BOSTON (SHNS) – A third distinct version of the House’s controversial gun law reform bill is advancing out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday morning as the House continues to circumvent the usual committee process to get the priority of Speaker Ron Mariano to the floor for a vote Wednesday afternoon.
Just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Ways and Means Committee told its members they had until 10:45 a.m. to vote to either advance or spike part of Gov. Maura Healey’s fiscal year 2023 supplemental budget bill (H 4090) that has been redrafted to include only the latest draft of the bill the House has been working on for months to address ghost guns, update the state’s so-called red flag law, limit the presence of firearms in public spaces, streamline the licensing process and more.
The bill is advancing with the bill number H 4135. It is technically a different bill than the one (HD 4607) that got a hearing last Tuesday. That bill was never actually referred to either committee that held last week’s hearing but on Monday was sent to the House Committee on Rules. Instead, the Ways and Means Committee reported out part of Healey’s still-outstanding fiscal year 2023 close-out budget and amended it to reflect the gun legislation.
It was not immediately clear what changes, if any, the House Ways and Means Committee made to the gun bill since it got a public hearing last week before a joint sitting of the Ways and Means and House Judiciary committees. A committee spokesperson said the Ways and Means Committee’s edits were purely of a technical nature. House Democrats are scheduled to caucus at noon Tuesday and Mariano has said he expects the gun bill to pass the House when it is taken up Wednesday.