State lawmakers extend legislative session

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The legislative session would traditionally end July 31, but lawmakers on Beacon Hill have taken steps to extend it.

Right now, there are several major bills in the works, including a state budget and a police reform package. All of the legislators that 22News spoke with said they’re willing to stay in session until it all gets done.

This is only the third time in state history that the legislature has decided to extend the formal session. The House voted unanimously on Thursday to suspend the formal calendar, giving lawmakers more time to debate issues like transportation, education, and healthcare.

“It made sense for reasons of state finance and across a spectrum of policy that we would contemplate the idea of extending the session out until the end of the year,” said Rep. Joe Wagner of Chicopee.

Typically, the second year of a session is an election year and lawmakers use the summer campaign. This year, lawmakers would have most of August off, and they’d return in September, they would then stay in session until the middle of December.

The Senate still needs to agree to this plan but opponents are hoping they don’t, they say it would show a clear political power grab by leaders in the House and Senate if they extend the session.  

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