By Bob Katzen
UPDATE: In a recent report, Beacon Hill Roll Call examined the percentage of times that Democratic representatives voted with Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo on key roll call votes in 2012. We found that 42 out of the House's 160 representatives voted 100 percent of the time with DeLeo. In hindsight, it would have painted a better and broader picture if we examined both 2011 and 2012. So we decided to do that. And here are the updated results:
While the percentage of times each Democrat voted with DeLeo did not dramatically change when using the two years rather than just one, the one thing that did decline sharply was the number of Democrats who voted with DeLeo 100 percent of the time. By adding 2011, the number of reps who voted 100 percent with DeLeo dropped by 28. It was 42 for 2012 and dropped to 14 when we combined 2011 and 2012.
Here is the list of Democrats who voted 100 percent of the time with DeLeo in 2012, but less than 100 percent with him in the two-year period of 2011 and 2012. The number in parentheses is the number of times the representative voted against DeLeo in 2011 and 2012.
THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.
Beacon Hill Roll Call this week examines the voting records of local representatives on Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's 28 vetoes during the 2011-2012 session. A two-thirds vote is required to override a gubernatorial veto in a full 160-member House that includes 127 Democrats and 33 Republicans. The governor needed the support of 53 representatives to sustain a veto when all 160 members voted and fewer votes if some members were absent or had resigned. Patrick fell far short of that goal. Six votes were the most support he received on any veto. The House easily overrode all 28 vetoes, including 22 that were overridden unanimously.
The vetoes had virtually no support from the GOP members and very little support from the chamber's Democrats. Only one Republican, Rep. Geoff Diehl, R-Whitman, voted with Patrick in favor of sustaining one of the 28 vetoes. Only 25 Democrats voted with Patrick to sustain any vetoes, including Rep. Denise Andrews, D -Orange, who gave him the most support, siding with him on six vetoes. Sixteen Democrats supported the governor on only one veto while 102 did not give him any support.
Here's how local representatives fared in their support of Patrick's vetoes.
The percentage next to the representative's name represents the percentage of times the member supported Patrick's vetoes.
The number in parentheses represents the number of times the legislator supported Patrick's vetoes.
Some representatives voted on all 28 roll-call votes. Others missed one or more of the votes. Their records are based on the number of roll calls on which they voted and does not count the roll calls for which they were absent.
Rep. Jennifer Benson, 0 percent (0)
Rep. Sheila Harrington, 0 percent (0)
ALSO ON BEACON HILL NO PENSION FOR FORMER SPEAKER FINNERAN: The State Retirement Board voted to permanently strip former House Speaker Tom Finneran of his roughly $33,000 state pension and repay him the amount he contributed to his own retirement. Finneran served as speaker of the House from 1996 to 2004. In January 2007, he pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in a case associated with the Legislature's 2001 redistricting plans. Finneran has not received pension payments since he pleaded guilty in 2007 but last week's ruling makes the revocation permanent. The former speaker has the right to appeal the ruling.
RECORKING WINE (S 115): The House gave initial approval to a Senate-approved bill that would expand the current law allowing restaurant and hotel customers to bring home an unfinished bottle of wine. The proposal would expand the law to taverns, clubs and veterans' organizations like American Legion posts. The wine would have to be resealed and then placed in a one-time-use tamper-proof, transparent bag.
LAWS TAKING EFFECT
Several laws approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Patrick in August have recently taken effect or are about to do so. Most approved new laws don't take effect until 90 days after the governor signs them. New laws include:
EMERGENCY BATHROOM USE (H 2366): Effective Oct. 30: Requires retail establishments to allow use of their bathrooms by people who have written documentation from a doctor of any medical condition, including ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, that requires immediate access to a restroom. Retail establishments are defined as "any business or place where members of the public have access as invitees or licensees."
The law applies only if a public restroom is not immediately accessible; the establishment's restroom is not located in an area where providing access would create a health or safety risk to the customer or a security risk to the business; and three or more employees of the establishment are working at the time of the request. Businesses that violate the proposed law would be subject to a $100 fine for a first offense and up to $200 for subsequent offenses.
BAN CYBER CAFÉS (H 3765): Effective Oct. 30: Prohibits cyber cafés that allow gamblers to play online slots. The new law makes it a crime to conduct a sweepstakes with an electronic machine and punishes offenders with up to 15 years in state prison or a $250,000 per machine fine.
Supporters of the ban say the cafés, pretending to sell Internet access or phone cards, actually allow gamblers to play online slots and sweepstakes in which they win "points" that can be redeemed for cash at the café. They argued these are simply cyber scams, with no posted odds or guarantee of payouts for players.
Opponents argue the cafés are a good source of entertainment and customers are aware of the long odds.
REGULATE AUTO-GLASS REPAIR COMPANIES (S 2216): Effective Nov. 1: Regulates auto-glass repair companies and requires them to register with the state's Division of Standards. Other provisions require the companies to have a physical address in Massachusetts and to keep a record of each vehicle on which they work.
PROTECT TEMPORARY DAY WORKERS (H 4304): Effective Nov. 4: Protects temporary day workers. A key provision prohibits staffing agencies from charging the worker various fees, including the cost of registering with the agency or for performing a criminal record check, and from charging any fee that would reduce a worker's pay below the minimum wage. The new law also requires the agencies to provide their workers with a form clearly informing them of their wages, location of the job, name of the company, whether meals are provided and expected hours and benefits, such as worker's compensation.
Supporters say the law will finally regulate staffing agencies, which often take advantage of many of the state's day workers. They argue this will protect these workers, who currently wait every morning for a van to pick them up and take them to a job at which they have no idea of the pay, the work involved and what will happen if they get hurt on the jobsite.
Opponents say they support the rights of these workers but argued the abuses by the agencies are already illegal under existing state law and should be enforced. They argue the new law will duplicate regulations that already exist and will only lead to more bureaucracy.
Special Gov. Patrick edition, with all quotes by the governor.
"I don't care, and I don't think most people do."
-- On Donald Trump's offer to give $5 million to President Obama's favorite charity if the president will release his college records and his passport.
"(The company) will never practice again in Massachusetts."
-- Announcing that the State Board of Pharmacy has voted to permanently revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy at the center of the spread of fungal meningitis to more than 300 people in 17 states including 23 deaths.
"A wonderful, wonderful way to assure that people get to participate. I'd love to have it here."
-- On early voting for president taking place in other states.
"We (should) treat all high school students who have grown up here and gone to school here and qualify for admission the same. And in the case of high school graduates who are undocumented people or illegal aliens with the added condition that they are straightening out their immigration status."
-- On allowing illegal immigrant students to pay the in-state tuition rates and fees at Massachusetts colleges and universities if they have graduated from a high school in Massachusetts and sign an affidavit stating they have filed or will in the future file an application to become a citizen or permanent resident.
"It feels like a middle school dance. You feel a little bit like a jerk while you're wondering if anybody's going to talk to you ... It's weird."
-- On being an Obama surrogate in the spin room after the presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York. Following the debate, surrogates go to the room and stand next to a stick sign with their name, indicating they are available to talk to the media.
HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK'S SESSION: During the week of Oct. 22, the House met for a total of 31 minutes while the Senate met for a total of 24 minutes.