Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Momentum In Massachusetts

There has been a dramatic push to pass the public accommodation bill in Massachusetts this week.
New Push On Beacon Hill For Transgender Protections
WAMC
By Paul Tuthill
January 11, 2016

Advocates are expected to make a new push in the next few weeks for a vote in the Massachusetts Legislature to expand legal protections for transgender individuals.  The coalition supporting the measure is expanding.

In a move designed to increase mainstream appeal for the campaign, advocates Monday said the five major professional sports teams in Massachusetts are now backing the measure pending before the legislature. The Boston Red Sox had previously announced support for it and now endorsements have come from the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and New England Revolution.
It looks like they have some heavy hitters behind the dive to pass the bill this year.

BUT… (You always know there is a “but”)
Baker sticks with uncommitted stance on transgender bill
WWLP
By Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Published: January 12, 2016

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE) – Challenged to join local sports teams in embracing a transgender rights bill, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday maintained his uncommitted stance on the legislation.

During his monthly appearance on WGBH, Baker also outlined a Corner Office philosophy of avoiding specific demands upon the Legislature.

A caller named Mike from Brookline asked the Republican governor whether he would “be willing to change your position” following the endorsement of the bill Monday by Boston professional sports teams.
[…]
The governor, who opposed a prior iteration of the bill in 2010, said the “details are important” on whatever might reach his desk.

Baker’s position on the bill is important because lawmakers considering its prospects would need support from two thirds of members in each branch to override a veto, should one be handed down.
So that means that to get the law passed it will probably need a two-thirds vote in both chambers in order to override a governor’s veto. Or the bill would have to be watered down so much that it will be useless.

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