Friday, December 11, 2020

"Baker sends police bill back to Legislature, asking for changes"

 The Boston Globe has the following:
"Governor Charlie Baker sent back a sweeping police accountability bill to lawmakers Thursday, threatening to not sign it if they don’t address a series of changes he’s seeking, including keeping oversight of how officers are trained within his administration.

Baker’s decision to neither sign nor veto the bill, but return it to the Legislature with a variety of proposed amendments, clouds its future. The specter of a gubernatorial veto should lawmakers not agree with his changes immediately put pressure on the Legislature, where the 129-page proposal had divided Democrats and, in a rarity, emerged from the House without a veto-proof majority.

“There’s a lot in here that I’m concerned about, OK? But I want to sign a bill,” Baker said in a Globe interview Thursday. “We desperately need an accountability system in Massachusetts. Too many times, especially in communities of color, people are treated badly by law enforcement and there is simply, too often, little or no consequences for any of the people who are involved.

“That said,” he added, “there are parts of this bill that were never around the conversation” of holding police accountable."
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And CommonWealth Magazine reports on this with:
"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER plans to return to the Legislature landmark legislation that would impose new accountability standards on police, proposing a handful of amendments Thursday that he hopes Democrats will compromise with him over, but making clear he’s not afraid to veto the legislation if lawmakers resist those changes.

Baker, a Republican, has faced mounting pressure from both sides of the policing debate since the Legislature finalized its oversight bill over a week ago. Criminal justice reform advocates have urged him to sign it, while police unions have called it an attack on the men and women who wear a badge.

In an interview with the News Service, the governor said he was willing to make concessions, including accepting a civilian-controlled licensing board and limits on qualified immunity for police officers, but drew a line on several key issues."
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