- Associated Press - Thursday, August 1, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Legislature has begun a summer recess without finalizing several key bills.

The House and Senate met until nearly midnight on Wednesday but never took what had been a widely anticipated vote on legislation aimed at cracking down on distracted driving by prohibiting motorists from using hand-held cellphones. Both chambers had previously passed similar versions of the bill but closed-door negotiations have yet to produce a final agreement.

Legislation to revamp the state’s education funding formula also remains stuck in committee. Supporters had hoped it would emerge before the new school year begins.

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Both chambers did meet a deadline Wednesday for extending the legal authority for horse racing and wagering on simulcasts of out-of-state races. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill Thursday.

Formal legislative sessions will resume in September.

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