... Like most issues, short-term rental regulation inspires little debate in House ...... Health care confidentiality bill nearing Gov. Baker's desk ...... Lynn finances bill on the move in Senate ...... Lawmakers ready to pass bill to avoid health insure price spike for about 1,000 retired teachers ...... New Rep. Fiola bill calls for look at "logistical issues" related to outpatient methadone centers ...... Facing pressure over funding, Peyser emphasizes importance of education strategies ...... House advances bill taxing, regulating short-term rentals in Massachusetts ...... Baker files bill addressing health insurance options for municipal retirees ...... Rep. Gordon's sexual harassment investigation bill sent to Judicary Committee ...... MBTA's years-old promise of reliable wi-fi remains distant dream for commuter rail riders ...... BLS: Boston households paid electricity prices 68 percent higher than national average in February 2018 ...... Goldman Sachs CEO to speak at BC chief execs club on March 22 ...
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RETURNS: The House returned to order at 12:00 p.m. with Rep. Donato presiding. Reps. Garballey and Vieira were also present.

PLEDGE: Members, staff and guests rose to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

RESOLUTIONS: The House adopted resolutions filed by Reps. McMurtry, F. Moran, Peisch and Sanchez.

PETITION: The House concurred with the Senate in referring a petition of Sen. Ross and Rep. Dooley for a sick leave bank to the Committee on Public Service.

PETITION: The House concurred with the Senate in referring a petition of Sen. McGee and Reps. Wong and Crighton for a sick leave bank to the Committee on Public Service.

MIDDLETON CHARTER: The House ordered to a third reading H 3725 relative to the Middleton town charter.

REVERE LAND: The House engrossed H 3995 authorizing the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey certain land in the city of Revere.

RECESS: The House recessed at 12:06 p.m. Other members began trickling in from the Members' Lounge. By 12:55 p.m., about 20 representatives were present.

RETURN: The House returned to order at 12:56 p.m.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The question came on engrossing H 4011 relative to criminal justice reform.

RECONSIDERATION: Rep. Campbell moved that the House reconsider its adoption of Amendment 208. The motion prevailed.

CAMPBELL FURTHER AMENDMENT 208.1 -- Length of Solitary Confinement for Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness redrafted

The amendment amended and then was ADOPTED. Time was 12:57 p.m.

DAY AMENDMENT 2 -- Ensuring proper notification of victims

The amendment was ADOPTED.

FROST AMENDMENT 7 -- Assault and Battery on a Police Officer

The amendment was ADOPTED.

BRODEUR AMENDMENT 32 -- Elder Protection

The amendment was ADOPTED.

LIVINGSTONE AMENDMENT 150 -- Risk Assessment Commission

The amendment was ADOPTED.

GARBALLEY AMENDMENT 172 -- Restorative Justice

The amendment was ADOPTED.

GARBALLEY AMENDMENT 175 -- Community-Based Restorative Justice Program Definition

The amendment was ADOPTED.

RECESS: The House recessed at 1:07 p.m.

RETURN: The House returned to order at 2:16 p.m.

LYONS AMENDMENT 137 -- Jurisdiction Clarification Amendment

Rep. Mariano questioned if the amendment is beyond the scope.

Rep. Donato said, As with yesterday, the matter is beyond the scope and the amendment will be LAID ASIDE.

CAHILL AMENDMENT 29 -- Constable Commission   

The amendment was ADOPTED.

CRIGHTON AMENDMENT 33 -- Misdemeanors

The amendment was ADOPTED.

CULLINANE AMENDMENT 35 -- Creation of CORI Rights, Resources & Responsibilities Informational Booklet to be Provided to Incarcerated Persons Upon Date of Release

The amendment was ADOPTED.

NAUGHTON AMENDMENT 190 -- Veteran CORI Checks   

The amendment was ADOPTED.

RECESS/RETURN: The House recessed at 2:21 p.m. and returned to order at 2:24 p.m.

VEGA AMENDMENT 138 -- False Address at Arrest

Rep. Vega said, I rise in support and thank the leadership. This was brought to me by my police department and the retial housing authority coalition. This amendment satisfies both sides, I think. On one side it makes someone who gives a false address at the time of arrest illegal, it is already illegal to give a false name and this will provide the same punishment. When someone gives a false address, it is often their girlfriend or mother or someone else living on  a Section 8 housing voucher and that person can lose their housing if someone involved in crime says they are living there. I appreciate the support.

The amendment was ADOPTED.

RECESS/RETURN: The House recessed at 2:26 p.m. and returned to order at 2:44 p.m.


Rep. Mariano said, I move that the amendment is beyond the scope of the bill.

Rep. Donato said, The chair will state that the subject matter of the amendment introduces a subject of wiretaps which is a new topic not contained in either the House or Senate versions of the bill or any of the petitions that made up the Judiciary Committee's report. Offering that subject matter is bypassing the deliberate steps required and would violate the essence of the legislative process. The chair rules the amendment is beyond the scope and will be LAID ASIDE.

Rep. Jones doubted the ruling of the chair. There was a second.

Rep. Jones said, I regret that you were compelled to set this aside and I know you must feel strongly since you used the word compelled. It is amazing that we are working on an omnibus criminal justice bill and we can't have a debate about wiretapping, an aspect of the law that hasn't been changed since 1968. The amendment I offered was filed by the governor with the support of the attorney general and support, I will say at least that it should be updated, from Justice Gants. "Why that shouldn't be done in conjunction with comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation is mindboggling." This is not a new issue, it has been kicking around for a number of years, why this can't be put before the body is quite frankly beyond me. I would hope the ruling of the chair is not sustained.

Rep. Jones asked for a roll call vote. There was sufficient support.

BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 123-34 the ruling of the chair was SUSTAINED and the amendment was LAID ASIDE. Time was 2:53 p.m.

RECESS: There was no announcement, but the House effectively stood in recess at 2:53 p.m.

RETURN: The House returned to order at 3:23 p.m.

ACCESS BILL: The House concurred with the Senate amendments to H 4009 to advance contraceptive coverage and economic security in Massachusetts.

RECESS: There was no announcement, but the House effectively stood in recess at 3:24 p.m.

RETURN: The House returned to order at 4:00 p.m.

ACCESS BILL: The House, by a 25-0 standing vote, attached an emergency preamble to H 4009 to advance contraceptive coverage and economic security in Massachusetts.

Rep. Cronin sat in the first row of the first division and went through a pile of amendments. A few members stopped to chat with her there.

ACCESS BILL: The House enacted H 4009 to advance contraceptive coverage and economic security in Massachusetts. Time was 4:18 p.m.

JONES AMENDMENT 136 -- Fresh Start

The amendment was ADOPTED.

JONES AMENDMENT 129 -- Card Skimming Devices

The amendment was ADOPTED.

JONES AMENDMENT 72 -- Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Commission   

The amendment was ADOPTED.

JONES AMENDMENT 71 -- Study of Fines and Fees

The amendment was ADOPTED.

JONES AMENDMENT 70 -- Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab Study

The amendment was ADOPTED.

JONES AMENDMENT 62 -- OUI of Toxic Vapors

The amendment was ADOPTED.

Speaker DeLeo entered the chamber at 4:22 p.m. and spoke with Reps. Pignatelli and Dykema.

CARVALHO AMENDMENT 145 -- Victim Compensation Statute

The amendment was ADOPTED.

O'CONNELL AMENDMENT 51 -- Non-emergency 911 calls

The amendment was ADOPTED.

Speaker DeLeo assumed the gavel from Rep. Donato at 4:24 p.m.

QUORUM CALL: Rep. Donato doubted the presence of a quorum and Speaker DeLeo order a quorum roll call vote. The request for a quorum roll call vote was later withdrawn.

GONZALEZ AMENDMENT 42 --  Telephone service for inmates in all correctional and other penal institutions in the Commonwealth

Rep. Gonzalez said, Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today in support of the criminal justice reform package and this amendment. First, let me thank you Mr. Speaker for your support and guidance. My meetings with you have provided me with a better understanding of the legislative matters before us on a daily basis. Your leadership allows me to better serve my constituents, the Winthrop of the West, the great city of Springfield. I am thankful, Mr. Speaker, for your countless visits to our city. People are murmuring that you will move there someday, but hopefully not into my district. Thank you to America's greatest clerk, James Stephens (sic). I salute my friends and colleagues from western Mass. Thank you to the gentleman from Chicopee for helping me when I was elected, my constituents were so impressed I could get the powerful Chairman Joe to my district before I was elected. Springfield elected me and my longtime friend Jose Tosado at the same time, two people who happen to be from Puerto Rico. The State House is my extended family and my home, and you are all part of that. I want to thank my wife, my four daughters and my son. We reside today where we raised our kids, one of the poorest census tracks in Massachusetts, in the north side of Springfield. Today I am as excited two years and 11 months ago when I walked in to take the oath of office, in awe of how a kid born in the projects to a single mom, who I lost five weeks before I got elected, could end up here. My mom worried about me and education was incredibly important to her but getting to school was difficult with the gangs and trouble in the area. After her kids went to college and the military she went on to earn her GED at the age of 60. Today I am here because of her. History provides evidence that prejudice and racism has been part of our past. Some of our history is dark, but history also shows Massachusetts is a leader in many of the issues that make America a great country. Today we have an opportunity to spark a new vision for those who have paid their debts to society. A change in the system can help make those who are tax burdens taxpayers. We cannot incarcerate individuals who need mental health treatment, drug addiction treatment, it does not work. People come out of prison worse than when they go in and we can do better. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and to the gentlelady who chairs the Judiciary Committee, gracias. To you, mi amigo chairman of Ways and Means from Boston, gracias. You are a role model. Let us not seek a Republican answer or Democratic answer, but the right answer. The amendment addresses sky-high prison phone rates. Massachusetts is one of the highest phone rates in the country, an institutional form of injustice that penalized families that can least afford it. If we are going to encourage rehabilitation, we must keep in mind that maintaining ties with loved ones while in prison helps reduce recidivism. Like many of you during your maiden speeches, i made sure to thank my family. One of the first things we do after a long day is call our family because family is so important to all of us. Now just imagine that you cannot afford to call your family. I urge adoption of the amendment by a roll call vote.

Members, staff and guests rose to applaud Rep. Gonzalez's maiden address to the House. Time was 4:40 p.m.

There was sufficient support for a roll call vote.

BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 155-0 the amendment was ADOPTED. Time was 4:48 p.m.

JONES AMENDMENT 68: Rape Kit Backlog, as changed

Rep. Jones said, First let me begin by thanking the gentlelady from Easton. Some ideas made it into the bill and some didn't. Rape kit reform is one of those ideas I'd like to talk about. During the summer we had the opportunity to go to NCSL and walk the floor. I came across a group called the Joyful Heart Foundation which talked about sexual assault, rape kits, and how much more we have to do on that front. They have standards they'd like to see adopted, which some states have done. This would make us  the 33rd to do it in part. You'd be amazed how many rape kits are out there and remain on a shelf. There's not even an accurate count of how many untested kits there are. Not even all of our communities responded to the Legislature when we asked. This would ensure an accurate count, require those kits to be preserved for decades, and require they be tested for crimes that are being pursued. Someone may choose not to pursue charges, but if they do those kits would need to be tested. I acknowledge there's going to be a cost, but compared to the magnitude of hte problem it's a very small price to pay. This is one small step we can take.

Rep. Jones requested a roll call vote, and there was support.

RECESS: The House stood in recess at 4:54 p.m.

Rep. Gentile said, Thank you, and I thank the lady from Somerset and the gentlemen from Quincy and North Reading. I thank the gentleman from Medford for his wise advice. I thank the gentleman from Jamaica Plain for the good heart that guides his mission, and the lady from Needham and the gentleman from South Hadley for the work we share. I'd like to thank the lady from Pittsfield and the gentleman from the South End for their partnership. I thank the gentlelady from Easton for welcoming me and my classmates and continuing to offer thoughtful advice and working tirelessly to prepare this bill. Most of all I thank my family for supporting my decision to run for this seat. My grandparents emigrated from Italy about 100 years ago. I was the first to graduate from college and I'm happy both my children have. I'm proud of them. I learned always to value family first. I had ambition to serve others. My law practice allowed me to help people with challenges. Having practiced criminal defense work, working with hundreds whose addiction and mental illness was the predominant factor in casting them into our criminal justice system, I'm proud to work with you all to pass later this evening the most comprehensive criminal justice reform in a generation. Increasing the felony threshold and the daily incarceration credit recognizes the decades of inflation and the cost of incarceration. Limiting solitary confinement is mindful of the World Health Organization's conclusion. House 4011 will remove the one-year waiting period on submission of DNA samples and creating the crime of solicitation, making carfentanil and fentanyl Class A. It's an honor and a privilege to serve with you.

Members stood, applauded and cheered, then gathered in the well to congratulate Rep. Gentile on his maiden speech. The time was 5 p.m. At 5:08 p.m. Speaker DeLeo asked members to take their seats and subdue conversations.

Rep. Higgins said, I rise in support of Amendment 68 which would create a tracking system for sexual assault kits all over the commonwealth. I'm so thrilled to have so much support from my Republican colleagues. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for your commitment to advancing survivors' rights. This past month has been particularly triggering for many survivors, including myself, and your support is not lost on me. The north central Mass. Delegation, the women's caucus and the freshman class have been a great support system. I want to thank the people of Leominster and my parents for their constant love and support, helping me become the first in my family to attend college, attend law school, and every sacrifice they made to help me get there. I want to thank my Aunt Gloria, her wife and their daughter. I want to thank my significant other Peter who challenges me every day to think bigger. I could not ask for a better partner. (Applause) When I was a freshman at UMass Amherst, I trained as a rape crisis counselor and saw how pervasive sexual violence is. The number of loved ones who started to disclose to me was unsettling. It came in waves. They were quietly sitting with this trauma with no one to talk to. I worked at Pathways for Change, the Worcester County rape crisis center, counseling survivors and running educational programming. This was the hardest job I've had, but I'm thankful for my clients who showed me how strong and resilient survivors are. The legal system was not a place they got closure. I went to law school to figure out how to make it work. Two days before I was to start working at a domestic violence clinic, I was sexually assaulted and my whole world vell apart. I was the one who went to the hospital and helped a survivor get through a rape kit. I knew it could happen to anyone but I didn't think it would happen to me. I got a rape kit done, and the next part is important today. I did not report it to the police. It wasn't right for me at the time. I needed to be safe and healthy and refocus on finishing law school. That's why I feel passionately about rape kit trafficking. I want to thank you for the work you did last session to extend the statute of limitation. This amendment will build on that and give survivors peace of mind. It will give us important data to use in the future. I want to thank my colleagues for giving me the space to share my story and to work together to end the silence around sexual assault. I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the chairwoman of the Judiciary. I am proud to stand with all of you.

Members rose, applauded and cheered for Rep. Higgins' maiden speech. The time was 5:15 p.m. Members of the women's caucus greeted her first in the well, with hugs.

The clerk announced Rep. Scaccia's voting station was locked.

Members continued hugging Rep. Higgins while the roll call machine opened.

Rep. Donato assumed the chair.

By a ROLL CALL VOTE of 155-0, the amendment was ADOPTED.

Rep. Donato repeatedly asked court officers to clear the back row of the gallery. Several members pointed up. He asked guests in the gallery to go to the left or right, not go to the middle where the problem is. Two court officers stood in the front row of the gallery, pointing at the ceiling.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT CONSOLIDATED: Rep. Donato said a consolidated amendment relative to solitary confinement would be at the third reading desk. The time was 5:38 p.m.

MURADIAN AMENDMENT 113: Special Commission on Correction Officer Suicides

The amendment was ADOPTED.

MURADIAN AMENDMENT 95: Intimidation of Law Enforcement Officials

The amendment was ADOPTED.

O'DAY AMENDMENT 116: Access to appropriate treatment for opioid addiction while incarcerated

The amendment was ADOPTED.

MALIA AMENDMENT 210: Substance Use Disorder Technical

The amendment was ADOPTED.

RECESS: Rep. Donato called a recess at 5:57 p.m.

KAFKA AMENDMENT 77: Human Trafficking Trust Fund Loophole Closure, as changed

The amendment was ADOPTED. The time was 6:07 p.m.

GARBALLEY AMENDMENT 193: Pre-Arraignment Law Enforcement Programs, as changed

The amendment was ADOPTED.

AMENDMENT 152 CHANGED: Rep. Khan of Newton offered the amendment "as changed."

The changed amendment was not read and was adopted by voice vote at 6:40 p.m.

AMENDMENT 97: Rep. Hecht of Watertown offered an amendment that was adopted by voice vote.

AMENDMENT 79: Rep. Kuros of Uxbridge offered an amendment adding a section.

Rep. Kuros said this amendment, the genesis started two years ago.  The presiding judge in Uxbridge invited me to be part of a graduation ceremony for drug court, a program that was a viable alternative to incarceration.   There were quarterly milestones and weekly meetings.   It's starting to take on a life of its own.   The first group supported the second group.  I asked the judge for other tools he could use to fight opioids.   He said he needs the ability to issue weekend commitment orders for those who overdose on the weekend when the courts are closed.   I filed it as standalone legislation.  This protects addicts who are struggling and could be very harmful to themselves.  I have been advised it's beyond the scope of the bill.  I also understand the governor filed an opioid bill today where this may fit better in that framework.  Ultimately it's for the safety and recovery of addicts.  I do withdraw the amendment.

Amendment withdrawn, with unanimous consent, at 6:45 p.m.

AMENDMENT 31: Rep. McKenna of Webster offered an amendment regarding pleas by reason of insanity.

Rep. McKenna said this expands CORI access to include not guilty by reason of insanity.   A constituent who attends senior center events shared a story where 14 years ago the judicial system rules that the person who stabbed her son 131 was innocent because she was deemed insane.  There can be no criminal record, no supervision requirement, no justice for the victim and her family.   I would like to see that language changed to guilty but insane, but this deals with public records and allowing such findings to appear on all CORI reports when that person applies for a job or to work with children or the elderly.   Non-conviction information is only accessible by some.    This codifies the availability of these records and ensures that no gap exists.  I believe it is imperative to ensure access to these records as a public safety measure.

Amendment ADOPTED.

AMENDMENT 178, AS CHANGED: Rep. Pignatelli offered an amendment inserting a new section to the bill.  It was adopted.

AMENDMENT 179: Rep. Cabral of New Bedford offered an amendment and it was adopted at 7:14 p.m.

AMENDMENT 47, AS CHANGED: Rep. Jones offered an amendment, as changed, and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 118: Rep. Jones offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 57: Rep. Jones offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 64: Rep. Jones offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 120: Rep. Jones offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 134: Rep. Jones offered an amendment regarding effective dates.   It was adopted.

AMENDMENT 16, AS CHANGED: Rep. Day of Stoneham offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 99: Rep. Markey of Dartmouth offered an amendment.

Rep. Markey said he supports his amendment and amendment 100.   One of the things people need to understand is what this thing does.   Essentially Chapter 279 sections 24 and 26 authorize a Superior Court judge to provide a sentence, a maximum and minimum term.  Those two sentences are often manipulated, I don't mean in a derogatory way, by many defendants so they are unsupervised when they leave.   They get a four-year sentence and they are never supervised by parole because of the structure of the sentence.   It means someone is leaving Norfolk, Walpole, Souza to the street without anybody looking ove them.  I have proposed an idea I think can capture those individuals who don't participate in programs, who don't want to do anything while incarcerated and then wrap up parole without supervision.   They will take an extra three or four months behind the wall.   They are in total control.  If we make that gap wider to 25 percent that gap between minimum and maximum would be enough incentive for people to participate in programs or seek parole.  It reduces the number of people incarcerated and provides tools.   This amendment accomplishes that one piece of the pie that what we did yesterday in H 74 didn't get done.

Amendment ADOPTED at 7:34 p.m.   Rep. Donato said the chair is in error.   A voice vote was then called and the amendment was NOT ADOPTED.

AMENDMENT 160, AS CHANGED - EXPUNGEMENT: Rep. Khan of Newton offered an amendment regarding expungement.

Rep. Khan said this strengthens the expungement language in H 4011.   It decreases the time from ten yars to seven years for felonies and reduces the time for misdemeanors from five years to three.   Most youths with juvenile records will not offend as adults.  States where there are minimal administrative barriers to expungement have reduced recidivism rates.   We want to ensure the safety of the public and create positive opportunities.   We need to give them a chance, for employment, to obtain housing and education.   Employment is a leading factor in reducing recidivism.

Rep. Khan requested a roll call and there was support.


AMENDMENT 3, AS CHANGED - FELONY LARCENY THRESHOLD: Rep. Day of Stoneham offered amendment 3, as changed.

Rep. Day requested a roll call and there was support.


AMENDMENT 54, AS CHANGED - WITNESS INTIMIDATION: Rep. Jones of North Reading offered an amendment.

Rep. Jones requested a roll call and there was support.


CONSOLIDATED AMENDMENT A - SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: Rep. Sanchez offered consolidated amendment A.

Rep. Campbell of Methuen said the amendment will make major reforms in solitary confinement policies, particularly for those with mental illness.  This amendment - we know individuals with mental illness are overrepresented in solitary confinement.  They are at greater risk for paranoia, recidivism and suicide. Medical evidence is clear and there are individual tragedies we have read about in the press.   It costs more than imprisonment in a normal cell and there is an increased risk of lawsuits and recidivism.   We know other states like Colorado, Ohio, New York and Mississippi have curtailed the use of solitary confinement and not seen a rise in prison violence. 


AMENDMENT 80, AS CHANGED: Rep. Linsky of Natick offered an amendment, as changed. 

Rep. Linsky said this changes the threshold level for malicious destruction of property. The felony threshold is is $250.   Given today's society that is extremely low.  It raises it to $1,000.   A few minutes ago this House changed the larceny threshold to also $1,000.   This also corrects a drafting error in the statute that has existed for decades and has caused many individulas to receive a felony when they should have had a misdemeanor.   When you get a felony conviction there are a whole host of collateral consequences for employment and licenses.  

Rep. Linsky requested a roll call and there was support.

The clerk also announced aloud a change to the amendment.


AMENDMENT 121 - DRUG DISTRIBUTION CAUSING DEATH: Rep. Jones offered an amendment.

CRONIN FURTHER AMENDMENT: Rep. Cronin of Easton offered a further amendment regarding an Administration and Finance and Public Safety Committee study, and enactment of further legislation.

Rep. Jones said the amendment highlights how we get a little silly around here.  The amendment sought to create a crime of drug distribution causing death but now we have to further study that and the study would be filed with a committee Rep. Cronin is not a chair of.  The study asks for an impact on the economy.  Most people have an idea.  It is disappointing to have an amendment offered like this at this point.   There are legitimate issues of debate but a further amendment like this when we know the impact financial and otherwise of drugs.  It is incalculable the cost in terms of money but more importantly the cost on families and lives forever changed.   I hope the further amendment is not adopted.

Rep. Jones requested a roll call and there was support, though no support from the first division.

Rep. Hill said I have been here 20 years and this Legislature has done a lot of good things.  The underlying amendment makes our streets safe.  We have an issue we have dealt with in stages.  One of the biggest issues is letting these drug dealers go.  In Essex County you know what I am talking about.  We have seen the deaths and the deaths of people who have taken these drugs and overdosed because of the drug dealers.  There is a lot of great stuff in this crime bill but we are going to let drug dealers continue to deal those drugs and kill our kids.  Is it not time to say if you cause a death because of what you are dealing we are going to send a strong message and that's life in prison.  You are the cause of carnage.   Kids take that first pill and then get addicted to cocain and heroin and then they have fentanyl laced in.  We are going to do nothing to these drug dealers.  Really?  Really?  These drug dealers need to be told tonight that if you are going to kill the children of the Commonwealth there will be consequences.  How long are we going to study the deaths of these children.  Every day we are reading about these overdoses.   Let's do something tonight.  I hope the further amendment is not adopted.

Republicans in the second division applauded.

Rep. Lyons said there were 2,069 deaths by drugs last year, 81 percent related to fentanyl.  These people know exactly what they are selling.   We have tripled deaths by opiates.  What do you want to study - how many more people are doing to die?  These people selling have guns.   These drug dealers ought to be put behind bars forever because they are killing our families and they know what they're doing.

Rep. Linsky said this is a very very serious situation.  Our own communities have been hit hard by the opioid crisis.  We have gone to wakes and funerals and this House should be proud of what we have done and we know there is more to do.  I understand the heartbreak our colleagues behind this amendment are feeling.  Respectively this is not the answer.  Under existing law the DA can bring a case on second degree murder or manslaughter.  Those prosecutions are commencing under the appropriate set of facts.   In the appropriate cases they indict that individual and prosecute.   I understand the heartbreak and the intention of those bringing this amendment.  The floor of the House is not the place to write a life sentence felony where it is a strict liability crime.  Drug dealers who deal this type of drug deserve to go to prison for a long period of time.  If you cause death, bring a case of manslaughter or second degree murder and prosecute.   The existing law covers it.  A study to see if existing laws are working is appropriate.  

Rep. Garry said where else are we going to craft this legislation.   It is happening in the Commonwealth to loved ones and could be happening to your loved one tomorrow.  You don't know.   Drug dealers are selling to make money off of people who are risking their lives.  Enough is enough.  If you are going to sell this on our streets and kill somebody then you should be going to prison for murder.  

Republicans applauded.

Rep. Lyons said how many times have we heard about these studies.  I hear we should not be doing this on the floor of the House.  What better place to be doing it?   Each one of us can stand up and say why or why not pass this legislation.  If someone kills you with fentanyl it's the same result as being killed with a gun.   We are all tired of seeing it.  If you don't want it let's get up and talk about it.  The way we bury such an important issue is wrong.

Rep. Mariano was in the chair.

Rep. Markey of Dartmouth said I have seen people who have overdosed.  I also went to law school and we studied criminal intent.   Strict liability is purely a civil method.   There is this other thing we have to worry about, the constitution.  The constitution isn't going to let it happen.  I get the frustration.  I have been to autopsies.  I have seen it all.  The idea that we are going to talk about something that sucks and everyone knows someone who has died, we have to worry about our own obligation and what the law is and it is you need to have a criminal intent.  You can be convicted of second degree murder and get a life sentence.   So we do need to study this.  I went to law school and I don't feel comfortable with it because it has strict liability.

Rep. Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield said the underlying amendment, I would like the further amendment to pass.  We did good work the last two sessions around this epidemic.  We passed the good samaritan law and this amendment would put a chilling effect on that law.  We know it is saving lives.  Law enforcement asked us to do it.  If someone is sharing drugs, dealing, and they don't call for help because they are afraid of being charged under this amendment, we are going to continue to lose more lives.

Rep. D'Emilia said what's the intent of a drug dealer selling drugs that can kill.   The intent is to make money.   We are lawmakers.   That's what we are sent here to do, apply common sense.  We are sent here to make laws that are going to benefit our constituents.   We are sent here to punish people who do the wrong thing.  When are we going to apply some common sense in this place?   Its plain language.  I don't stand up that often.  I listen and learn in this chamber.   But this is straightforward.  Make drug dealers responsible for the deaths of individuals if the drugs they sold cause their death.  What more do we need to understand?  I am not an attorney.  Let's do the right thing tonight.

Rep. Malia of Boston said this is an incredibly painful and difficult issue.  I chaired Mental Health for ten years.  I am a person who was in recovery.  I don't know if we can deal with the fact that addiction is a disease and a lot of times people dealing don't know what they are dealing and are dealing because they have a habit.   Recriminalizing and incarcerating people because they have a drug problem does not offer any solution to the problem.  I lost a sister to drugs in the mid-70s.  I can't change that.   We can continue the work of this House to get resources out there and find a day to day solutions to the problems that we have.  This is an emotional moment right now.  Give us an opportunity to continue the discussions that have led us down an emotional path.  We will not be able to fix this problem tonight.

Rep. Jones of North Reading said I will try to be brief because I know the hour is late (8:35 p.m.).   The further amendment does not seek to get further information on any one of the points that the three of your raised.   Not the constitutionality, the court system, the level of criminality.  You have raised some good points and others have raised better points.  The further amendment speaks to a study on impacts on the economy and a distributional analysis on taxpayers of varying income levels.   Perhaps the biggest piece of my frustration is how insulting the further amendment is to the underlying issue.   I hope the further amendment is not adopted.

BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 110-41, FURTHER AMENDMENT ADOPTED at 8:42 p.m.  The amendment, as further amended, was adopted.

AMENDMENT 11: Rep. Linsky offered an amendment that was adopted.

AMENDMENT 178: The chair considered no action on the amendment and it was again offered by Rep. Pignatelli, Fernandes and Holmes.

Amendment adopted.

Rep. Kane said 47 of 52 systems offered a system for release based on health.  Correctional facilities are not able to provide appropriate care for terminally ill prisoners.   The total expense can exceed $1 million.  Sheriffs support creating a process for supervised medical parole.  We will create an independent board to review and recommend inmates for medical parole.  The parole board may revise and amend circumstances of medical parole.  It is a practical solution.   We diminish the cost of care and can distribute resources to other prisoners.  Thank you.

Rep. Dykema said this bill protects public safety and prevents people from becoming justice involved and helps people reenter society.  Research shows the justice system impacts on youth can be significant and long lasting.  One provision allows juvenile expungement after a period of good behavior.   Abraham Lincoln said the person incapable of making a mistake is incapable of anything.   Juveniles can seal a record but remain defined by the presence of a record for the rest of their lives.   There can be a lifetime of repercusions.  By maintaining a record into adulthood we discourage outcomes we desire.   Juvenile expungement will not only save money but will pay dividends by maximizing people's potential to contribute to their communities.  

RULE 1A SUSPENSION: At 8:55 p.m., question came on suspending a rule to allow the House to meet beyond 9 p.m. 

AMENDMENT 78, AS CHANGED - DATA COLLECTION: Rep. Rushing offered an amendment and it was adopted.

AMENDMENT 212, AS CHANGED: Rep. Donato said Rep. Sanchez offered a technical amendment.  It was adopted at 8:59 p.m.

Question came on engrossing the bill.

Rep. Lombardo said five days ago on Nov. 9 the Lowell Sun ran a story about Billerica warning residents after three overdose deaths in one weekend, and about cocaine being laced.   One incidence was a double fatality.  The Mass DPH tells us over 40 percent of opioid deaths in one quarter showed the presene of cocaine. 

Rep. Donato asked if the gentleman was speaking to the entire bill.  Rep. Lombardo said he was.

Rep. Lombardo said I am happy to see fentanyl and carfentanil classified.   House leadership has rejected a reform to work with the feds to remove illegal aliens who are selling drugs, to have day care providers have information about sex offenders.   Cocaine is a vehicle for fentanyl and death.  I will not support a bill that fails to protect from drug dealers selling death to our loved ones.   Easing punishments on cocaine will not help us.   I can not support a bill that makes it easier on drug dealers that are killing our kids.

Rep. Donato said the chair does not anticipate any further roll calls.  Several House members applauded.


TECHNICAL AMENDMENT: There was no objection to considering no action on the techical amendment.  It was reoffered an again adopted.

RECESSES: The House at 9:09 p.m. adopted Rep. Mariano's motion to recess until Wednesday at noon.  The House recessed.

DISCLAIMER: Bill texts and histories are available at www.malegislature.gov. All votes are voice votes, unless otherwise noted. Bills ordered to third reading have been given initial approval. To engross a bill is to pass it and send it to the other branch. The last of three votes taken on bills that reach the governor's desk is the vote on enactment. So, it's third reading (initial approval), engrossment (passage) and enactment. The News Service coverage of legislative debate is an accurate summary of remarks, not a verbatim transcript.


State House News Service