Legislative Update – Week of May 29, 2023

May 30, 2023

Last week: 

In Massachusetts, the Senate debate on the FY 2024 Budget concluded on Thursday, May 25, passing a $56 billion budget. The House passed its version in April. Conference Committee members will likely be appointed in the coming week to deliberate the differences, in hopes of passing and sending to the Governor a budget by the start of the fiscal year, July 1. 

In Boston, on Friday, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signed the redistricting ordinance passed by the City Council, but the court may also need to get involved before the new voting lines go into effect. Given the pending lawsuit, the city plans to inform the U.S. District Court that a new map has been passed on Tuesday. 

This week:

In DC, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling. The centerpiece of the agreement remains a two-year suspension of the debt ceiling, which caps the total amount of money the government is allowed to borrow. Suspending that cap, which is now set at $31.4 trillion, would allow the government to keep borrowing money and pay its bills on time — as long as Congress passes the agreement before June 5, when Treasury has said the United States will run out of cash. Lawmakers are expected to vote on it this week. 

In Massachusetts, on Tuesday, special elections to fill the 9th Suffolk House seat and the 10th Suffolk House seat will take place. Democrats John Moran and Bill MacGregor are expected to fill the vacant seats to represent parts of Boston following primary wins in races that featured no Republican or independent candidates. Moran, a South End resident who ran uncontested won the 9th Suffolk District seat primary with 1,751 votes — or nearly 86 percent of all ballots cast. In the 10th Suffolk District primary, MacGregor, of West Roxbury, secured 3,098 votes, or about 46 percent of all ballots. MacGregor edged out two other candidates.  

On Wednesday, MassBioEd releases its “2023 Massachusetts Life Sciences Employment Outlook” report during its 8th annual Life Sciences Workforce Conference. The report will look at data on the status of the life sciences workforce. The conference will focus on discussing the challenges of the Massachusetts labor market, establishing best practices for diverse talent acquisition, and building partnerships between the industry and the education and public sectors. 

And on Thursday, former Sen. Edward Augustus starts work as Governor Healey’s Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, heading up a new standalone housing secretariat that Healey created. Augustus, who previously served as Worcester city manager, will be responsible for making progress on generating new housing development to close a statewide shortage fueling sky-high prices and outmigration. 

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