I strongly believe in democracy. Unfortunately, in the state where the fight for Democracy began, it is becoming clearer by the minute that the Massachusetts legislature is one big waste of money and it should be abolished.
This year, the House and Senate have met in formal session to vote less than 5 days collectively. The members would tell you that they are working hard on constituent services. Of course, that’s their justification for the hack paychecks. They should stop alibiing and do their jobs. Their failure to show up at the State House is allowing legislation to be passed in secret!
When the legislature is not meeting formally, they have informal sessions to pass non-controversial bills such as naming bridges. But, you can never trust Bacon Hill.
During an informal session of the House this week, a bill extending mail-in voting until the end of June was passed. Last time I checked, mail-in voting is very controversial!
I would love to place all the blame on the Democrats. Regrettably, House Republican Leader Brad Jones was a co-conspirator in passing this legislation without a public hearing or vote. There’s no excuse for this betrayal.
Jones and all the other members of the House have a responsibility to the voters. They are not supposed to ram through legislation without it going through the process. They are not dictators. They are supposed to be representatives.
With the legislature doing absolutely no work since the beginning of the year, they had the time to hold a hearing and put this bill through the proper procedure allowing public input. But, they know better than us. We, the people, have been completely disrespected once again.
While Jones and the gang hang out in the Bacon Hill bubble that insulates them from the normal world, they still have to know of the controversy regarding mail-in balloting. Several Republican State Representatives and Sen. Ryan Fattman sent a public letter to Secretary Bill Galvin inquiring about the mail-in process. They deserve answers. We all deserve answers.
Why would Jones betray us? Let me count the reasons. First, he has been on Bacon Hill for far too long. His loyalty is to the institution, not the public. Second, mail-in balloting is an advantage for incumbents getting re-elected. Third, Jones’ extra pay, according to the comptroller his salary totaled $147,497.10 in 2020. The extra stipend included in that total is not dependent on the Republican caucus. It is dependent on the Speaker. While Republican members vote Jones in as the leader, Jones pays off members for their vote with extra pay bestowed upon him from the Speaker.
One hand washes the other on Bacon Hill and we are the losers. If members will not do their jobs, it is time to rethink this dictating body.