SENATE VOTED: NOW WE MUST CONTACT THE HOUSE Check out our tools, here!.
UPDATE FROM OUR ACTION ALERTThe senate Criminal Justice Reform bill s2185 passed.

Senate "Report Card" on the Criminal Justice Reform Bill

ORGANIZE_YOUR_COMMUNITY_(6).png

 Download our hypertext, navigable, annotated s2185 roll call PDF packet, here: progressivemass.com/cjr-sen-rollcallpacket.

In the wee hours of Oct. 27, the State Senate passed a historic Criminal Justice Reform bill 27 to 10 (See our "first take" analysis here).

Although four Democrats--Eileen Donoghue, Anne Gobi, Kathleen O’Conor Ives, and Mike Rush--joined the Senate’s six Republicans in voting NO, Senate Democrats still achieved the magic number of 27, the number necessary to override a veto from Governor Charlie Baker.

Progressives fought hard and were able to get a number of big wins. But DAs and police departments also fought hard against true reform (and won some things to). They will be fighting hard again as the House prepares to vote. So should we. 

CJR Roll Calls

The Senate considered 163 amendments to the underlying reform bill. Many were adopted or rejected by voice vote, or simply withdrawn. But those which were roll called offer a great window into whether legislators are fighting for progressive values or not. When the question “Whose side are you on?” gets asked, you can see how they respond.

As we have described before, roll call votes on amendments are the only record of an individual legislator’s vote. In taking the measure of your legislator, these are the tools before us, and the limitations are obvious: when not all votes are individually recorded (voice vote/not roll called), the picture will be skewed by what roll calls we DO have. The question as to why the Legislature does not routinely take roll calls is an important one, and it gets to issues of transparency and individual voters’ ability to hold legislators accountable to their votes. There were some terrible provisions that passed (or failed) only on voice vote. There were some good ones that passed (or failed) only on voice vote, too. We can’t tell you how your legislator voted on them because we don’t have the record. (But you could ask!).

Methodology

In the Report Card below, we scored 17 amendments and the vote on the final bill. We did not include amendments with unanimous or nearly unanimous votes without a real stand for progressive values or against misguided “tough on crime” fear-mongering.

Overview of Results

Five senators consistently voted to keep a strong bill intact and further improve it: Joe Boncore, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Cindy Creem, Jamie Eldridge, and Pat Jehlen have a perfect score on our CJR report card. If you live in their district, you should thank them. (If you don’t, tell your own Senator how much you appreciate their leadership!)

Following them were a dozen Democrats with (mostly) As or (some) Bs: Mike Barrett, Will Brownsberger, Majority Leader Harriette Chandler, Julian Cyr, Sal DiDomenico, Linda Dorcena Forry, Cindy Friedman, Adam Hinds, Jason Lewis, Tom McGee, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka. They almost always held the line and should be thanked as well.

Like the Senate’s six Republicans, eleven Democrats worked hard for their F, voting for the progressive position less than half the time: Michael Brady, Eileen Donoghue, Anne Gobi, Joan Lovely, Michael Moore, Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Marc Pacheco, Michael Rodrigues, Mike Rush, Walter Timilty, and James Welch. That said, Brady, Lovely, Moore, Rodrigues, Timilty, and Welch still voted for the final bill (unlike Rush, Gobi, O’Connor Ives, and Donoghue--Pacheco was absent) and deserve your thanks for that.

And, though several Senators (many of whom have been backed by progressive forces in their elections and have cited their liberal cred when it’s easy and useful) were disappointing in their failure to stand up at critical junctures, ultimately, it is a testament to the Senate leadership as well as the work of advocates (like YOU) that efforts to roll back the progress in the bill were defeated

So what actually happened in all those amendments? Read a deep dive into what they were all about here, and find out how your senator voted below.

 

SENATE VOTED: NOW WE MUST CONTACT THE HOUSE Check out our tools, here!.

Return to TOP / view spreadsheet in a separate window, here

Return to TOP

SENATE VOTED: NOW WE MUST CONTACT THE HOUSE Check out our tools, here!.
spread the word!

Showing 4 reactions


commented 2017-11-01 23:09:51 -0400 · Flag
No prob!
commented 2017-11-01 20:31:24 -0400 · Flag
Ah, I see. I didn’t scroll to the end of the chart. Thanks.
commented 2017-11-01 20:12:28 -0400 · Flag
Hey, Julie, I have no idea how to respond directly to a comment here (eek!), but…
(1) Brownsberger unfortunately voted for the wiretapping amendment. But he certainly deserves praise for his leadership on the bill as a whole and for not voting for the dangerous Blue Lives Matter amendment.

(2) With the methodology we use, missed votes count against a rep/senator. Sometimes, we can tell how they would have voted if they were there; sometimes not. But it is their job to vote. On our bigger scorecards, we flag it when missed votes reach the point where they would have a distorting effect.

Hope this helps!
commented 2017-11-01 18:06:22 -0400 · Flag
Thank you for offering this. I’m wondering why Brownsberger doesn’t have a 100% score. Also, it seems like Barrett should also be considered for a perfect score since his one NV was on a re-vote of the same amendment. Thanks.
CONNECT
ISSUES AND ACTION
to access member exclusive material, login
via facebook or via Twitter