Joint Rule 10 Day on Beacon Hill

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Legislative committees had until Wednesday to decide which bills would advance to the floor, also known as “Joint Rule 10.”

Thousands of bills pass through Beacon Hill every two-year session, but before a bill goes to the House and Senate, there must first be public committee hearings.

“6,000 pieces of legislation are filed and in committee, those bills have to move out in one way or another. They can’t just die in committee,” said Pittsfield State Senator Don Humason, Jr.

The committee can pass the bill, reject it, or send it to study, which in many cases would kill its chances of becoming law, but not always. There can also be deadline extension. Efforts to expand the state’s Bottle Bill have lasted decades now. The bill was just sent to study for a compromise and had its deadline extended. Environmentalists are now pushing to get the Bottle Bill Update on the 2014 ballot.

“Sometimes that’s what it takes. To, kind of, get the politics out of it in some ways and get it out to the voice of the people,” said Holyoke State Representative Aaron Vega.

There’s no rule about re-filing legislation, so if a bill is rejected, it can be re-filed year after year.

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