Overview

 

  • On Tuesday, February 15th, Second Assistant Majority Leader Joseph Wagner of Chicopee announced he will not seek reelection this year, after representing his district for over 30 years. The announcement was made as nomination papers are becoming available, and Wagner said he hoped to give candidates time to make decisions and organize campaigns. Looking ahead to his final months in office, Wagner said he hoped to address impacts of inflation on the costs of housing, home heating and health care, particularly for seniors, as well as education funding.

 

  • On Tuesday, February 15th, Harvard professor Danielle Allen announced she will halt her bid for governor. Her announcement came one day after nomination papers became available to candidates running in 2022, which will require gubernatorial candidates to collect signatures from 10,000 registered voters. It also comes early in a weeks-long Democratic Party caucus season that carries implications for the primary ballot. Democratic caucuses are taking place through March 12, where voters will select delegates who will represent each town or ward at the June 3 and June 4 party convention as well as alternates. At the convention, candidates must secure support from at least 15 percent of delegates to make it onto the primary ballot. The Democratic primary now figures to be a head-to-head showdown between Attorney General Maura Healey, who had been linked to the race for months before officially jumping in last month, and Senator Sonia Chang-Dí­az. Two Republicans, former Representative Geoff Diehl, and businessman Chris Doughty, are also running in the open gubernatorial race.

 

  • On Tuesday, February 15th, the State House News Service noted that Lowell City Manager and former state Senator Eileen Donoghue is set to depart her job in April, as the city council declined to extend her contract for one year after seeking a longer-term commitment. Donoghue's departure has opened the door for state Representative Thomas Golden (D - 16th Middlesex), who sources say is not only interested, but already has a great deal of support on the council. Golden declined to comment on the city manager opening, which has not yet been officially posted. If Golden were to leave the House for the city manager's job, it would open yet another position on Speaker Ron Mariano's leadership team. This term is Golden's first as one of four division leaders on Mariano's team after multiple sessions chairing the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy where he worked on legislation to develop the state's offshore wind industry. Under Lowell's charter, the city manager runs the day-to-day operations of the city, while the mayor is a member of the council elected by his or her peers with equal voting rights. 

 

  • On Tuesday, February 22nd, after over 700 days of closure, the Massachusetts State House will reopen to the public with various rules and restrictions. Those age 5 or older will be required to show proof they’re vaccinated against COVID-19, or a negative test from within the last day, to access the building, according to official guidelines released by the Bureau of the State House. Masks will be required in all common spaces, including hallways, elevators, restrooms, and event spaces within the building. Visitors will also be limited to entering the State House between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. but can remain in the building if the House or the Senate are still in session “for the purposes of viewing the session.”