Beacon Hill Roll Call Volume 40 – Report No. 45 November 13, 2015


By Bob Katzen 

  THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records the votes of local representatives and senators on roll calls from prior legislative sessions. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.

   House 123-33, Senate 30-6, overrode Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of a provision requiring each executive office of state government to publish on its website a list of laws approved in the prior two years for which regulations are required but have not yet been adopted by the appropriate agency. The measure also requires the agency to provide a brief statement as to its future plan to adopt the regulations.
   Override supporters said there have been long delays in some agencies’ drafting of the regulations that they are required by law to develop in order to implement the law to which the regulations are tied.
   In his veto message, Gov. Baker said he vetoed the provision because “it imposes unnecessary burdens on state agencies which largely duplicate the existing requirements in state law.”
   (A “Yes” vote is for the requirement. A “No” vote is against it.)

 Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Rep. Timothy Toomey Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes                                     

   House 122-33, Senate 37-0, overrode Gov. Baker’s veto of a bill allowing the Boston Police Commissioner to appoint retired Boston police officers as special police officers to perform police details. Officers who have been retired more than 4.5 years or have reached age 68 are not eligible for appointment.
   Override supporters said the bill will allow some retired Boston police officers to continue to serve and contribute to public safety in the city.
   In his veto message, Gov. Baker said he agrees that the bill would contribute to public safety but cautioned, “The United States Department of Labor has alerted my administration that if this bill as written were to become law, Massachusetts’ unemployment insurance law would no longer conform to federal requirements.”
   (A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against it.)

 Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes Rep. Timothy Toomey Yes Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes                                     

   Senate 37-0, approved an amendment to a bill creating a 33-member State Workforce Development Board that would monitor and assess the success of the Commonwealth Workforce Development System, an Internet-based system that provides online access to job openings and information about employers, services and training opportunities for job seekers. 
   The amendment would require that the board develop strategies to promote the proportionate workforce participation of women, people of color, veterans and persons with disabilities across industry sectors.
   Amendment supporters said this would help ensure the involvement of these minorities.
   (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.)

 Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes                                     

   MINIMUM WAGE HIKE TO $15 — The Labor and Workforce Development Committee has recommended passage of a bill that would raise the minimum wage over three years from $9 per hour to $15 per hour for workers at franchised fast-food restaurants and big box retailers with over 200 employees.
   TELEMARKETERS MUST SHOW REAL PHONE NUMBER (S 1782) — The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee held a hearing on legislation that would prohibit “spoofing,” a practice used by telemarketing companies to have a phony telephone number show up on a consumer’s Caller ID. Current law only prohibits the telemarketers from blocking their phone number from appearing on Caller ID.
   STIPEND FOR STATEHOUSE INTERNS (H 3283) — The Public Service Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would give each legislator $1,000 annually in order to provide a stipend to any intern serving in his or her office. 
   FREE TUITION (H 2301) — The Higher Education Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would provide a 50 percent reduction in tuition at state universities, on a space-available basis, to current state workers with over five years on the job.
   TRANSPORTATION HEARINGS — The Transportation Committee held a hearing on several bills:
   DOUBLE THE FINE (H 2968) — Doubles the regular fine for drivers who speed in a designated zone around any school. 
  LIMIT MOTORCYCLE NOISE (S 1845) — Limits the noise level motorcycles are allowed to make. 
   ALCOHOL TEST FOR SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS (S 1827) — Requires school bus applicants to be tested for drug and alcohol prior to being hired and to agree to random, reasonable suspicion and post-accident drug and alcohol testing in the future.


  The Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight held a hearing on several bills:
   NO STATE FUNDS FOR BOTTLED WATER (H 2817) — Prohibits state funds from being used to purchase bottled water for use in state buildings that are served by a public water supply except when required for safety, health or emergency situations.
   USE GPS TO TRACK PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (H 2727) — Prohibits the use of Global Position System technology to monitor or track state or municipal workers unless the implementation and terms of use of such technology is mutually agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement.
   BARS STAY OPEN BEYOND 2 A.M (S 127) — Allows cities and towns that are serviced by the MBTA to permit bars to remain open beyond the current 2 a.m. closing time.
   MUST DISCLOSE (S 1664) – Requires businesses and nonprofits to disclose any state funds they receive by including a disclosure on their website, letterhead and all electronic and printed materials distributed to the public. 
   COMMITTEE ON GAY AND LESBIAN YOUTH (H 2781) — Eliminates the current Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth that was first created by executive order in 1992 by former Gov. William Weld. 
   COOLING-OFF PERIOD BEFORE LOBBYING (S 1687) – Increases from one year to three years after leaving their jobs, the “cooling-off” period that former state employees and elected officials, including legislators, must wait before going into the lobbying business. 
   CREATE OFFICE OF ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES (S 1647) — Creates a State Office of Access and Opportunity to promote non-discrimination and equal opportunity in all aspects of state executive agencies’ decision-making and operations including employment, procurement, policymaking, implementation and access to executive agency services.
   ALLOW ADS ON STATE WEBSITES (H 2833) — Creates a special commission to study the feasibility of permitting private sector advertising on state websites.
QUOTABLE QUOTES – By the Numbers Edition
   According to Lew Finfer, co-chair of Raise Up Massachusetts, the number of workers in Bay State big box stores and fast food chains that would receive the $15-per-hour minimum wage approved by a committee if the full Legislature passes the bill and the governor signs it into law.

   1 hour
   According to the State House News Service, the amount of time that members of the Governor’s Council waited for newly elected Sen. Mike Brady (D-Brockton) to arrive at the Statehouse to be sworn in.

  The number of Bay State congressmen and senators who signed a letter supporting a bill updating Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination law to include public accommodations protections for transgender individuals. The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Joe Kennedy and Reps. Seth Moulton, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, James McGovern and Katherine Clark.

   $1.25 billion 
   The current balance of the state’s Rainy Day Fund, far short of the estimated $2.5 billion to $3 billion the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation predicts is needed to meet the next fiscal downturn.
   100 percent
   The amount of the cost of a single-family home or condominium that can be financed under the state’s new mortgage program designed to make it easier for Massachusetts veterans to purchase their first home.
   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 November 9-13, the House met for a total of 51 minutes while the Senate met for a total of one hour and 15 minutes.


Mon. November 9 House 11:02 a.m. to 11:14 a.m.

                      Senate 11:04 a.m. to 11:17 a.m.

Tues. November 10 No House session

                      Senate 1:05 p.m. to 1:42 p.m.
Wed. November 11 No House session

                      No Senate session

Thurs. November 12 House 11:06 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

                      Senate 11:09 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.
Fri. November 13 No House session

                      No Senate session
Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.