Legislative Update: Week of May 17, 2021

May 17, 2021


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that “people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances.” However, the requirement to wear masks during travel remains.

In Massachusetts, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released their fiscal year 2022 Budget Recommendations on Tuesday. The Senate proposal does not include Governor Baker’s language to penalize drug manufacturers that increase their drug prices excessively, but it does include language that allows for direct negotiations for rebates on certain drugs and non-drug products. As of Friday’s 2 pm deadline, Senate members filed 923 amendments to the Senate’s FY2022 budget. Of note to the life sciences industry are amendments #155, #412, #413, #442, #465 and #562. The Senate debate will begin Tuesday, May 25.

And on Wednesday, the Baker Administration announced that Massachusetts will offer employers the option to vaccinate their employees. To do so, employers may either: schedule group appointments at mass vaccination locations; or host mobile on-site employer vaccination clinics. The complete list of details regarding these options can be found here.


On Monday, the Baker Administration announced that Massachusetts will lift all COVID-related restrictions on businesses effective May 29th. Additionally, Massachusetts will rescind its face covering mandate on May 29th, replacing it with the CDC’s new guidance.

Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 20th at 10 am, during which invited organizations will have the opportunity to provide a brief overview of their group and how their work fits into the context of the Commonwealth’s economic development endeavors. MassBio’s Executive Vice President, Zach Stanley, will testify at the hearing.

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