With the end of the year's formal session nearing, the Massachusetts legislature is pushing through some bills that, basically, they don't want to hear a bunch of whining about over the break. That includes the gaming expansion bill, the compromise for which emerged from committee yesterday and should be on Governor Patrick's desk by late today or tomorrow. Sadly, it will not include the restoration of happy hour, so we will all continue to be sad 24/7 in the Commonwealth.
Another biggie is the transgender rights bill, on which some advocates feared Speaker DeLeo would not follow through on his pledge to bring it to the floor this year. It has now been favorably voted out of committee. That either means they've got the votes for passage, or they're giving up and getting the defeat out of the way. I honestly don't know.
Meanwhile, Richard Tisei made it official today, announcing up in Wakefield his congressional challenge to John Tierney. I was unable to attend, so I couldn't ask him whether he supports the transgender bill that his running-mate Charlie Baker ran against last year. That's just my personal desire to tweak Tisei, but there is an interesting question about how Tisei will position himself in the primary, against Bill Hudak and/or any other conservatives who run. I would expect Tisei to win the nomination, and to want to stay as moderate as possible for the general election, but that might not be possible.
Oh, and apparently Sal DiMasi has been rebuffed in his attempt to remain free during his appeal. Not surprising, to me at least, but still pretty stark: the former Speaker will report to prison later this month.