Significant legislative developments in Massachusetts

Issue April 2010

by Kelsey Sadoff

MBA Acting Executive Director and General Counsel Martin W. Healy provided an opportunity for MBA Annual Conference 2010 attendees to brush up on the legislative process.

"The mindset on the hill is to try to grapple with the fiscal crisis," said Healy, who noted that with the 2010 election looming, there is the potential for a very active second half of the legislative session. Healy also reminded attendees that "practitioners need to pay attention to state budgets."

There were roughly 200 enactments at the conclusion of the formal session in November, Healy said. He noted that the Senate passed a sentencing reform bill in November 2009 and that the MBA is currently supporting the potential for reform in the area of alimony years with a durational requirement.

Criminal law matters, which are slated to be "hot subject matter," due to the upcoming election, include a "number of enactments geared to public officials." Healy noted that at the time of the conference, more than 30 legislators had already decided not to seek re-election.

"The area of reform on public benefits has not gone unnoticed," said Healy. "The financial climate - the so-called upset election - this has motivated many to throw in the towel."