BOSTON – Representative Jennifer Benson joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives on Saturday July 30, and Sunday July 31, for two rare weekend sessions to take action on important budget items and bills. The rules of the Legislature require that formal sessions to ended for the year by Sunday at midnight.
“I was proud to vote with my colleagues in support of restoring funding to programs that are critical to the individuals and communities that we represent,” said Representative Benson. “Restoring appropriations for items such as senior vans, cultural councils, and special education demonstrates the House’s ability to remain fiscally prudent, while we continue to fund the services and resources for our constituents in need.”
Included in the session were votes to override vetoes on critical items in the FY17 budget, which Governor Baker sent back to the Legislature in early July. In addition to the overrides passed on July 23, the House voted to restore major items during the weekend, including funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Community Colleges, State University Incentive grants, many early education items, and long term treatment for Lyme disease, among others.
Directly impacting the district, Rep. Benson championed for overrides to restore earmarks for prison mitigation funding for the town of Shirley, economic development planning for North Central Massachusetts, and $50,000 for an Acton and Maynard shuttle for seniors.
The Representative also advocated for restoring other items that will benefit the entire Commonwealth, including a data pilot sharing program for after-school programs which would provide school districts with funds to partner with local community-based organizations.
As required by their rules, formal sessions for the Legislature’s two-year session ended on July 31st. While legislators will continue working for their constituents and in their districts, all major legislation that requires a roll call vote, including veto overrides, had to be passed by this deadline.