House Speaker Mariano fitted with pacemaker in Florida

Political News

House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka, who are both over 65, have each received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2021)

BOSTON (SHNS) – House Speaker Ron Mariano was recently hospitalized while in Florida and fitted with a pacemaker after experiencing “some medical discomfort,” according a statement released by his office Monday evening, but the 74-year-old Quincy Democrat said he hopes to resume a full work schedule soon.

Mariano, who took over the top job in the House last December, either returned or was returning to Massachusetts on Monday where he planned to see his own doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“While in Florida for a few days I was admitted to the hospital after experiencing some medical discomfort. I have taken statin medication for some time but have never had an incident before,” Mariano said in a statement to the News Service.

“After some tests I was fitted with a pacemaker and remained in the hospital to monitor and adjust it,” he continued.

The speaker’s office released the statement Tuesday night following an inquiry into whether the leader had participated in the semi-regular conference call on Mondays with Gov. Charlie Baker and Senate President Karen Spilka.

It’s unclear when the health scare occurred or how long Mariano has been in Florida, where he had traveled with his wife.

The House met in a Constitutional Convention last Wednesday to vote to advance the “millionaires tax” to the 2022 ballot, and Mariano is recorded as voting in favor, though several people who work in the State House told the News Service that they did not recall seeing the speaker on the floor during the joint session.

The House also held a formal session on Thursday, and will be in session on Tuesday when the branch plans to take up legislation to extend multiple pandemic policies that expire at 12:01 a.m. when the COVID-19 state of emergency is due to expire. Many members continue to call into sessions and vote remotely.

“I continue to feel stronger and am confident I will resume my regular, full schedule shortly,” Mariano said.

The top Democrat said his experience in Florida reinforced for him the importance of his and the Legislature’s work on health care policy.

“In my time in the legislature I have spent a lot of it on health care policy. After this first hand look it has hit home for me how important this work is and will continue to be. Everyone everywhere deserves this same level of care,” Mariano said.

The former teacher first joined the House in 1991, and represents the Third Norfolk District, spanning parts of Quincy and Weymouth and Holbrook. He succeeded former House Speaker Robert DeLeo last December, and was elected to his first full term as speaker in January.

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