This week the Massachusetts House of Representatives will meet in three straight days of formal session. According to multiple sources, these will be the last formal sessions of 2013. Red Mass Group has confirmed, by talking to four members of the legislature, that members have not been made aware of what they will be voting on this week.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the house will meet in formal session. On Saturday afternoon, with less than 48 hours before the first session will start, rank and file members of the legislators have no idea what they will be voting on. Is that how a democratic legislature should work?
Below is a screen-grab of the House Calendar as it appeared at around 12:50 on November 16, 2013, note the time stamp on the bottom right.
Republican members of the legislature stood together at the beginning of this session to try and stop practices like this. They voted 29-125 to require a 24 hour period to read bills that will be voted on. The Speaker didn’t want that to happen.
What is going to happen this week? What bills will be voted on that will reduce your liberty? How will you be able to urge your legislator to vote for or against them if even they don’t know what they are voting on?
If you would like to call or email your representative to ask them if they know what they will be voting on, you can find their contact information at this link.