Difference between revisions of "Massachusetts House of Representatives"

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In 2010, the House  convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| session]] on January 6th, and it remained in session throughout the 2010. <ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18630 2010 session dates for the Massachusetts legislature]</ref>
In 2010, the House  convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| session]] on January 6th, and it remained in session throughout the 2010. <ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18630 2010 session dates for the Massachusetts legislature]</ref>
==Ethics and transparency==
{{Transparency card|State=Massachusetts|Grade=F}}
{{Transparency card|State=Massachusetts|Grade=F}}

Revision as of 22:24, 8 July 2013

Massachusetts House of Representatives

Seal of Massachusetts.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 2, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Robert DeLeo, (D)
Majority Leader:   Ronald Mariano, (D)
Minority Leader:   Bradley Jones, Jr., (R)
Members:  160
   Democratic Party (125)
Republican Party (35)
Vacant (3)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Chapter 1, Massachusetts Constitution
Salary:   $61,133/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (160 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (160 seats)
Redistricting:  Massachusetts legislature has control
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court. 160 members serve in the lower house of the General Court and meet at the State Capitol in Boston. Each member represents an average of 40,923 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 39,682 residents.[2]

As of May 2015, Massachusetts is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.


The Massachusetts Constitution contains provisions regarding when the Massachusetts General Court, which the House is a part of, is to meet. This subject has been the focus of several amendments to the Constitution. Originally, Chapter 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution called for the General Court to convene on the last Wednesday of May. Then, Amending Article X called for legislative sessions to convene yearly on the first Wednesday of January. Later, Amending Article LXXII called for the General Court to meet once every two years, but Amending Article LXXV repealed that amendment. Therefore, the rules that currently govern when the General Court is to meet are in Amending Article X.

Article X calls for the General Court to convene its regular session on the first Wednesday of January. The session does not dissolve until a new regular session convenes in the next year. Article X specifies that it does not prevent the General Court from meeting at any time that it judges necessary.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Court will be in session from January 2 to a date to be determined.

Major issues

As lawmakers settle in for the legislature's 188th session, they'll address revenue shortfalls, transportation financing, gun control, and health care costs.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session formally from January 4 through July 31.

Major issues

Leading the agenda was a crackdown on abuses at special education collaboratives in the state. Other issues included controlling health costs and a sentencing bill that would bar parole for prisoners convicted of more than two violent crimes.[4]


In 2011, the House was in session from January 5 through a date not yet decided by the Legislature. [5]


In 2010, the House convened its session on January 6th, and it remained in session throughout the 2010. [6]

Ethics and transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Massachusetts was given a grade of F in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[7]



See also: Massachusetts House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Massachusetts House of Representatives were held in Massachusetts on November 6, 2012. All 160 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 29, 2012. The primary election day will be September 18, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Massachusetts House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Massachusetts House of Representatives were held in Massachusetts on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 4, 2010 for partisan and was August 3 for Independents. The primary election day was on September 14, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates running for state house raised a total of $13,713,787 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [8]


Article LXXI of the Massachusetts Constitution states: Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat. The election must be held on the next regularly scheduled date on the election calendar[9]. Local governments who conduct special elections receive reimbursement from the State Treasurer's office for all costs incurred[10].


In Massachusetts, the state legislature has control over the redistricting process. In 2011, the state legislature adopted a Special Joint Committee on Redistricting, which includes seven senators and 21 representatives. The partisan composition was 23 Democrats and 5 Republicans.[11]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Massachusetts experienced a 3.1 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2010. Specifically, the population rose from approximately 6.35 million to 6.55 million. However, the nation as a whole saw a population increase of 9.7 percent, a much faster rate than Massachusetts, and Massachusetts lost a Congressional seat as a result of the relatively slow growth.[12][13][14]

The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting was generally recognized as a relatively open process compared to past redistricting efforts.[15] Some towns petitioned for having one representative, rather than being split between two state legislative districts.[16] Other citizen groups expressed strong interests in having more minority-majority districts.[17][18] In October 2011, the Committee produced and approved a map that increased the number of minority-majority districts in the state house from ten to twenty, and consolidated the town of Lexington into one state house district.[19][20]


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 125
     Republican Party 35
Total 160

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Massachusetts State House.PNG


The House elects its Speaker, who then appoints majority floor leaders. The minority party elects its leaders in a party caucus.[21][22]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Thomas Petrolati Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Leader James Vallee Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Charles Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr. Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson, Jr. Ends.png Republican


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Massachusetts General Court are paid $61,133/year. Legislators receive between $10/day to $100/day per diem, depending on distance from the state house. Compensation is vouchered and set by the legislature.[23]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Massachusetts legislators assume office the first Wednesday in January after the election.

Current members

Current members, Massachusetts House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
First Barnstable Cleon Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Second Barnstable Brian Mannal Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Third Barnstable David Vieira Ends.png Republican 2011
Fourth Barnstable Sarah Peake Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Fifth Barnstable Randy Hunt Ends.png Republican 2011
Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket Timothy Madden Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
First Berkshire Gailanne Cariddi Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Second Berkshire Paul Mark Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Third Berkshire Patricia Farley-Bouvier Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Fourth Berkshire William Pignatelli Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
First Bristol Fred Barrows Ends.png Republican 2007
Second Bristol Paul Heroux Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Third Bristol Shaunna O'Connell Ends.png Republican 2011
Fourth Bristol Steven Howitt Ends.png Republican 2011
Fifth Bristol Patricia Haddad Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Sixth Bristol Vacant
Seventh Bristol Alan Silvia Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Eighth Bristol Paul Schmid III Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Ninth Bristol Christopher Markey Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Tenth Bristol William Straus Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Eleventh Bristol Robert Koczera Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
Twelfth Bristol Keiko Orrall Ends.png Republican [2011
Thirteenth Bristol Antonio Cabral Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
Fourteenth Bristol Elizabeth Poirier Ends.png Republican 1999
First Essex Michael Costello Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Second Essex Leonard Mirra Ends.png Republican 2013
Third Essex Brian Dempsey Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
Fourth Essex Bradford Hill Ends.png Republican 1999
Fifth Essex Ann-Margaret Ferrante Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Sixth Essex Jerry Parisella Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Seventh Essex John Keenan, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Eighth Essex Lori Ehrlich Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Ninth Essex Donald Wong Ends.png Republican 2011
Tenth Essex Robert Fennell Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Eleventh Essex Steven Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Twelfth Essex Leah Cole Ends.png Republican 2013
Thirteenth Essex Theodore Speliotis Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
Fourteenth Essex Diana DiZoglio Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Fifteenth Essex Linda Campbell Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Sixteenth Essex Marcos Devers Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
Seventeenth Essex Frank Moran Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Eighteenth Essex James Lyons, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2011
First Franklin Stephen Kulik Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Second Franklin Denise Andrews Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
First Hampden Todd Smola Ends.png Republican 2005
Second Hampden Brian Michael Ashe Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Third Hampden Nicholas Boldyga Ends.png Republican 2011
Fourth Hampden Donald Humason, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2003
Fifth Hampden Aaron Vega Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Sixth Hampden Michael Finn Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Seventh Hampden Thomas Petrolati Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
Eighth Hampden Joseph Wagner Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Ninth Hampden Sean Curran Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Tenth Hampden Cheryl Coakley-Rivera Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Eleventh Hampden Benjamin Swan, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Twelfth Hampden Angelo Puppolo, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
First Hampshire Peter Kocot Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Second Hampshire John Scibak Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Third Hampshire Ellen Story Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
First Middlesex Sheila Harrington Ends.png Republican 2011
Second Middlesex James Arciero Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Third Middlesex Kate Hogan Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Fourth Middlesex Danielle Gregoire Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Fifth Middlesex David Linsky Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Sixth Middlesex Chris Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Seventh Middlesex Tom Sannicandro Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Eighth Middlesex Carolyn Dykema Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Ninth Middlesex Thomas Stanley Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Tenth Middlesex John Lawn Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Eleventh Middlesex Kay Khan Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Twelfth Middlesex Ruth Balser Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Thirteenth Middlesex Thomas Conroy Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Fourteenth Middlesex Cory Atkins Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Fifteenth Middlesex Jay Kaufman Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Sixteenth Middlesex Thomas Golden, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Seventeenth Middlesex David Nangle Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Eighteenth Middlesex Kevin Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
Nineteenth Middlesex James Miceli Electiondot.png Democratic 1977
Twentieth Middlesex Bradley Jones, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1995
Twenty-first Middlesex Kenneth I. Gordon Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Twenty-second Middlesex Marc Lombardo Ends.png Republican 2011
Twenty-third Middlesex Sean Garballey Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Twenty-fourth Middlesex David M. Rogers Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Twenty-fifth Middlesex Marjorie Decker Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Twenty-sixth Middlesex Timothy Toomey, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Twenty-seventh Middlesex Denise Provost Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
Twenty-eighth Middlesex Wayne A. Matewsky Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Twenty-ninth Middlesex Jonathan Hecht Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Thirtieth Middlesex James Dwyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Thirty-first Middlesex Jason Lewis Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Thirty-second Middlesex Paul Brodeur Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Thirty-third Middlesex Christopher Fallon Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
Thirty-fourth Middlesex Carl Sciortino, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Thirty-fifth Middlesex Paul Donato, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Thirty-sixth Middlesex Colleen Garry Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Thirty-seventh Middlesex Jennifer Benson Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
First Norfolk Bruce Ayers Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Second Norfolk Tackey Chan Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Third Norfolk Ronald Mariano Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Fourth Norfolk James Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Fifth Norfolk Mark Cusack Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Sixth Norfolk William Galvin Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
Seventh Norfolk Walter Timilty Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Eighth Norfolk Louis Kafka Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
Ninth Norfolk Daniel Winslow Ends.png Republican 1991
Tenth Norfolk Jeffery Roy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Eleventh Norfolk Paul McMurtry Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Twelfth Norfolk John Rogers Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Thirteenth Norfolk Denise Garlick Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Fourteenth Norfolk Alice Peisch Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Fifteenth Norfolk Frank Smizik Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
First Plymouth Viriato deMacedo Ends.png Republican 1989
Second Plymouth Susan Gifford Ends.png Republican 2003
Third Plymouth Garrett Bradley Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Fourth Plymouth James Cantwell Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Fifth Plymouth Rhonda Nyman Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Sixth Plymouth Josh Cutler Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Seventh Plymouth Geoff Diehl Ends.png Republican 2011
Eighth Plymouth Angelo D'Emilia Ends.png Republican 2011
Ninth Plymouth Michael Brady Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Tenth Plymouth Christine Canavan Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
Eleventh Plymouth Claire Cronin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Twelfth Plymouth Thomas Calter, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
First Suffolk Carlo Basile Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Second Suffolk Eugene O'Flaherty Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
Third Suffolk Aaron Michlewitz Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Fourth Suffolk Nicholas Collins, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Fifth Suffolk Carlos Henriquez Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Sixth Suffolk Russell Holmes Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Seventh Suffolk Gloria Fox Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
Eighth Suffolk Vacant
Ninth Suffolk Byron Rushing Electiondot.png Democratic 1983
Tenth Suffolk Edward Coppinger Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Eleventh Suffolk Elizabeth Malia Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Twelfth Suffolk Linda Forry Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Thirteenth Suffolk Martin Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
Fourteenth Suffolk Angelo Scaccia Electiondot.png Democratic 1981
Fifteenth Suffolk Jeffrey Sánchez Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
Sixteenth Suffolk Kathi-Anne Reinstein Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
Seventeenth Suffolk Kevin Honan Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
Eighteenth Suffolk Michael Moran Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
Nineteenth Suffolk Robert DeLeo Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
First Worcester Kimberly Ferguson Ends.png Republican 2011
Second Worcester Jonathan Zlotnik Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Third Worcester Stephen DiNatale Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Fourth Worcester Dennis Rosa Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Fifth Worcester Anne Gobi Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
Sixth Worcester Peter Durant Ends.png Republican 2011
Seventh Worcester Paul Frost Ends.png Republican 1997
Eighth Worcester Kevin Kuros Ends.png Republican 2011
Ninth Worcester George Peterson, Jr. Ends.png Republican 1995
Tenth Worcester John Fernandes Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Eleventh Worcester Matthew Beaton Ends.png Republican 2011
Twelfth Worcester Harold Naughton, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
Thirteenth Worcester John Mahoney Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
Fourteenth Worcester James O'Day Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
Fifteenth Worcester Mary S. Keefe Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
Sixteenth Worcester Vacant
Seventeenth Worcester John Binienda, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
Eighteenth Worcester Ryan Fattman Ends.png Republican 2011

Standing committees

The Massachusetts House has the following nine standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Massachusetts’’
Partisan breakdown of the Massachusetts legislature from 1992-2013

During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. The Massachusetts State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the last seven years of the study Massachusetts was under Democratic trifectas.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Massachusetts state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states
  3. Boston.com, "Mass. formally opens legislative session," January 2, 2013
  4. Washington Examiner, "Mass. lawmakers to weigh bill on special ed groups," January 4, 2012
  5. General Court Events
  6. 2010 session dates for the Massachusetts legislature
  7. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  8. Follow the Money: "Massachusetts House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  9. Massachusetts General Court "Massachusetts Election Law"(Referenced Section Chapter 50, Section 6A)
  10. Massachusetts General Court "Massachusetts Election Law"(Referenced Section Chapter 3: Section 10A)
  11. Beacon Hill Roll Call "Senate approves redistricting commission," February 11, 2011
  12. U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Massachusetts Profile," 2011
  13. Belmont Citizen-Herald "Census preparing to deliver redistricting data to states," January 13, 2011
  14. Boston Globe "Census begins fight on districts," March 23, 2011
  15. Boston Herald "Lawmakers launch Mass. redistricting process," March 16, 2011
  16. Wicked Local Randolph "Officials push for only one state rep for Randolph," January 27, 2011
  17. Eagle Tribune "Proposal would create Latino-heavy legislative districts — and make targets out of Baddour and Finegold," June 26, 2011
  18. Boston Globe "Advocates seek boost in Mass. minority voter clout," October 5, 2011
  19. Mass Live "Massachusetts legislators release maps of proposed new seats for state Senate, House," October 18, 2011
  20. Wicked Local Winchester "Redrawn legislative map makes Lexington one House district," October 19, 2011
  21. Secretary of the Commonwealth, "Massachusetts Facts - Part One:Concise Facts, " retrieved July 2, 2010
  22. Leadership of the 186th General Court
  23. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013