SENATE SESSION - THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018
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CONVENES: The Senate convened at 11:07 a.m., Sen. Joseph Boncore of Winthrop presiding.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Senators and guests recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
SICK LEAVE BANK: The Senate attached an emergency preamble to H 4354 sick leave bank for a Department of Correction employees.
RECESS: At 11:09 a.m., the Senate recessed, with the time for returning left subject to the call of the chair.
RETURNS: The Senate returned at 1:37 p.m., Sen. Pacheco of Taunton presiding.
QUORUM CALL: Sen. Keenan doubted the presence of a quorum. The clerk said a quorum is not present. Sen. Pacheco asked the court officers to close the doors and summons the members to come to session.
RESOLUTIONS: The Senate at 1:46 p.m. adopted congratulatory resolutions.
Sen. Tran ascended the rostrum.
Sen. Tran said, Colleagues, I rise to recognize someone who has been part of this institution for 21 years and 9 months. Tilly was chief of staff for Sen. Flanagan. She has been a steady guide for my district. She rises above partisanship. Her expertise and skill have made it easy for me to perform my duties. Legislators are as good as their staff. Unfortunately for me, Tilly's long-awaited retirement is upon us. Thank you Tilly for your hard work. I am grateful for your support and insight, and everyone in my office will miss you. We would like to say, Thank you. Please join me in congratulating Tilly Ryan on a well deserved retirement.
Members and guests stood and applauded.
Sen. Tran said, We'll have refreshments and cake at Nurse's Hall. Everyone is invited to attend.
RECESS: Sen. Pacheco called a brief recess at 1:51 p.m.
RETURNS: Sen. Pacheco called the chamber back to order at 1:53 p.m.
SICK LEAVE: The Senate ordered to a third reading S 2522 establishing a sick leave bank for Lisa Fuccione, an employee of the Department of Public Health.
SICK LEAVE: The Senate ordered H 4336 establishing a sick leave bank for Gloria Phillips, an employee of the Division of Industrial Accidents.
PETITIONS: The Senate referred various House petitions to committees.
EXTENSION ORDER - ELDER AFFAIRS: Question came on H 4485 ordering that notwithstanding the provisions of Joint Rule 10, the committee on Elder Affairs be granted until Wednesday, June 13, 2018 within which time to make its final report on current Senate documents numbered 336, 345, 352 and 358, and House documents numbered 350, 2072, 2885 and 2890.
Sen. Tarr said, It's wonderful to see you presiding. Now pending before the Senate appears to be yet another extension order. I'm hoping for an explanation.
Sen. L'Italien, I want to say Mr. Speaker. I guess I was in the House for a while. Thank you Mr. President. It's an extension order for eight bills.
Sen. Pacheco said, I'm having difficulty hearing.
Sen. L'Italien said, It's until June 13. We've been researching and meeting with stakeholders. This week we released 11 bills. The issues regard stabilizing nursing facilities, nursing home jobs initiative, home care, liability for medical assistance, and S 335 authorizing basic services for assisted living. These issues pertaining to nursing homes and assisted living, some we are still working on. I'd ask for this extension. Some of these have to do with rates for service providers. We want to see what the Senate does with rates in the fiscal 2019 budget. I beg the indulgence of my Senate colleagues.
Sen. Tarr said, To the distinguished chair, I appreciate the detailed explanation. I know these are complicated and significant matters. I'd say this is a judicious use of an extension order.
The order was ADOPTED.
EXTENSION ORDER - FINANCIAL SERVICES: Question came on H 4487 ordering that notwithstanding the provisions of Joint Rule 10, the committee on Financial Services be granted until Wednesday, June 13, 2018 within which time to make its final report on current Senate documents numbered 545 and 587, and House documents numbered 482, 509, 535, 2159, 2966, 3543 and 4137.
Sen. Tarr said, Well, well, well, Mr. President. I know you'd like to move this quickly. I'd like an explanation of this extension order.
Sen. Eldridge said, Thank you. As the Senate chair, I do support this order to extend ten of the final bills to June 13. These have to do with credit union modernization, disability insurance � eliminating gender inequity. Finally, business to business commercial transaction insurance. There are still 10 more bills we want to extend to June 13.
Sen. Tarr said, Thank you. I do appreciate the explanation of the chair. This is a limited number of bills for a limited time. I hope the order is adopted.
The order was ADOPTED.
EXTENSION ORDER - PUBLIC HEALTH: Question came on H 4480 ordering that notwithstanding the provisions of Joint Rule 10, the committee on Public Health be granted until Friday, July 13, 2018 within which time to make its final report on current House documents numbered 1143, 1151, 1189, 1205, 1245, 2442, 3226, 3240, 3514 and 3597.
Sen. Tarr said, I see the distinguished chair hovering near the mic. He is no stranger to extension season. I'm beginning to be concerned that the committee not go into hyper extension. I'd like an explanation.
Sen. Lewis said, Good afternoon. I thank the minority leader for holding our feet to the fire. The good news is there are no remaining Senate bills in Public Health. This order relates to several House bills � 10 altogether. It proposes an extension until July 13. This is a courtesy to the House chair of the committee, since the House wants to spend a little more time working on these.
Sen. Tarr said, I just want to thank the distinguished chair. I know he has worked diligently and labored long and hard to make sure we do not over-extend the committee. That said, I'm beginning to be concerned, but in deference tot he gentleman's work, I think we should adopt the order and raise the flag of caution.
BROOKFIELD HOUSING AUTHORITY: The Senate enacted S 2146 authorizing the Brookfield Housing Authority to convey a certain parcel of land and the buildings thereon.
WESTPORT OFF-PREMISES LICENSE: The Senate enacted S 2303 authorizing the town of Westport to grant 1 additional liquor license for the sale of wine and malt beverages not to be drunk on the premises.
WOMEN'S DEFENSE CORPS: The Senate enacted H 2658 relative to the annual observance of Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps Remembrance Day.
SICK LEAVE: The Senate enacted H 4354 establishing a sick leave bank for Sara Parmenter, an employee of the Department of Corrections.
SOMERVILLE POLICE: The Senate engrossed H 4085 increasing The Maximum Age To Be Eligible For Appointment As A Special Police Officer In The City Of Somerville.
CAMBRIDGE POLICE: The Senate engrossed H 4143 regarding the appointment of retired Cambridge Police Department officers as special police officers within the city of Cambridge for paid detail assignments.
LYNNFIELD LICENSES: The Senate engrossed H 4370 authorizing the town of Lynnfield to grant five additional licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises.
EAST BRIDGEWATER SEWERS: The Senate engrossed S 2423 establishing an East Bridgewater Sewer District.
ORDERS OF THE DAY: There were no objections to proceeding with the orders of the day.
HAVERHILL FIREFIGHTER: The Senate ordered to a third reading H 4186 authorizing Brian M. Belfiore to take the civil service examination for the position of firefighter in the City of Haverhill notwithstanding the maximum age requirement.
DANVERS OFF-PREMISES LICENSES: The House ordered to a third reading H 4459 authorizing the Town of Danvers to grant 10 additional licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages not to be drunk on the premises.
MELROSE: The Senate ordered to a third reading H 4464 providing a charter for the City of Melrose.
CARLISLE: The Senate ordered to a third reading H 4476 relative to the recall of elected officials in the town of Carlisle.
BIOMETRIC INFO: The Senate ordered to a third reading S 95 relative to protecting biometric information under the security breach law.
Sen. Rodrigues moves to suspended to rules to consider the matter forthwith. There was no objection.
RECESS: Sen. Pacheco called a recess. Time was 2:14 p.m.
RETURNS: Sen. Pacheco called the chamber back to order at 2:16 p.m.
BIOMETRIC INFO: Question came on S 95 relative to protecting biometric information under the security breach law.
Sen. Tarr said, I'm hoping we can get a brief explanation.
RECESS: Sen. Pacheco called a recess. Time was 2:17 p.m.
RETURNS: At 2:18 p.m. Sen. Pacheco called the session to order.
Sen. Barrett said, I appreciate the question. Right now we have a statute on the books in Massachusetts that has to do with disclosure of data breaches. We're familiar with data breaches. The statute isn't limited to Massachusetts-based corporations. We have a law that says, If consumer data that you own is subject to a hacking, you've got to notify the people involved. Not very controversial. We need to update this to keep track of developments in technology. WE have biometric information that identifies me even more specifically than a pin. So this put forward as an idea by the ACLU adds the term biometric info to the current requirement for data breaches. Thanks to my good friend from Gloucester.
Sen. Pacheco said, Question comes on passing the bill to be engrossed.
RECESS: Sen. Tarr moved for a recess. Time was 2:21 p.m.
ROLL CALL REQUESTED: Sen. Tarr said, I move that when a vote is taken, it be taken by a call of the yeas and nays. There was sufficient support.
BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 37 to 0 the bill was ENGROSSED
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMISSION: Question came on S 208 establishing a special legislative commission on young professionals.
Sen. Tarr said, The resolve that pends comes from the maven of all millenials. He has a multicolored notebook. I'm hoping we can benefit from his wisdom.
Sen. Welch said, Thank you. I thank the leader for his wonderful question. It's a tremendous piece of legislation cosponsored by Sen. Lesser. What it does is create a statewide commission around young professional societies. We have a very active young professional society. This would bring these groups together. The goal is to examine how the Commonwealth can better involve young professionals and make the Commonwealth a better place for young professionals. The commission will deliver a report. The commission can expend grants and contributions. This is long overdue here. We have very active young professional groups, and working together they can better inform us.
Sen. Lesser said, I want to thank my colleague for authoring this legislation. Just to reiterate the findings from our millenial engagement report, which was adopted by this chamber, we found that while Massachusetts is a beacon, we actually do have a brain drain issue. We're using young people, especially young professionals, especially on the South Coast. This will recommend ways to counteract that trend. It is urgently needed.
The resolve was ordered to a third reading.
Sen. Montigny moved to suspend the rules to consider the matter forthwith. The resolve was engrossed.
REGIONAL SCHOOLS: The Senate ordered to a third reading S 264 relative to the powers and duties of a regional school district.
Sen. Montigny moved to suspend the rules so the bill can be taken up forthwith.
Sen. Tarr said, This bill has an important impact, and I'm hoping for an explanation before the Senate takes further action.
Sen. Gobi said, This will help fill in a little loophole. Regional schools can be a fiscal agent but not in all cases. This will let regional schools do that. It considers when you have a regional school made up of four or five towns and it helps streamline the process.
The bill was ENGROSSED.
CUSTODIANS' RIGHTS: Question came on H 1390 protecting the rights of custodial and other non-teaching employees of school districts.
RECESS: Sen. Tarr asked for a recess. Time was 2:35 p.m.
RETURNS: President Chandler took the rostrum and called the chamber to order at 2:36 p.m.
Sen. Tarr said, I am always astounded at the versatility of the gentleman from Taunton. I'm hoping that since he's at the microphone he can provide an explanation, which seems to be a matter of fairness.
Sen. Pacheco said, I'm pleased to answer the question. Numerous members have cosponsored this bill, as speaker pro tem Haddad has in the House. I've chosen to do so on this side. Members like Sen. Feeney and others have worked on this. Last session we passed this bill � the House and Senate, but by the time it arrived at the governor's office it was not timely in terms of us being able to take final action at the end of the session. This simply restores some fairness. There are custodians that work in municipalities in school departments and town halls. They have a bargaining agreement in town hall. It is respected and honored. In the 1993 ed reform bill, we provided the opportunity for superintendents, principals to be able to put aside those collective bargaining agreements when trying to make sure teachers provide the best outcomes and test scores for children. The relaxation of these collective bargaining agreements have taken place and some leaders have gone to the extreme and misused the power we gave. So a custodian at the schools may not have the same rights as a custodian at town hall. This restores those rights so they are the law. The management-labor relations would take place as it had prior to the ed reform bill.
The bill was ordered to a third reading and engrossed.
CLOTHESLINES: Question came on S 1117 relative to solar drying of laundry.
Sen. Tarr said, It is delightful to see you upon the rostrum. I am curious as to weather the solar drying would be subject to a net metering cap.
RECESS: President Chandler called a brief recess. Time was 2:42 p.m.
RETURNS: President Chandler called the chamber back to order at 2:47 p.m.
Sen. Barrett said, Thank you, Madam President. I hope the Senate votes affirmatively. We've done so at least twice before. In both instances we gave this bill our approval. We need to cast about for low-tech but efficient ways to get basic tasks accomplished. In this case we're talking about drying clothes. Gas and electric clothes dryers are energy guzzlers. So for a while, we've tried to make sure those who prefer the low-tech alternative have a level playing field. They don't enjoy that in multi-unit dwellings. Condo bylaws prohibit use of a clothesline. This statute merely says, Subject to the recognition of the rights of others, one cannot be prohibited from stringing clothesline in a multi-unit dwelling. The right to dry is subject to local approval. It can be debated in town meetings. This is not a pre-emptory state mandate. The right to dry would not impinge on existing contracts. As they are renewed the right to dry would become operative. Thirdly, this right, which has been championed by my good friend from New Bedford � who is perhaps the statewide champion of clotheslines, Mr. Clothesline. This would be subject to time, place and manner conditions. A condo could determine specific places, times and even the manner in which the clothesline be strung. That's to make sure that aesthetic values and neighborly rights are protected. I want to thank every member for helping us define this idea. I think we have the bill in a highly developed state.
Sen. Montigny said, I appreciate your indulgence. I didn't intend to speak but Sen. Barrett dragged me in. I'd suggest that if there was ever an example of extremely necessary anti-snob zoning, this is it. You pick up the paper and someone is preventing good policy. Yesterday it was the wealthy CEO of Liberty Mutual telling Nantucket how to do affordable housing. If this happened in my neighborhood I'd hang everything on the line they don't want to see. This says every homeowner should have some rights to do what most of us think is pretty normal and basic. I don't know what my constituents would say about wealthy communities that tell you what you can hang on your clothesline. I hope this bill goes to the governor's desk.
The bill was ENGROSSED.
GARDEN OF PEACE: Question came on S 2372 relative to the Garden of Peace, and under the rules requires a roll call.
BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 37 to 0 the bill was RE-ENACTED
President Chandler said, We're about to adjourn.
RANDALL SPARKAS: Sen. Lovely moved that when the Senate adjourns it do so in memory of Randall Scott Sparkas of Danvers.
Sen. Lovely said, Randall Scott Sparkas of Danvers passed away on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late George Anthony and Marlene Sparkas. Randall was raised and schooled in Hawaii and continued education at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. He attended San Diego State and enlisted in the Navy for six years. He was employed by the MWRA for 30 years. He was involved in local communities, as a former Danvers selectman, former chair of the Essex County Selectman Association, chairman of the Danvers Democratic Committee and member of the River Committee. He was actively involved in his union work as union steward for local 1242. He became VP of AFSCME Council 93. At the time of his passing he was a member of the Danvers Water and Sewer Commission and auditor for the Board of Directors of the Polish Club of Danvers. Randall was a proud husband and father. He enjoyed family trips, playing with his three dogs and playing Santa. He is survived by his wife Todi Sparkas, their children and other family.
The motion prevailed.
MOMENT OF SILENCE: Members and guests stood and observed a moment of silence at 3 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT ORDER: The Senate adopted an order to meet again Monday at 11 a.m. without a calendar.
ADJOURNS: The Senate adjourned at 3:01 p.m. to meet again Monday at 11 a.m.
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.