The Senate wisely followed the House’s lead by voting unanimously late Thursday to extend the formal legislative session beyond the July 31 deadline.

Earlier in the week House lawmakers bowed to the new realities of this COVID-19 environment by agreeing to extend the current legislative session.

The differences in language between the  Senate and House orders required another perfunctory vote before the extension becomes official.

The combined votes mean formal sessions could continue through the election season and the rest of the year.

The Senate order reads that due to the coronavirus pandemic, “it is critical for the Senate and House of Representatives to continue convening in formal session to respond to, and mitigate the spread of, COVID-19 to protect the health, security, safety, economic well-being and convenience of the people of the commonwealth.”
The order adopted by the House doesn’t specifically limit what matters could be taken up in future formal sessions.

In the usual informal session that follows formal deliberations, any bill can be derailed by a single opposing vote.

With so many key bills in the legislative pipeline, the House and Senate had no other choice but to continue deliberations.

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