Massachusetts House of Representatives

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Massachusetts
House of Representatives
2021–2022 Massachusetts legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 6, 2021
Leadership
Ronald Mariano (D)
since December 30, 2020
Speaker pro Tempore
Kate Hogan (D)
since February 11, 2021
Majority Leader
Claire D. Cronin (D)
since February 11, 2021
Minority Leader
Bradley Jones Jr. (R)
since November 21, 2002
Structure
Seats160
MA House 192 april 7.svg
Political groups
Majority
  Democratic (129)

Minority

  Republican (30)
Length of term
2 years
AuthorityChapter 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution
Salary$62,500/year; set to increase every two years equal to the increase in the median salary of Massachusetts. All members receive office stipends, and chairs of committees and party leaders receive additional stipends.
Elections
Last election
November 3, 2020
(160 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(160 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Massachusetts House of Representatives 01.jpg
House of Representatives Chamber
Massachusetts State House
Boston, Massachusetts
Website
[1]

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counties each divided into single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. The House of Representatives convenes at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Qualifications[edit]

Any person seeking to get elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives must meet the following qualifications:[1]

  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Be a registered voter in Massachusetts
  • Be an inhabitant of the district for at least one year prior to election
  • Receive at least 150 signatures on nomination papers

Representation[edit]

Originally,[when?] representatives were apportioned by town. For the first 150 persons, one representative was granted, and this ratio increased as the population of the town increased. The largest membership of the House was 749 in 1812 (214 of these being from the District of Maine); the largest House without Maine was 635 in 1837.[2] The original distribution was changed to the current regional population system in the 20th century. Until 1978, there were 240 members of the house,[3] a number in multi-member districts; today there are 160 in single-member districts.[4]

Today, each Representative represents about 40,000 residents. Their districts are named for the counties they are in and tend to stay within one county, although districts often cross county lines. Representatives serve two-year terms which are not limited.

Representatives' desk with microphone and voting buttons (yea/nay)

The Sacred Cod[edit]

Within the House's debating chamber hangs the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts. The 5-foot-long (1.5 m) pine carving of the cod was offered by Representative John Rowe in 1784 in commemoration of the state's maritime economy and history. Two previous carvings of the cod existed during the legislature's colonial era; the first destroyed in a fire in 1747, and the second during the American War of Independence. Since 1784, the current Sacred Cod has been present at nearly every House session, and moved to its current location when the House began convening in the State House in 1798.

In 1933, members of the Harvard Lampoon stole the cod carving as part of a prank. The theft sparked a large statewide search by the Boston and Massachusetts State Police. Following outrage from Boston newspapers and the General Court itself, the cod was anonymously handed back.[5]

Composition[edit]

2020 composition by municipality

The Democrats hold a supermajority in the House.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Republican Unenrolled Vacant
Begin 187th (2011-2012) 128 32 0 160
Begin 188th (2013-2014) 131 29 0 160
Begin 189th (2015-2016) 127 35 0 160
Begin 190th (2017-2018) 125 35 0 160
Begin 191st (2019-2020) 127 32 1 160
Begin 192nd (2021-2022) 128 30 1 159 1
April 7, 2021[6] 129 30 1 160 0
Latest voting share 80.6% 18.8% 0.6%

[7]

Leadership[edit]

The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives. The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the full House through the passage of a House Resolution. As well as presiding over the body, the Speaker is also the chief leader, and controls the flow of legislation. Other House leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses relative to their party's strength in the House.

The current Speaker of the House is Ronald Mariano of the 3rd Norfolk District.

Leaders[edit]

[8]

Position Representative Municipality Party
Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano Quincy Democratic
Majority Leader Claire D. Cronin Easton
Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan Stow
Assistant Majority Leader Michael J. Moran Brighton
Second Assistant Majority Leader Joseph F. Wagner Chicopee
Sarah K. Peake Provincetown
First Division Chair James J. O’Day Worcester
Second Division Chair Ruth B. Balser Newton
Third Division Chair Frank A. Moran Lawrence
Fourth Division Chair Thomas A. Golden, Jr. Lowell
Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. North Reading Republican
Assistant Minority Leader Bradford Hill Ipswich
Second Assistant Minority Leader Kimberly N. Ferguson Holden
Third Assistant Minority Leader Susan Williams Gifford Wareham
Paul K. Frost Auburn

The most recent election of members was held on November 3, 2020. Representatives serve two-year terms.

Committees[edit]

The current standing committees in the Massachusetts House of Representatives are as follows:

Committee Chair Vice Chair Ranking Minority
Bills in the Third Reading Denise C. Garlick Brian M. Ashe
Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets Danielle W. Gregoire Patricia A. Haddad David T. Vieira
Ethics Thomas Walsh David Allen Robertson Susan Williams Gifford
Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight Daniel J. Hunt John Barrett, III Nicholas A. Boldyga
Global Warming and Climate Change Sean Garballey Rady Mom Michael J. Soter
Human Resources and Employee Engagement Daniel Cahill Liz Miranda Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr.
Operations, Facilities and Security Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr. Jonathan D. Zlotnik Bradford Hill
Post Audit and Oversight John J. Mahoney Gerard J. Cassidy Peter J. Durant
Rules William C. Galvin Smitty Pignatelli Donald H. Wong
Steering, Policy and Scheduling Kevin G. Honan Tricia Farley-Bouvier Bradford Hill
Ways and Means Aaron Michlewitz Ann-Margaret Ferrante
Paul J. Donato (Assistant Vice Chair)
Todd M. Smola

Current members and districts[edit]

Past composition of the House of Representatives[edit]

Composition by municipality in the 187th General Court.
Composition by municipality in the 188th General Court.
Composition by municipality in the 189th General Court.
Composition by municipality at the beginning of the 190th General Court.
Composition by municipality at the beginning of the 191st General Court.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Candidates-Guide-generic.pdf
  2. ^ The Massachusetts State House, p. 110, 111. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Boston, 1953.
  3. ^ League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Archived October 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ See Amendment CI of the Massachusetts Constitution, adopted by voters in 1974
  5. ^ "The 'Sacred' Cod Moves to the New State House". Mass Moments. Mass Humanities. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "House members". The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. April 7, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  7. ^ "Massachusetts House of Representatives". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  8. ^ "House Leadership". The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]