Beacon Hill Hopefuls Vow to Support Roll Call Voting
Fifteen Democrats running for legislative offices, all women, are pledging that if elected they will join what are typically Republican-led efforts to put lawmakers’ votes on record. The two Senate candidates and 14 House hopefuls, all of whom are either running for open seats or challenging incumbents, posted a ”#TransparencyPledge” on Twitter Tuesday in which they agreed to “stand for roll calls and to advocate for greater transparency and accountability within the Massachusetts Legislature.”
Among those taking the pledge are three House candidates running in Greater Lowell races: Tami Gouveia of Acton, running in the 14th Middlesex District; Sabrina Heisey of Dracut, running in the 36th Middlesex District; and Erika Johnson of Wilmington, running in the 19th Middlesex District.
Roll call votes, where each lawmaker’s stance is recorded, are not required for most legislation to pass. The recorded votes happen when they are requested by one representative or senator, and a sufficient number of others stand up with them in support.
Senate rules require the support of one-fifth of the body, or a number equal to members of the minority party (currently seven). House rules require 10 percent of the members to support a roll call. House and Senate Democrats regularly request roll calls on popular legislation that passes overwhelmingly.
The minority Republican caucuses often seek to put their colleagues on the record on spending matters and controversial issues, and those attempts sometimes fall short because of insufficient support.
“Elected leaders should be on record, supporting or opposing proposals on Beacon Hill,” the pledge says.
Also taking the pledge are Senate candidates Samantha Hammar of Melrose and Becca Rausch of Needham, and House candidates Emily Farrer of Taunton, Allison Gustavson of Manchester,Lori Lennon of Arlington, Marie McCourt of Granby, Tanya Neslusan of Sturbridge, Maria Robinson of Framingham, Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton, Mary Ann Stewart of Lexington, Gretchen Van Ness of Hyde Park, Boston and Francia Wisnewski of Montague.