BOSTON (CBS) — After a busy week on Beacon Hill, including the Senate President’s announcement that he will step down and the arrest of a former senator, two State House News Service reporters joined WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller to make sense of it all.
The State Senate was faced with replacing Stan Rosenberg after he stepped aside from his position as President while allegations of sexual misconduct against his husband are evaluated. Sen. Harriette Chandler was chosen to be the new Acting Senate President.
“The idea that the Senate President or the former Senate President now, Stan Rosenberg, wants to come back is one that they are not foreclosing completely. In that, because he has taken a so-called leave of absence, Harriette Chandler, who is number two in the Senate was the safe placeholder: someone who doesn’t aspire to that seat full time, who the full body has confidence in,” explained Matt Murphy of the State House News Service.
Reporter Katie Lannan said, “It’s kind of up in the air at this point what is going to happen when the investigation is complete, how long that investigation will go, senators have been reluctant to put a time-frame on it. There has been a lot of loyalty to Senator Rosenberg from that body in the past, it’ll be interesting to see if he does try to return to his post. It would be kind of an unusual and unprecedented situation.”
Jon Keller asked, what does this mix up mean for state policy?
“We have a couple of major pending issues when Beacon Hill comes back to its full schedule in January,” continued Lannan. “Stan Rosenberg, with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Governor Charlie Baker, they’re the big three, they’re the top policy figures on Beacon Hill.”
While these three have a good working relationship, Chandler could mix up the dynamic, according to Lannan.
Former State Sen. Brian Joyce was arrested on Friday and is accused of using his office for personal profit to accept up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official actions.
Murphy said, “With the situation evolving with now-former Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and this Joyce thing, you have to wonder if Democrats are getting nervous. If you just look to the past week, on Tuesday, after Rosenberg was in the headlines for weeks, a Republican, a Fitchburg city councilor Dean Tran, picked up a seat.”
Keller asked the pair if they believed if Beacon Hill had a culture of corruption.
While Lannan argued there will always be good and bad people in the room, Murphy noted, “there’s a level of secrecy that’s tolerated in that building that allows some of these things to happen.”