State lawmakers will hold a committee hearing next week on a bill to permit Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to appoint an interim replacement for the late-Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the Boston Globe reported this afternoon.

Initially, lawmakers scheduled the hearing for October, but the state House and Senate chairmen of the Joint Committee on Election Laws announced today the hearing will instead take place on Sept. 9, during lawmakers' first week back from their summer recess.

''One of the senator's last public acts was a request that the Legislature explore ways to amend state law so the Commonwealth will not lose a voice in the United States Senate pending the filling of the seat with a special election,'' Thomas P. Kennedy (D), the Senate chairman of election laws committee, told the Globe today.

In the meantime, Patrick is expected to announce today a date for the special election to fill Kennedy's vacant Senate seat.