Legislative Update – Week of May 22, 2023

May 23, 2023

Last week:

Last week President Biden announced additional critical actions to advance his mental health strategy. This announcement is part of the Administration’s recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month. The Administration listed three objectives: Strengthen the Mental Health Workforce and System Capacity; Connect More Americans to Care; and Create Healthy and Supportive Environments. More information is in the attached press release.

Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll named former Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus to serve as the state’s first housing secretary in more than 30 years. Augustus, who helped to create thousands of new housing units at all income levels during his tenure in Worcester, will lead the administration’s new Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities beginning on June 1.

This week:

Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll announced Massachusetts Senator Anne Gobi will join their administration as the new Director of Rural Affairs in the Executive Office of Economic Development. In this new role created by the Healey-Driscoll Administration, Gobi will serve as a dedicated advocate and ombudsman for cultivating economic development within rural communities. She will ensure that the needs of rural & regional economies are incorporated into the economic development plan being developed by the Executive Office of Economic Development & will be responsible for coordinating with secretariats and state agencies to ensure that state government is attuned to the unique needs of these towns. Gobi will remain in the Senate until June 4.

The Boston City Council reached a tentative consensus on a new redistricting map. It redraws lines in a way that achieves population balance for each of the city’s nine districts, based on data that shows the ideal population is 75,071 but allows for a range of roughly 71,500 to 78,500 people in each district. A new map has to be approved by the City Council by May 30 to avoid a delay to the Sept. 12 preliminary election.

The Massachusetts Senate holds formal sessions to debate its Fiscal Year 2024 budget bill. 1049 amendments to the bill were filed in advance of the floor debate.

See all MassBio News