Busy week ahead for the Mass. legislature

BOSTON (WWLP) – A number of controversial bills are expected to gain momentum this week as the formal legislative session comes to an end.

“It’s going to be a busy week, I packed my bag. I’m staying every night so I don’t waste time driving back and forth. But we’ve got some big bills coming out: economic development, domestic violence, gun,” said Orange State Representative Denise Andrews.

The economic development bill, which should be up for a vote in the next couple days, would boost precision manufacturing and I.T. jobs in western Massachusetts. Legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in the state is also expected to emerge before Thursday’s deadline.

Many high-profile bills are in a six-member conference committee to hammer out differences between the House and the Senate. Once the committee has reached a compromise, it goes to each chamber for a vote.

“The big issues that may be dividing the House and the Senate, once you can reach consensus on that, other things can fall into place and you’ll have something ready to go,” said Ways and Means Chairman Senator Stephen Brewer.

House members are also expected to override a number of the Governor’s budget vetoes. Among the ones that impact western Massachusetts – more than $1 million in education initiatives and $425,000 in public safety improvements in Ludlow, Agawam and Hadley.

Both the Massachusetts House and Senate have formal sessions scheduled Tuesday through Thursday.

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