The following was provided by the office of Senator James Timilty.
Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole), who represents Mansfield, recently announced the Senate has adopted an amendment to the Joint Rules governing the 188th General Court, which aims to improve transparency and fairness in the legislative process.
The amendment, filed by Timilty, would limit the number of bills allowed to be taken up in a public hearing to no more than 35 bills at a time. Currently there is no limit on the number of bills allowed to be taken up at a time.
“This rule is about keeping the process fair and ensuring that when a family travels to the State House to testify on a particular issue, committee chairs give them their fullest attention,” said Senator Timilty. “All too often we see committee agendas inundated with bills which can be discouraging and we need to make certain that the process allows the citizens who send us here enough time to testify.”
The amendment, which passed the Senate unanimously, will be sent back to the House of Representatives for their consideration.
In other Senate news, Senator Timilty is proud to announce that Senate President Therese Murray has re-appointed him to the position of Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security for the 2013-2014 legislative sessions.
“I am honored to continue my role as the Senate’s leader on public safety matters and I am honored and thankful that Senate President Murray has once again appointed me to this position,” said Senator Timilty. “Keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe has always been one of my top priorities. As Chairman of the Committee I will continue to pursue innovative ways to improve public safety, maintain jobs and reduce the fiscal burden placed on our municipalities.”
In addition to his chairmanship, Senator Timilty has also been appointed Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue and will also serve as a member of the Joint Committees on Municipalities and Regional Government, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
Now that committee assignments have been completed, the legislature will soon begin scheduling public hearings to discuss the myriad of bills referred to their respective committees. The House of Representatives anticipates the release of its version of the FY2014 Budget in late April, with the Senate following suit in late May.