• 2 of 3 bills rolled out while Patrick is overseas


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- It's the latest piece of major legislation unveiled by the speaker of the house, his plan for jobs and the economy.

    Last week House Speaker Robert DeLeo addressed gun violence, and before that, domestic violence.

    Is he filling a leadership void on Beacon Hill? Two of the three bills were rolled out while Governor Deval Patrick is far away from his office at the State House.

    When FOX 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti asked DeLeo if people should read into that, he said, "I hope they don't read anything into it. Wasn't my intent to do so. Before I file legislation, I don't check his schedule, I'm sure he wouldn't check mine but people shouldn't read anything into it."

    It is that time of year when the leader of the house will roll out legislation, but he has unveiled three major bills, two of which when the governor is not in the country.

    "Well I think the question is do we actually have a governor," said House Republican Minority Leader Brad Jones.

    While Patrick has filed his own bills on both economic development and gun violence, where has he been?

    Right now he's off on his sixth overseas trip in 17 months. He's in Abu Dhabi Tuesday, and on the ninth day of his trip he will head to Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

    Last week Patrick was absent for the independent review of the Department of Children and Families. Is DeLeo filling a leadership vacuum?

    When asked, he said, “No, I think that the governor has provided legislation relative to economic development. I think it was back in April."

    The speaker says he's just doing his job and trying to get work done.

    Republicans offer another perspective.

    "I think from a Democratic perspective we had a very weak first year in the Legislature," Jones said. "I think the speaker, probably, in trying to look out for his members is trying to finish strong."

    Deleo called the bills "good legislation," adding he believes it will make Massachusetts "safer" and "a better state to live, and most importantly to work."

    His plan includes investments in education, housing and tech startups.

    It sets aside $1.5 million for computer science education and $2 million for a program for student interns in tech firms.

    A spokeswoman for the governor told FOX 25 that the administration is encouraged the speaker has embraced much of what the governor had previously put forward this session in his gun safety and economic development legislation, and that they look forward to working with lawmakers.

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