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Saugus – Volume 48 – Report No. 19 – May 19, 2023

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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 48 – Report No. 19

May 8-12, 2023

Copyright © 2023 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.

By Bob Katzen 

   GET A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO MASSTERLIST – Join more than 25,000 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, in Massachusetts politics, policy, media and influence. The stories are drawn from major news organizations as well as specialized publications selected by MASSterlist’s new editor, Erin Tiernan, with help from Matt Murphy. Both are pros, with a wealth of experience, who introduce each article in their own clever 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: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/aPTLucK  

   THE HOUSE AND SENATE: This week’s report is on the latest fundraising and expenditure numbers for the state’s 40 senators’ campaign committees from the latest filing period of April 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023. It also includes how much money each senator has on hand as of April 30, 2023. The numbers are from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. 

   To get more information and details on any senator’s fundraising and expenditures, go to www.ocpf.us  Click on “Filer listing” under “Browse candidates”” and then type the name of your senator in the box that says “Filter by name” in the upper left-hand corner of the page. 


  The senator with the most cash on hand is Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) who currently has $805,440.91 in his campaign account.

   Rounding out the top ten senators with the most cash on hand are Sens. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) $657,981.09; Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) $462,453.49; Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) $308,264.53; Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) $217,377.61; William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) $210,789.49; Julian Cyr (D-Truro) $197,654.27; Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) $175,058.35; Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) $154,132.47 and Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) $149,735.90.


   The senator with the least cash on hand is Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) whose campaign account currently has a negative balance of -$722.50. 

   Rounding out the bottom five senators with the least cash on hand are Sens. Pavel Payano (D-Lawrence) $258.81; Liz Miranda (D-Boston) $1,089.79; Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) $4,644.61; and Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) $7,528.63.


   The senator who raised the most money is Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) who raised $65,650.65.

   Rounding out the top five senators who raised the most money are Sens. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) $29,731.10; Mike Moore (D-Millbury) $23,825.92; Adam Gomez (D-Springfield) $20,128.23; and John Cronin (D-Lunenburg)  $14,164.34.


   There are nine senators who raised $0: Sens. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn); Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett); Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton); Edward Kennedy (D-Lowell); Joan Lovely (D-Salem); Pavel Payano (D-Lawrence); Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester); Walter Timilty (D-Milton); and John Velis (D-Westfield).       


   The senator who spent the most money is Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) who spent $44,153.13.

   Rounding out the top five senators who spent the most money are Sens. Nick Collins (D-Boston) $10,800.73; Julian Cyr (D-Truro) $7,439.99; Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) $6,598.15; and Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport) $5,941.98.


   The senator who spent the least amount of money is Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Lowell) who spent $0.

   Rounding out the top five senators who spent the least money are Sens. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) $37.19;  Pavel Payano (D-Lawrence) $147.67; Adam Gomez (D-Springfield) $223.53; and Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) $238.73.


    Here is the total amount of cash your local senators have on hand.

Sen. Brendan Crighton$80,271.97                              


   Here is the total amount of money your local senators raised in April 2023.

Sen. Brendan Crighton$0.00                                   


   Here is the total amount of money your local senators spent in April 2023.

Sen. Brendan Crighton$1,173.61                               


   DON’T MISS THIS HEALTHCARE EVENT ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 – Massachusetts health care survived many challenges during the COVID pandemic, but the sector now faces a new crisis: An acute labor shortage across the continuum of care as well as the prospect of difficult financial challenges. 

   Join MASSterList and the State House News Service for an important policy event focusing on the causes and possible solutions to treat Massachusetts’ ailing health care system, featuring health care leaders and policymakers. The event is on the morning of Wednesday, May 24, at the MCLE in Boston (Downtown Crossing). Tickets and more information can be found here: 


   HOMEOWNERS WHO FACE FORECLOSURE (S 921) – The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on legislation that would prohibit cities and towns that foreclose on properties on which the owner owes back property taxes, from keeping all of the profits when the city or town sells the property at auction. It would repeal the current law that allows municipalities to keep all of the profits—even if the amount of the profit far exceeds the amount of back taxes owed.

   “Massachusetts foreclosure law wrongly takes away people’s homes for even a small debt and allows municipalities to profit off their home equity well beyond the debt owed—leaving the homeowners vulnerable to housing and economic instability,” said sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “These homeowners are losing hard-earned equity and life savings, losing homes with precious family memories and also facing housing instability due to predatory tax foreclosure practice.”

   MAKE IT EASIER TO SELL FOOD MADE AT HOME (S 553) – The Agriculture Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would allow home cooks to sell their home-made foods that carry a low risk of foodborne illness—those that do not need to be temperature-controlled—without a local health department or zoning permit. These so-called “cottage foods” would only be allowed to be sold directly to the consumer in person, at farmers markets, public events, roadside stands, by telephone, Internet or mail delivery. Products include jams, uncut fruits and vegetables, pickled vegetables, hard candies, fudge, nut mixes, granola, coffee beans, popcorn and some baked goods including breads, biscuits, cookies, churros, pastries and tortillas.

   “Technicalities should not prevent small businesses and farmers from stimulating rural economies and improving economic development,” said sponsor Sen. Jake Oliveira (D-Ludlow). “My legislation … will break down the barriers that prevent rural small business owners from operating, spur competition in the market and create better prices for consumers.

   Supporters, noting that 49 states allow cottage food sales, say that during the pandemic, selling cottage food provided a lifeline for unemployed Massachusetts residents and noted consumers also enjoy having access to local food. They argue that by following the lead of these 49 other states, Massachusetts can support food entrepreneurs, create economic opportunities and increase access to locally made food.

   TAX CREDIT FOR DONATION OF OYSTER SHELLS (S 466) – Another  measure heard by the Agriculture Committee would provide a tax credit of $5 per full 5-gallon bucket to individuals or businesses that donate oyster shells to an oyster shell recycling organization.

   “A shell recycling tax credit presents a creative and thoughtful tool to help diminish land fill waste, create habitat and mitigate pollution in our waters,” said sponsor Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “A $5 tax credit per 5-gallon bucket of recycled shells for restaurants will help encourage this environmentally friendly practice.”

   INSPECTION STICKER (H 1044) – The Financial Services Committee held a hearing on a measure that would prohibit failure to get a vehicle inspection from resulting in a surcharge on the car’s owner’s insurance.


   “Being late on a motor vehicle inspection (expired inspection sticker) should not result in an insurance surcharge, which could be counted towards a suspension of a driver’s license,” said sponsor Rep. Steve Howitt (R-Seekonk). “It should not be comparable to a moving violation.”

   INSURANCE COMPANIES MUST NOTIFY DRIVER (H 1059) – Another bill heard by the Financial Services Committee would require insurance companies to provide a written notification to customers when the company charges a fee to process an electronic payment transaction for an automobile insurance policy. 

    “I filed this bill after hearing from a constituent who was being charged by their insurance company for making online payments and had never been notified that they would be subject to these fees,” said sponsor GOP Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading). “This is a pro-consumer bill that will help to ensure that insurance companies provide full disclosure to their policyholders on any additional fees they may assess for conducting these types of transactions.”

   TAX CREDITS FOR FAMILIES CARING FOR ILL OR ELDERLY LOVED ONES AT HOME (S 1906 and S 1908) – The Revenue Committee held a hearing on a pair of bills filed by Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) which would offer tax credits to families taking care of sick or elderly relatives at home. 

   S 1906 would provide a $2,500 tax credit for families that provide more than half of the support for a relative who is at least 70 years old, or a totally disabled relative with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. The relative must have lived with the family for more than six months within the year the tax credit is provided.

   S 1908 would offer a $5,000 tax credit to individuals who pay for direct home health services for themselves or elderly parents and in-laws aged 60 and over. The legislation would also allow a $5,000 tax credit to individuals who pay for direct home hospice services from a licensed provider for either themselves or another. 


   “Caregivers are most often family members,” said the bills’ sponsor Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “Whether they’re staying home to take care of family or bringing in additional help, these individuals shouldn’t have to worry about difficult financial decisions. These bills seek to ease their burden and allow them to spend more quality time with their loved ones.”

   EXPAND THE THE BAN ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES WHERE CHILDREN ARE PRESENT (S 444) – The Environment and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would expand a current law which restricts pesticide application where children are present including outdoor property of a school, childcare center or school age childcare program while children are located in, on or adjacent to the area of the pesticide application. The bill would expand the current restrictions to include property occupied by the Department of Children and Families, facilities of the Juvenile Court, facilities of the Department of Youth Services and sports fields used for town youth teams.  

   “I believe this bill would help to protect children in and around [these] facilities from pesticide exposure,” said sponsor Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont).


   “It took over a decade but as a result of this litigation and with credit due to the brave officers who filed this case, the commonwealth is now taking steps to create a police promotional exam that will fairly treat Black and Hispanic candidates. This outcome means the officers are going to get some substantial money.”

   — Harold Lichten, lead attorney for the police officers who won a $40 million settlement between the state and a class of minority police officers resolving claims made in the class action lawsuit that a promotional exam used by various police departments discriminates against minority police officers who took the exam.

    “When valid alternative methods are available, there is absolutely no reason why we should allow any company to experiment on such precious creatures. This legislation will enhance protections for these animals and assure consumers that the products they purchase are not created to the detriment of these living beings.”

   —Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) on his legislation that would require companies to use non-animal-based testing methods for cosmetics and other household products.

   “By allowing all eligible students to receive in-state tuition, Massachusetts would make college dramatically more affordable for tens of thousands of individuals currently without status in the commonwealth. Tuition equity would increase enrollment at state colleges and universities and create a stronger, more empowered workforce to drive our state’s future.”

     Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)  Coalition Executive Director Elizabeth Sweet on a Senate budget proposal that would allow some undocumented/illegal immigrants to qualify for lower in-state tuition rates if they attended high school in the Bay State for at least three years and graduated or completed high school Graduation Equivalency Degree.

   “While our audit of the Legislature is ongoing, yes, leadership is still refusing to comply. So, in order to conduct this audit in the most meaningful way, our office is currently reviewing every possible legal step we may unfortunately need to take to support the completion of our audit, as a result of their continued non-compliance.”

   —State Auditor Diana DiZoglio telling the State House News Service about the status of DiZoglio’s plan to audit the Legislature which has met with resistance from House Speaker Ron Mariano (D-Quincy) who says her intent is without legal support or precedent, and runs contrary to multiple, explicit provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution.

   HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and enate 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 May 8-12, the House met for a total of 21 minutes and the Senate met for a total of 20 minutes.

Mon.   May 8       House  11:04 a.m. to  11:16 a.m.

                   Senate 11:10 a.m. to  11:18 a.m.

Tues.  May 9       No House session

                   No Senate session

Wed.   May 10      No House session

                   No Senate session


Thurs. May 11      House  11:00 a.m. to  11:09 a.m.                   

                   Senate 11:04 a.m. to  11:16 a.m.

Fri.   May 12      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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