BOSTON (AP) — Members of the Massachusetts House and Senate are scheduled to take their oath of office as the state legislature formally opens its 188th session.
The swearing in is set for Wednesday morning in both chambers, where Democrats will continue to enjoy commanding majorities. Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are expected to be re-elected to their leadership posts.
The state is facing numerous challenges as the new session begins, including lackluster revenues, a drug testing scandal in a state lab that has since closed and a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak across the U.S. that's been linked to a state-regulated pharmacy.
Lawmakers will also consider Gov. Deval Patrick's call for a transportation finance overhaul, tougher gun control measures and ongoing efforts to contain spiraling health care costs.