By Bob Katzen
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THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House and Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the number of times each representative sided with Gov. Charlie Baker on his 25 vetoes of mostly state budget items in 2021.
A two-thirds vote is required to override a gubernatorial veto. In a full 160-member House, the governor needs the support of 54 representatives to sustain a veto when all 160 representatives vote—and fewer votes when some members are absent or a seat is vacant. Baker fell short of that goal as 35 votes was the most support he received on any veto. The House easily overrode all 25 vetoes, including four that were overridden unanimously.
It was mostly the 29 GOP members who voted with the Republican governor to sustain the vetoes but no Republican representative voted with Baker 100 percent of the time.
The four GOP members who voted with Baker the most times are Reps. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk), 21 times (84.0 percent); Norman Orrall (R-Lakeville), 19 times (76.0 percent); Brad Jones (R-North Reading) and Donald Berthiaume (R-Spencer) who both voted with Baker 18 times (72.0 percent).
The three GOP members who supported Baker the least number of times were Rep. Jim Kelcourse (R-Amesbury) who voted with Baker only 12 times (48.0 percent); and Reps. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) and David Vieira (R-Falmouth) voted with Baker only 13 times (52.0 percent).
The vetoes had little support among the 129 Democrats in the House. One hundred and twenty-five (96.9 percent) did not support the governor even once. The other four (3.1 percent) voted with Baker to sustain only one veto (4.0 percent). They are Reps. Nika Elugardo (D-Jamaica Plain); Chris Markey (D-Dartmouth); Joan Meschino (D-Hull); and David Robertson (D-Tewksbury).
NUMBER OF TIMES REPRESENTATIVES SUPPORTED GOV. BAKER’S VETOES IN 2021
Here is how your representative fared in his or her support of Baker on the vetoes.
The percentage next to the representative’s name represents the percentage of times that he or she supported Baker. The number in parentheses represents the actual number of times the representative supported Baker.
Rep. Jessica Giannino 0 percent (0)
Rep. Donald Wong 60.0 percent (15)
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 27-31, the House met for a total of 29 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 37 minutes.
Mon. Dec. 27 House 11:04 a.m. to 11:27 a.m.
Senate 11:05 a.m. to 11:28 a.m.
Tues. Dec. 28 No House session
No Senate session
Wed. Dec. 29 No House session
No Senate session
Thurs. Dec. 30 House 11:01 a.m. to 11:07 a.m.
Senate 11:13 a.m. to 11:27 a.m.
Fri. Dec. 31 No House session
No Senate session
Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org