Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012
Legislature wraps up formal session
The Legislature wrapped up the formal portion of its session
late Tuesday night. The last days and hours of the session were
filled with issues of importance to MBA members.
FY13 Court Budget
These past few weeks the Massachusetts Bar Association worked to
obtain a legislative override to a gubernatorial veto of the
Court's FY 2013 budget. The override passed in the waning hours of
the session and will add $10 million back into the Court's budget
and avoid up to 300 layoffs of court probation employees.
The MBA-supported Workers Right to Know bill was passed by the
House and Senate and is now pending on Gov. Deval L. Patrick's
desk. The legislation, of particular importance to the Workplace
Safety Task Force, requires employers to provide temporary workers
with written notice of key details of their work assignments and
the legal protections available to them. The MBA is urging Patrick
to sign the legislation. Click here to see the
MBA's letter. Click
here to see the bill.
Medical Malpractice Reform
The MBA was instrumental in the historical and successful work
with the Massachusetts Medical Society and Massachusetts Academy of
Trial Attorneys in developing an administrative process that
protects patients and allows medical professionals to express
remorse for their errors. The culmination of two years of advocacy
by the MBA resulted in the inclusion of an administrative procedure
that protects patients in the omnibus health care bill enacted on
Monday and now pending on the Patrick's desk. The MBA successfully
lobbied the Legislature to reject a number of medical malpractice
reform measures that were part of the larger health care reform
here to see the bill.
Patrick signed the so-called Habitual Offender bill this morning
in a private bill signing at the State House. He signed the measure
despite the Legislature's rejection of amendments proposed by him
that would have granted judicial discretion in sentencing repeat
offenders. The final bill included changes long-sought by the MBA
in the area of reducing school-zone criminal penalties in drug
related offenses and increased parole opportunities for non-violent
mandatory drug offenders; it is estimated that over 500 individuals
will now be eligible.
Click here to see the bill.