New Legislative Session Begins

On January 6th, the 2023-2024 legislative session officially began with each chamber electing its leader and swearing in all the Representatives and Senators for the 193rd General Session. You can view all of the Representatives here and all Senators here. As expected, the House reelected Ron Mariano as House Speaker and the Senate reelected Karen Spilka as Senate President. 

On January 20th, the deadline for filing legislation passed with thousands of bills being filed in both chambers. Over the next few weeks and months, the House and Senate will adopt rules, announce leadership positions and committee assignments, and begin the process of reviewing the thousands of bills assigned to the various subject matter committees. You can search for any bill filed this session here. MWA is currently reviewing the legislation that was filed for bills that impact workforce development. Our analysis will be available to members in the coming weeks. 

The first two big issues that the House and Senate will face is electing Joint Rules and beginning the FY24 budget process. 

  • Joint Rules: At the beginning of each legislative session, the House and Senate each pass its own rules package and then create a conference committee with a goal of agreeing to the Joint Rules that will govern the legislative session. Last week the House released and passed its rules package which will repeal remote voting for formal sessions and institute a hybrid format for committee hearings, among other changes. The proposed rules put forward by the Senate would keep remote voting by Senators, allow for hybrid committee hearings, but would also address transparency around committee votes, something that the two chambers could not agree upon last session. Any proposed changes to Joint Rules will need to be addressed by a six-member conference committee. Last session the conference committee failed to reach an agreement so the Legislature operated under the previous term’s Joint Rules. This will be an issue to watch closely in the coming weeks.
  • FY24 Budget: The Healey-Driscoll Administration is expected to file their budget proposal on March 1st. From there the House will release its budget later in March with the Senate releasing its proposal in May. With tax revenues still up through FY23 but some uncertainty in our economic outlook, MWA will be paying close attention to proposed funding levels for key workforce development line items.
As the session begins, MWA will continue to advocate for the policies and funding that will best support our Commonwealth’s workforce development system.
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