Massachusetts
House of Representatives
193rd General Court of Massachusetts
Coat of arms or logo
Seal of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 4, 2023
Leadership
Ron Mariano (D)
since December 30, 2020
Speaker pro tempore
Kate Hogan (D)
since February 11, 2021
Majority Leader
Michael Moran (D)
since February 10, 2023
Minority Leader
Bradley Jones (R)
since November 21, 2002
Structure
Seats160
Political groups
Majority (135)
  •   Democratic (134)
  •   Independent (1)

Minority (25)

Length of term
2 years
AuthorityChapter 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution
Salary$70,537/year; set to increase every two years equal to the increase in the median salary of Massachusetts. All members receive office stipends, and chairs of committees and party leaders receive additional stipends.
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
November 8, 2022
Next election
November 5, 2024
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
House of Representatives Chamber
Massachusetts State House
Boston, Massachusetts
Website
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Rules
Rules of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (English)

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counties each divided into single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. The House of Representatives convenes at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, the state capital of Massachusetts.

Qualifications

Any person seeking to get elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives must meet the following qualifications:[1]

Representation

Originally,[when?] representatives were apportioned by town. For the first 150 persons, one representative was granted, and this ratio increased as the population of the town increased. The largest membership of the House was 749 in 1812 (214 of these being from the District of Maine); the largest House without Maine was 635 in 1837.[2] The original distribution was changed to the current regional population system in the 20th century. Until 1978, there were 240 members of the house,[3] a number in multi-member districts; today there are 160 in single-member districts.[4]

Districts are named for the counties they are in and tend to stay within one county, although districts often cross county lines. Representatives serve two-year terms which are not limited.

Representatives' desk with microphone and voting buttons (yea/nay)

The Sacred Cod

Within the House's debating chamber hangs the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts. The 5-foot-long (1.5 m) pine carving of the cod was offered by Representative John Rowe in 1784 in commemoration of the state's maritime economy and history. Two previous carvings of the cod existed during the legislature's colonial era; the first destroyed in a fire in 1747, and the second during the American War of Independence. Since 1784, the current Sacred Cod has been present at nearly every House session, and moved to its current location when the House began convening in the State House in 1798.

In 1933, members of the Harvard Lampoon stole the cod carving as part of a prank. The theft sparked a large statewide search by the Boston and Massachusetts State Police. Following outrage from Boston newspapers and the General Court itself, the cod was anonymously handed back.[5]

Composition

The Democrats hold a supermajority in the House.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Unenrolled Republican Vacant
Begin 187th (2011-2012) 128 0 32 160
Begin 188th (2013-2014) 131 0 29 160
Begin 189th (2015-2016) 127 0 35 160
Begin 190th (2017-2018) 125 0 35 160
Begin 191st (2019-2020) 127 1 32 160
Begin 192nd (2021-2022) 128 1 30 159 1
Begin 193rd (2023-2024) 132 1 26 159 1
January 18, 2023[a] 133 1 26 160 0
February 3, 2023[b] 134 1 25 160 0
February 28, 2023 [c] 133 1 25 159 1
March 1, 2023 [d] 132 1 25 158 2
June 7, 2023 [e] 134 1 25 160 0
November 29, 2023 [f] 134 1 24 159 1
Latest voting share 84% 15%

[12]

Leadership

Further information: List of speakers of the Massachusetts House of Representatives

The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives. The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the full House through the passage of a House Resolution. As well as presiding over the body, the Speaker is also the chief leader, and controls the flow of legislation. Other House leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses relative to their party's strength in the House.

Current leaders

Main article: 2023–2024 Massachusetts legislature § Leadership

Current members and districts

Main article: 2023–2024 Massachusetts legislature § Members

Current committees and members

Main article: 2023–2024 Massachusetts legislature § Committees

Past composition of the House of Representatives

Main article: Political party strength in Massachusetts

Composition by municipality in the 187th General Court.
Composition by municipality in the 188th General Court.
Composition by municipality in the 189th General Court.
Composition by municipality at the beginning of the 190th General Court.
Composition by municipality at the beginning of the 191st General Court.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Margaret Scarsdale (D) was sworn in.[6]
  2. ^ Kristin Kassner (D) was sworn in.[7]
  3. ^ Edward Coppinger (D) resigned from the Massachusetts House of Representatives to accept a job with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).[8]
  4. ^ Jon Santiago (D) resigned from the Massachusetts House of Representatives to accept a job in the gubernatorial administration of Gov. Maura Healey.[9]
  5. ^ Special Elections in two Boston-based House seats restore the House to full strength[10]
  6. ^ Peter Durant (R) resigned after his election to the Massachusetts Senate[11]

References

  1. ^ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Candidates-Guide-generic.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ The Massachusetts State House, p. 110, 111. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Boston, 1953.
  3. ^ League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Archived October 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ See Amendment CI of the Massachusetts Constitution, adopted by voters in 1974
  5. ^ "The 'Sacred' Cod Moves to the New State House". Mass Moments. Mass Humanities. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Mass House declares Democrat winner of 7 vote race, second contest remains under review". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  7. ^ "State Rep. Kristin Kassner Finally Sworn-In On One Vote Majority". WBZ News Radio 1030. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  8. ^ "Boston's special election double-header". Politico. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  9. ^ "Boston's special election double-header". Politico. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "Two new Boston Dems put house back at full strength". State House News Service. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
  11. ^ "Peter Durant sworn in as senator; GOP sees signs their ideas more 'viable' in Mass". telegram.com. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  12. ^ "Massachusetts House of Representatives". Ballotpedia. Retrieved January 5, 2023.

Further reading