House, Senate members agree on legislative rules for 2019 session

Massachusetts

Members of both the House and Senate have come to a general consensus on the issues of harassment, discrimination, and transparency.

The house agreed to new, gender-neutral language, striking ‘he’ from bill text, and replacing it with ‘they.’

On Wednesday, House members had a lengthy debate about the public’s ability to view bills and amendments before they’re voted on. 

Northampton state representative Lindsay Sabadosa made her first speech on the house floor in support of a new transparency rule for house members, but it went down to defeat by a more than two-to-one margin.

In the Senate, lawmakers passed a strict harassment policy, requiring timely training for legislators and staff.

Pittsfield State Senator Adam Hinds said It’s important to confront sexual harassment in the State House.

Joint rules were also adopted by the Senate. They would require all recorded votes in joint committees to be posted on the General Court website, making them readily available to the public.

The joint rules will still need to be reconciled with the House rules.

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