The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth 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.
House of Representatives
|2021–2022 Massachusetts legislature|
New session started
|January 6, 2021|
Speaker pro tempore
since January 18, 2022
Length of term
|Authority||Chapter 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution|
|Salary||$62,500/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.|
|November 3, 2020|
|November 8, 2022|
|House of Representatives Chamber|
Massachusetts State House
Any person seeking to get elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least eighteen years of age
- Be a registered voter in Massachusetts
- Be an inhabitant of the district for at least one year prior to election
- Receive at least 150 signatures on nomination papers
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. The original distribution was changed to the current regional population system in the 20th century. Until 1978, there were 240 members of the house, a number in multi-member districts; today there are 160 in single-member districts.
Today, each Representative represents about 40,000 residents. Their 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.
The Sacred CodEdit
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.
The Democrats hold a supermajority in the House.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|Begin 187th (2011-2012)||128||32||0||160|
|Begin 188th (2013-2014)||131||29||0||160|
|Begin 189th (2015-2016)||127||35||0||160|
|Begin 190th (2017-2018)||125||35||0||160|
|Begin 191st (2019-2020)||127||32||1||160|
|Begin 192nd (2021-2022)||128||30||1||159||1|
|April 7, 2021||129||30||1||160||0|
|September 15, 2021||129||29||1||159||1|
|Latest voting share||81.1%||18.2%||0.6%|
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.
|Speaker of the House||Ronald Mariano||Quincy||Democratic|
|Speaker Pro Tempore||Kate Hogan||Stow|
|Assistant Majority Leader (Whip)||Michael J. Moran||Brighton|
|Second Assistant Majority Leader (Deputy Whip)||Joseph F. Wagner||Chicopee|
|Sarah K. Peake||Provincetown|
|First Division Chair||James J. O’Day||Worcester|
|Second Division Chair||Ruth B. Balser||Newton|
|Third Division Chair||Frank A. Moran||Lawrence|
|Fourth Division Chair||Thomas A. Golden, Jr.||Lowell|
|House Ways and Means Chair||Aaron Michlewitz||Boston|
|Dean of the House||Kevin Honan||Boston|
|Minority Leader||Bradley H. Jones, Jr.||North Reading||Republican|
|Assistant Minority Leader (Whip)||Kimberly N. Ferguson||Holden|
|Second Assistant Minority Leader (Deputy Whip)||Paul K. Frost||Auburn|
|Third Assistant Minority Leader||Susan Williams Gifford||Wareham|
|F. Jay Barrows||Mansfield|
The most recent election of members was held on November 3, 2020. Representatives serve two-year terms.
The current standing committees in the Massachusetts House of Representatives are as follows:
|Committee||Chair||Vice Chair||Ranking Minority|
|Bills in the Third Reading||Denise C. Garlick||Brian M. Ashe|
|Ethics||Thomas Walsh||David Allen Robertson||Susan Williams Gifford|
|Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight||Daniel J. Hunt||John Barrett, III||Nicholas A. Boldyga|
|Global Warming and Climate Change||Sean Garballey||Rady Mom||Michael J. Soter|
|Human Resources and Employee Engagement||Daniel Cahill||Liz Miranda||Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr.|
|Operations, Facilities and Security||Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.||Jonathan D. Zlotnik||David K. Muradian, Jr.|
|Post Audit and Oversight||John J. Mahoney||Gerard J. Cassidy||Peter J. Durant|
|Rules||William C. Galvin||Smitty Pignatelli||Donald H. Wong|
|Steering, Policy and Scheduling||Kevin G. Honan||Tricia Farley-Bouvier||Susan Williams Gifford|
|Ways and Means||Aaron Michlewitz||Ann-Margaret Ferrante
Paul J. Donato (Assistant Vice Chair)
|Todd M. Smola|
Current members and districtsEdit
Past composition of the House of RepresentativesEdit
- 2021–2022 Massachusetts legislature
- List of current Massachusetts House of Representatives committees
- List of speakers of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
- Massachusetts State House
- Massachusetts Senate
- Massachusetts General Court
- List of former districts of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
- List of Massachusetts General Courts
- Massachusetts Government
- List of members of the colonial Massachusetts House of Representatives
- https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Candidates-Guide-generic.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- The Massachusetts State House, p. 110, 111. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Boston, 1953.
- League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Archived October 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- See Amendment CI of the Massachusetts Constitution, adopted by voters in 1974
- "The 'Sacred' Cod Moves to the New State House". Mass Moments. Mass Humanities. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- "House members". The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. April 7, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
- "House Members". The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. September 24, 2021. Archived from the original on September 24, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
- "Massachusetts House of Representatives". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
- "House Leadership". The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
- "General Court of Massachusetts: House". Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1945-1946. 1945.
- "House of Representatives of the General Court of Massachusetts". Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1947-1948. 1947.
- "Representative Districts". Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Manual for the Use of the General Court for 1993-1994. Boston. 1993. (Per Chapter 11, Acts of 1988. Based on 1985 census)