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Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE. Beacon Hill Roll Call records local legislators’ votes on roll calls from the week of July 3-7.

$40.2 BILLION FISCAL 2018 STATE BUDGET (H 3800)

House 140-9, Senate 36-2, approved and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a conference committee’s compromise version of a $40.2 billion fiscal 2018 state budget to cover state spending from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. .

Baker has ten days to sign the budget and to veto sections of it. It would then take a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override any vetoes. The conference committee version was hammered out after the House and Senate each approved different budgets.

The 6-member conference committee reduced expected state revenues by $733 million and made millions in budget “fixes” including $400 million in direct cuts from the proposed spending approved by legislators in the original House and Senate version of the budget. Those actions were in response to warnings about ever-decreasing revenue projections over the past several weeks.

Supporters said the budget is a balanced one that makes important investments in the state while continuing fiscal responsibility and not raising taxes. They noted a shortage of revenue will result in some pain in some services and programs but that the budget protects the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Opponents voted against the budget for various reasons: Legislators have only had a few hours to read the budget and the vote should be postponed for several days; the budget does not make sufficient cuts; the budget makes too many cuts and does not sufficiently fund many worthwhile programs and services; state spending has grown too much over the past few years; and billions of dollars of taxpayer money is going to government services for illegal immigrants.

(A “Yes” vote is for the budget. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Stephan Hay                           Yes

Rep. Bradley Jones                         Yes

Rep. Theodore Speliotis       Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                        Yes

Sen. Joseph Boncore           Yes

Sen. Joan Lovely                            Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee                       Yes

SUSPEND RULES TO CONSIDER $40.2 BILLION FISCAL 2018 BUDGET

Prior to voting on the budget, the House 115-34, Senate 32-6, suspended rules to allow immediate consideration of the $40.2 billion fiscal 2018 state budget.

Rule suspension supporters said it is important for the Legislature to approve this budget quickly and noted the state is currently operating on a temporary budget.

Rule suspension opponents said members have had very little time to read the budget and argued it is unfair and irresponsible to rush a $40.2 billion package through the House late on a Friday afternoon.

(A “Yea” vote is for rule suspension. A “Nay” vote is against rule suspension).

Rep. Stephan Hay                           Yes

Rep. Bradley Jones                         No

Rep. Theodore Speliotis       Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                        Yes

Sen. Joan Lovely                            Yes

Sen. Thomas McGee                       Yes

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 July 3-7, the House met for a total of 12 hours and 44 minutes and the Senate met for a total of six hours and 28 minutes.

Mon. July 3

House11:01 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.

No Senate session

Tues.July 4

No House session

No Senate session

Wed. July 5

House11:01 a.m. to2:20 p.m.

Senatel:09 p.m. to1:13 p.m.

Thurs. July 6

House 11:02 a.m. to 4:29 p.m.

Senate 1:17 p.m. to 5:04 p.m.

Fri. July 7

House 1:39 p.m. to5:33 p.m.

Senate2:06 p.m. to4:43 p.m.

Bob Katzen
welcomes feedback at
bob@beaconhillrollcall.com

 




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