Today, the State House News Service made the much awaited announcement of Conference Committee members who will be responsible for deciding the fate of Amendment #548. As anticipated, the committee will include:
Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre)
Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)
Sen. Michael Knapik (R-Westfield)
Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill)
Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
Rep. Viriato DeMacedo (R-Plymouth)
If #548 survives, it will require a full ban on the shocks used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. However, this committee is only one person different (Sen. Steven Baddour was in place of Flanagan) than the committee that failed to pass essentially the same amendment last year. With the new fiscal year beginning on July 1, the committee has less than four weeks to settle a variety of policy and spending differences between the House and Senate budget bills with this issue only one amongst the many.
Stay tuned for recommendations on who to contact and what to say to support this amendment's survival!