With only four days left in the state legislative session, lawmakers on Beacon Hill appear to have gone "all in" on the debate over casino gambling, leaving few chips to be played on any other hands. Take CORI reform as an example.
CORI, or the Criminal Offender Record Information system allows employers, landlords, and authorities are able to access criminal records of just about anyone who has been charged with a crime in Massachusetts. Reform advocates have long argued that the ease with which CORIs can be checked makes it difficult for people with records to get their lives back on track.
Victoria Benny of Worcester joined about a hundred demonstrators on the Statehouse steps this afternoon. They were there urging lawmakers to put casinos aside for a moment and revive stalled negotiations on a CORI reform bill that would have an immediate impact on Benny's life.
Advocates have been pushing for CORI reform for years. But this year, it seemed as if they might get it. Governor Deval Patrick made it a legislative priority, and two reform bills made their way through Beacon Hill. However, with just a few days to go until the end of this legislative session, there's no final package. However, house and Senate lawmakers are in conference committee at this hour trying to salvage the effort.
- Kyle Cheney, Reporter for State House News Service
This program aired on July 27, 2010.