The trial of former Massachusetts probation officers lumbers past its originally forecast stop time this week, driving through the two-month mark. Prosecutor Fred Wyshak last week charted out his plans for the rest of the prosecution’s case, saying former House Ways and Means Chairman Charley Murphy and former Chief Justice of Administration and Management Robert Mulligan will take the stand along with six House Democrats, and will testify about jobs in the department’s electronic monitoring program. John O’Brien and former deputies Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III have been charged with mail fraud and conspiring to offer jobs as bribes.
Meantime Democrats who run the Legislature like to talk about the state budget being balanced and on time. With 10 days left in the fiscal year, they need to turn that talk into reality in order to meet their goal. Governor Deval Patrick will have 10 days to review the budget and file amendments and vetoes, so there’s already the potential that the budget won’t be signed into law before the July 1st start of a new fiscal year. But if the on-time claims are to come true, a House-Senate accord on a roughly $36.4 billion budget is forthcoming.
And among the bills now awaiting Governor Deval Patrick’s signature, which is expected, is a measure that would give Massachusetts a nation’s highest $11 an hour minimum wage and make changes in unemployment insurance laws designed to provide rate relief to employers with stable workforces.
For Susan Kaplan’s conversation with Matt Murphy about the week ahead on Beacon Hill, click the audio player above.