Budgeting, Liquor Sales Under Consideration

By Sarah Birnbaum

Dec. 19, 2011

BOSTON — It's a light week for Massachusetts lawmakers on Beacon Hill. State senators and representatives remain on their extended holiday break, and Governor Deval Patrick returns from a short jaunt to Europe.

Patrick took his wife to Paris over the weekend for her sixtieth birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise, but he spoiled it when he accidentally copied her on an email with their flight details. He returns later today.

And waiting on his desk is a bill to allow the sale of liquor on the day after Christmas. Currently, the blue laws forbid business from selling booze on Monday December 26th because it’s a federal holiday. But last week, the legislature approved a measure that would allow liquor stores to remain open. A spokesperson for the governor says the bill is under review and Patrick will decide early this week whether to sign it.

And tomorrow is the annual Menorah lighting-ceremony on Beacon hill to mark the beginning of Hannukah. Top state officials including the governor, senate president and speaker of the house plan to attend.

Meanwhile, the budget process is underway. Each agency in the executive branch is holding public hearings to give budget writers an idea of their financial needs going forward. It’s the office of Housing and Economic Development's turn tomorrow night. All these hearings help the Governor craft an initial version of the state budget, which he’ll release late next month.

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