Senate Adopts New Rules, Reflecting Transparency and Openness, for 2015-16 Session

We share this press release from the Senate President’s office.

For Immediate Release, January 21, 2015

Senate Adopts New Rules, Reflecting Transparency and Openness, for 2015-16 Session

Boston, MA- The Massachusetts State Senate adopted new rules today in formal session that will govern internal Senate procedures for the upcoming two year session. This is the earliest the rules have been adopted by the Senate since they moved to a two year session in 1995.

The new rules reflect the priorities of openness and transparency for Senate business that Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) promised in his inaugural address to the Senate on January 7th.

“The task and the request was transparency, accountability, and shared leadership and I think these rules that we have come up with all contribute to those three agenda items and I’m really pleased,” said Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. “With the adoption of the new rules the Senate can hit the ground running and get to work helping the people of the Commonwealth.”

“As Chair of the Rules Committee, I had the privilege of working with my colleagues from both parties to propose a set of rules that will usher the Senate into a new era of transparency, empowerment, and shared leadership,” said State Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I believe the Committee’s work is a step towards the vision Senate President Rosenberg had in mind for the Senate and that today’s debate reflected a full and fair consideration of all proposals.”

“Working together, we’ve been able to build a set of rules that advance the goals of transparency and accountability, and set the stage for productive debate that respects members of all parties and all perspectives,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “While some opportunities offered by the Republican Caucus were missed, others were captured and made the rules adopted today stronger.”

Changes to the rules include: increasing the time for the agenda for formal session to be published from 24 to 48 hours, instructs the Clerk to publish on the internet late-filed bills not yet admitted and numbered, and requires prompt posting of bill text voted on by the Senate, and requires text of further or redrafted budget amendments to be distributed a reasonable time before Senators vote.

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2 replies on “Senate Adopts New Rules, Reflecting Transparency and Openness, for 2015-16 Session”

  1. These sound like good improvements to make the Senate more transparent and deliberative. I hope the House follows suit.

  2. And term limits were killed? How did that happen? Sure sounds like a power play that no one had the courage to stand up to.

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