July 20, 2012
Yesterday afternoon the Mass. Senate passed the sentencing bill by a vote of 31 to 7. Just as when the House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday, Senate members could not offer any amendments; they could only vote “yes” or “no” on the entire bill. As we reported yesterday, the bill includes eligibility for parole, work release and earned good time for some drug offenders now in prison. Unfortunately, it also includes the new “three strikes” law. Click here for FAMM’s fact sheet on the bill.
What happens next & how you can help. The bill now goes to the Governor. He has 10 days to do one of three things: 1) sign the bill into law; 2) send it back to the Legislature with amendments making changes that he wants; or 3) veto the entire bill. FAMM is sending the Governor suggested amendments that would improve both the mandatory minimum reforms and the habitual offender/three strikes law. We need your help to convince him to use our amendments! Click here to send a message to Gov. Patrick.
We will let you know what the Governor does. If he sends amendments to the Legislature, both the House and Senate would vote on whether to accept them or to reject them. The bill would then go back again to the Governor, to either sign or veto.
This part of the legislative process is both fast moving and complicated. We’re here to answer any questions that you may have.
Barbara J. Dougan
Massachusetts Project Director
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
Contact FAMM’s Massachusetts Project:
By phone: (671) 543-0878
By email: email@example.com
By mail: P.O. Box 54, Arlington, MA 02476