Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Actually, There is Plenty to Criticize

The Speaker of the House was quoted in the Boston Herald today saying, “I’m, as speaker, not going to sit back idly and not fight back in terms of what we’ve done. I think everybody wants to run against the Legislature . . . (but) I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.”

While some progress has been made on some fronts there is still plenty to criticize whether it’s policies, process or personalities.

First of all, let’s call a spade a spade. The ethics bill we passed last year was nothing more than a public relations spectacle, a poor attempt at damage control if you will. This bill was a reaction to one Democrat misdeed after another - three Speakers in a row had been indicted and two Senators had resigned in shame.

After ethics reform, we grabbed the low hanging fruit in pension reform with the belief that we’d be tackling the more complex issues later on. However, since the passing of this mediocre bill the only action we’ve seen is from Governor Patrick and the bill he filed was in response to a gubernatorial opponent’s plan.

Bi-partisan transportation reform with the promise to save billions if administered wisely (a big if with the Patrick Administration) is probably the biggest claim to fame. But let’s face it...the Democrats on Beacon Hill needed to do transportation reform or else they wouldn’t have been able to pass their huge tax increase.

And finally, the Legislature took a crack at a good education reform bill…but only when hundreds of millions of dollars were being dangled as incentive.

Here’s a question…why no action to help the economy and create jobs? The Legislature has done virtually nothing to stimulate the economy and generate job creation. We have yet to take up a meaningful piece of legislation that would put out of work Bay Staters back to work. Our caucus offered a slate of bills at the beginning of the legislative session that would have done just that – unfortunately many of them are stuck in various committees.

Why haven't we eliminated the bogus Suffolk County Holidays? What about passing a municipal relief package to aid struggling cities and towns? When talking about missed opportunities this legislative session, the list goes on and on and on!

So if you are comfortable with those who would try to convince you the glass is half full by all means defend the Legislature. But if you think you deserve more and better - criticize away.