Linda Melconian

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Linda Melconian
Member of the Massachusetts State Senate
In office
1983–2005
Preceded by Alan Sisitsky
Succeeded by Stephen Buoniconti
Personal details
Born Springfield, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Andrew J. Scibelli
Alma mater Mount Holyoke College, BA
George Washington University, MA
George Mason University, JD
Occupation Attorney, Educator, Politician

Linda J. Melconian is a former American state legislator who served as Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. A member of the Democratic Party, she represented the greater Springfield area as its State Senator from 1983-2005.

Early life and education[edit]

Melconian, the only child of George and Virginia Melconian, grew up in the Forest Park section of Springfield, Massachusetts. Melconian graduated with highest honors from Springfield’s Classical High School and was a competitive swimmer in the backstroke events. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, cum laude, Linda also earned a Master’s Degree from the School of Public and International Affairs at George Washington University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from George Mason University.[1] In 2012, Mount Holyoke College honored Melconian as one of its 175 alumnae “Women of Influence”.[1]

Entry into politics[edit]

While in college, Melconian served as an intern for Congressman Edward P. Boland (D-MA). In 1971, she began her public service career as legislative assistant counsel to U. S. House of Representatives’ Majority Thomas P. Tip O’Neill (D-MA). After “Tip” O’Neill was elected House Majority Leader and Speaker, Melconian became the first woman staff professional to merit standing U. S. House Floor privileges in all three majority leadership offices.[1] She held staff positions including chief legislative assistant, speechwriter, House Floor scheduling and Member assistant, advisor on domestic and foreign policy and select/special committee assignments, and Assistant Counsel to the Speaker.

In 1974, Melconian assisted then Majority Leader Tip O’Neill in his efforts to assure the integrity of the U.S. House of Representatives during the constitutional crisis of the historic Richard Nixon impeachment hearings. Melconian had a role in assisting in the passage of House Resolution 148 which created April 24 as a national day of commemorating the Armenian Genocide as “Man’s Inhumanity to Man”.[1]

Massachusetts State Senate[edit]

For more than two decades, Melconian rose through the Democratic Party ranks to become Assistant Majority Leader and then Majority Floor Leader of the Massachusetts Senate where she often held the position of Acting Senate President.[2] Appointed by the Senate President Thomas Birmingham (D-MA) and confirmed by the Senate Democratic Caucus as the first woman Majority Leader in the history of the Massachusetts Senate, Melconian managed to help shape the legislative agenda and led the Senate in all its deliberations and decision making on public policy issues.[3]

In the State Senate Melconian also served as Senate Chairwoman of Insurance Committee [4] where she was responsible for developing all major property/casualty, health and life insurance legislation in the Commonwealth and created a legislative Science and Technology Committee.[5] Melconian held positions on the Senate Ways and Means (assistant vice chairwoman), Joint Committees on Judiciary,[6] vice chairwoman) Commerce and Labor,[7] and Elderly and Human Service.[8]

As Senator she authored numerous groundbreaking Massachusetts laws including the right of privacy and anti-discrimination in genetic testing, a nationally pioneering, comprehensive and far reaching initiative. She created new laws that increased access to health care and insurance coverage for women and children generally, and achieved insurance coverage for women in small businesses and third-party insurance benefits for women who practiced in traditionally female health care professions.

Melconian teaches at the Institute for Public Service and Business Law/Ethics Departments at Suffolk University’s Business School. As Senior Fellow in the Moakley Center for Public Management,[9] she works with business and government leaders. Through the Moakley Center, she developed a Moakley Fellows Internship Program and a Moakley Breakfast Series.[10] In addition, has published numerous articles. .[11] [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Women of Influence Gallery | Mount Holyoke College". mtholyoke.edu. 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Senate leadership realigned; Wilkerson appointed - The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) | HighBeam Research". highbeam.com. 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Melconian climbs ladder to Senate majority leader". Capecodonline.com. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  4. ^ "UNCORRECTED PROOF OF SENATE JOURNAL FOR 08/12/99". Mass.gov. 1999-08-12. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  5. ^ "Senate No. 1620: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Meeting The Baystate Challenge (1994)" (PDF). Nesl.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  6. ^ "UNCORRECTED PROOF OF SENATE JOURNAL FOR 4/6/98". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  7. ^ "UNCORRECTED PROOF OF SENATE JOURNAL FOR 04/22/99". Mass.gov. 1999-04-22. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  8. ^ "UNCORRECTED PROOF OF SENATE JOURNAL FOR 04/29/99". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  9. ^ "Suffolk University - Linda Melconian". Suffolk.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Suffolk University - Moakley Breakfast Series Features Martha Coakley". Suffolk.edu. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  11. ^ "Health-care Nonprofits: Enhancing Governance and Public Trust". Business and Society Review. 117: 197–219. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8594.2012.00405.x. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  12. ^ "Gender Pay Equality: The Effectiveness of Federal Statutes and Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions" (PDF). forumonpublicpolicy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas C. Norton
Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Frederick Berry
Preceded by
Frederick Berry
Assistant Majority Floor Leader of the Massachusetts Senate
1996–1999
Succeeded by
Stan Rosenberg