ADVANCES - WEEK OF FEB. 10, 2019
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 8, 2019.....On the heels of a 35-day shutdown, the federal government is nearing yet another closure as state government continues its own slow startup. Massachusetts nonprofits sounded the alarm this week warning another shutdown threatens their operations, which are integral to the state’s safety net services. According to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the January shutdown was the 21st time that federal government funding has lapsed since 1976. "The nonprofit sector cannot withstand the impact of repeated shutdowns, and should not bear the burden when disrupted federal programming leaves millions of Americans in need of critical services," network CEO Jim Klocke wrote in a letter to Sen. Edward Markey Thursday. Nonprofits in Massachusetts filled gaps left by the suspension of federal operations, Klocke said, and served furloughed employees in need of services even though many nonprofits "did not receive any reprieve after dipping into budget reserves to meet the immediate needs in their communities." The deadline to finalize a deal to avert another shutdown is Friday.
In the slow start department, House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Karen Spilka may finally get around to announcing leadership and committee assignments to members who have remained in the dark about their roles since being sworn in almost six weeks ago. If Democrats schedule a caucus, that's a sign that appointments may be nearing since representatives and senators ratify the appointments in caucus. Lawmakers so far this year have been busying themselves filing bills and urging their colleagues to sign on as legislative cosponsors. Once they get assignments, many lawmakers will need to move into new offices, so that will take some time, and then the week of Feb. 17 is school vacation week which is also usually a light one for the Legislature. The weeks and months ahead will bring a wave of committee hearings and if past is prologue some bills may not even receive their obligatory hearings until 2020. So keep an eye on which bills emerge first as a potential indicator of branch priorities. The coming week is another big one for speeches, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren set to outline her presidential campaign plans Saturday in Lawrence, former Gov. William Weld poised to discuss his possible presidential ambitions during an appearance in New Hampshire, and Speaker DeLeo offering an update on his priorities in Salem.
SATURDAY, FEB. 9, 2019
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