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"The efficient, just, and timely resolution of our conflicts is essential to sustaining our democracy."
 image of a gavel on top of a stack of books
-Speaker Tom Finneran
The Commonwealth's courts resolve its residents' civil and criminal conflicts according to the laws and Constitutions of the state and nation in an efficient, fair, and accountable manner. Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Tom Finneran has consistently voted to increase support for both the courts and the prison system, and he has been a strong advocate of strict penalties for convicted criminals.

Over the past several years, the Legislature has worked to reform the court system through improved bail and warrant management. Under Tom Finneran's leadership, the Legislature has also streamlined the adoption process enabling quicker and more effective proceedings. The Legislature has toughened existing penalties on individuals who commit Assault and Battery in certain situations, making it easier for the police to arrest a person in the case of domestic abuse situations. In addition, the Committee on Criminal Justice proposed guidelines to encourage greater uniformity in sentencing across the Commonwealth, specifically by requiring longer sentences for violent offenders and early intervention and control of substance abuse. One of the House and Speaker Finneran's biggest initiatives was the creation of Community Corrections and Intermediate Sanctions Programs which transformed probation services from a "behind the desk" supervision process into a meaningful community supervision process that requires probation officers to closely monitor probationers in their own communities.

Speaker Finneran will continue to work to provide the judiciary system with the tools it needs in order to serve the legal needs of the citizens of Massachusetts.

Voter Record: Judiciary
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the Fiscal Year 2003 budget funded child care programs in trial courts. House accepted. (Y151 N0) 5/13/02
 #   H. 5100. This amendment to the Fiscal Year 2003 budget allocated additional funding for teenage pregnancy prevention programs across the Commonwealth. House accepted. (Y154 N0) 5/13/02
   # H. 5100. This amendment to the Fiscal Year 2003 budget would provide aid to incarcerated mothers. House rejected. (Y57 N96) 5/2/02
   # S. 2139. This bill mandates that all health plans must provide equitable coverage of contraceptive services. House passed. (Y139 N16) 1/30/02
 #   H. 4642. This bill proposed new sentencing guidelines which modified the state's sentencing procedures, offering various programs and more stringent enforcement after release and during imprisonment. House accepted. (Y126 N19) 10/9/01
 #   H. 4401. This override of the Governor's veto of line item 0330-3200 of the Fiscal Year 2000 budget restored funding to court security programs. House passed. (Y136 N22) 11/17/99
 #   H. 1635. This bill provided funding for the improvement of court facilities across the Commonwealth. House passed. (Y153 N0) 1/29/97
   # H. 3239. The House approved an amendment to this bill allowing women to have abortions without restrictions in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The amendment also allows the state to impose restrictions on abortion which are not deemed unduly burdensome. The amendment codified the US Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey and allows the legislature to place restrictions on abortions. This was seen by many as anti-choice and a means of watering down Roe v. Wade. House passed. (Y83 N72) 3/10/93