Joyce cloud hanging over Senate as they convene

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With Senate Democrats planning to caucus Thursday morning before their first full session since the FBI raid on Sen. Brian Joyce’s law office, the big question hanging over the gathering will be whether Joyce shows up.

Joyce certainly made it easier on his colleagues when he announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election in November, but that hasn’t stopped groups like the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance or the MassGOP from calling for the Milton Democrat’s immediate resignation.

Joyce may be the target of an investigation, but he has not been charged with a crime. It’s even unclear what exactly he’s being investigated for. But the fact that the FBI and IRS’s focus can’t be picked off a menu of possibilities is a problem unto itself.

Just how senators react to Joyce if he does show up and how they handle questions about their colleagues future in the body will be a hot topic of interest as the Senate prepares to debate legislation (S 2137) relative to HIV-associated lipodystrophy treatment and (S 2138) to protect access to confidential health care.

Gov. Charlie Baker also speaks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, but with a budget and economic development bill already filed, aides to the governor were downplaying the newsiness of the speech that is likely to focus on Baker’s goals in the budget process and touch on General Electric’s relocation to Boston, as well as status updates on other top priorities.

— Written by Matt Murphy

Copyright State House News Service