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Some Senate Leaders Irked By Bullying Bill Delay

Some Massachusetts Senate leaders are upset that House lawmakers did not finalize a bill aimed at cracking down on school bullying this week. The Senate passed its version of the legislation in March.

Sen. James Eldridge — a member of the joint committee reviewing the final anti-bullying bill — says he expected his committee to have the bill ready for Gov. Deval Patrick to sign Friday, even though passing gambling legislation topped the House's agenda this week.

"I think the heart of the matter is the Legislature can walk and chew gum at the same time and what I mean is I thought the House could do casinos and also the conference committee," Eldridge said.

Responding, House lawmakers insist they are moving quickly to tackle an anti-bullying bill. Joint Committee on Education Chair Rep. Marty Walz says legislation was not ready for a vote this week.

"The conference committee is still working on the anti-bullying legislation and I expect the bill will be done shortly," Walz said.

The legislation gained new urgency after the January suicide of South Hadley's Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old who endured repeated instances of bullying at her school.

This program aired on April 16, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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