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Legislative Update – Senator Bruce Tarr

A message from MA State Senator Bruce Tarr

With more than 6,000 bills filed by the state's 200 legislators by the January 20th deadline for this session, the House and Senate have been more recently developing the infrastructure needed to process those pieces of legislation through research, receiving public input, and deliberation. An important task in that effort is the adoption of the rules which will govern the operations of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the joint activities conducted by the branches, in 2023 and 2024. The House debated and adopted its rules on February 1st, and the Senate did so on February 9th. Additionally, each chamber has adopted its version of proposed joint rules, which must now be reconciled by a conference committee consisting of three Representatives and three Senators, who are now engaged in negotiating that reconciliation. Throughout the Senate's consideration of the rules, I have and will continue to pursue changes which increase the transparency and accountability of the lawmaking process, such as allowing more time for legislators and the public to read bills before they are acted upon, and ensuring that business is conducted during reasonable hours for the public to view what is happening on the floors of the house and Senate.

One important set of rules has been finalized, and that set encompasses the provisions for establishing the committees which will have the responsibility for bills within their prescribed subject matter, such as education, public safety and the environment.  These workhorse committees consist of 33 Joint Committees, populated by 11 members of the House and 6 members of the Senate, and 11 Senate Committees and 11 House Committees. Importantly, each committee must have members from the majority and minority parties.  Having had the honor of being reelected as the Minority Leader of the Senate by my caucus colleagues, appointing Republican members to these Joint and Senate Committees is among my responsibilities, and I have made those appointments on February 21st.  Accordingly, I will be serving on the following committees:
  • Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading
  • Senate Committee on Ethics
  • Senate Committee on Juvenile and Emerging Adult Justice
  • Senate Committee on Personnel and Administration
  • Senate Committee on Rules
  • Senate Committee on Steering and Policy
  • Senate Committee on Ways and Means
  • Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity
  • Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure
  • Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
  • Joint Committee on Financial Services
  • Joint Committee on Higher Education
  • Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
  • Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion
  • Joint Committee on Rules
  • Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
  • Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
  • Joint Committee on Ways and Means
Now that the committees are in place, the clerks of the House and Senate will begin referring the bills that have been filed to the appropriate committees, and those committees themselves will organize in preparation for the tasks that lie ahead. Legislators are now also engaged in the process of considering the co-sponsorship of the bills that have been filed, often in response to constituent requests.
You can find information about all of the bills that have been filed at, the official site of the Massachusetts legislature, which is also known as the Great and General Court. The site also features information about committees and their members, and the rules I described earlier.  And, as always, our team is ready to assist you with finding information, or any other matter, and we hope that you will not hesitate to reach out whenever we can help. You can contact us at:

Senator Bruce Tarr

State House Room 308
Boston, MA 02133
By telephone: (617) 722- 1600

By email:

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