By Shira Schoenberg
BOSTON — On Nov. 15, the Massachusetts Legislature will go on break until January. During that time, the only bills likely to be passed are non-controversial items that do not face opposition.
Lawmakers have some major bills still pending as they approach the recess.
Here’s a look at what they are.
The Senate recently released a 159-section bill aimed at lowering health care costs.
The bill deals with a huge range of topics, from lowering hospital readmissions to increasing state oversight of drug pricing.
A legislative committee held an hours-long public hearing on the bill Monday, and the bill is expected to be debated by the Senate before lawmakers leave in November.
The bill will then go the House, which is likely to spend time on its own rewrite, pushing the issue into the new year.
Gov. Charlie Baker also introduced a series of potential reforms to MassHealth during the summer budget process, which are still before the Legislature. They could be debated as part of the larger cost containment bill.
“I recognize and appreciate it’s complicated,” Baker said, adding that he hopes action will be taken on health care when the Legislature returns next year.
There are two bills pending right now on criminal justice.
One is based on a review by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and focuses primarily on inmate education and post-release supervision.
That bill is pending in the House and has support from leaders in the House and Senate, leaders in the judiciary and the governor.
A second bill pending in the Senate would go much further and include myriad recommendations, including provisions related to sentencing reform and bail reform.
House leaders have voiced support for passing a criminal justice bill that goes further than the Council of State Governments bill, but they have not yet said what that will look like.
If both houses decide to debate their respective bills by mid-November, criminal justice reform would end up in a conference committee, where House and Senate negotiators could spend time over the break trying to hash out their differences.