Beacon Hill Roll Call: April 17 to April 21, 2023

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Published: 4/28/2023 5:49:06 PM
Modified: 4/28/2023 5:48:45 PM

There were no roll call votes in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the percentage of times local senators have voted with their party’s leadership so far in the nearly four months of the 2023 session.

Beacon Hill Roll Call uses 16 votes from the 2023 Senate session as the basis for this report. This includes all roll calls that were not on local issues.

The votes of the 35 Democrats were compared to Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, second-in-command in the Senate. We could not compare the Democrats’ votes to those of Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, because, by tradition, the Senate president rarely votes.

Thirty-one (88.5%) of the senators voted with Creem 100% of the time so far in 2023.

The senator who voted with Creem the smallest percentage of times is Sen. John Keenan, D-Quincy, who voted with her only 11 times (68.7%).

“I always respect and value the views and contributions of all my colleagues,” Keenan told Beacon Hill Roll Call. “I also recognize the differences in our perspectives and the politics of the districts we represent, and these sometimes lead to differences in voting records. What has always guided me in voting is doing what I believe to be right and what best benefits my constituents and all the residents of the commonwealth.”

The only other senators who did not vote with Creem 100% of the time are Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham, and Walter Timilty, D-Milton, both of whom voted with Creem only 13 times (81.2%); and Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, who voted with Creem 15 times (93.7%).

The votes of the two Republican senators were compared with those of GOP Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester. Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R-Weymouth, voted with Tarr 100% of the time while Sen. Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, voted with Tarr 93.7% of the time, disagreeing with Tarr on only one roll call.

The percentage next to the senator’s name represents the percentage of times the senator has supported his or her party’s leadership so far in 2023. The number in parentheses represents the number of times the senator opposed his or her party’s leadership.

Some senators voted on all 16 roll call votes. Others missed one or more roll calls. The percentage for each senator is calculated based on the number of roll calls on which he or she voted.

Sen. Joanne Comerford — 100% (0)

Sen. Anne Gobi — 100% (0)

Sen. Paul Mark — 100% (0)

Also up on Beacon Hill Hearings on Lottery games and rules

The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee held a hearing on several bills making changes in the Lottery, including:

Reduce Lottery litter (S 201): Would require the Lottery to create a second-chance Lottery game involving all paper lottery tickets and cardboard scratch tickets that do not contain winning numbers.

Supporters said this second-chance game would encourage the return and recycling of millions of losing Lottery tickets that otherwise are carelessly tossed out in stores and on the streets and contribute to the litter problem.

“While there is currently an anti-Lottery littering regulation in place, it does not go far enough to ensure Lottery tickets and scratch tickets are redeemed and recycled,” said Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R-Weymouth. “These tickets are constantly being found on the side of the road, in our parks and in our oceans. We can do better. Massachusetts had a very successful second-chance Lottery game, the Clean Fund Sweepstakes, from 2001 to 2007 and it is time we revisited the concept to help keep our public spaces clean.”

Privacy of Lottery winners (S 194): Would allow Lottery winners to request that their names, addresses and other identifying information not be disclosed by the Lottery Commission. The measure also requires the Lottery Commission to inform a winning ticket holder of their right not to have their personal information disclosed to the public. Another provision gives winners the right to refuse to perform any public action in connection with the awarding, payment or collection of prize money.

“Private citizens should never have to worry about their personal privacy or safety should they choose to play the Lottery,” said sponsor Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford. “Right now, the commonwealth effectively forces a prize winner to hire private legal counsel in order to remain confidential. This policy needs to change before someone is harmed by the shameless publicity and marketing sought by the Lottery, which is the only reason this bill has stalled. Personal safety is far more important than the promotion and advertisement of mere games, and I will continue to aggressively push this legislation.”

Distribute Lottery revenue based on sales in cities and towns (H 363): Would require that revenue from the Lottery be apportioned to cities and towns proportionate to Lottery sales in those municipalities. Under current law, the revenue is distributed under a population-based formula.

Supporters said that cities and towns where no or few tickets are sold are getting an unfair amount of revenue. They argued distributing the revenue based on Lottery sales is a fairer system.


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