Sen. Hedlund to Bring Back ‘Roadrunner’ Bill During New Legislative Session

The legacy lives on.

State House Photo uploaded by Jim Mac on Flickr

State House Photo uploaded by Jim Mac on Flickr

Just like in the cartoon series with Wile E. Coyote, perhaps nothing will kill the “Roadrunner” bill.

After failing to garner enough support to turn the Modern Lovers tune into the official rock song of Massachusetts during the last legislative session, Bill H.3573, filed in 2013 by then-state representative Marty Walsh, could see a revival.

“[It] will be re-filed for new session which starts tomorrow,” pledged Sen. Bob Hedlund in a tweet to his followers, the same day that the original bill ultimately died in the informal session. “Common sense will ultimately prevail! Rock On.”

Hedlund told Boston that he plans to file a new, similar piece of legislation before the deadline later this month. From there, the proposal would need to start from the bottom, as it did when it was first floated by Walsh, and get a favorable vote from the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. Then, it would need to be passed by the Senate and members of the House of Representatives.

“We had no problem getting out of committee last time, and I anticipate that will happen again,” Hedlund said. “If I’m lead sponsor it will be a Senate bill, so it will go to to the Senate floor first. But I can’t predict what will happen in the House because that’s where it died last session.”

Like Massachusetts, the “Roadrunner” bill, as it has come to be known, has a backstory marred by bureaucratic head butting, which kept the proposal from easily passing through the halls of the State House. As pointed out earlier this week, although the bill made it out of committee, it was met by opposition in the form of differing opinions about what song best represents the residents of Massachusetts.

Duxbury Rep. Josh Cutler and Marshfield Rep. James Cantwell, who made a motion to name Aerosmith’s “Dream On” the official state rock song, contributed to the roadblocks that led to the “Roadrunner” bill to taking its final breath of 2014.

But Hedlund doesn’t believe that will be the case this time around.

“I don’t know if they will make the same effort, because they were pretty heavily rebuked on that effort last time, and they didn’t even testify,” he said. “A lot of people had interest in [“Roadrunner”] and weighed in, and if they do that again, I think, you know, that will help.”

Already, Hedlund said he’s heard grumblings on Beacon Hill that people in support of designating the Modern Lover’s song calling into their respective elected leaders to throw support behind the measure.

“We got a lot of calls on it,” said Hedlund, who added Walsh would write a letter of support. “I’m sure if that’s the case again, I think the [Speaker of the House] will take another look at it, and not micro-manage the process this time.”