ADVANCES - WEEK OF AUG. 13, 2017
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 11, 2017.....After hosting visitors from around the country and around the world this week in Boston, state elected officials next week seem prepared to take a page out of Europe's book and lay low during the hot days of August. Gov. Charlie Baker returns from a family vacation in Gloucester, but won't return to a flurry of activity on public health insurance cost control or any other pressing issue. A Senate working group will host a health care roundtable and the Legislature will hold informal sessions, so at least a handful of lawmakers will make the trek into Boston on business during what otherwise looks to be a sleepy week on Beacon Hill. There's still time to pass a sales tax holiday, but lawmakers appear poised to pass on that idea this year, so Massachusetts residents traveling north this week may be inclined to stop in New Hampshire to get some tax-free shopping done before returning.
-- SENATE HEALTH COSTS SESSION: When they rejected the governor's proposed Medicaid reforms last month, Senate Democrats laid out a plan to produce a bill of their own by the fall. That process advances on Thursday when the group of senators studying health care cost containment strategies convenes a roundtable of providers, business groups, academics and advocates for the first of three public discussions of the issues affecting the broader health care system. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Sens. James Welch, Karen Spilka, Harriette Chandler, Jason Lewis, Patrick O'Connor and John Keenan are leading the effort, which will focus in the first session on care delivery systems and behavioral health integration. Additional sessions will follow: Aug. 23 will address long-term care and a session on Aug. 30 is going to look at chronic and acute care management. Each session will begin with Sen. Welch, the Senate chair of the Health Care Financing Committee, making a presentation to lay out the current state of each issue and the challenges Massachusetts is looking to tackle.
-- DC DELEGATION AT HOME: Members of the state's Congressional delegation are using their August recess to get some face time with their constituents and voters as some minds turn to the 2018 mid-term elections. While President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continue their verbal volley over the North Korean nuclear weapons program, Marine Corps veteran and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton will hold a town hall Monday in Bedford, where Trump will likely be a popular topic of conversation. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey on Monday plans to join members of the union that represents MBTA bus maintenance workers at a rally against the Baker administration's efforts to reduce costs by seeking a private vendor to take over some bus maintenance facilities.
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