By Bob Katzen
The Senate 3-36, rejected a joint rules amendment that would allow opponents of a bill to issue a minority report on why they oppose a bill being reported out of a committee. Current rules allow senators to indicate that they oppose the bill but only the senators who support the bill are allowed to submit their reasons for supporting it.
“Those in the minority of a committee decision should be allowed to offer a published record of why they dissented from the majority,” said Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “The Supreme Court allows the dissenting justices of a decision to offer a recorded opinion and I believe this avenue has helped shape future public policy for the better.”
“As we know, members are free to cast their votes in favor or in opposition to a chair’s recommendation and such vote is recorded under the … joint rules,” said Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “The addition of a minority report could actually create some confusion for the public on trying to discern the intentions of the committee. I therefore ask my colleagues to vote no.”
(A “Yes” vote is for allowing a minority report. A “No” vote is against allowing it.)
Sen. Patricia Jehlen No