MSH bill’s legislative hearing – check

At 2:30PM this afternoon I attended the totally uneventful  legislative hearing at the State House, Room B-2, before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight for the Medfield State Hospital bill (H4050).  That is the special legislation that will allow the state to sell the Medfield State Hospital to the Town of Medfield.  Per Representative Denise Garlick , only this one public hearing is required, but the bill still needs to move through several other committees before it can be voted.  The town is hoping for passage of the bill before the end of July.

Representative Denise Garlick, who took time out from her reported twelve hour day budget hearing duties this week, introduced the town officials to the committee, having already done her homework ahead to explain the bill to the committee members.

Testifying at the hearing for the Town of Medfield were

  • Assistant Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler
  • Chair of the State Hospital Advisory Committee, Steve Nolan

Attending from DCAM were:

  • Carole Cornelison, Commissioner
  • Dana Harrell, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Real Estate Services,
  • Mary Beth Clancy, Senior Project Manager
  • John Billera, Director of Business Impact Services
  • Martha McMahon, Deputy General Counsel

The hearing lasted all of ten minutes, with the only real question being posed to the Commissioner, and that being what is happening to the purchase money.  The answer was that it is going to the secretariat, the Executive Office of Human Services’ (EOHS), for capital purposes.  That is dealt with in the first section of the bill, so it would appear the member had not read the bill.  The committee was composed of about seven Senators and representatives, who asked to see maps – and Kris had brought them maps, which were explained by Steve Nolan.

Interestingly, the Committee chair mentioned that he had written the reuse plan for the Northampton State Hospital.

There were two other bill hearings scheduled for this afternoon before this committee.

Also in attendance were

  • Elizabeth Broda, Legislative Director from the Office of Senator James E. Timilty
  • Amanda Bernardo, Aide to Representative Garlick

A lot of people power was brought to bear for what turned out to be a very quick hearing – however, better to be safe.

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