The Crime Bill Conference Committee met today at 3pm to discuss progress on reconciling House and Senate versions of criminal justice reform. Conferees carried an optimistic tone, and said they were confident in their ability to report a bill by the Friday 8pm deadline, if not earlier.
At 4:30pm, about 50 supporters of the Commonwealth CORI Coalition participated in a press conference applauding the Conferees for their progress, and re-emphasizing the human, economic and public safety necessity for CORI reform. Speakers included Mass Council of Churches Director Rev. Jack Johnson, SEIU 615 President Rocio Saenz, and Boston Workers Alliance Executive Director Aaron Tanaka.
As of 7pm this evening, the State House News Service reported that the Conference Committee had come to a tentative agreement for a final crime package. At the same time, Governor Patrick announced his willingness to sign a compromise casino proposal if key bills including CORI reform, wind turbines, health care cost control, and economic development were passed first. These developments significantly improve prospects for securing comprehensive CORI reform before session ends on Saturday night.
In response, the Commonwealth CORI Coalition has urged supporters to call Conference Chairs Rep. O’Flaherty and Sen. Creem as well as Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Murray to applaud their apparent movement past political turf battles and towards concrete and productive solutions for Commonwealth residents.