When 12% of Mass. Reps. Show up for $3.1 Billion Vote, Republicans Say No to a Vote

Here’s what the State House News Service Reported for Friday’s House Session:

House Session Summary – Friday, Dec. 1, 2023

The House gaveled out of a rare Friday session with plans to return for an even more rare Saturday session, after Republicans again pushed off consideration of a $3.1 billion closeout budget bill.  Second Assistant Minority Leader Paul Frost reprised his role from Thursday’s session, doubting the presence of a quorum as Democrats prepared to bring up the spending bill for a floor vote. There were 19 representatives in the chamber — 12 Democrats and seven Republicans — at the abrupt end to Friday’s informal session, or just under 12 percent of the branch’s membership. – Sam Doran

CONVENES: The House convened at 11:02 a.m. with Rep. Donato of Medford presiding. There were 12 representatives in the chamber, eight Democrats and four Republicans.  Those present included Reps. Jones, Soter, McKenna, Frost, T. Walsh, Roy, Decker, Owens, Garballey, and Day.

PLEDGE: Members, guests and staff pledged allegiance to the U.S. flag.

RECESS: On a Rep. Jones motion, the House recessed at 11:03 a.m., leaving the time of return subject to the call of the chair.

At 11:42 a.m., Reps. Garballey, McKenna, Lombardo, Frost, and Muratore were in the chamber.

The clerk was in the chamber at 12:39 p.m.  Representatives present included Reps. Garballey, Donato, Jones, Frost, Vaughn, Soter, Muratore, Lombardo, Robertson, McKenna, Scanlon, and Kerans (5 Democrats, 7 Republicans).

A little after 1 p.m., Rep. Robertson was sitting on the steps of the dais talking with the House clerk.

At 1:23 p.m., Ways and Means Chairman Michlewitz of Boston stepped up to the side of the dais and talked with Rep. Donato.

Speaker Mariano of Quincy stood at the rear of the chamber talking with Rep. Lombardo of Billerica. The two laughed and appeared to exchange jokes.

Rep. Michlewitz walked up to the front of the Second Division and talked with Minority Leader Jones. Speaker Mariano walked down the aisle, turned toward the Republican Caucus, and said, “Everybody happy?”

Speaker Mariano took a seat in the front row of the First Division, between Reps. Garballey and Ryan. Rep. Michlewitz ascended the dais and stood behind Rep. Donato.  There were now, at 1:27 p.m., 12 Democrats and seven Republicans in the chamber.

RETURNS:  Rep. Donato gaveled the House to order at 1:27 p.m.

HOUSE CALENDAR:  Rep. Donato asked if there was any objection to proceeding with matters contained in the Orders of the Day.

QUORUM DOUBTED:  Second Assistant Minority Leader Frost of Auburn doubted the presence of a quorum.

NO QUORUM – ADJOURNS:  Rep. Donato ascertained a quorum was not present.  He said, The House members will meet tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 a.m. in an informal session.

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