Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yesterday afternoon the Senate finally chose its three members of the Judicial Nominating Board. They are Senators Ashe, Campbell, and Westman. Now that membership is complete, the Board can hold its organizational meeting and the court administrator can send out the notice of vacancy for the seat presently held by Judge Keller.
The Senate advanced a couple of bills yesterday also. S. 77, the bill relating to testing of private water wells, passed. Also, the Senate passed S. 52, a bill to protect employees from abuse at work. As passed the bill calls for a committee to study the issue of workplace bullying. The VBA has been named as a member of the committee.
This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its work on H. 88, the UCCJEA and recommended its passage on a 5-0 vote. They made a couple of minor changes which I am certain will be acceptable to the House. Then the governor’s signature will leave Massachusetts as the only state to not enact this law. Finally.
The House Commerce Committee is still working on H. 272, maintenance of private roads while its uniform limited cooperative associations bill (H. 21) was sent to the Ways and Means Committee for its review. Those entities are being renamed “mutual benefit enterprises” though.
I spoke with Senator Ann Cummings about S. 98, the licensed lender bill; she chairs the Senate Finance Committee where the bill was referred almost two weeks ago. She seemed surprised to know the bill was still there, so we should see it on the calendar soon. She did say that she has a deadline on next Friday, April 15 to get bills out. I assume that means all committee chairs are looking at that date. Finance has their hands full, though, with the tax bill and eventually the health care bill. That committee is meeting nights this week and next.
A subcommittee of our Business Associations Law Section is working on a rewrite of our non-profit corporation statute. That draft, in bill form, should be done this summer in plenty of time for introduction in January 2012. I’ve asked the Commerce Committee chair for an hour for some members of that working group to present an overview of what will no doubt be a pretty expansive piece of legislation. He seemed favorable and just asked that I stay on top of their calendar so we can get it in when there is an opening.
I’m trying to get H. 79, the adult guardianship jurisdiction act on the Senate Judiciary calendar soon; also, we’re trying to get the House Judiciary Committee to set aside some time before adjournment to get a briefing on the foreclosure statute “clean up bill” that was introduced again this session. Stay tuned for more on both of these.
Thanks for reading.

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