NOTICE: - While reasonable efforts have been made to assure the accuracy of the data herein, this is NOT the official version of Senate Journal. It is published to provide information in a timely manner, but has not been proofread against the events of the session for this day. All information obtained from this source should be checked against a proofed copy of the Senate Journal.
JOURNAL OF THE SENATE.
Monday, April 14, 2008.
Met at three minutes past eleven o’clock A.M. (Mr. Petruccelli in the Chair).
The Chair (Mr. Petruccelli), members, guests and employees then recited the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
A report of the Massachusetts Small Business Assistance Advisory Council detailing the efforts and findings of their work, as well as recommendations for 2008 (received Friday, April 11, 2008),— was placed on file.
Ms. Resor presented a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Pamela P. Resor, Benjamin B. Downing, Robert L. Hedlund, Richard T. Moore and other members of the General Court for legislation to preserve drinking water quality and reliability,— and the same was referred, under Senate Rule 20, to the committees on Rules of the two branches, acting concurrently.
Reports of a Committee.
By Mr. Moore, for the committee on Health Care Financing, on petition (accompanied by resolve, Senate, No. 421), a Resolve relative to the prevention of falls in the elderly community (Senate, No. 2331) [Estimated cost — $0];
Read and, under Joint Rule 29, referred to the committees on Rules of the two branches, acting concurrently.
By the same Senator, for the same committee, on Senate, Nos. 72, 95, 411, 419, 656, 659, 660, 661, 662, 675, 677, 682, 683, 686, 691, 695, 696, 703, 706, 1214, 1238, 1242, 1246, 1250, 1254, 1256, 1257, 1265, 1278, 1279, 1282, 1318, 1328, 1330, 2189, 2517 and 2526 and House, Nos. 1076, 1152, 1153, 1166, 2052, 2096, 2119, 2164, 2183, 2197, 2236, 2279, 3936, 4520, 4564 and 4587, a Bill to promote cost containment, transparency and efficient in the delivery of quality health care (Senate, No. 2526) [Estimated cost — more than $100,000];
Read and, under Senate Rule 27, referred to the committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Moore, for the committee on Health Care Financing, reported, asking to be discharged from further consideration of the Senate Bill governing removal of certain occupants to clients of the Department of Social Services (Senate, No. 1085),— and recommending that the same be referred to the Senate committee on Ways and Means.
Under Senate Rule 36, the report was considered forthwith and accepted.
Sent to the House for concurrence in the discharge of the joint committee.
PAPERS FROM THE HOUSE.
A Bill improving tax fairness and business competitiveness (House, No. 4672,— on House, Nos. 2980, 3756, and 4499),— was read and, under Senate Rule 27, referred to the committee on Ways and Means.
A Bill placing certain questions on the ballot of the November 2008 Presidential election (House, No. 4558,— on House, No. 4500) [Local approval received on House, No. 4500],— was read and, under Senate Rule 26, placed in the Orders of the Day for the next session.
A communication from the Clerk of the House of Representatives, informing the Senate of the following appointments:
That Representative Aguiar of Fall River has been appointed to the committee on Higher Education and the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
That Representative Clark of Melrose has been appointed to the committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities and to the committee on Education.
That Representative Ehrlich of Marblehead has been appointed to the committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling and the committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
That Representative Garballey of Arlington has been appointed to the committee on Post Audit and Oversight and Municipalities and Regional Government for the 2007-2008 legislative session,— was placed on file.
The following resolutions (having been filed with the Clerk) were severally considered forthwith and adopted, as follows:—
Resolutions (filed by Mr. McGee) “honoring the 2007 Saint Mary’s Girls Ice Hockey Team on their perfect season and Division I State Championship”;
Resolutions (filed by Ms. Spilka, Messrs. Brewer, Buoniconti, Joyce, Moore and Panagiotakos, Ms. Resor, Ms. Tucker and Ms. Chandler) “honoring the city of Marathon, the Government of Greece and the Fame of the Marathon Run”; and
Resolutions (filed by Messrs. Timilty, Brewer and Brown, Ms. Candaras, Ms. Chandler, Messrs. Downing, Galluccio, Hedlund, Joyce and McGee, Ms. Resor, Ms. Tucker and Ms. Wilkerson) “congratulating Andre Tippett on his election to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.”
The Clerk read the following communication from His Excellency Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth (received in the office of the Clerk of the Senate on Monday, April 14, 2008, at two minutes before ten o’clock A.M.):
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE - BOSTON 02133
April 11, 2008.
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
I have decided to allow Senate Bill No. 1059, “An Act Further Regulating Employee Compensation,” to become law without my signature. I am allowing the bill to become law because I support efforts to ensure that all workers are paid the wages and compensation legally owed to them. I am declining to sign the bill because I remain concerned that mandating treble damages in all cases, without any exception for employers who act in good faith, is unfairly punitive.
I proposed an amendment, patterned after the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, that would have resolved this concern. My proposal would have given workers a presumptive entitlement to treble damages, but also provide courts with discretion to award less than treble damages in cases where an employer acted in good faith. Although the Legislature did not accept my proposed amendment, it is my hope that the House and Senate, upon further study, will recognize that situations exist in which the application of the wage and hour laws ought to be different for employers who are acting with the utmost good faith. In such situations it is neither warranted nor fair to impose mandatory treble damages.
DEVAL L. PATRICK,
On motion of Mr. Knapik, the above communication was ordered printed in the Journal of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Knapik, Senate Rule 20 and Joint Rule 12 were suspended on the petition, presented by Ms. Murray, (accompanied by bill) of Therese Murray, Eric Turkington, Robert A. O’Leary, Jeffrey D. Perry and other members of the General Court for legislation to create the Massachusetts Military Reservation Fire Department,— and the same was referred to the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Sent to the House for concurrence.
Reports of Committees.
By Mr. Downing, for the committees on Rules of the two branches, acting concurrently, that Joint Rule 12 be suspended on the Senate petition of Stanley C. Rosenberg and Peter V. Kocot for legislation to affect certain land in Northampton subject to an agricultural preservation restriction.
Senate Rule 36 was suspended, on motion of Mr. Knapik, and the report was considered forthwith. Joint Rule 12 was suspended; and the petition (accompanied by bill) was referred to the committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Sent to the House for concurrence.
PAPER FROM THE HOUSE.
A petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 4677) of James M. Murphy relative to authorizing the state board of retirement to grant creditable service to Mary R. Hayes,— was referred, in concurrence, under suspension of Joint Rule 12, to the committee on Public Service.
On motion of Mr. Knapik,—
Ordered, That when the Senate adjourns today, it adjourn to meet again tomorrow at eleven o’clock A.M., and that the Clerk be directed to dispense with the printing of a calendar.
On motion of Mr. Knapik, at nine minutes past eleven o’clock A.M., the Senate adjourned to meet on the following day at eleven o’clock A.M.