Fiscal Sanity Expected to Reign on Beacon Hill, at least for an hour or so.

(Boston) - "Fiscal sanity is as rare on Beacon Hill as that white giraffe spotted in Africa yesterday," Paul Craney said today, urging the members of his advocacy group, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, to celebrate as Governor Charlie Baker presents his budget proposal this afternoon. "Governor Baker, unlike his predecessor, won't stick his head in the sand and ignore the damage a bloated budget causes our economy. We look forward to watching him make tough short-term choices that ensure the Commonwealth's long-term health."

Baker's budget is expected to contain lots of level funding and belt tightening as he plots a path which will close the gap between revenues and expenditures.

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth.

The House of Representatives loses its appetite for vote-taking

(BOSTON)—The number of votes taken on Beacon Hill in 2015 plummeted over decades past, according to a study commissioned by the watchdog group Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and in conjunction with Insta Track.

A mere 41 significant votes were cast in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, significant votes being all roll call votes which are not unanimous, veto overrises, or procedurally mandated. The number is miniscule when compared with the 149 significant roll calls taken in 2013, the 115 in 2014 or the 20-year average of 110.

A study of voting behavior based on a partial year conducted in September indicated a trend of legislative inaction, but watchers had hoped the House might mend its ways and thus end the year on a high note.


Paul Craney, executive director of MassFiscal, noted a marked drop in vote taking immediately following the Alliance’s large scale advocacy campaign in which over 2 million pieces of literature were sent into 21 legislative districts. “Our advocacy was effective,” Craney said. “This is an unintended consequence of opening up the goings on of Beacon Hill to public scrutiny.”

“How the business of governing will change as the House loses its institutional memory of voting behavior is something we’re studying carefully,” Craney added. “The House not voting, or rarely voting, is as odd as seeing a circus without animals.”

MassFiscal advocates for fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government and increased economic opportunity for the people of our Commonwealth.

For a complete list of the House data since 1995, click here


Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance calls on Brian Joyce to resign his Senate seat in light of ongoing scandal

Today, Executive Director of MassFiscal Paul Craney called on Senator Brian Joyce of Milton to resign his Senate seat in light of a growing scandal surrounding his professional conduct.

“Brian Joyce clearly lacks a moral compass. He has used his Senate office for personal financial gain. No amount of dry cleaning will remove this stain, ” Craney said. “This kind of corruption is intolerable.”

Today’s Boston Globe highlights Joyce’s pressured abuse of a local dry cleaner. Earlier stories have detailed his use of campaign funds for personal expenses, including family parties and cars, and business ties to companies like Energi and Dunkin’ Donuts that cross the sacred divide between his senate office and his personal financial interests, ties that he failed to report on annual ethics filings.

“Accountability and transparency are crucial to good government, and improving Massachusetts’ performance in these areas is central to MassFiscal’s mission,” Craney said. “Joyce’s actions show a blatant disregard for those ideals. He’s the face of old-time strong-arm tactics and back room bargaining. It’s time for him to go.”


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