This Week On Beacon Hill

Massachusetts residents and businesses in the coming weeks will get to learn about the benefits and compliance requirements of new laws, major and minor, that Governor Patrick is poised to sign in the coming days.

With the Legislature still meeting in twice-weekly informal sessions, lawmakers will have an opportunity to act on any amendments Patrick proposes to the bills he just received. The threshold for passage of amendments or any bills, however, has just been raised with the transition into informal sessions that will run from August through the end of the year.

Unanimous consent is required to advance any legislation during informal sessions, which means everyone present must agree. That sounds daunting in a chamber with significant Republican presence, but GOP lawmakers are often willing to advance bills that House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s team serves up for votes and many lawmakers from both parties don’t even attend informal sessions, leaving that business to a select few. Vetoes are another matter. If Patrick vetoes any of the bills on his desk, they’re likely done for the year. Veto override votes must be taken with roll calls that are no longer part of the plan for the rest of the 2013-2014 session. It’s unlikely that Patrick will veto any of the major bills on his desk but some lower profile bills sent his way may be at risk.


For Susan Kaplan’s conversation with Matt Murphy about the week ahead on Beacon Hill, click the audio player above.