Senate president showdown coming
Murray entering final term under term-limits
THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATE has had firm term limits for its leaders on the books for nearly 20 years. William Bulger put the limits in place (prospectively) as a way of quelling dissent during his long hold on the Senate gavel. It’s only now, two decades after the Senate enacted an eight-year limit on the body’s presidency, that a politician is actually confronting its realities.Senate President Therese Murray is entering what is likely her final two-year term atop the Senate. The Plymouth Democrat took the gavel from Robert Travaglini in early 2007, so if she strung every available day out of the term, she could preside into the beginning of 2015. (Murray has left the door open to continuing to serve in the Senate after she relinquishes the presidency.)
Effectively, though, the current 2013-2014 term is Murray’s last hurrah as president and, as the session progresses, her colleagues are going to be wrestling with something the Senate has never seen—a leadership fight that comes with a deadline.