Journal of the House

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Thursday, April 31, 1998

Met according to adjournment, at eleven o’clock A.M. in a Full Formal Session.

Prayer was offered by the Guest Reverend Scarlet Byrd-Tanager of the First Unitarian Church of Salem, as follows:

Oh God, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Divine Spirit, Great Whatever — shine your light on this legislative chamber and bring the bodies in this body into harmonic convergence, for the greater good of this land once known as Shawmut, now called Massachusetts. Bestow your blessings on the Speaker and on his flock. Help all of us be nice, even as we cherish the very diversity that makes some of us nasty. Amen. Over and out. Goddess Bless.

Message from the Acting Governor.

A message from His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor, Acting Governor, Chief Wannabe, recommending legislation relative to monthly tax refunds to the overburdened taxpayers of the Commonwealth.

The message was read; and it was referred, under Rule 30, to the committee on Election Year Pandering. Sent to the Senate for concurrence.

Initiative Petitions.

An initiative petition of Bob White, Rufus Towhee, and others for the passage of An Act by citizens initiative to abolish the Massachusetts General Laws and replace same with uniform code of conduct based on the teachings of Ayn Rand was referred to committee on Government Regulations.

An initiative petition of citizens of South Boston for the passage of An Act by citizens initiative to rename the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant “The Bob Kraft Center for Fecal Studies” was referred to the committee on Natural Resources.


The following resolutions (filed with the Clerk) were referred, under Rule 85, to the committee on Rules:

Resolution (filed by Representatives Wolf, Fox, and Swan) congratulating all creatures great and small for learning to coexist peacefully.

Resolution (filed by Mr. Fennell) on the occasion of National Aromatic Herbs Day.

Ms. Story of Amherst, for the committee on Rules, reported, in each instance, that the resolutions ought to be adopted. Long story short, they were adopted.


Petitions severally were presented and referred as follows:

By Mr. Peters of Charlton, petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of David M. Peters and Brian P. Lees for legislation to merge state Republican Party with state Democratic Party and make “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” the official bipartisan song of the commonwealth.

By Ms. Flavin of Easthampton, petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 03) of Nancy Flavin for legislation designating the comic “Nancy” the official comic strip of the commonwealth.

By Mr. Rushing of Boston, petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Byron Rushing and Dianne Wilkerson for legislation to provide tax-free status to certain legislators who submit really good reasons for failing to file required federal tax forms.

By Mr. Hodgkins of Lee, petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 5050) of Christopher J. Hodgkins for legislation to provide state-funded mental health services for victims of House War Syndrome. Severally to the committee on Domestic Affairs.

House Debate.

Speaker Finneran announced his legislative agenda for the remainder of the session. Mr. Hodgkins of Lee objected and was ruled out of order. House passed Speaker Finneran’s legislation (House, No. 1) restructuring state government and deregulating the banking, trucking, insurance, pharmaceutical, and food-service industries by a vote of 159-0, with one abstention. Sent to Senate for concurrence.

Orders of the Day.

Speaker Finneran ordered chicken-salad sandwiches and potato chips for all 159 members who voted for landmark legislation House, No. 1. Severally ginger ale and diet root beer were available.


At twenty minutes after eleven o’clock A.M. on the motion of Mr. Rushing of Boston, the House adjourned, to meet on Thursday next at eleven o’clock in another Full and Formal Session.