To begin this process, we are focusing on five areas that we believe will begin to restore the balance of power in the membership and insure that issues will receive both proper consideration and debate. We have developed specific proposals to:
1. Ensure that Home Rule Petitions can be discharged from the Rules Committee in a timely fashion;
2. Make the state budget process in the House more transparent, and make the House operating budget specifics accessible to all members;
3. Provide a leadership election and committee appointment process that distributes more power to the members and less power to the Speaker;
4. Provide legislators with greater control of the operating budgets for their offices; and
5. Eliminate or narrow legislative exemptions to the open meeting law, public records law, and purchasing standards.
Call for Action on Beacon Hill by Matthew C. Patrick, Thomas M. Stanley, Lida E. Harkins, William G. Greene, Jr., Will N. Brownsberger, Steven J. D’Amico, Joseph R. Driscoll and John F. Quinn
The call to action by these eight brave reps, including Rep. Brownsberger who resigned his Vice Chairmanship:
We want the House to become a functional democracy. We clearly see that consolidation of power in the Speaker has given the Massachusetts House a less than democratic form of governance and we believe that the most important thing we can do as members is point out what is so obvious that it has been taken for granted. We want each bill deliberated in the committees and referred to the floor based on merit where it will be fully debated.
The brave Patrick 8 also call for the Open Meeting Laws and Freedom of Information Act to again apply to the doings of Beacon Hill.