In a landmark statement issued yesterday, Massachusetts Senate President, Stanley Rosenburg, announced strong Senate support for the passage of SB 735 & HB 1577.
This strong commitment from the Senate comes in the wake of a legislative decision to table the transgender rights bill until session resumes in 2016. The President’s very public endorsement of the bill on behalf of the Senate could put added pressure on the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to take swift action to pass SB 735 & HB 1577 in the new year.
In a Facebook Q&A forum, Roseburg wrote: There is strong support in the Senate and the Senate stands ready to vote on the matter, as soon as we have access to the bill.
While the President has been a long-time supporter of the legislation that would extend non-discrimination protections to transgender Bay Staters in public spaces, Senate support hasn’t always been so strong.
When asked just over a month ago, Rosenburg declined to project the odds of the bill passing, saying:
When I know we are secure in having the votes then I’ll be speaking with both the Governor and the Speaker to see where they are on it. Anti-discrimination laws deserve very strong support.
In his latest statements, the President makes it very clear: The Senate has the votes to pass this critical legislation.
Though legislators are currently in recess for the holidays, all eyes will certainly now turn to the House of Representatives and the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to ensure their votes are lined up for a fast 2016 decision to pass SB 735 & HB 1577.
In the meantime, we continue our work behind the scenes and in the community to make the case for why full transgender protections are much-needed and cannot be delayed.