Government in action

Wheaton will host a Massachusetts legislative hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 23, as part of the state’s annual budget cycle.

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means hearing will focus on public safety expenditures and will begin at 10 a.m. in the Student Government Association Room in Balfour-Hood Campus Center. It is open to the public.

While looking for a place to hold the budget hearing, State Senator Jim Timilty, a Walpole resident and member of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, said he naturally thought of Wheaton.

“I always tell people that Wheaton is one of the hidden gems of the district I represent. It has that quintessential New England college campus feel right in the heart of the town of Norton,” Senator Timilty said.

And college officials were happy to oblige.

“At Wheaton we focus a lot on social change and civic engagement, and this is an opportunity for students to observe an important governmental function firsthand,” said Brian Douglas, Wheaton’s executive vice president of finance and administration. “It is also a chance to show off our wonderful campus to representatives from across the state.”

The February 23 meeting is one of several hearings on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget. This session will include testimony from Secretary of Public Safety Daniel Bennett and representatives from judiciary, district attorneys and sheriffs.

“We will hear testimony from officials in these areas of our state government on how the coming budget debate will impact their work,” Senator Timilty said.

The hearing will open with a short introduction by the legislators in attendance followed by testimony from invited groups.