After once-a-week formal sessions set the pace for most of the past 18 months, legislative leaders are now grinding out the final two weeks of formal sessions, using the pressure of the July 31 deadline to force bills through, often with little or no debate.
Many of the 2013-2014 session’s priority bills are in various stages of final passage, including several that are being negotiated privately by six-member conference committees. Legislative leaders who often face criticism for being too reactive and taking too long to address issues are suddenly taking the opposite approach, redrafting and fast-gaveling bills to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk at a clip that affords little if any time for review.
The expectation among lawmakers is that most if not all of the major bills will get to the governor, but there will be surprises along the way, such as this week’s implosion of efforts to allow more charter schools, and bill sponsors are mindful of legislative trap doors.
For Henry Epp’s conversation with Matt Murphy about the week ahead on Beacon Hill, click the audio player above.