The Massachusetts House and Senate struck eleventh-hour deals to legalize sports betting, update the state’s gun laws and expand access to mental health after an all-night lawmaking session, but their plans to provide $1 billion in tax relief stalled out early Monday morning.

State lawmakers convened Sunday for their final formal legislative session of the 2021-2022 term, and by Monday morning, a slew of major bills that had been tied up in private negotiations for weeks had either landed on Gov. Charlie Baker's desk or were on their way there.

Lawmakers announced shortly after 5 a.m. that they’d reached accords on mental health and sports betting bills. Around the same time, a compromise bill was also filed that legislators say will bring the state’s gun-licensing laws into compliance with the United States Supreme Court’s recent New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision.

The gun legislation fully cleared the Legislature and is now before Baker for his review, as are bills dealing with climate and cannabis policy. Final procedural votes on the sports betting and mental health bills were still needed as of 9 a.m.

On sports betting, the House had originally voted to legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports, while the Senate wanted to omit college athletics. The final bill includes some college contests — but it does not allow betting on teams from Massachusetts schools, unless the in-state team was participating in a tournament like March Madness.

A $4 billion-plus economic development package, which contained a series of tax breaks, was left unfinished, after the reemergence of an obscure state law muddled plans of Democrats in the Legislature. Lawmakers were caught off guard when Baker last week said he believes that Massachusetts collected enough in taxes last year to trigger a 1986 law that calls for the state to return excess revenue to taxpayers.

The Baker administration is estimating that Massachusetts residents could be in line to receive almost $3 billion under that law, though the exact amount won’t be known until September. Top Democrats in the House and Senate said they want to be sure the state can afford both the tax credits the law requires and any other relief measures before they act.

“Getting a $3 billion bill dropped on you the week before you’re about to finalize the year-end finances doesn’t lead to good decision-making, so we wanted to make sure — to be fiscally prudent — that we know what we’re getting into,” House Speaker Ronald Mariano said. “The economy is going through some strange things — big inflation rate, oil and gas fluctuations — that may lead to a recession."

Baker has said both the credits and the Legislature’s tax relief package — which includes one-time $250 rebates; estate tax reforms; and breaks for seniors, parents, renters and low-income workers — are affordable, but lawmakers aren’t on the same page with him.

“It’s a lot of money,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues told reporters shortly after 5 a.m. “We’ve been very, very careful over the last two years, three years since the pandemic, of being fiscally responsible, and the fiscally responsible thing to do is hit pause right now on all of the spending.”

Rodrigues said lawmakers were disappointed to shelve the multibillion economic development bill, which featured major investments in health and human services, child care, housing and the environment along with money for local projects. But the bill is not dead. The House and Senate will continue to meet through January, though they will do so in informal sessions, where any one lawmaker’s objection can block a bill from passing.

Other major legislative action from the weekend includes:

  • Baker on Friday returned a climate and energy policy bill with his recommended amendments. On Sunday night, the House and Senate sent him a new version that included some of his proposed changes but rejected others.
  • Rep. Jeff Roy, the House’s lead negotiator on the climate bill, said he wasn’t thrilled with all elements of the final bill but the nature of compromise means all sides have to give a little. Lawmakers made clear they’re pinning the bill’s fate on Baker.

    "With his action on this bill, he can be the governor that transforms climate and energy policy in Massachusetts, or he can be the one who pulled the plug on electrification and the one who took the breeze out of offshore wind," Roy said.

  • The House and Senate around midnight Sunday agreed to compromise legislation making cannabis policy reforms. Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz said the bill “will rebalance the playing field, where so far wealthy corporations have been able buy their way through the licensing process and too many local, small business owners and Black and brown entrepreneurs have been locked out.” Among other measures, the bill creates a social equity trust fund to support cannabis industry entrepreneurs who come from communities disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition.
  • Baker made a last-ditch bid to get lawmakers on board with changing laws around dangerousness hearings so it would be easier to hold certain defendants before a trial. He attached some pieces of that bill to legislation, passed as part of this year’s state budget, that would eliminate phone call charges for people in prison and jail. Baker and supporters pitched his bill as a way to protect domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, but lawmakers who opposed it had due process concerns.
  • The House rejected the new, narrower version of Baker’s bill Saturday, while the Senate took a different approach. Around 1:30 a.m. Monday, the Senate agreed to an amendment from Minority Leader Bruce Tarr that further winnowed down what the governor proposed in hopes of finding compromise.

    The House has not taken up the Senate’s amendment, which effectively ends the conversation on both the dangerousness reforms and no-cost calls.

  • Baker said Sunday night that he was “grateful” lawmakers reached a deal on an $11 billion bond bill investing in transportation and environmental infrastructure. That bill includes $400 million for the MBTA to make safety fixes identified in a federal probe.
  • A bill overhauling the governance structure of the state’s two long-term care facilities for veterans, in Chelsea and Holyoke, is back on Baker’s desk after lawmakers agreed to his proposed changes. The bill is a response to the deadly 2020 COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.