Beacon Hill Roll Call

Published: 1/1/2019 12:43:41 PM

By BOB KATZEN

BOSTON — THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call concludes a series of reports on how local legislators voted on legislation that was approved in the 2017-2018 session by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The 2017-2018 Legislative session ended Jan. 1 and the new 2019-2020 session begins on Jan. 2.

$3.8 BILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS (H 4549) — The House 145-3, Senate 38-0, approved a $3.8 billion bond package allowing the state to borrow funds for improvements to state and local buildings, facilities and grounds across the state which would include repairs, reconstruction, demolition, remediation, rehabilitation, modernization, disposition and renovations.

Provisions include $950 million for state universities and colleges; $760 million for courts and $500 million for police stations, fire stations and other public safety-related buildings.

The package includes earmarks for hundreds of millions of dollars for hundreds of projects in legislators’ districts across the state — many of which will never be funded. The Baker administration is required to adhere to the state’s annual bond borrowing cap and ultimately decides which projects are affordable and actually get funded.

Sometimes legislators will immediately tout the inclusion of local projects in these bond bills, especially in an election year to show they “brought home the bacon.” But Beacon Hill Roll Call informs readers that none of the projects in this package have been funded and most will end up never being funded because of the debt limit.

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Donald Berthiaume Yes; Rep. Kimberly Ferguson Yes; Rep. Stephen Kulik Yes ;Rep. Susannah Whipps Yes; Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik Yes; Sen. Anne Gobi Yes.

RAISE MINIMUM WAGE, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE AND SALES TAX HOLIDAY (H 4640) — The House 119-24, Senate 30-8, approved a bill that over five years would hike the minimum wage from $11 to $15, increase the wage for tipped workers from $3.75 to $6.75 and phase out over five years extra pay for employees who work on Sundays and holidays; institute a permanent sales tax holiday on a weekend every August; and establish a $1 billion family and medical leave program funded by a payroll tax paid for by both employers and employees.

(A "Yes" vote is for the bill. A "No" vote is against it).

Rep. Donald Berthiaume No; Rep. Kimberly Ferguson No; Rep. Stephen Kulik Yes; Rep. Susannah Whipps Yes; Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik Yes; Sen. Anne Gobi Yes.

RED FLAG ON GUNS (H 4670) — The House 133-15, Senate 36-1, approved a bill that would allow family or household members to petition the courts to issue an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) that would suspend a person’s license to carry a firearm and order him or her to surrender his or her firearms and ammunition if he or she is believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

(A "Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Donald Berthiaume No; Rep. Kimberly Ferguson Yes; Rep. Stephen Kulik Yes; Rep. Susannah Whipps No; Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik No; Sen. Anne Gobi Yes.

REPEAL ARCHAIC SEX AND ABORTION LAWS (S 2260) — The House 138-9, Senate 38-0, approved a bill that would eliminate old state laws restricting or banning abortion and contraception.

The laws repealed include the ban on unmarried people accessing abortion and contraception; the ban on distributing information on how to procure contraception or abortion care; a law which punishes doctors, pharmacists and all healthcare providers for distributing contraception or providing abortion care; and a ban on adultery and fornication.

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against it.)

Rep. Donald Berthiaume Yes; Rep. Kimberly Ferguson Yes; Rep. Stephen Kulik Didn't Vote; Rep. Susannah Whipps Yes; Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik Yes; Sen. Anne Gobi Yes.

Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com.


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