Mass. negotiators file a gas leaks compromise bill

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE) – House and Senate lawmakers late Monday afternoon finalized a deal on legislation that would establish a classification system for gas leaks and timelines for utility companies to repair the potentially dangerous leaks depending on their severity.

The conference report, negotiated by six House and Senate lawmakers, was filed with the House clerk. House Speaker Robert DeLeo told the News Service the House would take up the compromise bill when it meets on Wednesday, and he expects the Senate to follow suit on Thursday.

The gas leaks bill was one of seven pending pieces of legislation that have cleared both the House and Senate this session, but are awaiting final compromises between the branches.

DeLeo met for over an hour Monday afternoon with Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick, emerging from the sit down feeling “a lot better in terms of where we are” with respect to pending legislation, particularly the seven bills in conference and his new jobs and gun violence prevention bills.

Rep. John Keenan and Sen. Benjamin Downing led the conference negotiations on the gas leaks bill, with Reps. Mark Cusack and Lenny Mirra and Sens. Barry Finegold and Donald Humason.

The bills (H 3873/S 2073) have been in conference since mid-April.

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