Mass Fiscal Applauds Lawsuit to lift Arbitrary Cap on Charter Schools

(BOSTON)—Support for a lawsuit to lift the cap on the number of charter schools is coming from The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility and good government solutions on Beacon Hill. 

The suit comes after efforts to lift the arbitrary cap last year stalled in the Senate. 

Mass Fiscal Alliance board members have similarly filed suit against the state after the legislature failed to correct a statutory inequality in its campaign finance law. Mass Fiscal’s suit aims to eliminate the union loophole which gives unions an unfair advantage over businesses in elections.  

Paul Craney, executive director of Mass Fiscal Alliance, said, “Legislative leaders should heed the warning: Fail to act on common sense reforms, and individuals and organizations will seek the court’s intervention in remedying problems the legislature sweeps under the carpet.”  

During the last legislative session, a measure to lift the arbitrary cap passed in the House (roll call vote #378) 114 to 35. Senate roll call #408 failed when it went through the Senate at 9 to 30 votes. Check Mass Fiscal Alliance’s scorecard for a full report on roll call votes,  

Veto Overrides

At the beginning of the summer, Governor Baker worked strenuously to close the gap in Massachusetts' FY 2016 budget. The Governor was able to put our state's finances on a sustainable track by keeping taxes level, cutting a $1.8 billion dollar deficit, and ultimately balancing the state's budget. 

Unsurprisingly, the state legislature was not entirely on board with the Governor’s agenda, and proceeded to undo many of the Governor's changes by casting over nearly one hundred votes to override his reductions. 

Below you will find a comprehensive overview of the vetoes to the state budget, coupled with how each legislator voted. Overall, there were ninety votes taken by the Senate and ninety-four votes taken by the House. The percentage next to each name indicates how many votes the particular legislator took that were in line with the fiscally responsible budget set out by the Governor.

CLICK HERE to see the full results.

The highest scoring House members were:

James Lyons (R - Andover) with 93% (87 of 94)

Bradley Jones (R - North Reading) with 84% (79 of 94)

Fred Barrows (R - Mansfield) with 83% (78 of 94)

Marc Lombardo (R - Billerica) with 83% (78 of 94)

Susan Gifford (R - Wareham) with 81% (76 of 94) 

The highest scoring Senate members were:

Vinny deMacedo (R - Plymouth) with 43% (39 of 90)

Ryan Fattman (R - Webster) with 42% (38 of 90)

Bruce Tarr (R - Gloucester) with 39% (35 of 90)

We hope you will use this knowledge to contact your lawmaker and urge them to support Governor Baker’s budget going forward. The best number to call is (617) 722-2000.

Lawsuit Update on "Union Loophole"

MassFiscal says closing the union loophole is a top priority for fairness advocates as Court Begins Hearing on 1A Auto v Sullivan

(BOSTON)—Today, hearings began at Suffolk Superior Court in the lawsuit filed by businesses owned by MassFiscal board members Rick Green and Mike Kane to close the so-called union loophole in Massachusetts campaign finance law.

The loophole bans political contributions from businesses while allowing unions to contribute up to $15,000 to a single candidate. Unions, under current law, may also contribute via Political Action Committees, while PACs supported by businesses are prohibited. Individuals are permitted to donate up to $1,000 to a single candidate.

Massachusetts is one of only six states with campaign finance laws that advantage unions.

Executive director of MassFiscal Paul D. Craney said, “Campaign finance law boils down to freedom of speech. It’s just not fair to tell businesses they can’t participate, while unions and special interest groups pour money into campaigns. We need to level the playing field in Massachusetts politics.”

“Closing the union loophole must be the number one priority for advocates of fairness,” concluded Craney.

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