State Rep McKenna: More Transparency and Accountability Needed in State Government
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Each year the House enacts a set of rules which it will use to govern itself by. Unfortunately, the Legislature which is controlled by a Democrat super-majority in MA, often uses this opportunity to control the procedure and flow of information to benefit itself. This is often to the detriment of transparency and accountability to those who elect the 160 members of the House throughout MA.
The amendments that I voted ‘YES’ on sought to provide the residents of MA and all members of the House with the ability to see and understand the operations of the House. These amendments would not have substantially changed the way the House does business; they simply would have allowed the public a brief glimpse as to what their elected officials are doing behind the closed doors of Beacon Hill.
Some of the specific actions that would have been accomplished by amendments that I voted to support were:
- Requiring all official committee votes to be posted online for public transparency within 48 hours. *this amendment passed.
- Requiring a minimum of 24 hours between a bill being filed and that bill being voted on. This would allow members of the House and public to have an opportunity to read and understand the bills that are voted on.
- Reinstating term limits for the Speaker of the House.
- Providing cities and towns with a local aid resolution by March 15th, thus allowing them to build their local budgets based on expected local aid figures.
- Requiring any tax increase to pass only if it receives a two-thirds majority vote.
- Forming a balanced and bi-partisan Ethics Committee with equal numbers from both parties.
- Establishing a bi-partisan legislative budget office to produce the State’s annual budget.
Joseph McKenna (R) is a State Representative who represents the 18th Worcester District. Reach him at [email protected] or (617) 722-2800 ext. 6307.
Related Slideshow: The Ten Most Politically Powerful in Central MA
Senator Michael Moore
Senator Moore, D-Millbury, serves as the Massachusetts Senate Vice-Chair on the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
In November, Moore was named the Vice-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Public Safety.
“I am honored to be appointed the Vice-Chair of the NCSL’s Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Public Safety,” said Moore “This appointment will provide me the opportunity to continue to advocate and promote important public safety issues to ensure the safety of residents in the Commonwealth.”
Matt Beaton- Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Like Polito, Beaton is from Shrewsbury and served as State Rep. for Worcester’s 11th District before being named Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs by Governor Baker.
Baker said that Beaton had the right experience to carry out green energy initiatives and that his leadership will be an important asset to accomplish goals throughout the Commonwealth.
Beaton has experience serving on the Ways and Means, and the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture committees. Beaton will take charge of the administration's task of creating energy efficiency, conservation and improved outdoor recreation.
Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus
City Manager Augustus has solid relationships at the top of both political parties in the state. He is an avid supporter of Congressman Jim McGovern and he has recently celebrated that Karyn Polito, from Shrewsbury, will be the Lt. Governor.
"Central Massachusetts is proud to once again have one of our own in the Lieutenant Governor’s office. I look forward to working with the new administration to continue the work of bringing economic development to the Heart of the Commonwealth, improving the standard of living, and ensuring government works for all residents, regardless of class or status," said Augustus.
Sheriff Lew Evangelidis
Following eight years as State Legislature, in 2010 Lew Evangelidis was elected as Worcester County Sheriff.
With his political background, Evangelidis has gained both visibility and a reputation for getting things done in Worcester County. On Friday night, Evangelidis gave a speech at the Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito's Inauguration Celebraton.
O'Brien spent nine years as Worcester's City Manager before stepping down in late 2013.
"Mike is certainly a valuable asset to any Governor. His public service is his great strength," said Connie Lukes, former Mayor of Worcester and current Worcester City Councilor. "Central Mass. is going to have a voice in the Governor's office, and is really becoming a political machine."
O'Brien serves as Baker's Co-Chair of the State of the State Committee and was a central figure during the Baker and Lt. Governor Polito's Central Mass Inauguration Celebration last Friday.
Senator Ryan Fattman
In November, State Representative Ryan Fattman of Webster defeated incumbent Richard Moore (D) for the South Central Massachusetts Senate Seat. The victory was a huge upset for Fattman who continues to make a remarkable climb up the Massachusetts political ladder.
By winning the State Senate election, Fattman has established a Republican foundation in Central Massachusetts and has helped the Republican party gain control of the State House.
"Tim Murray, Gov. Baker, and Karen Polito share many concerns and ideas about the importance of economic development and job opportunities; sound budgets and sensible policies can create a certain momentum and confidence in investors and business leaders that Massachusetts is in capable hands; Tim Murray's current constituencies are the Central Mass. Chambers of Commerce. Those constituencies were and are for the most part eager Baker/Polito supporters. I anticipate that they'll make some beautiful music together, as they share the same economic development/ jobs hymnal. Call Baker a 'Murray Republican' or call Murray a 'Baker Democrat'," said Tom Finneran, former Speaker of the House and GoLocal MINDSETTER™.
Senator Harriet Chandler
Beginning her eigth term, Senator Harriet Chandler is likely to play important Committee and caucus roles under the new Senate President.
She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus, Co-Chair of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Legislative Caucus, Co-Chair of the Central Massachusetts Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Oral Health Caucus.
"Through hard work and persistence, she has become a leader who ensures that the concerns of Central Massachusetts communities are heard at the State House, " said State Rep. Jim O'Day.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
As reported by GoLocal last week, former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran said this about Polito: "Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito have strong histories with the Legislature; watch for Central Mass. legislators, Democrats and Republicans, to work closely with the Administration...Lt. Governor Polito's first-hand knowledge and experience regarding transportation needs in Central Mass. mirrors Tim Murray's; look for the two of them working together in perfect harmony; Governor Baker will pay close attention and Central Mass. will be the beneficiary. There's no political ego here---just a determination to make Massachusetts as great a state as it can be."
Congressman Jim McGovern
Following his successful, but long-time bid to initiate relations with Cuba once again, Congressman McGovern proved he has weight to pull both locally and nationally.
In an interview with GoLocal Worcester regarding McGovern, MINDSETTER™ Paul Giorgio said "If you want to get things done, you need a partner in Washington. You can’t get things done solely on the backs of Worcester tax payers. You need federal dollars. You need state dollars. $10 million to renovate City Square, most of that money isn’t coming from Worcester. It’s state money. Funding for JetBlue, that’s federal money, that’s FAA money."