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  • Malden Democratic City Committee hosts 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Councillor hosts Ward 4 Community Meeting

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Greatest of All Time

    Friday, February 10, 2017 00:00
  • “We are lucky because …”

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Mystic Valley History students advance to State Finals

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00


Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. The debate over immigration continues to dominate the news following President Trump’s new version of an executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from six countries with links to terrorism.

Where do local state representatives stand on the immigration issue? This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call researched local representative’s votes on several roll calls on the immigration issue from 2013 through 2016. Here are the results.

The first three House roll call votes involve successful attempts by Speaker Robert DeLeo and his Democratic leadership team to prevent Democratic members from having to vote directly against several Republican proposals to restrict access to state funding by illegal immigrants. The Democrats, with a current 125 to 35 membership advantage, control the House.

Here’s an example of how it works: The Republicans offer a proposal banning illegal immigrant students from paying the preferred, lower in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts state universities. If the Democratic leadership does nothing, there would be a roll call vote on the lower in-state tuition rates. Most Democrats would vote against it and then would have cast a direct vote on a very controversial issue.

To avoid that situation, a Democratic member offers a “delaying” amendment that would prohibit the ban from taking effect until the Baker administration studies the impact of such a ban.

Under House rules, the amendment to study and delay the ban is voted upon first. If it passes, which it always does, no other amendments can be introduced and the original proposal that would simply prohibit the lower tuition rate is dead without ever having a direct vote on it. Republicans say that the studies are a sham because they are never done.

This is all pre-planned by the Democratic leadership. The presiding officer at the podium calls upon a representative who is loyal to him and that member proposes the study. Even if a Republican member is waving his or her hands and shouting to be recognized, he or she will not be called upon because it is assumed he or she would not propose the study.

GOP members have always been wary of this ploy and have spoken out strongly against it. They urged the Democratic leadership to stop purposely trying to confuse the voters and instead allow a vote directly on the issue itself, not a study of it.

The Democrats fall into four categories. Some Democrats favor the ban and vote with the Republicans against the study. Others say they are truly open to the ban but vote for the study because they want to find out the cost first. A third group opposes the ban but also opposes the study because they feel there should be a direct vote on the proposal. Most Democrats who vote for the study acknowledge that it is designed to protect them by preventing them from being required to vote directly on the ban.

Beacon Hill Roll Call urges you to read the roll calls carefully and be aware that on the first three roll calls, a “Yes” vote is for the study and essentially is against the restriction or ban. Conversely, a “No” vote is against the study and generally favors the restriction or ban.



House 103-46, approved a Democratic leadership-sponsored amendment prohibiting a proposal barring illegal immigrant students from paying the preferred, lower in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts state universities from taking effect until the Department of Higher Education studies the impact of the barring.

Supporters of the study said many of these students were babies when they were brought here by their parents and had no choice about entering the country illegally. They noted some hardworking students are currently required to pay out-of-state tuition rates that are up to five times higher than the in-state rate.

Opponents of the study said sending the bill to a study committee essentially kills it and argued the state should not offer financial rewards to anyone who has broken the law and is in this country illegally. They said it is outrageous to offer low tuition rates to these students while legal citizens from outside Massachusetts, including war veterans, are required to pay higher rates if they attend a Massachusetts state university.

The roll call vote is on the amendment to study, rather than vote directly on the banning of lower tuition rates for illegal immigrants. (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against the study.)

Rep. Robert DeLeo                            Yes

Rep. RoseLee Vincent                   Yes



House 107-42, approved a Democratic leadership-sponsored amendment prohibiting a proposal that would allow honorably discharged veterans to pay the preferred, lower in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts state universities from taking effect until the Department of Higher Education studies the impact of the lower rates for veterans. The proposal would offer the discount to all in-state veterans and to any veteran from across the nation who designates Massachusetts as his/her intended home and moves to Massachusetts within one year of attending a state university.

Supporters of the study said there is no estimate on how much it would cost the state to offer this discount to all these veterans.

Opponents of the study said it is outrageous that the state provides the lower tuition rate for some illegal immigrants but not to veterans. They noted that sending the bill to a study committee is the same as killing it.

The roll call vote is on the amendment to study, rather than vote directly on the lower tuition rates for veterans. (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Robert DeLeo                            Yes

Rep. RoseLee Vincent                   Yes



House 128-29, approved a Democratic leadership-sponsored amendment prohibiting a proposal requiring sponsors of immigrants who have green cards (lawful permanent residents) to reimburse the state for any means-tested state assistance the immigrant receives from taking effect, until after the state conducts a study of the current system and receives any federal waivers necessary.

Some supporters of the study said the House should get more information prior to voting on this. Others said they simply oppose the mean-spirited measure meant to hurt legal residents who through no fault of their own need some assistance. They noted that the state shouldn’t be punishing eligible individuals who have become estranged or disconnected from their sponsor.

Opponents of the delay questioned why the state is providing these benefits when each green card holder is required by law to have a sponsor who has promised to be financially responsible for that person.

The roll call vote is on the amendment to study, rather than vote directly on requiring sponsors to reimburse the state. (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against the study.)

Rep. Robert DeLeo    Yes

Rep. RoseLee Vincent                   Was not yet elected



The House considered a GOP-sponsored proposal to require applicants and household members over the age of 18 to provide a social security number upon application for public housing and prohibit anyone who does not supply the number from being eligible for housing.

House 115-44, then approved a Democratic leadership-sponsored amendment replacing the Republican proposal with a new one requiring the state to establish rules and regulations regarding the disclosure and verification of social security numbers for applicants of public or subsidized housing.

The new proposal also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to study and submit a report on the matter of public housing eligibility by July 1, 2016. The report would include the number of applicants and household members for state-assisted public housing who would be unable to access it if required to submit a social security number on their application.

Supporters of the new proposal said the earlier one goes too far and will not solve any problems. They argued the new proposal is a thoughtful and fair approach to this problem.

Opponents of the new proposal said the earlier proposal is simple and effective: if you don’t provide a social security number, you are not eligible for public housing. They argued it is unfair to provide housing to illegal immigrants.

The roll call vote is on the amendment to study, rather than vote directly on requiring a social security number. (A “Yes” vote is for the study. A “No” vote is against the study.)

Rep. Robert DeLeo                            Yes

Rep. RoseLee Vincent                   Yes



House 34-124, rejected a Republican-sponsored amendment that would withhold local aid from any cities or towns that do not enforce federal immigration laws. The withholding would also apply to communities that have established themselves as “sanctuary” cities or towns that offer protection in a variety of ways to illegal immigrants.

Amendment supporters said cities and towns that encourage law-breaking are hurting this nation. They argued the state should do everything it can to dissuade those who seek to come here illegally.

Some opponents said the amendment is a mean-spirited political stunt and questioned why supporters would want to punish students by taking away local aid from their schools. Others said the amendment is unenforceable, just like a municipality declaring itself a sanctuary city is nothing but symbolism.

(A “Yes” vote is for cutting off local aid to sanctuary cities and towns. A “No” vote is against cutting it off.)

Rep. Robert DeLeo                            No

Rep. RoseLee Vincent                   No


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 March 6-10, the House met for a total of 22 minutes and the Senate met for a total of six minutes.

Mon. March 6

House11:03 a.m. to11:13 a.m.

Senate 11:05 a.m. to11:08 a.m.

Tues.March 7

No House session

No Senate session

Wed. March 8

No House session

No Senate session

Thurs. March 9

House11:03 a.m. to11:15 a.m.

Senate 11:08 a.m. to11:11 a.m.

Fri. March 10

No House session

No Senate session

Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at
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Revere Middle School Basketball Fall to Saugus, 54–45 in Semi-Finals at Danvers Sports Complex on Saturday


Revere Middle School 7th Grade Basketball Team, front row; Cameron Bertocchi, Julius Quintana, Edgar Gonzales, Jaeron Mercardo, Sergio Garzon. Back row, Coach Bill Guinasso, Jared Mercado, Hunter Jones, A J Guinasso, Bobby O’Brien, and Coach George Quintana.


RHS Hockey Parents Club Hosts Break-up Awards Night


The Malden High School members of the combined team of the RHS Patriots, from left; Kevin Ivany, Paul Gennetti, Tristen Goroshko, Michael Goroshko, Jim Pandolfo, Corey Rufo, Michael Giordano, Zachary Rufo and Marc Giordano.


Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center’s St. Paddy’s Day luncheon


The Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center’s St. Paddy’s Day luncheon hosted 95 seniors for a corned beef and cabbage dinner surrounded by many Irish decorations. Musical entertainment was provided by The Powers Music School duo of Todd Brunel (clarinet) and Joe Reid (keyboard). They performed a tribute to Benny Goodman titled “Benny and Beyond.” It was a great day for seniors to relax, enjoy their friends, and experience the wearing of the green.



U.S. Navy plans to phaseout the iconic Navy Peacoat


Decision will lead to layoffs in New England, affect business and jobs across America

The U.S. Navy phaseout of the traditional Navy Peacoat will result in several hundred lost jobs, and could mark the beginning of the end for New England woolen manufacturing. The idea to phase out the Navy Peacoat was announced in August 2016, and beginning in 2019, the Peacoat and All-Weather Coat would be eliminated from sea bags. Starting October 1, 2018, the black Cold Weather Parka (CWP) would begin the transition as the standard Navy outerwear worn with service and service dress uniforms and issued as a sea bag item for recruits and new accessions.

This phaseout could put out of work a group of small businesses that have supported the needs of the Navy and its requirements for the Navy Peacoat for decades. The mills supporting the program were never officially notified of the phaseout plan. We believe that the U.S. Navy was unaware of the collateral damage of their decision to phaseout the wool Peacoat by replacing it with a 100% Synthetic Parka. It will not only result in the closing of manufacturing facilities and lost jobs, but it will also impact the ability of the woolen trade industry to satisfy other U.S. Military wool clothing requirements.

“The Navy Peacoat was developed in the early 1800’s by the Dutch to meet the needs for a durable piece of outwear that could withstand the harsh rain, wind and cold temperatures typically experienced out at sea,” said author Matthew Wong.

The Peacoat is an iconic U.S. Navy dress uniform garment. It has been and continues to be a popular fashion coat for both men and women. The coat is a high performance garment that continues to be an excellent protective layer for not only yesterdays, but today’s sailors. Why would the Navy want to phase it out?

Adding salt to the wound, the synthetic Parka that is set to replace the Peacoat was developed by the company Propper. If they are awarded the new contract, the Parka will be produced in Puerto Rico and not in the United States.

The supply chain that extends from textile mills in New England to Philadelphia, as well as the sheep farmers across the Midwest, are currently trying to get an audience with the U.S. Navy to halt the phaseout of the Navy Peacoat. We are hopeful, through the voices of our U.S. Senators – Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey – as well as U.S. Congressman Capuano, that our voices and concerns will be heard.

“Sterlingwear of Boston has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the U. S. Navy since 1967. In times of need, Sterlingwear of Boston has responded and provided the necessary peacoats when needed, as well as accommodating design and material changes over the years. The impact of this decision is far reaching and will affect the lives of so many who currently work in the textile and apparel industry which is already severely impacted by the loss of manufacturing and jobs to overseas. The peacoat is an iconic garment worn by sailors for hundreds of years and is symbolic of the navy and those who have served and are presently serving. To discontinue this garment that means so much, to so many, will be a disservice to those who have proudly worn or who currently wear the U.S. Navy Peacoat” said Jack Foster, Director of Marketing at Sterlingwear of Boston.

“The negative impact that this decision has on our business is unparalleled in our long history of working with the U.S. Navy. The numerous small businesses that rely on this product and the many employees that will be affected by this decision cannot be understated. It is imperative that this decision be revisited and reversed,” said David Fredella, VP/COO of Sterlingwear of Boston.


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