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New England News

Mass. Senate Pres. Says Practice Needs To Change, Not Joint Committee System

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Jim Levulis
/
WAMC

Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says the legislature’s current system of joint committees is fine when working properly. But, the Democrat doesn’t think that’s the case nowadays.Senate President Rosenberg says over the past 20 years changes to rules and culture have slowed or prevented bills from leaving the 25 joint committees in which House members outnumber Senators.

“It used to be that in a two-year term legislation came out by the third week of April of both the first year of the term and the second year of the term and went back to the branch of origination,” Rosenberg said. “The carryover of legislation from one year to the second year of the term has resulted in creating backlogs in the committees.”

Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo has rejected proposed changes, saying the joint committee structure has served the state well.

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