Summer vacation is nearing an end for Massachusetts lawmakers who have a lengthy to-do list for the coming months.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature could tackle Medicaid cost containment, criminal justice reform and immigration bills when they return from August recess.
Representatives and senators on Beacon Hill have been chided for producing relatively few major bills so far in the first year of their biennial session. They began the session by approving, over Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's veto, an $18 million pay raise bill for themselves, other elected state officials and judges.
Lawmakers also crafted a $40 billion state budget for the July 1 fiscal year and after lengthy negotiations passed a bill making revisions to the voter-approved recreational marijuana law.
Eliminating minimum mandatory sentences, revamping the bail system and raising the age of those sent to juvenile court from 18 to 21 are just some of the steps that Senate Democratic leaders have suggested as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of the state's criminal justice system.
Others on Beacon Hill are backing a more modest approach.
The Council of State Governments offered recommendations earlier this year that focused primarily on recidivism.
Baker has proposed offering earned "good time credits" for inmates who enroll in and complete recidivism-reduction programs while behind bars.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!