By Bob Katzen
MEMO TO BHRC SUBSCRIBERS: This week’s report is on the 2015 roll call attendance record of your local representatives through August 28. Some representatives may have poor attendance records for a variety of reasons, including health problems or military service. We asked the five legislators with the worst attendance records to explain their reasons for missing votes. We did not ask the 155 other representatives why they missed roll call votes, but it is something you may want to check out with any of your local legislators who have missed roll call votes. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us.
This week’s report follows:
THE HOUSE AND SENATE. There were no roll call votes in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports local representatives’ roll call attendance records for the 2015 session through August 28.
The House has held 156 roll call votes. Beacon Hill Roll Call tabulates the number of roll calls on which each representative was present and voting and then calculates that number as a percentage of the total roll call votes held. That percentage is the number referred to as the roll call attendance record.
Only 69 (34.5 percent) of the House’s 160 members have 100 percent roll call attendance records.
The representative who missed the most roll calls is Rep. Harold Naughton (D-Clinton), who missed 112 (28.2 percent attendance) because of his military service.
Also included in the top five worst records are Reps. Gail Cariddi (D-North Adams), who missed 101 (35.3 percent attendance); Gerald Parisella (D-Beverly) and Louis Kafka (D-Sharon), who missed 100 (35.9 percent attendance); and Evandro Carvalho (D-Dorchester), who missed 54 roll calls (65.4 percent).
Pariselli missed many votes because of his military service, Cariddi and Kafka both had medical issues and Carvalho’s wife gave birth to their first child.
REPRESENTATIVES’ 2015 ROLL CALL ATTENDANCE RECORDS THROUGH AUGUST 2015
The percentage listed next to the representative’s name is the percentage of roll call votes for which he or she was present and voting. The number in parentheses represents the number of roll calls that the representative missed.
Rep. Christine Barber 100 percent (0) Rep. Denise Provost 100 percent (0) Rep. Timothy Toomey 100 percent (0)
ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL
REVENUE COMMITTEE HEARING – The Revenue Committee will hold a public hearing on September 22 at 10 a.m. in room A-1 at the Statehouse on several bills including:
TAX BREAKS FOR VIDEO GAME COMPANIES (H 2487) – Extends the 25 percent payroll tax credit to video game developers. Currently, the tax credit is only available to movie production companies.
Supporters, noting some 2,000 people currently work in this industry in the state, say game industry revenues are larger than box office revenue. They argue offering tax credits to video game developers will encourage these companies to remain in or move to Massachusetts.
REWARD CITIZENS WHO BRING BUSINESSES HERE (H 2486) – Requires the Department of Revenue to conduct a study on the possibility of the state rewarding individual taxpayers who are responsible for bringing new businesses to the state. A percentage of the new revenue would be credited to the Massachusetts taxpayer responsible for attracting the business.
INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT (H 2474) – Raises the state’s three percent investment tax credit to five percent and makes it permanent. Supporters say that this would be good for the state’s sagging economy. They argue that it would create jobs by helping to attract new companies to the state and encouraging existing ones to remain here by spurring investment in new buildings, manufacturing, and research and development. They noted that the tax revenue loss would be offset by a growth in property, income and corporate excise taxes.
Opponents say that the extension would cost millions of dollars in revenue that the state cannot afford to lose and argued that this money should be used to fund important state programs. They argue that studies have shown this tax credit has no positive effect on employment and may in fact cause unemployment by encouraging automation.
QUOTABLE QUOTES – Special “By the Numbers Edition”
The number of jobs that will be lost in New England between 2016 and 2020 if electricity and natural gas infrastructure is not built, according to the New England Coalition for Affordable Energy.
The number of Massachusetts personal care attendant who will now be able to earn overtime following a federal court ruling granting federal minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s two million homecare workers, according to the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.
The number of jobs created in the Bay State in July, according to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
The number of Massachusetts students who were granted an exemption from being vaccinated in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
July sales of single family homes — almost 20 percent higher than last July’s 5,533, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.
During the week of August 24-28, the House met for a total of two hours and five minutes while the Senate met for a total of two hours and two minutes.
Mon. August 24 House 11:02 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.
Senate 11:05 a.m. to l:00 p.m.
Tues. August 25 No House session
No Senate session
Wed. August 26 No House session
No Senate session
Thurs. August 27 House 11:01 a.m. to 11:13 a.m.
Senate 11:05 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.
Fri. August 28 No House session
No Senate session
Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at email@example.com