The first major debate of every new Massachusetts legislature concerns the rules by which the state House and state Senate govern themselves and conduct business. In the past, this debate has resulted in few if any reforms, with most new ideas getting rejected by legislative leaders. As a result, the Sunlight Foundation has given an "F" to Massachusetts, along with only three other states, for the transparency and accountability of our state's budget process.
This year is a new year with new opportunities. Senate President Stan Rosenberg has introduced several good ideas, which is a step in the right direction. If you agree that the Senate and the House should adopt our top five common-sense reforms, please sign below! And if you want to help us continue fighting for more transparency and accountability on Beacon Hill, please chip in and donate here.
Our top five ideas are as follows:
1) Making all committee votes publicly available online.
2) Streaming all committee hearings online and in real time.
3) Ensuring the public has at least 48 hours' notice of the agenda for each session of the House or Senate.
4) Ensure that legislators have adequate time to read amendments and bills before voting on them.
5) Creating a non-partisan legislative budget office.
By signing up, we will share your name with legislative leaders who need to hear from you. It's time Massachusetts was a lighthouse for the rest of the country to see and follow when it comes to transparency in state government.