Senate President’s Amendments Indicate First Step Toward Better Government
Boston, MA: The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to promoting better government and right-of-center fiscal and economic policy solutions, today expressed strong support for many proposals made by new state Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg (D-Amherst) to alter the Senate’s rules.
“President Rosenberg has taken the first step toward matching his words with some positive action,” said Paul Craney, the group’s executive director. “We hope Speaker DeLeo will do the same for the House of Representatives, and we hope both leaders will collaborate on much-needed reforms to the joint rules of the legislature as well.”
The organization singled out certain changes as particularly praiseworthy, including: making legislative agendas available to the public two days in advance, rather than just one; providing for greater information about budget amendments; and a series of proposals that would allow individual members to play a greater role in the development of legislation. The budget-related changes are especially welcome, since Massachusetts remains one of only four states to rate an “F” for budget process transparency from the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. Other proposals long championed by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, such as the creation of an online database for publishing committee votes, are not yet included in the new rules.
“President Rosenberg has raised the bar with his proposals to reform the Senate, although we very much hope more reforms will be made as the amendment process proceedsm, including live streaming of committee hearings and making committee votes readily available to the public,” Craney concluded.
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