Lawmakers had made a deal last summer to restrict non-compete agreements in employment contracts. At the last minute, that deal fell apart after the House and Senate had a falling out. There's been little enthusiasm for reinvigorating the bill since lawmakers returned to work in January.

Non-compete agreements bar employees from working for competitors for a set number of time. As Massachusetts has struggled to compete in the high tech sector with California, where the agreements are more restricted, it became a priority of Gov. Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo to give workers more flexibility to move between companies.

It was on the Legislature's final night in session where Senate negotiators lead by former Sen. Dan Wolf walked away from talks and let the bill die. And even though lawmakers almost had a completed deal, noncompetes carried little momentum into the 2017 session.

"I still think the intent is there and the need to do something is there," new Labor committee Chairman Paul Brodeur told WGBH News.

"So we'll see. As I said, I'm very hopeful and I'm going to do my best on behalf of the House to put our best foot forward and hopefully we can make it that last little step," Brodeur said.

Lawmakers heard testimony on a new version of the bill at a hearing Tuesday. Perhaps more importantly, the two top negotiators who failed to come to a compromise last year, Wolf and Rep. John Scibak, have been succeeded at the Joint Committee on Labor and Workplace Development by new chairs Sen. Jason Lewis and Brodeur.