By Chris Lisinski, STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 3, 2020 (State House News Service) — Massachusetts senators unanimously agreed Thursday to continue formal lawmaking business beyond a Friday deadline, giving themselves months more time to wrap up key legislative work that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senate voted 40-0 in favor of its own order (S 2873) amending joint legislative rules that prohibit meeting in formal sessions, where roll call votes can be taken and major legislation is typically handled, after July 31.

On Wednesday, the House unanimously approved its own version of a session extension order (H 4910). Both versions trigger effectively the same change, though they each contain different language.

While both branches have now agreed to push back the deadline that frequently turns the last week of July in even years into a chaotic sprint, the extension is not yet finalized. The House broke for a recess shortly after the Senate took its vote, and it was not immediately clear how the two branches planned to resolve the different orders.

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