On the federal level, the Congressional Budget Office costs out all legislation.
In Massachusetts, Beacon Hill does not cost out anything before passing it – neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can put a pricetag on anything they propose to add or to cut; no nonpartisan priceout at all.
All proposed fiscal reform is only braggadoccio without an unbiased, nonpartisan cost analysis.
To Rep. Kaufman’s credit he has filed legislation to establish a nonpartisan, professional Legislative Budget Office session after session.
The same Beacon Hill culture that voted itself out from under the Open Meeting Law and the Freedom of Information Act lets that Legislative Budget Office proposal die – every year.
Legislators would rather pontificate – and blame indigent defense for the costs when new crimes are added and so the number of cases go up – or blame the prisons for their costs when more folks have to be put in prisons. THIS is the real insanity and NO reform is actually “real” without valid cost analysis.
The Casino boondoggle is a prime example. NONE of the figures being thrown around by the Casino proponents are, in fact real. The numbers of jobs are inflated, and basically “pulled out of a hat” for example.
I would like to see a transparent, responsible, professionalized approach to cost analysis on Beacon Hill. Wouldn’t you?