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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:40 AM
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Mass. lawmakers to debate Kennedy succession bill
Mass. lawmakers to debate Kennedy succession bill
By STEVE LeBLANC (AP) 3 hours ago

BOSTON Massachusetts lawmakers braced Thursday for a contentious debate on a bill allowing Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim appointment to the Senate seat left vacant by the death last month of Edward Kennedy.

The House has scheduled a formal session for 11 a.m., with debate on the bill expected to begin around noon. A formal session was also scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Senate.

Democrats, who hold overwhelming majorities in both chambers, are hoping to push through the bill quickly allowing Patrick, who supports the change, to name an appointee as early as next week.

Seth Gitell, an aide to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, said his boss "is confident that members of the House will agree that Massachusetts needs two voices in the U.S. Senate."

Senate President Therese Murray, also a Democrat, has been more tight-lipped about the bill's chances in the Senate.

Massachusetts Republicans are vowing to fight the bill. They note that Democrats changed the succession law in 2004 to create a special election and block then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, from naming a temporary replacement if Sen. John Kerry won his presidential bid.

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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ivEDv...
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:57 PM
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1. Mass. House OKs Kennedy succession bill
Mass. House OKs Kennedy succession bill
If successful in the Senate, Gov. Deval Patrick could name interim to seat
The Associated Press

updated 9:50 p.m. ET, Thurs., Sept . 17, 2009

BOSTON - The Massachusetts House of Representatives has approved a bill allowing Gov. Deval Patrick to name an interim appointment to the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy.

The House voted 95-58 in favor of the bill Thursday evening. The bill now moves to the Massachusetts Senate.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Democrat, said the change is needed to ensure Massachusetts continues to be represented by two senators until voters can choose a replacement during a Jan. 19 special election.

"I just want to make sure that Massachusetts has a say ... that Massachusetts has their voice heard on health care, on the environment, on clean energy," DeLeo said.

Patrick, a Democrat and ally of President Barack Obama, also supports the change.

Republicans, who number just 16 in the House, oppose the bill.

<SNIP>

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32905432/ns/politics-capito...
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