BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — On the final day the full state Legislature meets on Beacon Hill this session, it’s a race to the finish line. State lawmakers have until midnight Tuesday to complete unfinished business before they break for the summer. In the morning, the House and Senate passed an energy bill that stabilizes electricity costs and ensures better communication between utility companies and customers during power outages.
“The process here is by no means perfect and often times does require that hard deadline to reach compromise,” said Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield). “Our hope is that the governor will sign it very soon.”
In the next few hours, both branches will also try to pass a health care overhaul bill that reigns in health care costs and an economic development bill that stimulates business growth in Massachusetts.
Rep. Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee), the lead author of the economic development bill, said he was unconcerned by the last minute passage of the bill. “It just so happens that it is before us on the last day of session but these are things we’ve talked about for many months,” said Wagner. “There was broad agreement on most of the substantive issues.”
Molly’s bill, which proposes to make license plates easier to identify, is also awaiting action. Lead advocate of the bill, Magi Bish, believes she saw the car of the man who abducted and murdered her daughter, Molly, from Comins pond in Warren in 2000. Bish said it's been 8 years since she first began fighting for this bill.
“Thursday is Molly’s 29
th birthday so we are anxiously waiting for this to go forward,” said Bish.
Lawmakers said a child services bill that reforms how state agencies respond to delinquent children will likely fail to make the midnight deadline.
All the bills passed by the Legislature must still be approved by Governor Deval Patrick, who can sign, veto or return the bill with changes, effectively killing it.
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