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Transgender Bill (H1728) & other "culture war" bills still in limbo

Judiciary Committee attempting to get extension until June 30 to decide

POSTED: May 19, 2010

The deadline came and went. And nothing happened. Everybody's been asking about the status of this, so here's the latest . . .

As we reported in our last email, the deadline was extended until Tuesday, May 18 -- yesterday -- for the Judiciary Committee to decide on the various bills still before them. The Committee must decide whether to move the bills forward for a full vote by the House and Senate or "kill" them by putting them in a "study".

Among those bills are the radical Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes Bill (H1728) and other "culture war" bills (listed below).  In all, there are over 200 other bills still in the Judiciary Committee and even more in other committees, which are also looking for extensions. (This is a clear indication that our legislature is meddling so much in our lives they just can't keep up! How about a moratorium on writing absurd bills?)

They apparently need more time to decide on these bills. A staffer told us yesterday that the Judiciary Committee is trying to get the full House and Senate to grant them a further formal extension until June 30. They had hoped to get it before now, he said. But until something happens, they'll be waiting day to day.

Bill extensions being blocked by Sen. Tisei

Actually, the Legislature has tried on several occasions over the last few weeks to grant blanket extensions. The House has been willing to grant the extensions. But each time the Senate tries to vote on it, it gets blocked by Sen. Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield), a co-sponsor of the Transgender Bill.

According to transcripts from State House News, Tisei (who is also the Senate Minority Leader) has been insisting that committees have had enough time and should decide now. He's also demanded an exact count of the bills still in play, which for some reason the clerks' offices have had difficulty providing. Every time it comes up, Tisei starts making speeches.

We suspect that Tisei is concerned about the Transgender Bill and wants to make sure it gets passed. As we've reported, he recently told a homosexual magazine that he considers the Transgender Bill very high priority. And if the Judiciary gets a further extension until June 30, that's dangerously close the July 31 end of the formal Legislative session, and it could slip off altogether.

Tisei probably also knows how uncomfortable most legislators are with the bill, despite the fact that the homosexual lobby is demanding its passage, and that the longer this bill -- and other contentious "culture war" bills -- are in committee the easier it is for the average pol.

However, we suspect that there's a greater chance that full Senate will overrule anything Tisei can do and grant the extension. That could happen any day.

We will continue to be on top of this for you.