The legislative session draws to a close next month, therefore
the Legislature remains busy in the last days of the session.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives took up several bills of
interest to the Massachusetts Bar Association.
The House passed legislation, by a vote of 127 to 16, providing
for the opportunity for parole for juveniles convicted of first
degree murder after serving 20 to 25 years. Juveniles convicted in
cases deemed to be pre-meditated, committed with malice or
extremely cruel would be eligible for parole after serving 25 to 30
years. This bill also has a look-back provision. The MBA, at its
May House of Delegates meeting, adopted a set of parole principles
for juveniles convicted of murder. The principles oppose
legislatively mandated parole eligibility dates and urge courts be
empowered to set a parole eligibility date in each case based on an
individual assessment of the factors regarding the offender and the
offense. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Burial benefits in workers' compensation deaths
The House passed conference committee legislation to increase
the minimum wage in Massachusetts. Included in that bill, was an
MBA-backed proposal to increase burial benefits for workers'
compensation deaths from $4,000 to eight times the average weekly
wage under the Workers' Compensation Statute. The conference
committee report now awaits action by the Senate, which could
happen as early as today.
Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights
The House passed MBA-backed legislation creating a Domestic
Workers' Bill of Rights that would establish labor standards and
protect the basic rights of domestic workers. This bill was already
passed in the Senate and will now head to Gov. Deval L. Patrick for