Our state legislature will likely vote tomorrow on legislation to allow our Governor to make a temporary appointment for the interim period between now and the January 19th election. I will be voting in favor of the appointment and urging my colleagues to do the same.
It is very important that our state has full representation and two votes at the federal level, now more than ever. Our full legislative voice at the federal level is essential for the urgent legislation on health care, climate change, and education currently facing the nation, as well as appropriations and considerations for federal stimulus funds.
Thank you for all of the calls, letters, and emails I have received about this legislation, and I would ask you to urge your friends and relatives in other districts to contact their Representatives as well. At this point I am cautiously optimistic that the Legislature will pass the bill and send it the Governor as soon as possible, but every extra voice helps.
For more information on why I think this is important, please check out the press release I sent to the local newspapers:
The Cambridge Chronicle
The Somerville Journal
The Somerville News
State Representative Tim Toomey Supports Interim Senate Appointment Legislation
BOSTON – State Representative Tim Toomey (D – Cambridge) has announced that he will support legislation to allow the Governor to appoint an interim Senator to represent Massachusetts in Congress until the seat is filled in a special election set for Jan 19, 2010.
“With such a wide variety of meaningful and consequential legislation currently being debated in Congress, from Health Care to Education to Climate Change, it is essential now more than at any other time in recent memory that Massachusetts has two senators in Washington to ensure that our Commonwealth is fairly and adequately represented,” said Toomey. “I have been fighting my entire career for a single payer system and believe that the proposed comprehensive health care reform will take important steps to make quality care available and accessible to everyone. Now, with the goal of affordable health care for all finally within reach, I feel that it is my responsibility to do everything within my power to help see that goal become a reality.”
“In that light, I will be supporting state legislation to allow for the appointment of an interim Senator for Massachusetts to guarantee equitable representation of our state during these extraordinary times.”
Rep. Toomey also explained his vote against a Republican amendment offered in 2004, which would have bestowed powers upon then Governor Mitt Romney to appoint a temporary replacement in the event of a Senate vacancy following the 2004 presidential election.
“The United States Constitution gives each state the right to choose its Senators in the best interest of the people of the state,” said Toomey. “In 2004 it was my opinion that, given the opportunity, Governor Romney would have appointed somebody who would have voted against the policy initiatives of a Democratic president, and would have failed to represent the needs of Massachusetts residents.”
Current Massachusetts law requires that a special election be held between 145 and 160 days after a vacancy in a Senate seat, which would leave the state with only one vote in the Senate through the remainder of 2009.