Local News

Massachusetts legislature enters summer recess with unfinished business

Formal legislative sessions will resume in September.

This Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 photo shows the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston. Massachusetts. AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Legislature has begun a summer recess without finalizing several key bills.

The House and Senate met until nearly midnight on Wednesday but never took what had been a widely anticipated vote on legislation aimed at cracking down on distracted driving by prohibiting motorists from using hand-held cellphones. Both chambers had previously passed similar versions of the bill but closed-door negotiations have yet to produce a final agreement.

Legislation to revamp the state’s education funding formula also remains stuck in committee. Supporters had hoped it would emerge before the new school year begins.

Both chambers did meet a deadline Wednesday for extending the legal authority for horse racing and wagering on simulcasts of out-of-state races. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill Thursday.


Formal legislative sessions will resume in September.