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Beacon Hill Roll Call
Volume 48 – Report No. 16
April 17-21, 2023
Copyright © 2023 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.
By Bob Katzen
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THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll call votes 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 so far in the nearly four months of the 2023 session.
Beacon Hill Roll Call uses 16 votes from the 2023 Senate session as the basis for this report. This includes all roll calls that were not on local issues.
The votes of the 35 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.
Thirty-one (88.5 percent) of the senators voted with Creem 100 percent of the time so far in 2023.
The senator who voted with Creem the least percentage of times is Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy) who voted with her only 11 times (68.7 percent). “I always respect and value the views and contributions of all my colleagues,” Keenan told Beacon Hill Roll Call. “I also recognize the differences in our perspectives and the politics of the districts we represent, and these sometimes lead to differences in voting records. What has always guided me in voting is doing what I believe to be right and what best benefits my constituents and all the residents of the commonwealth.”
The only other senators who did not vote with Creem 100 percent of the time are Sen. Becca Rausch (D-Needham) and Walter Timilty (D-Milton), both of whom voted with Creem only 13 times (81.2 percent); and Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) who voted with Creem 15 times (93.7 percent),
The votes of the two Republican senators were compared with those of GOP Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) voted with Tarr 100 percent of the time while Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) voted with Tarr 93.7 percent of the time, disagreeing with Tarr on only one roll call.
SENATORS’ SUPPORT OF THEIR PARTY’S LEADERSHIP IN 2023
The percentage next to the senator’s name represents the percentage of times the senator supported his or her party’s leadership so far in 2023. The number in parentheses represents the number of times the senator opposed his or her party’s leadership.
Some senators voted on all 16 roll call votes. Others missed one or more roll calls. The percentage for each senator is calculated based on the number of roll calls on which he or she voted.
Sen. Lydia Edwards100 percent (0)
ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL
HEARINGS ON LOTTERY GAMES AND RULES – The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee held a hearing on several bills making changes in the Lottery including:
REDUCE LOTTERY LITTER (S 201) – Would require the Lottery to create a second chance Lottery game involving all paper lottery tickets and cardboard scratch tickets that do not contain winning numbers.
Supporters said this second chance game would encourage the return and recycling of millions of losing lottery tickets that otherwise are carelessly tossed out in stores and on the streets and contribute to the litter problem.
“While there is currently an anti-lottery littering regulation in place, it does not go far enough to ensure lottery tickets and scratch tickets are redeemed and recycled,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “These tickets are constantly being found on the side of the road, in our parks and in our oceans. We can do better. Massachusetts had a very successful second-chance lottery game, the Clean Fund Sweepstakes, from 2001 to 2007 and it is time we revisited the concept to help keep our public spaces clean.”
PRIVACY OF LOTTERY WINNERS (S 194) – Would allow Lottery winners to request that their names, addresses and other identifying information not be disclosed by the Lottery Commission. The measure also requires the Lottery Commission to inform a winning ticket holder of their right not to have their personal information disclosed to the public. Another provision gives winners the right to refuse to perform any public action in connection with the awarding, payment or collection of prize money.
“Private citizens should never have to worry about their personal privacy or safety should they choose to play the lottery,” said sponsor Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “Right now, the commonwealth effectively forces a prize winner to hire private legal counsel in order to remain confidential. This policy needs to change before someone is harmed by the shameless publicity and marketing sought by the Lottery, which is the only reason this bill has stalled. Personal safety is far more important than the promotion and advertisement of mere games, and I will continue to aggressively push this legislation.”
DISTRIBUTE LOTTERY REVENUE BASED ON LOTTERY SALES IN CITIES AND TOWNS (H 363) – Would require that revenue from the Lottery be apportioned to cities and towns proportionate to lottery sales in those cities and towns. Under current law, the revenue is distributed under a formula based on population.
Supporters said that towns where no or few tickets are sold are getting an unfair amount of revenue. They argued distributing the revenue based on Lottery sales is a fairer system.
“Companies who employ young workers must comply with our child labor laws and provide a safe and fair environment for them. My office remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of the state’s youngest workers, ensuring their rights are protected, and that companies are complying with the rules we have in place.”
— Attorney General Andrea Campbell upon issuing citations totaling over $370,000 against two Dunkin’ franchisees for numerous child labor violations.
“With the passage of the income tax surcharge, taxpayers are now paying more in taxes than they were a year ago. It’s time for Gov. Maura Healey, Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka to step up and do their part in making Massachusetts more affordable and efficient with how they spend taxpayer money. We cannot continue to be among the costliest states in the country if we want to be economically competitive.”
—Mass Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney upon release of a new report which Craney says ranks the Bay State as one of the most inefficient states in the country for how it spends taxpayer dollars on maintenance and administrative costs of highways.
“Our waste reduction work is another great example of how investments in environmental protection directly contribute to the economic development of our state. As we work to reduce waste from mattresses, textile, and food, Massachusetts’ entrepreneurs are stepping up with innovative businesses to power this shift. Our administration is proud to support these efforts.”
—Gov. Maura Healey on $1.1 million in grants awarded to 19 Massachusetts organizations as part of the state’s Recycling and Reuse Business Development Grant program aimed at expanding the collection of mattresses, textiles and food material.
“This expansion … will further diversify and strengthen the Massachusetts’ life sciences ecosystem. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds deserve full access to our robust life sciences sector, and our economy will be stronger because of it. We will continue to do all we can to support diverse founders looking to advance innovative therapies and products for patients around the world.”
—Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll on the launching of the expansion of the Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystems.
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 April 17-21, the House met for a total of 25 minutes while the Senate met for a total of 35 minutes.
Mon. April 17 No House session
No Senate session
Tues. April 18 House 11:04 a.m. to 11:19 a.m.
Senate 11:10 a.m. to 11:21 a.m.
Wed. April 19 No House session
No Senate session
Thurs. April 20 House 11:03 a.m. to 11:13 a.m.
Senate 11:12 a.m. to 11:36 a.m.
Fri. April 21 No House session
No Senate session
Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at email@example.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.