This year’s deadline for legislative committees to act on bills was March 17th. Any bill that was not referred out of committee or extended on that day is dead for this legislative session. But a committee may give certain bills and extension order – this year until May 7th.
Most committees will give out only a small number of bills which are being actively considered an extension, but the committee on the judiciary is an odd duck – they typically extend a large number of bills. This year it extended almost 300 bills, but that extension order expires Friday. Only a small number of bills are expected to get a second extension.
The entire list of extended bills is here.
Three bills deserve special attention, Alimony Reform (H1785), Shared Parenting (H1400) and CORI Reform (H3532).
The Alimony Reform bill is almost certain to get another extension. The Judiciary Committee has convened a task force to study the Alimony Reform bill. The task force is composed of Rep. Candaras, Sen. Fernandes as task force co-chairs. The other committee members are:
- Rep. Steven Walsh, the bill’s lead sponsor
- Steve Hitner, president of Massachusetts Alimony Reform
- 4 representatives various lawyers groups ( Mass Bar, Women’s Bar, Boston Bar, Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys )
- a representative of Massachusetts Probate and Family Court
Since the task force has not yet concluded its meetings, the bill is almost certain to be extended again. The task force Â next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 17th.
The future of Shared Parenting and CORI Reform is less certain. Though the bills have been extended, the committee has not taken any action on either of these two important reforms. Unless voters call up the Judiciary committee chairs, Sen. Cythia Creem and Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, both of these bills will die quietly on Friday.