By Bob Katzen
This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the number of times in the 2021 session each senator sided with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and voted to sustain the governor’s 25 vetoes of items, mostly in the fiscal 2022 state budget. A vote to sustain means the senator supports Baker’s veto. A vote to override means the senator voted to fund the item despite the governor’s veto.
The current makeup of the Senate is 36 Democrats, three Republicans and one vacant seat. A two-thirds vote is required to override a gubernatorial veto in a full 40-member Senate when there are no vacancies. The governor needs the support of 14 senators to sustain a veto if all 40 senators voted—and fewer votes if some members are absent or there are vacancies.
Baker fell far short of that goal as six votes was the most support he received on any veto. The Senate easily overrode all 25 vetoes, including five that were overridden unanimously.
The vetoes had no support from 30 of the 36 Democrats who never once voted to sustain Baker’s veto. Only six Democratic senators voted to sustain any of the governor’s vetoes. The Democrat who voted the most times with Baker to sustain his veto is Sen. Walter Timilty (D-Milton) who voted with Baker four times. Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) voted with Baker twice. Sens. Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Boston), Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) each voted with Baker once.
None of the three Republicans voted with Baker 100 percent of the time. The Republican senator who voted the greatest number of times with Baker was Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) who voted with Baker 17 times (68.0 percent of the time). Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) voted with Baker only five times (20.0 percent), the least number of times among Republicans. Even Republican Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) only supported Baker 14 times (56.0 percent).