Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012
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Legislative News

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.

Workers Rights

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 debate. Click here to see the bill.

Mandatory Sentencing

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.

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