MassFiscal Commends Six Senators For Standing Up for Transparency & Good Governance

As Sunshine Week 2023 kicks off, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is reminding Massachusetts residents of the six state senators who bucked the Senate President’s will and voted to protect term limits for the office of Senate President.

Massachusetts has one of the most notoriously opaque governments in America and is the only state where all three branches exempt themselves from public records laws. At the beginning of this year’s session, Senate President Karen Spilka took a play out of former House Speaker Bob DeLeo’s book by pushing to end term limits for her position during the senate rules debate. DeLeo infamously ran for speaker on the premise of term limits after the speakership became notorious for some unsavory characters, only to undo the limits when his term was set to expire.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ and that is exactly what Senate President Spilka showed. The term limit rule for the powerful Senate President position was imposed in the aftermath of Senate President Billy Bulger’s reign of power and the term limit rule for the Speaker position was imposed after three Speakers in a row were forced to resign in disgrace. Now Senate President Karen Spilka gets to rule over the senate with the same leeway President Bulger enjoyed,” stated Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

MassFiscal did note that there was a bipartisan group of six state senators that did vote against removing term limits. They are Republican Senators Bruce Tarr, Ryan Fattman, Patrick O’Connor and Democratic Senators John Keenan, Rebecca Rausch and Walter Timilty.

“While the State Senate as a whole may have taken a giant step away from transparency and good governance, it is worth noting that these six state senators stood up for what was right and tried to protect the measure. As we enter Sunshine Week 2023, we’d like to recognize them for their courageous vote. They did something significant to help transparency and accountability, even if it’s just voting against a corrupt maneuver to help Spilka become Senate President for life, ” said Craney.

MassFiscal has showcased Sunshine Week over the years and this year will be showcasing the bi-partisan group of six senators who tried to stop any further consolidation of power. These six senators will undoubtedly be punished for calling attention to the Senate President’s power grab. 

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