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Revere – November 12, 2021

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By Bob Katzen

  A NOTE FROM BOB KATZEN, PUBLISHER OF BEACON HILL ROLL CALL: Join more than 22,000 people, from movers and shakers to political junkies and interested citizens, who start their weekday morning with MASSterList—the popular newsletter that chronicles news and informed analysis about what’s going on up on Beacon Hill, Massachusetts politics, policy, media and influence in Massachusetts. The stories are drawn from major news organizations as well as specialized publications selected by widely acclaimed and highly experienced writers Chris Van Buskirk and Keith Regan who introduce each article in their own clever and never-boring, inimitable way.

MASSterlist will be e-mailed to you FREE every Monday through Friday morning and will give you a leg up on what’s happening in the blood sport of Bay State politics. For more information and to get your free subscription go to: www.massterlist.com/subscribe

  THE HOUSE AND SENATE. Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ and senators’ votes on roll calls from prior sessions. There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.


  House 141-18, Senate 38-2, overrode Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of $150,000 for the creation of an independent ombudsman’s office in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic

  Development to receive, investigate and resolve complaints brought by applicants to and participants of the emergency assistance shelter program and other housing transition program. Baker also vetoed several sections requiring the filing of reports related to housing programs.

  “The required report is unduly burdensome,” said Baker in his veto message. He also noted that he does not support the $150,000 for an ombudsman.

  Supporters of overriding the veto said the creation of and funding of an ombudsman’s office is important and will help thousands of people navigate these programs and find affordable housing. They noted the required reports will help increase transparency.

  (A “Yes” vote is for the $150,000 and requiring the reports. A “No” vote is against the $150,000 and reports).

Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes

Sen. Joseph Boncore has resigned



  House 147-12, Senate 39-1 overrode Baker’s veto of a provision requiring the Children’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council to conduct an analysis of the existing and anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s behavioral health and the programs and support systems designed to help soften the impact.

  In his veto message, Gov. Baker said he vetoed this section because his administration’s existing Behavioral Health Roadmap, the product of a multi-stakeholder process, is the most comprehensive approach to identifying behavioral health needs and implementing services to provide the most effective care for all Massachusetts residents, including children.

  Supporters of overriding the veto said it is important to have a separate analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on children’s behavior in addition to the existing Behavioral Health Roadmap.

(A “Yes” vote is for the separate analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s behavioral health. A “No” vote is against the separate analysis).


Rep. Jessica Giannino Yes

Sen. Joseph Boncore has resigned



  House 158-0, approved a consolidated amendment adding an estimated $44.3 million in spending on seniors, health, human services and education.

  “No group in the commonwealth has endured more loss and hardship over the past year and a half than our elder citizens and the people who cared for them,” said Rep. Tom Stanley (D-Waltham), the chair of the Elder Affairs Committee.

  Stanley said this measure includes workforce investments that recognize human service workers as the essential elements they are in senior health delivery. “The bonus payments to COVID front line workers who kept our state going through the pandemic are appropriate and deserved,” said Stanley. “Moving forward, human service workers need to be paid fairly and allowed opportunities to develop skills and remain in that important industry. Expanding the human service workforce is critical.”

  (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment).


Rep. Jessica Giannino 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 November 1-5, the House met for a total of 19 minutes while the Senate met for a total of 58 minutes.

Mon. Nov. 1 No House session

                     Senate 11:14 a.m. to 11:16 a.m.


Tues. Nov. 2 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:09 a.m.

                      No Senate session


Wed. Nov. 3 No House session

                     Senate 1:28 p.m. to 2:18 p.m.


Thurs. Nov. 4 House 11:02 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.

                        Senate 11:16 a.m. to 11:22 a.m. .


Fri. Nov. 5 No House session

                   No Senate session


Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com

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