Patrick's Trade Mission Begins

By Sarah Birnbaum

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Mar. 7, 2011



BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick arrives in Tel Aviv on Monday for the start of a trip that the administration says will highlight the state's innovation-based industries abroad.  While he's away, President Obama swings by the Bay State to stump for his education agenda. We've got our weekly roundup of what's coming up in state politics:

On Monday, Patrick begins a 10-day trade mission to Israel and England.  He will be accompanied by business executives from some two dozen Bay State companies dealing in technology, life sciences and clean energy, as well as by the president-elect of UMass, Robert Caret.

On Tuesday, state lawmakers hold a public hearing on Patrick's bill to allow municipalities to join a state insurance pool without prior union approval.  Patrick says the plan would save cities and towns tens of millions of dollars in employee health-insurance bills.

Later in the day, President Obama tours a public school that emphasizes technology in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood.  The White House says the president will build on his call for investment in innovative education approaches.

On Wednesday, lawmakers hold the first of five oversight hearings on the state's higher-education system. Lawmakers seek an overview of the state's colleges and universities, and a briefing on Bay State communities' long-term educational needs and goals.

Also on Wednesday, the Governor's Council is expected to vet Patrick's nominees to the state's embattled parole board.  Patrick's new picks for the board include a victims' advocate and a forensic psychologist.

On Thursday, state health officials hold public hearings on a set of proposals aimed at reducing head injuries and concussions in middle school and high school athletes.

And on Friday, Massachusetts state Treasurer Steve Grossman launches a program to move some state funds into community banks willing to loan to small businesses.

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