The Massachusetts Legislature kicked off the 192nd General Court on January 6, just hours after closing out the last session. Nineteen new lawmakers were elected in November, two in the Senate and 17 in the House. Make sure you know your legislators!
At the start of the new session, Senator Karen Spilka was re-elected as Senate President, and Representative Ronald Mariano of Quincy (3rd Norfolk District) was elected as Speaker of the House, replacing the retiring Robert DeLeo. Upon opening the session, President Spilka shared her thoughts on the need for emergency paid sick time, racial justice and equity, and the need for unity in the coming year. In his opening remarks, Speaker Mariano emphasized priorities such as pandemic response and vaccination, relief for unemployed residents and struggling businesses, housing stability, getting schools and students back on track, and expanding diversity among House leadership.
An economic roundtable held in December as well as tax revenue reported in December offered a somewhat brighter outlook for the state's finances next year, with economists predicting the possibility of a strong recovery driven by job growth and a resurgence in retail sales, dining and travel. MCAE has already been in conversation with Governor Baker’s Finance and Administration team to discuss the continued need to invest in ABE. The Governor’s budget proposal is expected in late January, kicking off the annual budget process.