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 reports on the percentage of times local senators voted with their party’s leadership in the 2021 session. No additional roll calls in the Senate are planned until 2022. Beacon Hill Roll Call uses 111 votes from the 2021 Senate session as the basis for this report. This includes all roll calls that were not quorum calls or on local issues. The votes of the 34 Democrats were compared to Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), second-in-command in the Senate. We could not compare the Democrats’ votes to those of Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) because, by tradition, the Senate president rarely votes. The senator who voted with Creem the least percentage of times is Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) who voted with her only 83 times (74.7 percent). Rounding out the top three who voted with Creem the least number of times are Sens. Walter Timilty (D-Milton) who voted with her 91 times (81.9 percent) and Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) who voted with her 96 times (86.4 percent) All in all, 31 of the 34 Democrats (99.1 percent) voted with Creem 90 percent or more of the time — including 11 (32.3 percent) who voted with Creem 100 percent of the time and six who voted with Creem all but one time. The votes of the two Republican senators were compared with those of GOP Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). In 2021, as in 2020, none of the two voted with Tarr 100 percent of the time. In 2021, the Republican senator who voted the lowest percentage of times with Tarr was Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) who voted with Tarr 82.8 percent of the time. Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) voted with Tarr 90 percent of the time.
SENATORS’ SUPPORT OF THEIR PARTY’S LEADERSHIP IN 2021
The percentage next to the senator’s name represents the percentage of times the senator supported his or her party’s leadership in 2021. The number in parentheses represents the number of times the senator opposed his or her party’s leadership. Some senators voted on all 111 roll call votes. Others missed one or more roll calls. The percentage for each representative is calculated based on the number of roll calls on which he or she voted.
Sen. Jason Lewis 99.0 percent (1)
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 13-17, the House and Senate each met for a total of 24 minutes.
Mon. Dec. 13 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.
Senate 11:05 a.m. to 11:18 a.m.
Tues. Dec. 14 No House session
No Senate session
Wed. Dec. 15 No House session
No Senate session
Thurs. Dec. 16 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.
Senate 11:06 a.m. to 11:17 a.m.
Fri. Dec. 17 No House session
No Senate session
Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org