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The Boston Globe



Closed-door dealings yield big bills, but little scrutiny

The strengths and weaknesses of Massachusetts’s single-party-dominated Legislature were on display in the closing days of the session, as House and Senate leaders compromised with each other and Governor Deval Patrick to arrive at reasonable legislation to curb health care costs, even as they rejected his sensible efforts to add more judicial flexibility to the “three-strikes” crime bill.

Backed by substantial majorities in their respective chambers, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray had the strength to negotiate with Patrick on almost equal terms and reshape important legislation even as time was running short. If there were less power concentrated in the persons of DeLeo and Murray, such sweeping bills as the “three strikes” and health care laws might have been undermined by legislative wrangling.

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