Thursday, January 24, 2013
the Senate Republican Caucus was successful in passing a Senate rule that would
require the posting of roll call votes on the General Court website within 48
hours of the vote being taken. The
measure was passed unanimously by a vote of 39-0, and will take effect no later
than May 1st of this year.
This is a step in the right direction of transparency. This rule change will provide the public with the opportunity to see how exactly members are voting in a timely fashion.
- The television broadcasting of informal and formal sessions online and making a digital copy of the sessions available to public access television;
- posting filed bills on the internet;
- requiring a unanimous vote of all the members present to allow Senate business to proceed beyond the hour of midnight;
- mandating that any measure that proposes an increase in taxation by available in print and posted on the Senate website at least 7 days prior to consideration;
- directing the Senate Ways and Means Committee to include in its executive summary of the state budget any federal revenue source, non-recurring funding, and off-budget spending that alters an existing appropriation; and
- pairing of votes only in cases where a senator is absent from the chamber due to military service or physical incapacity.