DeLeo to resign Tuesday evening; new speaker to be chosen Wednesday

Boston Statehouse

House Speaker Robert DeLeo told reporters Wednesday that a bill the House plans to vote on is not meant to reopen a debate surrounding cannabis sales but clarify the powers of the Cannabis Control Commission. (Photo: Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS)

BOSTON (SHNS) – House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, plans to resign from the Legislature after 30 years on Beacon Hill on Tuesday, ending a 12-year run as speaker of the House during which he oversaw the legalization of casino gambling and passage of landmark health care, gun control, and criminal justice reform laws.

DeLeo, 70, announced Monday that he would resign as speaker and from the House of Representatives effective Tuesday at 6 p.m.

His departure will allow the House to choose a new speaker before the next session begins.

Majority Leader Ron Mariano, who entered the House the same year as DeLeo in 1991, appears to have the votes locked up to become the next speaker.

DeLeo’s letter of resignation was read on the House floor not long after the House voted narrowly Monday to override Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of an expansion of abortion access in Massachusetts.

“This House has consistently led the way and provided solutions to some of the most complex and challenging public policy problems of our time. It is a comfort for me to know that, through our joint efforts, when I leave I do so with the knowledge that the House is well positioned for continued success,” DeLeo wrote.

DeLeo had previously said before Christmas that he had entered into negotiations with Northeastern University for future employment, though his letter did not specify whether he had agreed to take a job as his alma mater in Boston.

DeLeo plans to give a farewell address to the House on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., and a Democratic caucus to elect a new speaker has been scheduled for Wednesday at noon.

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