Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SSM Wakes Up Trav

Our biggest sleeping puppy, Senate President Robert (Don't Call Me Bobby) Travaglini, snapped to yesterday afternoon. He stated that at today's ConCon, he intends to chew through the whole 20-question agenda, agendum by agendum.

The Boston Globe article on his remarks said that if they don't get to agendum 20, the amendment, they are likely to reconvene a ConCon before the end of the year to do so. This would meet requirements to keep the amendment on track for next year's ConCon -- assuming that 50 of the 200 legislators commit to approving it this year.

Trav has great power in this. He is the presiding officer of the ConCon. On the other hand, moving an agendum up on the list requires an almost-impossible-to-get unanimous vote of the ConCon.

He said, "It is my intention to bring all of the items on the calendar before the body for a vote. However, each of the 20 items left on the calendar is likely to generate significant debate among the members, and we will see how far we get in the proceedings on Wednesday."

He meets with fellow Democratic Senators at noon, an hour before the ConCon convenes today. Those wanting to show support for SSM should be there by 1 p.m., ideally by 9 a.m. The hall may be full, but there's lot of room outside for milling, politicking and demonstrating.

House Republicans, including minority leader Bradley H. Jones, are urging him and House Speaker Sal DiMasi to take a simple yea or nay vote on the matter. The anti folk have said for months that they have far more than the 50 needed.

A delay this time, even if another ConCon occurs this year might help pro-SSM forces. As Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg (Amherst Democrat) put it, "We've seen enormous progress from when this issue started to be debated three years ago or so, but we still have some work to do. So time is our friend."

By the bye, the Globe has a handy-dandy flow chart showing the what-if possibilities for the amendment at this year's ConCon, next year's should it pass, and to the 2008 plebiscite should it advance to the ballot.

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