BOSTON - The Senate held 469 roll call votes in 2016. Beacon Hill Roll Call tabulates the number of roll calls on which each senator was present and voting and then calculates that number as a percentage of the total roll call votes held. That percentage is the number referred to as the roll call attendance record.

Seventeen of the Senate's 40 members have 100 percent roll call attendance records.

The senator who missed the most roll calls is Sen. Kenneth Donnelly (D-Arlington) who missed 91 roll calls (80.6 percent attendance).

The other four senators who missed the most roll calls are Sens. Brian Joyce (D-Milton), 57 roll calls (87.8 percent attendance); Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), 27 roll calls (94.2 percent attendance); Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover), 20 roll calls (95.7 percent attendance); and Daniel Wolf (D-Harwich), 19 roll calls (95.9 percent attendance).

Beacon Hill Roll Call requested a statement from those five senators. Here are the responses from their offices:

Sen. Donnelly's office: "Sen. Donnelly was unable to be present at the formal session on Sunday, July 31, 2016 due to a medical issue."

Sen. Joyce's office: "Sen. Joyce rarely missed votes in 18 years, but had absences this year for medical reasons and for the death of a family member."

Sen. Pacheco's office: Did not respond.

Sen. L'Italien's office: "The vast majority of the votes missed were during two occasions, when Sen. L'Italien was attending a funeral out of state for a family member, and while she was attending a 'women in government conference' with colleagues."

Sen. Wolf's office: "Sen. Wolf was invited to speak at the Brookings Institution on the impact of money in the political process. This longstanding invite and commitment conflicted with a formal session, explaining the majority of missed roll call votes."


The percentage listed next to the senator's name is the percentage of roll call votes for which the senator was present and voting. The number in parentheses represents the number of roll calls that the senator missed.

Two senators' numbers are based on only 382 roll calls, fewer than the total 469 roll calls upon which the other 38 senators' numbers are based. Sens. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) and Patrick O'Connor (R-Weymouth) both won special elections and did not enter the Senate until May 18, 2016.

Sen. Richard Ross, R-Wrentham 100 percent (0)

Sen. James Timilty, D-Walpole 98.7 percent (6)

Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at

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