Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Police reform and abortion measures return to Gov Baker

The Boston Globe has the following:

"The Massachusetts House on Tuesday approved a revised version of a sweeping policing bill, making it all but certain the state will soon enact legislation that emerged after protests over police misconduct and the death of George Floyd gripped Massachusetts and beyond.

The legislation would create for the first time a system for certifying police officers in Massachusetts and give a new civilian-led panel the ability to revoke their licenses for a range of misconduct.

A raft of revisions sought by Governor Charlie Baker, and ultimately accepted by lawmakers in both the House and Senate, included loosening proposed limits on the use of facial recognition and eliminating language that underpinned new standards on officers’ use of force. Baker also successfully pushed to keep oversight of training under his administration and police-dominated committee."

From CommonWealth Magazine:

THE LEGISLATURE sent bills dealing with police reform and abortion back to Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday and began work on compromise health care legislation that requires insurers to permanently reimburse for behavioral telehealth at the rates they’d pay for the same care in-person.

The House joined the Senate in passing police reform legislation that includes amendments sought by Baker on police training and the use of facial recognition software. Baker, who had threatened a veto if the Legislature declined to compromise on those two issues, has indicated he will sign the bill containing the modified language into law.

On abortion, however, both branches rejected amendments sought by the governor and sent the bill back to him as originally drafted. Baker can sign the abortion measure into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto the bill and challenge the Legislature to override him. An override would require a two-thirds vote, which was the margin on earlier abortion votes in the House but just barely.
Continue reading the article online


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