Page 18 THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022 If you have any questions about this week’s report, e-mail us at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com or call us at (617) 720-1562 both the $1 billion and the $2.5 bilGET 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 selected by widely acclaimed and highly experienced writers Keith Regan and Matt Murphy who introduce each article in their own clever and inimitable way. 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 representatives’ and senators’ votes on roll calls from the 7-day period of Monday, July 25 to Sunday, July 31. The House and Senate held lengthy sessions. Beacon Hill Roll Call will continue to report on the dozens of roll calls over the next few reports. While the House and Senate approved many bills, one measure that stood out was a bill that didn’t get approved. The House and Senate had previously approved diff erent versions of a $4.57 billion economic development package which included some $1 billion in tax relief -$500 million in one-time tax rebates and $500 million for several permanent tax cuts. A conference committee was working on hammering out a compromise version but talks stalled because of the recent “discovery” of 62F, a 1986 law approved by the voters. That law requires that tax revenue above a certain amount collected by the state go back to the taxpayers. It is estimated that the 1986 law would return $2.5 billion in fi scal year 2022 revenue to Massachusetts taxpayers. The conference committee did not act on the economic development bill so the $1 billion in tax relief is still bottled up in the conference committee. In the meantime, legislators are discussing the $3 billion windfall. Some legislators favor repealing the law which has only been used once since 1986. Others say the law should not be repealed and the $2.5 billion should go back to taxpayers. House Speaker Ron Mariano (DQuincy) said last Friday that he would consider all courses of action, up to and including altogether scrapping the $2.5 billion in tax relief. “Sure, it’s an option,” Mariano told reporters when asked if lawmakers would consider undoing the trigger enshrined 62F. “Everything’s on the table. We could undo the law, we could change it, we could postpone.” But three days later on Monday, Mariano said that 62F is the law of the land and it’s going to happen. “The governor has said it’s the law of the land and that’s worth, he thinks, $2.5 billion but he’s not even sure, and he thinks he can get it out this year. So I think that’s an important return to the taxpayers.” Gov. Baker said that he thinks that lion are aff ordable in tandem. “CLT’s tax cap law (Chapter 62F) is still working exactly as designed and intended,” said Chip Ford, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, which put the tax cap proposal on the 1986 ballot. “That it was triggered only once in 1987 before now isn’t a bug but a feature. Nobody can say with a straight face that multi-billions of dollars of excess revenue raked in over the past two years should remain with the state and not be returned to those from whom it was unnecessarily extracted.” “Let’s face it, the Speaker and Senate President have never had any record on giving back money to the taxpayers, so early morning news that they failed to act once again should surprise no one,” said Paul Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “Instead of spending the last few days passing tax relief, they spent them trying to hold onto as much taxpayer money as humanly possible. Despite record tax collections, Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka have proven once again they are so greedy, they rather scrap an entire economic development bill than having to give even a penny more back to taxpayers.” REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE (H 5090) House 137-16, Senate 40-0, approved and Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill designed to further protect reproductive health care and those who perform abortions in the Bay State. The measure specifically declares that both reproductive health care and gender-affi rming care are rights secured by the constitution or laws of Massachusetts and would shield providers of reproductive and gender-affi rming care and their patients from out-of-state legal action. The measure would ensure that patients over 24 weeks of pregnancy are able to receive an abortion in Massachusetts because of a grave fetal diagnosis that indicates the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside of the uterus without extraordinary medical interventions and requires that those decisions are made between the patient and their treating physician. Other provisions include preventing the state’s cooperation with antiabortion and anti-gender-affi rming care laws in other states; mandating health insurance coverage for abortion and abortion-related care with no cost-sharing; ensuring access to emergency contraception; and providing confi dentiality to providers of reproductive and gender-affi rming care; clarifying that vending machines may dispense over-the-counter drugs, such as Plan B – the “morning after” pill; and ensuring access to medication abortion on all public college and university campuses. “Massachusetts remains steadfast in its commitment to protect access to reproductive health care services, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “The court’s decision has major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to these services, and our administration took quick action in the hours following that decision by issuing an Executive Order to protect access here in the commonwealth. This new legislation signed today builds on that action by protecting patients and providers from legal interference from more restrictive laws in other states.” “Everyone deserves the right to decide whether and when to start a family, no matter where they live, how much money they make, or who they are,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “But across half the states, millions of people are in danger of losing that right after the Supreme Court’s shameful decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. As extremist politicians in other states move to ban or severely restrict abortion, Massachusetts lawmakers have stepped up to meet the moment and lead in the other direction, passing a historic law that makes care more aff ordable and available.” “With this bill, the Legislature gave Planned Parenthood a blank check to rewrite our commonwealth’s abortion laws, and Gov. Baker signed it for them,” said Andrew Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Family Institute. “Beacon Hill is working to make Massachusetts a regional hub for late term abortion and to undermine every pro-life law in the nation.” “In the face of an increasing amount of anti-abortion and antigender-affi rming care laws enacted across the country, Massachusetts continues to serve as a national leader in protecting these essential rights with the passage of this legislation,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), the lead sponsor of the measure and Senate chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing. “We must do everything we can to protect the rights of our providers, patients and visitors to the commonwealth. “As a candidate for governor in 2014, Charlie Baker was sold as a Bill Weld style Republican---socially liberal but fi scally conservative,” said Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle. “The abortion expansion bill which he signed … imposes new burdens on taxpayers and business owners, increases the scope of government---with state colleges now dispensing Plan B abortion pills---and denies personal freedom of choice for those opposed to abortion. There is no conscience clause for pharmacists, business owners or nonprofi t organizations, and the religious exemption is so narrowly drawn that most Catholic educational institutions will not qualify under it. Baker’s legacy on this legislation is one of higher spending, bigger government, and less personal freedom.” “In the face of fi ve individuals on our Supreme Court deciding to allow states to treat women as second-class citizens by denying them the federal right to control their own bodies, I am proud that we in Massachusetts instead have reaffi rmed that women do indeed have equal rights and privacy interests that we will always defend,” said Rep. Mike Day (D-Stoneham), House Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary. “This bill tells other states who would roll back women’s rights that their laws will have no effect on our residents, that we will protect our health professionals who offer legal health care services and that the decision to have a child will not be dictated by a state law or access to healthcare.” “Gov. Baker wasted no time in signing the expanded abortion bill … into law on Friday,” said Patricia Stewart, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. “Disappointing as this news is, it only strengthens our resolve to work to pass protective pro-life measures that will safeguard women facing unplanned pregnancies and their unborn children from the insatiable, abortion-hungry apostles of death in this commonwealth. We must elect pro-life legislators with the courage to stand up for their convictions and the confi dence to affi rm publicly that every life is sacred. This goal may seem beyond reach in Massachusetts, but we fi ght on the side of the angels. So take heart, we have just begun.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against the bill). Rep. Jessica Giannino Rep. Jeff Turco Sen. Lydia Edwards Ye s No Ye s SPORTS WAGERING (H 5164) House 151-2, Senate 36-4, approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would legalize sports betting on professional and college sports for Massachusetts residents over 21 years old. Betting on Massachusetts colleges and universities would not be allowed unless the school is playing in a tournament like March Madness. The betting would be regulated by the Gaming Commission, the same commission that regulates the state’s casino gambling. “Once signed by the governor, this new law will open a new industry for our commonwealth, creating jobs and economic growth,” said sponsor Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow). “It will also safeguard consumers and athletes with some of the strongest protections in the country while maintaining the integrity of sports.” “The Massachusetts Legislature just pulled out all the stops, suspended several rules, and pulled an epic all-nighter to legalize sports betting,” said Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). And yet, important housing justice provisions such as local rent stabilization, right to counsel in eviction and foreclosure matters, local option real estate transfer fees to support the production of affordable housing, tenant opportunity to purchase legislation, and eviction records sealing provisions) were all left for dead. As a product of public housing and a longtime renter, this makes me question our priorities. While I recognize there’s a compelling case in support of legalized sports betting and didn’t want to kill the bill, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable at how gambling was a “must do” this session but so many other urgent issues were either lesser priorities or ignored entirely.” “Massachusetts residents are passionate about their sports. This legislation will allow fans to bet on their favorite teams but do so in a regulated manner that promotes responsible gaming, while bringing in millions of dollars of revenue that has been going to our neighboring states or to illegal online operators and bookies,” said Rep. Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly), House Chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “For those who are vulnerable to gambling addiction and their families, the legalization of sports betting and the coming onslaught of gambling-related advertising will have devastating consequences,” said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton). “And for everyone else, sports betting still amounts to a regressive tax—one that will redistribute wealth from working people to the biggest players in the gambling industry. I’m also concerned about the eff ect that this law will have on amateur college athletes, who will face additional scrutiny, pressure, and temptation. Higher education leaders in the commonwealth have been clear that allowing wagering on collegiate contests will harm student athletes.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill. A “No” vote is against the bill). Rep. Jessica Giannino Rep. Jeff Turco Sen. Lydia Edwards Ye s Ye s Ye s PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS (H 5104) House 153-0, Senate 39-0, approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would accelerate improvements to local and regional public health systems across the state to address disparities in public health services by requiring the Department of Public Health to enshrine a set of standards for foundational public health services. The measure creates minimum public health standards for every city and town; incentivizes municipalities to share services; creates a uniform data collection and dedicates state funding to support local boards of health and health departments. “With the passage of this legislation, a person’s zip code will no longer determine the public health protections that they are aff orded and local public health offi cials will have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “All residents should be able to expect high-quality public health services regardless of where they live,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (DAshland). “This legislation puts into practice the lessons learned during the pandemic by increasing support for local boards of public health and ensuring that all communities in the commonwealth are well prepared to respond to public health challenges.” “The Legislature has focused on public health in a comprehensive, deliberative process since 2015 with the establishment of a special commission,” said House sponsor Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham). “The Special Commission’s 2019 report exposed the fractures in local public health, and the covid public health crisis only magnifi ed those inequities. The bill provides the tools and direction to move local and regional public health forward.” (A “Yes” vote is for the bill). Rep. Jessica Giannino Rep. Jeff Turco Sen. Lydia Edwards Ye s Ye s Ye s SOLDIERS’ HOMES OVERSIGHT BILL (H 5106) House 153-0, Senate 40-0, approved and sent to the governor a bill that would make major changes to the oversight and governance structure of the state’s veterans’ homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. The proposal follows the deaths of 77 veteran residents in 2020 as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke facility. A key provision would elevate the Department of Veterans Services to a cabinetlevel executive offi ce with direct reporting to the governor and the ability to hire and fi re superintendents. Other provisions include requiring superintendents of the two soldiers’ homes to be licensed as nursing home administrators and that they oversee day-to-day management and operation of the homes; requiring two annual home inspections by the Department of Health; creating an independent Offi ce of the Veteran Advocate; maintaining local Board of Trustees and creating a statewide advisory Veterans’ Home Council. “This legislation contains important BEACON | SEE Page 20

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