Date: 6/3/2016 11:58 AM EDT
Conference Committee named for FY17 Budget
The House and Senate have named conferees to settle differences between their respective versions of the FY17 budget. On the House side, they are Ways & Means Chairman Brian Dempsey, Vice Chair Stephen Kulik, and Representative Todd Smola. The Senate will be represented by Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka, Vice Chair Sal DiDomenico, and Representative Vinny deMacedo.
Once the Conference Committee arrives at an agreement on the differences between the two budgets, their report incorporating those items will be presented for a vote by the House and Senate for a straight up or down vote.
Public Records Access in Massachusetts
Legislation to reform access to public records has been signed by Governor Baker. The updated law will allow parties that sue and prevail after being denied access to public records to seek attorneys' fees. Previously, the cost for such fees would be borne by the aggrieved party even when the case was decided in their favor.
Public Accommodations Rights for Transgender People
Now that both the House and the Senate have approved a version of legislation to extend public accommodation rights to transgender individuals, many are hoping that a final bill can make its way to Governor Baker's desk soon. The legislation is aimed at preventing discrimination against transgender people in public places, and includes allowing them to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity, even if it differs from their biological gender.