APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2002-12 > 1041381831
From: Sharon Sergeant <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Re: Masssachusetts VRs
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 16:44:01 -0800 (PST)
The Massachusetts Senate adjourned approximately one hour ago and they did not act on H5158, so it
However earlier in the afternoon, several events made things look pretty grim.
Despite a flood of emails and phone calls to Massachusetts Senators, at noon time Senator Fargo
was positively beaming about the progress made on this bill as the "best that we would ever get"
and that it WOULD BE PASSED to the great consternation of a knowledgeable and outspoken critic
reading the exact text in Senator Fargo's office. (third hand report but from reliable sources,
though so I was concerned)
At 3pm I received word that the House had engrossed the bill and sent it to the Senate at
approximately 2:30 pm.
But things started to break around 4pm when the Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) Director
of Civil Records received an irate phone call from a previous ally suggesting that the bill WOULD
NOT BE PASSED and that it would have been the "best that you would ever get". This previous ally
had since caved in but had been instrumental in trying to work the language issues since the July
formal sessions. Unfortunately, the substance behind the language was not clearly understood and
political pressures weigh on logic.
At 4:45 pm, a call to the Clerk of the Senate revealed that the bill had had no action in the
Senate, that House had just come back from recess and that the Senate was due back momentarily.
At 6:30pm, a call to the Clerk of the Senate revealed that the bill had had no action in the
Senate and that the Senate had adjourned for the year.
End of H5158, but clearly not an end to the ignorance that causes so many folks to make statements
about such legislation being the "best that you would ever get" - when it would have closed
currently open records and restricted access.
It's only the end of one legislative session and one chapter in addressing ignorance and
reasonable remedies for realistic problems.
Thank you one and all for your efforts and support.
Happy New Year!
Sharon Sergeant, Program Director
Massachusetts Genealogical Council
--- "Helen S. Ullmann" <> wrote:
> My state senator's office assured me this morning that that vital
> records bill has absolutely no chance of passage in this session (ending
> right about this hour). It's only on its third reading and has not even
> been engrossed yet -- don't ask me to explain that :).
> Yes, if it gets underway in the next session (which it always does) Gov.
> Romney should be a good ally.
> On the other hand, anyone who wants to respond to Sharon Sargeant's
> impassioned message can only draw attention to the fact that many, many
> constituents will be very very upset if that bill passes. Right on!
> Helen S. Ullmann, CG, FASG
> 713 Main St.
> Acton, MA 01720
> Specializing in Southern New England and Norwegian genealogical
> ==== APG Mailing List ====
> The Association of Professional Genealogists
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