It’s all about the rules….”the rule of law” and the ubiquitous, “law of the land” are phrases that define our democracy.
Democrats on Beacon Hill had an opportunity to lead the way to better government last week as both the House and Senate reviewed proposed changed to the rules.
Several rules that would enhance efficient and transparent operations on Beacon Hill such as: “Putting Committee Roll Calls on Website” and “Requiring Roll Call Votes to OK Tax Hikes” and the commonsensical “24 hours to Read Legislation” rule were proposed by GOP legislators (at least Legislators should have time to read bills even if taxpayers can’t/don’t have the time to read a bill when leadership tries to rush it through like they did the gambling bills on Easter weekend and Graduation weekend…..shouldn’t they?). Voting pretty much completely along party lines the Democrats killed progress.
Sadly, many of these full-time salaried and benefited Democrat elected public servants who receive stipends for travel to the State House and preferential treatment for public hearings also voted against, “Limiting Legislator’s Testimony” and (drum-roll please) “Adopt Local Aid Resolutions Deadline” was shot-down. On the heels of a devastating report forecasting reduced local aid, local officials, many whom are volunteers, cannot even expect the courtesy of a timely budget from the state.
Maybe it is time to reconsider those “informal sessions” from August to January every other year during which legislators receive full-pay to campaign for re-election? Maybe taking just a wee bit of that time to have a little wiggle room to get their budgets together during the first quarter of the calendar year…like the rest of the world, would be a bold progressive stance that some Democrat somewhere on Beacon Hill could propose?
Status-quotocrats are the poison of the Democratic party and the citizens of Massachusetts. Three cheers to the Republicans for proposing progress.