum of Science. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke were among the 30 people invited to testify at this oversight hearing, where lawmakers heard from experts on issues to consider as the state plans for vaccinations for young children.

A second hearing of the Joint Ways and Means Committee and House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight will be held on Tuesday where the discussion will focus on how ARPA money could be used to address housing, labor and workforce development issues.  The Joint Committees plan to hold additional hearings after Labor Day focusing on health care, public health, mental health and human services; economic development, transportation, arts, tourism, climate and infrastructure; and education, social equity, safety net programs and families.

Also on Tuesday, MassBio members will join the Massachusetts Legislative Manufacturing Caucus for a virtual meeting to discuss life sciences manufacturing through the lens of the vaccine development and the broader topics related to advanced manufacturing, skills training and workforce gaps.

The Massachusetts Legislature will likely wrap up formal business this week as they head on summer recess for the month of August. On their agenda will likely be the $47.6 billion fiscal 2022 budget that Gov. Charlie Baker signed last week and consideration of his budget vetoes and amendments.

This week in DC, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the implementation and enforcement of USMCA and the Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both will take place on Tuesday. On Thursday, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on neurodegenerative diseases.

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