Committees to decide TUESDAY March 16 on David Parker Parents' Rights Bill, Transgender Rights Bill, and others.
Deadline Wednesday to either move bills forward, or send to "study"
POSTED March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, is the deadline for committees in the Mass. Legislature to either move bills forward to the floor of the Legislature -- or send them to a "study", usually the graveyard. (Actually, March 17 is "Bunker Hill Day", one of those phony state-worker holidays when the Legislature is generally closed. So the effective deadline is Tuesday, March 16.)
A "study" is effectively a graveyard, but occasionally bills get resurrected from there if there is enough interest (or pressure). A recent example of that is the "1913 Law" bill last session, which was sent to a study then months later brought back to life.
The committees also have the option for applying for an extension for individual bills they need more time for.
These decisions are officially made when the committee meets in an "executive session" (usually open to the public) and votes. In fact, what usually really happens is the House chairman simply makes the decision and the rest of the committee follows in line and does what they're told. It's rather comical to watch. We've never seen any substantive debate at these meetings, though apparently it does happen occasionally. Since there are more House members on every joint committee, the Senate chairman is relatively powerless.
On Tuesday there are two executive sessions of note:
1. Education Committee (11:30 am Room B-1)
2. Judiciary Committee. (1:00 pm Room 222)
For more information on these bills see:
We have contacted both committees -- Education and Judiciary -- to find out exactly which bills would be dealt with in Tuesday's session.. Neither of them would release a list. (Why not give a list? No particular reason.)
PLEASE call the committee chairmen NOW (click on committee links above) and let them know what YOU think!
No matter what happens, WE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT, because -- as you know -- anything is possible. Our primary goals remain the same: to PASS the David Parker bill and the bill to disband horrible the Mass. GLBT Commission. We will keep you up to date.