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Malden – December 23, 2022 – Volume 47 – Report No. 50

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If you have any questions about this week’s report, e-mail us at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com or call us at (617) 720-1562.

Beacon Hill Roll Call

Volume 47 – Report No. 50

December 12-16, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.

By Bob Katzen 

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   THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call begins a series on highlighting the bills that were approved by the Legislature in 2022 and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.


   House 119-36, Senate 32-8, gained the two-thirds vote necessary to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of legislation that would allow, starting July 1, 2023, undocumented/illegal immigrants to apply for a Massachusetts standard driver’s license.  The legislation requires an applicant “without legal presence” in the United States to provide the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) with a foreign passport and at least one of five other documents: a driver’s license from another state, a foreign driver’s license, a birth certificate, a foreign national identification card or a marriage certificate or divorce decree from any U.S. state. 

   Opponents of the bill gathered sufficient signatures to put the proposed law on the November ballot for voters to decide. Voters approved the law at the recent November election.

   “This is a victory for all, making our roads safer and allowing the 185,000 immigrants without status the ability to earn a driver’s license,” said sponsor Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “No one should fear deportation over essential everyday tasks, such as getting to work, school, doctor’s appointment and grocery stores.”

   “I cannot sign this legislation because it requires the Registry of Motor Vehicles to issue state credentials to people without the ability to verify their identity,” Baker had said in his veto message. “The Registry does not have the expertise or ability to verify the validity of many types of documents from other countries. The bill also fails to include any measures to distinguish standard Massachusetts driver’s licenses issued to persons who demonstrate lawful presence from those who don’t.”


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

Rep. Paul DonatoYes                                     Rep. Steven Ultrino Yes                                     Sen. Jason Lewis Yes                                     


   House 155-0,  Senate 40-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law a bill that would prohibit any person or entity including educational institutions, workplaces and public spaces from implementing any policy that would explicitly target someone who wears their natural hairstyle. The measure defines natural hairstyle as “hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles including braids, locks, twists and other formation.”

   The bill also expands existing anti-bullying law in schools to include recognition for students who may be more vulnerable to bullying or harassment because of their natural hairstyle. Another provision requires the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination to investigate complaints filed against employers who have discriminated based on natural hairstyle.

   “On the long march toward justice, and especially racial justice, the Senate’s unanimous passage of this legislation marks another step forward,” said Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “We would not be at this point without the great courage and strength of Mya and Deanna Cook, who as 15-year-old students faced discrimination and abuse from their high school for their hairstyles, and bravely stood up for their rights and those of so many other Black women.”

   “This is an historic moment for Massachusetts. I am beyond delighted that the [bill] passed unanimously in the House, and words cannot describe how great it is to see the years of hard work from advocates, staff, legislators and community members bear fruit,” said co-sponsor Rep. Steve Ultrino (D-Malden). The votes in our chamber sent a clear message: race-based discrimination has no place in our commonwealth. On this day, we ensured that a person’s racial and cultural identity will no longer be an obstacle to their education, professional career and path to success.”

   There was a light moment during floor debate on the bill. “As you may have guessed, I have never experienced hair discrimination,” said Rep. Ultrino, who is bald.

   (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Rep. Paul DonatoYes                                     Rep. Steven Ultrino Yes                                     Sen. Jason Lewis Yes                                     


   House 137-16, Senate 40-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law a bill designed to further protect reproductive health care and those who perform abortions in the Bay State. The measure specifically declares that both reproductive health care and gender-affirming care are rights secured by the constitution or laws of Massachusetts and would shield providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care and their patients from out-of-state legal action. The measure would ensure that patients over 24 weeks of pregnancy are able to receive an abortion in Massachusetts because of a grave fetal diagnosis that indicates the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside of the uterus without extraordinary medical interventions and requires that those decisions are made between the patient and their treating physician.


    Other provisions include preventing the state’s cooperation with anti-abortion and anti-gender-affirming care laws in other states; mandating health insurance coverage for abortion and abortion-related care with no cost-sharing; ensuring access to emergency contraception; and providing confidentiality to providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care;  clarifying that vending machines may dispense over-the-counter drugs, such as Plan B – the “morning after” pill; and  ensuring access to medication abortion on all public college and university campuses.

   “Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Gov. Baker. “The court’s decision has major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to these services, and our administration took quick action in the hours following that decision by issuing an executive order to protect access here in the commonwealth. This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states.”

   “In the face of an increasing amount of anti-abortion and anti-gender-affirming care laws enacted across the country, Massachusetts continues to serve as a national leader in protecting these essential rights with the passage of this legislation,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), the lead sponsor of the measure and Senate chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing. “We must do everything we can to protect the rights of our providers, patients and visitors to the commonwealth.

   “As a candidate for governor in 2014, Charlie Baker was sold as a Bill Weld-style Republican—socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” said Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle. “The abortion expansion bill which he signed … imposes new burdens on taxpayers and business owners, increases the scope of government—with state colleges now dispensing Plan B abortion pills and denies personal freedom of choice for those opposed to abortion. There is no conscience clause for pharmacists, business owners or non-profit organizations, and the religious exemption is so narrowly drawn that most Catholic educational institutions will not qualify under it. Baker’s legacy on this legislation is one of higher spending, bigger government, and less personal freedom.”

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

Rep. Paul DonatoYes                                     Rep. Steven Ultrino Yes                                     Sen. Jason Lewis Yes                                     


   House 143-9, Senate 38-2, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law legislation that would expand the clean energy industry and reduce emissions from the transportation and building sectors across the state with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

   “Massachusetts has an opportunity to meet the urgency of the climate crisis through our nation-leading innovation, workforce and energy resources,” said Rep. Jeff Roy (D-Franklin), House chair of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “This timely and comprehensive piece of legislation is carefully calibrated to provide a portfolio of robust clean energy, including offshore wind and decarbonize our largest-emitting industries, all while attracting a world-class supply chain, intensive workforce training initiatives and the investment necessary to prepare our electric distribution system for the energy needs of the future.”

   “The bill dramatically increases the cost of energy in Massachusetts at a time when energy costs already hover at record highs, and the price of all other goods are increasing due to record inflation,” said Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “People won’t be able to afford this legislation, especially the drastic changes that will be needed in older homes. Everyone laments how expensive housing is, yet the Legislature just made housing more expensive by passing this bill.”

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

Rep. Paul DonatoYes                                     Rep. Steven Ultrino Yes                                     Sen. Jason Lewis Yes                                     


   House 154-0, Senate 39-0, approved  and the governor signed into law a bill that would require the state to develop and implement a Women’s Rights History Trail Program. 

   The measure includes requiring the state to designate properties and sites that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s rights and women’s suffrage. Another provision provides that the state promote education and awareness of the struggle for women’s rights in the state. A 13-member Women’s Rights History Trail Task Force would be formed to research, solicit public input and make recommendations for sites, properties and attractions to be included in the trail.

   “Massachusetts has a rich history of involvement in the women’s rights movement,” said the bill’s Senate sponsor Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem). “Women have had a pivotal role in shaping the policies of our commonwealth, and this bill will ensure that those contributions are known and celebrated … The history of these women is our history, and we must continue to advance that history forward.”

   “I am humbled and proud to sponsor this legislation,” said House sponsor Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “This legislation ensures that the many women from our commonwealth who contributed to the fabric of our nation and democracy are recognized, and their accomplishments preserved in our state’s history, so that their legacies may serve as inspiration for future generations of young women.”

   (A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Rep. Paul DonatoYes                                     Rep. Steven Ultrino Yes                                     Sen. Jason Lewis Yes                                     


   GOV. BAKER APPOINTED TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE NCAA – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that effective March 1, 2023, Gov. Charlie Baker will serve as the next NCAA President, assuming the role effective March 2023. 

   “We are excited to welcome Gov. Charlie Baker to the NCAA and eager for him to begin his work with our organization,” said Linda Livingstone, President of Baylor University and Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors. “Gov. Baker has shown a remarkable ability to bridge divides and build bipartisan consensus, taking on complex challenges in innovative and effective ways. As a former student-athlete himself, husband to a former college gymnast, and father to two former college football players, Gov. Baker is deeply committed to our student-athletes and enhancing their collegiate experience. These skills and perspective will be invaluable as we work with policymakers to build a sustainable model for the future of college athletics.”

   “I am honored to become the next president of the NCAA, an organization that impacts millions of families and countless communities across this country every day,” said Baker. “The NCAA is confronting complex and significant challenges, but I am excited to get to work as the awesome opportunity college athletics provides to so many students is more than worth the challenge. And for the fans that faithfully fill stadiums, stands and gyms from coast to coast, I am eager to ensure the competitions we all love to follow are there for generations to come. Over the coming months, I will begin working with student-athletes and NCAA members as we modernize college sports to suit today’s world, while preserving its essential value.”

   CITIZENS FOR LIMITED TAXATION (CLT) CLOSES DOWN AND HANDS OFF TO THE MASS FISCAL ALLIANCE – Chip Ford, the executive director of CLT announced that the group will end its 48-year operation at the end of the year. 

    “It’s a new era, time for new energy to move the tax limitation movement forward in Massachusetts,” said Ford. “For going on half a century CLT has carried the burden of leadership in that indispensable mission. The time has come to pass the tax limitation torch on to another generation. Fortunately for Bay State taxpayers, and especially for CLT members, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is positioned well to run with that torch.”

   “We thank Chip Ford for having faith in us to carry on the tremendous legacy of Citizens for Limited Taxation,” said Paul Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “From the 5 percent income tax roll back, to Prop 2½ and Chapter 62F, CLT’s legacy continues to have a measurable, positive impact on the businesses and working families of Massachusetts every day. We look forward to preserving that legacy and continuing on their mission of taxpayer protection for decades to come.”

   The late Barbara Anderson, the group’s first executive director died in 2016 and associate director Chip Faulkner died in 2019. Both passed away at the age of 73. Chip Ford, CLT’s co-director alongside Barbara since 1996 then executive director since 2016, turned 73 last month and decided it’s time to step aside.

   “I’m not particularly superstitious,” Ford said, “but why tempt the fates? With Paul Craney and his team at MassFiscal so ably advancing the mission this is a good time and place for CLT and me to take our leave.”

   CLT led the charge for many tax savings measures over the years including passage of Proposition 2 ½ which limited property taxes, repeal of the 1975 7.5 percent surtax and the roll back of the 1989 income tax hike. Most recently, CLT was responsible for the return of $2.9 billion to taxpayers based on Chapter 62F, a 1986 law proposed by CLT and approved by the voters. That law requires that tax revenue above a certain amount collected by the state go back to the taxpayers. The state has determined that the net state tax revenues of $41.8 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022 is some $2.9 above the allowable state tax revenues of $38.8 million.

   ALLOW USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR CHILD CARE FOR CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE  (S 3152) – The Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that would allow a candidate for public office to use campaign funds for childcare while the candidate is campaigning on his or her own behalf or attending events directly related to his or her campaign.  

  The bill prohibits payments to family members, unless the relative owns, operates or is employed by a professional daycare or babysitting service and the cost of the service is not greater than the family member would otherwise charge.

   Under current law, candidates are prohibited from using campaign funds for their personal use. The state’s Office of amping and Political Finance has classified childcare, while performing campaign duties, as a personal expense rather than a campaign expense.

  “This bill would break down a major barrier to open elective office to people who have traditionally not had that opportunity,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville). “Many of us currently in office would not be here today if we didn’t have trusted people taking care of our kids while we knocked doors for our first campaigns. Allowing campaign finances to be used for childcare means that more people in our communities can participate than ever before and amplify the voices of those who have previously not been heard.” 

   “It’s exciting to see [the bill] move through the Senate,” said House sponsor Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “We filed this bill so that all candidates, no matter their economic or family background, can have a better opportunity to run for state or local office. Allowing candidates to use their own campaign funds for childcare will help to strengthen the diversity of the candidate pool and the representation in our elected bodies.”

   REQUIRE CERTIFICATION FOR TECHNICIANS WHO STERILIZE AND MAINTAIN HOSPITAL SURGICAL EQUIPMENT (S 2933) — House approved a Senate-approved measure that requires standardized certification of an estimated 1,800 Bay State hospital technicians by a nationally accredited organization. These 1,800 technicians are responsible for ensuring that surgical instruments are safe and sanitary to protect patients from possible infection. The proposal also requires the technicians to complete an annual continuing education curriculum. It was filed as a response to several high-profile incidents across the state in which surgical tools used in operations on patients may have been improperly disinfected.

   Supporters said that technicians are currently allowed to work with a high school diploma or equivalent degree and without additional relevant training, despite being required to keep up to date with the latest practices for over 37,000 different surgical instruments. 

    Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) said she co-sponsored the bill in order to make sure that central service technicians have proper credentials. “The reason is that they are responsible for the sterilization and packaging of surgical equipment,” said Gobi. “That is a critical duty and improper sterilization can lead to infection and could lead to death.”

   Only final approval is needed in each branch prior to the proposal going to Gov. Baker.


   DEATH OF A CHILD UNDER 2 (H 5422) – The House approved and sent to the Senate a bill that would require that the autopsy report for a child under the age of two be reviewed and approved by the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. Changes to the autopsy report would also have to be reviewed and approved by the Chief Medical Examiner.

   Supporters said the measure addresses recent cases in which the Chief Medical Examiner’s office changed the cause of death for deaths of children under two, creating serious implications for ongoing court cases and for the families of those children. They noted that the most experienced person in the office should provide oversight to what are typically junior medical examiners without pediatric autopsy experience. They argued this will provide more confidence and peace of mind for families who have tragically lost infants.

   “Cases involving very young children are complex and sensitive—and fortunately, rare—representing a small portion of the cases handled by the Medical Examiner’s office,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington). “That means that pediatric cases deserve to be reviewed and approved by the most experienced Medical Examiner—and that is the Chief Medical Examiner. I hope the Senate takes up the matter soon, it’s the least that we can do when these tragedies occur.”

   “I am deeply appreciative that the House has affirmed the importance of this bill for the second time this session. I hope that the Senate will take it up soon so that we can send it to Gov. Baker’s desk,” said House sponsor Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge). 

   QUOTABLE QUOTES — GOV. BAKER MOVES ON TO THE NCAA — Gov. Baker was appointed to be president of the NCAA beginning in 2023. Here are some of the things he said following his appointment:

   “My wife was probably the best athlete in the family.”

   “I’ve always believed that sports just have this tremendous power to bring people together.”

   “It’s big and complicated. So have been a lot of things I’ve done in my life, but most of the time, they were absolutely worth doing.”

   “It’s about being a convener and the collaborator of a very large organization that has a lot of points of view and seeking to find those places where people can come together, can agree and can make a case generally to the public, to their student athletes, to their alumni and their fans about what the best way to ensure that we don’t lose this jewel going forward.”

   “It is through sports that so many people find themselves and develop a lot of the skills and capabilities that translate through the rest of their lives.”


   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 December 12-16, the House met for a total of four hours and 49 minutes and the Senate met for a total of three hours and 59 minutes.

Mon.   Dec. 12   House  11:05 a.m. to   2:38 p.m.                   

                 Senate 12:37 p.m. to   4:15 p.m.

Tues.  Dec. 13   No House session

                 No Senate session


Wed.   Dec. 14   No House session

                 No Senate session 

Thurs. Dec. 15   House  11:03 a.m. to  11:19 a.m.                

                 Senate 11:18 a.m. to  11:39 a.m. 

Fri.   Dec. 16   No House session

                 No Senate session


   Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com  

Bob founded Beacon Hill Roll Call in 1975 and was inducted into the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) Hall of Fame in 2019.

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