Last year, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance sent residents of Dracut inserts, through mail and through newspapers, providing educational information about a handful of important votes taken by their state representative, Rep. Colleen Garry. Those inserts will appear again soon, in order to remind the people of Dracut about these issues.
With the swearing-in of the new General Court earlier last month, one of the most crucial yet overlooked debates is under way: the adoption of new rules for how the legislature will go about its business over the next two years. A variety of important reform proposals are usually offered from both Democrats and Republicans, but in the past, most amendments ideas have been rejected by the majority in the Legislature.
However, it’s a new year, and we firmly believe the Legislature has a great opportunity to chart a new course. New state Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, has offered several different good ideas for increasing transparency and accountability, and other positive proposals from rank-and-file members have been and will be debated. Many amendments will seek to improve our state’s budget process, a particularly important task because Massachusetts received just one of four “F” grades from the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation in a rating of states and how easy they make it for their citizens to understand how the annual budget comes to be.
Even though Garry may not have supported pro-transparency rule changes in the past, we hope that this year she will embrace similar proposals to help our commonwealth move forward. If you’d like to encourage Garry to do the right thing on these issues, you can call her office at 617-722-2380.
Paul D. Craney
Executive director, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance