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JFK Address to General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - January 9th, 1961
JFK Address to General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - January 9th, 1961
Published: 2013/11/17
Channel: Steven Carter
From Governor Calvin Coolidge
From Governor Calvin Coolidge's Address to the Massachusetts General Court Jan 8 1920 122910.wmv
Published: 2010/12/30
Channel: NEPatriotsMass
Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
Published: 2016/01/22
Channel: WikiAudio
Massachusetts State House - Massachusetts General Court - State Legislature
Massachusetts State House - Massachusetts General Court - State Legislature
Published: 2012/06/30
Channel: 123visitamerica
Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
Published: 2016/08/07
Channel: WikiWikiup
Massachusetts Legislature
Massachusetts Legislature
Published: 2015/03/19
Channel: MassFiscalAlliance
Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court 1691 1780 A Biographical Dictionary
Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court 1691 1780 A Biographical Dictionary
Published: 2016/01/30
Channel: katie
Massachusetts AR Ban!! Attorney General Belongs in Jail!!
Massachusetts AR Ban!! Attorney General Belongs in Jail!!
Published: 2017/07/17
Channel: Frances Fisher
Massachusetts Update: AG Healey Wins Legal Round Against Glock
Massachusetts Update: AG Healey Wins Legal Round Against Glock
Published: 2016/11/08
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
Massachusetts NG Field Artillery Training
Massachusetts NG Field Artillery Training
Published: 2016/09/16
Channel: USA Patriotism!
January 9, 1961 - President-Elect John F. Kennedy addresses the Massachusetts State Legislature
January 9, 1961 - President-Elect John F. Kennedy addresses the Massachusetts State Legislature
Published: 2009/09/06
Channel: HelmerReenberg
Atlas, The Next Generation
Atlas, The Next Generation
Published: 2016/02/23
Channel: BostonDynamics
Massachusetts To Join Court Battle Against Trump Travel Ban
Massachusetts To Join Court Battle Against Trump Travel Ban
Published: 2017/01/31
Channel: Wochit News
Urban Exploration - Rutland Massachusetts
Urban Exploration - Rutland Massachusetts
Published: 2015/12/16
Channel: ADV TV
Massachusetts state song (official anthem)
Massachusetts state song (official anthem)
Published: 2016/03/18
Channel: Yo Tube
Massachusetts Attorney General
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
Published: 2017/05/02
Channel: Trump News, Truth Natasha
Massachusetts General Hospital Notice of Suicide
Massachusetts General Hospital Notice of Suicide
Published: 2014/03/11
Channel: William Barabino
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire
Published: 2016/11/04
Channel: 4.0 History Tutoring Dr. Adrien Ivan
Massachusetts Update: 2 Bills Look To Overturn Assault Weapons Ban
Massachusetts Update: 2 Bills Look To Overturn Assault Weapons Ban
Published: 2017/02/21
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
Massachusetts Update: Assault Weapons Ban Challenged In Court
Massachusetts Update: Assault Weapons Ban Challenged In Court
Published: 2017/03/11
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
Massachusetts Update: GoFundMe Campaign to Help Fight Attorney General in Court
Massachusetts Update: GoFundMe Campaign to Help Fight Attorney General in Court
Published: 2016/08/19
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Published: 2016/08/10
Channel: WikiWikiup
More Gun Control For Massachusetts??!!??
More Gun Control For Massachusetts??!!??
Published: 2017/02/15
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
All Cases Moved To Massachusetts Supreme Court
All Cases Moved To Massachusetts Supreme Court
Published: 2017/05/02
Channel: Trump News, Truth Natasha
State Representative Sean Curran
State Representative Sean Curran's Farewell Adress
Published: 2014/12/17
Channel: City of Springfield MA
Bloomberg Backed Gun Control Filed in 20 States
Bloomberg Backed Gun Control Filed in 20 States
Published: 2017/04/18
Channel: Guns & Gadgets
Who Is One Of Your States US Senators Now In Massachusetts?
Who Is One Of Your States US Senators Now In Massachusetts?
Published: 2017/07/20
Channel: run sparky
[Subtitles] Russian found Capital Bulding in Boston!
[Subtitles] Russian found Capital Bulding in Boston!
Published: 2016/07/24
Channel: Russian with GoPro
Harvard University
Harvard University
Published: 2016/07/18
Channel: mostafijur rahman
John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Published: 2011/11/30
Channel: ltc82492
209A Protective Orders
209A Protective Orders
Published: 2010/06/28
Channel: MassLegalHelp
Massachusetts AR Ban!! Attorney General Belongs in Jail!!
Massachusetts AR Ban!! Attorney General Belongs in Jail!!
Published: 2016/07/20
Channel: Kotaboy32 Tactical
Supreme Court Overturns Massachusetts Stun Gun Ruling
Supreme Court Overturns Massachusetts Stun Gun Ruling
Published: 2016/03/22
Channel: United News International
Massachusetts House votes for pay increase
Massachusetts House votes for pay increase
Published: 2017/01/25
Channel: WWLP-22News
Congressman Gets Angry About Internet Privacy Vote: "What the heck are you thinking?"
Congressman Gets Angry About Internet Privacy Vote: "What the heck are you thinking?"
Published: 2017/03/30
Channel: Listen Up
Massachusetts Court Rules for Woman fired for Medical Marijuana Use
Massachusetts Court Rules for Woman fired for Medical Marijuana Use
Published: 2017/07/17
Channel: Wochit News
Citizen Petition to Legalize Marijuana
Citizen Petition to Legalize Marijuana
Published: 2011/02/21
Channel: WWLP-22News
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Under Sharia Law
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Under Sharia Law
Published: 2016/09/29
Channel: Trump News, Truth Natasha
Massachusetts Will Trump Sues Immigration Policy in Court
Massachusetts Will Trump Sues Immigration Policy in Court
Published: 2017/02/01
Channel: TV PelangiNet News International
President Calvin Coolidge as the 48th Governor of Massachusetts   Address to the General Court Jan 8
President Calvin Coolidge as the 48th Governor of Massachusetts Address to the General Court Jan 8
Published: 2016/01/08
Channel: NEPatriotsMass
Massachusetts  Wants To Kill You For Telling The Truth
Massachusetts Wants To Kill You For Telling The Truth
Published: 2017/05/04
Channel: Trump News, Truth Natasha
Massachusetts General Laws - 209A Abuse Protection & 258E Harassment Prevention Orders
Massachusetts General Laws - 209A Abuse Protection & 258E Harassment Prevention Orders
Published: 2017/04/19
Channel: Dan Landry
Right to Repair
Right to Repair
Published: 2012/04/16
Channel: familiesonboard
Massachusetts Immigration Policy
Massachusetts Immigration Policy
Published: 2017/07/24
Channel: Wochit News
Massachusetts Crimes Can Be Talked About On The Internet
Massachusetts Crimes Can Be Talked About On The Internet
Published: 2017/05/01
Channel: Trump News, Truth Natasha
Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) Court Funding Campaign: INTRO
Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) Court Funding Campaign: INTRO
Published: 2012/01/12
Channel: MassBarAssociation
Medfield Mass Real Estate Market Update by MIchael Mahoney of Remax Executive Realtors
Medfield Mass Real Estate Market Update by MIchael Mahoney of Remax Executive Realtors
Published: 2014/09/15
Channel: Michael Mahoney
Mass General First Responders on Boston Marathon Bombing
Mass General First Responders on Boston Marathon Bombing
Published: 2014/04/08
Channel: MassGeneralHospital
Calvin Coolidge   Address to the General  Court beginning 2nd year as Governor January 8 1920 091415
Calvin Coolidge Address to the General Court beginning 2nd year as Governor January 8 1920 091415
Published: 2015/09/14
Channel: NEPatriotsMass
Road to Boston, official march of Massachusetts - Fiddling Thomsons
Road to Boston, official march of Massachusetts - Fiddling Thomsons
Published: 2013/01/09
Channel: 4stringjoe
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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The General Court of Massachusetts
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Stan Rosenberg (D)
Since January 7, 2015
Robert DeLeo (D)
Since January 27, 2009
Structure
Seats 200
40 senators
160 representatives
Massachusetts Senate SVG.svg
Senate[1] political groups
Massachusetts House of Representatives.svg
House of Representatives political groups
Elections
Senate[1] last election
November 4, 2014
Meeting place
Mass statehouse eb1.jpg
Massachusetts State House, Boston, Massachusetts
Website
www.malegislature.gov

The Massachusetts General Court (formally styled the General Court of Massachusetts)[2] is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when the colonial assembly, in addition to making laws, sat as a judicial court of appeals. Before the adoption of the state constitution in 1780, it was called the Great and General Court, but the official title was shortened by John Adams, author of the state constitution. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members. (Until 1978, it had 240 members)[3] It meets in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston.

The current President of the Senate is Stan Rosenberg, and the Speaker of the House is Robert DeLeo. Democrats hold super-majorities in both chambers.

State Senators and Representatives both serve two-year terms.[4]

House of Representatives[edit]

Each Representative represents about 40,000 residents. Representative districts are named for the primary county in which they are located, and tend to stay within one county, although some districts contain portions of adjacent counties. The current composition of the House is 126 Democrats and 34 Republicans.

Senate[edit]

There are 40 senatorial districts in Massachusetts, named for the counties in which they are located. The current composition of the Senate is 34 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

Legislative procedure[edit]

The General Court is responsible for enacting laws in the state. The two legislative branches work concurrently on pending laws brought before them.[5]

Lawmaking begins in the House or Senate Clerk's office where petitions, bills, and resolves are filed and recorded in a docket book. The clerks number the bills and assign them to appropriate joint committees. There are 26 of these committees, each responsible for studying the bills which pertain to a specific area (i.e., taxation, education, health care, insurance, etc.). Each committee is composed of six senators and eleven representatives. The standing committees schedule public hearings for the individual bills, which afford citizens, legislators and lobbyists the opportunity to express their views. Committee members meet at a later time in executive session to review the public testimony and discuss the merits of each bill before making their recommendations to the full membership of the House or Senate. Note that the public may still observe "executive" sessions, but may not participate in these meetings. The committee then issues its report, recommending that a bill "ought to pass" or "ought not to pass" and the report is submitted to the Clerk's office.

The first reading of a favorably reported bill is automatic and occurs when the committee's report appears in the Journal of the House or Senate Clerk. Matters not requiring reference to another Joint, House or Senate committee are, following the first reading, referred without debate to the Committee on Steering and Policy in the Senate (except certain special laws relative to a city or town), or placed in the Orders of the Day (the Calendar) without debate, for a second reading in the House. If a bill affects the finances of the Commonwealth, it is referred to the Senate or House Committee on Ways and Means after the first reading. If it affects county finances, the bill is read and referred to the Committee on Counties of the House (if the matter is reported into the House). Adverse reports ("ought not to pass") are also referred to the Committee on Steering and Policy in the Senate or placed without debate in the Orders of the Day for the next session of the House. Acceptance by either branch of an adverse report is considered the final rejection and the matter of the matter. However, an adverse report can be overturned. A member may move to substitute the bill for the report, and, if the motion to substitute carries, the matter is then given its first reading and follows the same procedure as if reported favorably by committee.

The Massachusetts State House, which houses the General Court and Governor's Office.

After a bill takes its second reading, it is open to debate on amendments and motions. Following debate, a vote is taken and if the bill receives a favorable vote by the membership, it is ordered to a third reading and referred to the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading. This amounts to preliminary approval of the bill in that branch. That committee examines technical points, as well as the legality and constitutionality of the measure, and ensures that it does not duplicate or contradict existing law. The committee then issues a report and returns the bill to the House or Senate for its third reading. At that time, legislators can further debate and amend the bill. Following the third reading, the body votes on "passing the bill to be engrossed."

The bill must then pass through three readings and engrossment in the second legislative branch. Should that occur, it is sent to the Legislative Engrossing Division where it is typed on special parchment in accordance with the General Laws. However, if the second branch passes an amended version of the bill, the legislation returns to the original branch for a vote of concurrence in the amendment. If concurrence is rejected, a conference committee consisting of the three members from each legislative branch representing both political parties may be formed to effect a compromise piece of legislation. When a compromise is reached, the bill is sent to both legislative branches for their approval.

A vote "to enact" the bill, first in the House and later in the Senate, is the final step in the passage of a bill by the legislature. Following enactment, the bill goes to the governor, who may sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without signing it (if the governor holds the bill for ten days without taking any action while the legislature is in session, it becomes law without his or her signature), veto it, or return it to the legislature with recommended changes. If the legislature has concluded its yearly session, and the governor does not sign the bill within ten days, it dies. This is referred to as a "pocket veto." This ten-day period includes Sundays and holidays, even if they fall on the tenth day, and it begins the day after the legislation is laid on the governor's desk.

A bill signed by the governor, or passed by two-thirds of both branches over his veto, becomes a law. It is usually effective in ninety days. The day after the governor signs the bill is considered to be the first day, and each succeeding day, including Sundays and holidays is counted until the ninetieth. Laws considered "emergency" in nature take effect immediately upon signing if the legislature has voted to attach an "emergency preamble" to the bill. Adoption of the preamble requires a two-thirds standing vote of the membership. The governor may also declare an act to be an emergency law and make it effective at once. A special act takes effect thirty days from the day it is signed, unless it contains a provision to make it effective immediately.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Members of the Senate". 
  2. ^ Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. See Chapter I, Section I, Art.I
  3. ^ Where we Stand: Government: Legislature Massachusetts League of Women Voters. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
  4. ^ Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Article LXXXII.
  5. ^ "How an Idea Become a Law". Malegislature.gov. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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