Updated: Thursday, 17 Sep 2009, 11:50 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 17 Sep 2009, 10:27 PM EDT
BOSTON, Mass. (AP / WWLP) - The Massachusetts House of Representatives has approved a bill
allowing Governor Patrick to appoint an interim Senator to the seat
left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death.
The House voted 95-58 in favor of the bill Thursday night. The bill now moves to the Senate, where Republicans plan to use procedural maneuvers to keep it from consideration until next week.
Westfield Republican State Senator Michael Knapik said his minority party wants to take a little time... provide a little breathing room.
"Make sure people fully understand what the consequences are. It's not simply appointing somebody between now and January.
It's about changing dramatically the election laws in Massachusetts to suit a particular purpose."
Ludlow Democrat State Representative Thomas Petrolati told
22News that quick passage of the law will benefit the people of the
"I think people recognize that we need a strong voice in the U.S. Senate to make sure that the stimulus money that we've been promised from the federal government is starts to flow into Massachusetts."
The State Senate will likely take up the bill next week. If it
passes in the Senate and the governor signs it, Deval Patrick will
have the power to appoint a care-taker Senator until voters choose
a replacement for the late Senator Kennedy in the January 19th