Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Republican Push for Better Government Denied

A Republican push for better government was narrowly rejected during today’s supplemental budget debate that ended with a surprising twist. House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. offered an amendment to repeal the paid holidays for state and municipal personnel in Suffolk County, but was unsuccessful in that attempt as the vote ended in a rarely seen tie.

“The public is going to continue to believe that Beacon Hill just doesn’t get it,” said Representative Jones. “This effort is about restoring the public’s trust whose confidence in its elected officials has been broken.”

The proposal is relative to the state paid holidays of Evacuation Day (March 17) and Bunker Hill Day (June 17). The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently released a study claiming it costs the state $5 million to pay public employees on each day off.

“This is not a big cost savings initiative, it is an effort to make government run more efficiently and to the benefit of the taxpayers,” added the Minority Leader.

The House rejected the amendment after a 78-78 vote. A majority in the affirmative is required to adopt an amendment.

“The idea is obviously picking up steam or else our caucus wouldn’t have garnered the support we received tonight. We will continue to push good public policy ideas and transparency and hope that more members will join us in our effort to make government run more effectively.”