Page 16 THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2024 ably the most important part of our legislative process.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A By Bob Katzen If you have any questions about this week’s report, e-mail us at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com or call us at (617) 720-1562 Volume 49 — Report No. 5 January 29-Februay 2, 2024 Copyright © 2024 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved. GET A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO MASSTERLIST — Join more than 22,000 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 infl uence. The stories are drawn from major news organizations as well as specialized publications. 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: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local senators’ votes on roll calls from the week of January 29-February 2. There were no roll call in the House last week. APPROVE FIREARMS BILL (S 2572) Senate 37-3, approved a bill that would change some of the state’s gun laws. The House has already approved a different version of the measure and a House-Senate conference committee will try to hammer out a compromise version. Provisions in the Senate bill include cracking down on the spread of ghost guns — unserialized and untraceable fi rearms; codifying the state’s existing prohibition on assault weapons; making it illegal to possess devices that convert semi-automatic fi rearms into fully automatic machine guns; giving firearm licensing authorities access to some of a gun permit applicant’s mental health hospitalization history; prohibiting the carrying of fi rearms in government administrative buildings, with exceptions for law enforcement offi cers and municipalities that choose to opt out; allowing health care professionals to petition courts to remove fi rearms and licenses from patients who pose a risk to themselves or others; and creating a commission to analyze the allocation of state violence prevention funding and recommend changes to reduce gun violence in disproportionately impacted communities. “Concern for public safety, a commitment to equity, respect for the Second Amendment, and a focus on the root causes of gun crime and gun accidents—these principles underlie each of the policies included in the bill the Senate passed today,” said Sen. Cindy Creem (DNewton), the chief sponsor of the measure. “I’m proud of the collaborative eff ort that went into the [the bill] and I look forward to seeing these policies signed into law by the end of [the 2024] session.” “Today the Senate came together and acted on gun violence—rising above the divisiveness of this critical issue in the name of protecting our residents from gun crime, modernizing our laws and supporting communities who have been torn apart by unnecessary violence,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “I’m proud to lead a body that is committed to building on our commonwealth’s record as a national leader on gun safety. “ “Despite not having a public hearing on the gun bill which means the public didn’t have the opportunity to weigh in on it and despite having one of the lowest gun crime rates in the country, the Massachusetts Senate voted in favor of more restrictive laws for gun owners in the commonwealth,” said Sen. Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “The bill went too far infringing upon lawful gun owners rights while not going far enough to attack illegal firearm trafficking and unlawful possession … I was disappointed we didn’t do more to penalize career criminals perpetrating the vast majority of gun crime in the commonwealth. We need to spend our time and eff ort on addressing security issues at the border that will prevent guns and substances from entering the country at rates as high as they are now.” “I voted against this bill because I have deep concerns with a number of provisions that I feel lead us into a constitutional gray area and risk opening up our great gun laws to legal challenge in front of the Supreme Court,” said Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “In a fairly unprecedented move, this bill also did not have a public hearing, which is argu“No” vote is against it.) Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes SEND BILL BACK TO COMMITTEE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING (S 2572) Senate 9-31, rejected a motion to send the fi rearms bill to the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security in order to have a public hearing on it. “Sending this bill to the Joint Committee on Public Safety [and Homeland Security] will allow for it to have a public hearing where industry experts and people from all walks of life can weigh in and share their perspectives,” said Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “Public hearings are one of our greatest assets as legislators, and forgoing the opportunity to hold one on this bill is a disservice to ourselves as legislators and our constituents.” Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton) said that in November, the Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on 57 fi rearm-related bills, many of which provide the foundation of the current bill under consideration. “Given that the policies in the bill have been vetted both at the public hearing and through months of conversations with senators, gun safety advocates, gun owners’ groups, gun industry groups, police chiefs, district attorneys and health care professionals, the [bill is] ready for consideration on the Senate fl oor.” (A “Yes” vote is for sending the bill back to the committee. A “No” vote is against sending it to committee.) Sen. Lydia Edwards No SUBSTITUTE NEW VERSION OF BILL (S 2572) Senate 6-33, rejected an amendment to substitute an alternative version of the fi rearms bill in place of the current one. “This amendment was fi led so that I could go on the record in support of commonsense gun control measures,” said sponsor Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “The provisions in this amendment maintain focus on gun violence reduction and prevention while respecting the rights aff orded in the Second Amendment.” “The proposed amendment would have removed several components of the Senate bill that will make Massachusetts a safer place, including its codifi cation of our existing assault weapons law, its provisions ensuring that firearm licensing authorities are aware of an applicant’s history of involuntary mental health hospitalizations and its provisions empowering Massachusetts residents to hold the gun industry accountable if they are harmed due to reckless industry practices,” said Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “The Senate bill does more to prevent gun violence, gun crime and gun accidents than the amendment’s proposed alternative.” (A “Yes” vote is for the alternative bill. A “No” vote is against it.) Sen. Lydia Edwards No MARKETING GUNS TO PEOPLE UNDER 18 (S 2572) Senate 37-2, approved an amendment that would allow fi rearm companies to “design, advertise, market, import or sell at wholesale or retail a fi rearm industry product in a manner that recommends or encourages persons under the age of 18 to participate lawfully in hunting or shooting sports.” Under Massachusetts law, applicants for a Firearms Identification Card (FID) must be 18 years or older — or can be 14—17 years of age with parental consent. While applicants 14 years old may apply, a card will not be issued until they reach age 15. “Sponsoring this amendment enables us as a Legislature, to implement laws that respects the constitutional right to bear arms and instill the importance of fi rearm safety to our youth when they engage in lawful activities such as hunting and competitive shooting sports,” said sponsor Sen. Adam Gomez (D-Springfi eld). “This approach balances the interests of a variety of stakeholders and sets a precedent for responsible participation.” “I have consistently opposed the advertising or marketing to minors of dangerous products, whether they be vaping, alcohol, marijuana, sports betting or guns,” said Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy) who opposed the amendment. (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment. A “No” vote is against it.) Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes LEGACY” GUNS (S 2572) Senate 39-0, approved an amendment to clarify that certain guns legally bought prior to 2016 are “legacy” weapons, and can still be legally held, though this new Senate bill would make new purchases of such weapons illegal. “The Senate’s intention, in codifying our existing assault weapons ban was to enshrine the current law without changing the status of any fi rearms that are currently legally owned in the commonwealth,” said sponsor Sen. Cindy Creem (DNewton). “This … amendment removes any ambiguity on that point, making absolutely clear that a firearm that is legally owned in Massachusetts today will still be legally owned when [this bill] becomes law.” (A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.) Sen. Lydia Edwards Yes ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL BAN EMPLOYERS FROM ASKING FOR CREDIT REPORTS (H 2372) — The House gave initial approval to a proposal that would prohibit employers from obtaining the credit reports of existing or potential employees except in certain circumstances including hiring for a position that requires national security clearance; a position for which a person is required by federal or state law to obtain a consumer report; and some executive or managerial positions at a fi nancial institution. “Massachusetts has moved one step closer to ending employment credit check discrimination,” said former Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), chair of the Committee on Workforce Development, who resigned from the House to become Gov. Maura Healey’s Undersecretary of Apprenticeship, Work-based Learning and Policy in the Executive Offi ce of Labor and Workforce Development. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made towards eliminating needless barriers to employment for otherwise qualifi ed employees and am confi dent my colleagues will see this bill through to the fi nish line.” “Credit reports should not be a part of the hiring process,” said Chi Chi Wu, senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “They don’t predict job performance they are riddled with errors, and the scores blatantly refl ect racial inequities and injustices,” ILLEGAL FIREWORKS (H 3634) — The Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a bill that would amend current law which imposes a fi ne between $10 and $100 on anyone convicted of illegal possession or use of fi reworks. The bill would increase the penalty, in areas with a population density of 1,000 or more persons per square mile, to a fine of between $200 and $500 and/ or a prison sentence or up to six months. “The misuse of fi reworks poses a signifi cant threat to public safety, property and the wellbeing of our communities,” said sponsor Rep. Rodney Elliott (D-Lowell). “The current fi ne is less than a parking ticket. By increasing fi nes for illegal fi reworks usage, we not only deter irresponsible behavior but also send a clear message that the safety of our citizens is eminent.” Elliott continued, “Fireworks, when used improperly, can cause devastating fi res, severe injuries and signifi cant distress to individuals, pets etc. There have been 979 fires and ex

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