Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rule 28 Coalition Receives Praise from Newspapers Statewide

In an on-going effort to bring transparency back to Beacon Hill and open debate back to the House floor, a bi-partisan group of legislators led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) recently announced the Rule 28 Coalition. In addition to gaining Democratic support, the Coalition has garnered the praise of editorial pages across the Commonwealth.

The Boston Globe said in its editorial -

“Today’s State Legislature is a less democratic place than it was a quarter century ago. There are fewer open debates on bills, and rank-and-file members have less influence. One big reason for that is the tight control House leadership exercises over the legislative agenda.”

“The Rule 28 Coalition is an experiment in democracy and debate that’s worth supporting…”

"If Winslow’s effort were to succeed, it would push more decision-making authority down to the members, while creating a healthier, more regular competition among ideas."

The Taunton Daily Gazette said in their analysis of the Rule 28 Coalition -

"But any effort to shine a light on the rigged games in the state Legislature is worthwhile. The speaker’s rigid control over legislation — along with the excessive secrecy that marks the legislative process and the perks that undergird the speaker’s power — demoralize legislators, prevent accountability to voters and breed public cynicism.”

“It has long been conventional wisdom on Beacon Hill that there is a trade-off between democracy and efficiency in the House.”

The Sun Chronicle weighed in saying -

"However, majority rules should prevail - not the whim of the speaker or House leadership. The public deserves to have issues debated…"

"We agree. We applaud the local delegation for joining the Rule 28 Coalition and hope to see its mission succeed."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents' Day

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we hope you will join us in observing Presidents' Day. Two of our nation's presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, were born this month and today we recognize them and all of their tremendous accomplishments. We thank them for their service to our country and for making the United States of America the great nation that it is today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

House Minority Leader’s Statement on the Patrick Administration’s Agreement with NSTAR

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement in response to the agreement between the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and NSTAR:

“Once again we find the Patrick Administration making costly decisions with their hearts and not their heads. In this instance, they have taken the turn down the road of legalized extortion.

The staggering cost of electricity in Massachusetts already suppresses economic growth. Strong-arming NSTAR to purchase Cape Wind as a condition of the company’s merger with Northeast Utilities will ultimately increase electricity costs and hurt Massachusetts’ ratepayers, businesses, and municipalities. We must put an end to closed door negotiations and sweetheart deals that have a significant impact on the wallets of the residents of the Bay State.

The Legislature continues to ignore a Republican-led proposal to bring transparency to long-term renewable energy contracts with public utilities. House Bill 3767, which has yet to receive a hearing and languishes in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications and Energy, not only requires competitive solicitation of long-term contracts, but would ensure that the Department of Public Utilities only approves contracts that are cost-effective for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers.

In an effort to further highlight the importance of this issue, the House and Senate Republicans have included the language of H.3767 within the energy portion of their Jobs Package. The Patrick Administration’s method of holding utilities hostage to achieve their energy goals cannot and should not be tolerated.”

Representative Brad Jones Hits the Airwaves to Tout GOP Jobs Package

In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading) spoke with Howie Carr yesterday and appeared on the Jeff Katz Show this morning.

As you may have heard, the Republican Legislative Caucus unveiled their GOP Jobs Package yesterday during a press conference at the State House. The Jobs Package offers policies which will support individuals and businesses and are key to facilitating economic growth in Massachusetts.

Click here to listen to the Howie Carr interview in its entirety.

Click here to listen to the Jeff Katz Show interview in its entirety.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

House and Senate Republicans Propose Innovative Jobs Package

Led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R- North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester), the Republican Legislative Caucus has proposed an innovative jobs package aimed at cultivating economic growth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The jobs package, which comes on the heels of the Republican Caucus’ statewide 2011 G.O.P. Jobs Tour, offers policies that are key to facilitating economic growth in Massachusetts and supporting individuals and businesses statewide.

In speaking with constituents and business owners, House and Senate Republicans have identified five targeted areas aimed at creating and maintaining jobs: business regulations, education, energy, healthcare, and taxes.

“This legislative session, we have done very little relative to the creation of jobs in Massachusetts,” said House Minority Leader Brad Jones. “We, as a legislative body, have a great opportunity to reform the way we create and maintain employment opportunities, while at the same time making government run more efficiently.”

"We can and should take action now to spur economic growth, and incent job creation. This concrete plan contains specific steps we can take to propel our state's recovery from one of the worst recessions in our nation's history," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. "Armed with this plan, Legislative Republicans will begin visiting businesses to chart a course toward economic growth by doing things that really matter for the employers we're counting on to grow our economy."

Highlights of the proposed G.O.P. Jobs Package include:

• Business Regulations: Reduce costs for employers, reform the current Unemployment Insurance paradigm and streamline and consolidate processes for businesses;

• Education: Empower vocational schools by strengthening collaborations with community colleges and employers, improve overall access to higher education, and qualify veterans for licensure and/or academic credit at public institutions of higher learning;

• Energy: Decrease the cost of electricity for businesses and ratepayers, increase the efficiency of Green Initiatives and promote cost-effective renewable energy.

• Healthcare: Shift focus to the consumer, increase options for employers and employees and make healthcare affordable for all;

• Taxes: Reduce commercial vehicle registration fees, simplify and eliminate corporate fees and taxes, incentivize first-time home buyer savings accounts, and establish a job creation tax credit.

Announced by House and Senate Republicans today, the formal proposal will be filed as five major pieces of legislation. In subsequent weeks, members of the Republican Legislative Caucus will travel to local businesses throughout the Bay State to discuss the proposed legislation.

See below to read the proposal in its entirety.

Final Jobs Package Media Handout

Representative Brad Hill Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, House Minority Whip Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News today. Representative Hill joined Doug “VB” Goudie to preview the GOP Jobs Package which will be unveiled during an 11a.m. press conference at the State House.

To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Only on FOX: GOP Jobs Announcement:

GOP Caucus to Unveil Innovative Jobs Package at State House Press Conference

Today, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and House and Senate Republican legislators will be unveiling an innovative jobs package. A press conference is planned for 11 a.m. today (Wednesday) outside Room 124 of the State House.

The jobs package offers policies which will support individuals and businesses and are key to facilitating economic growth within Massachusetts. Please check back later today for more information about the jobs package.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Representative Kimberly Ferguson Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden) made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News today. Representative Ferguson joined Gene Lavanchy to discuss proposed changes to the “guilty by reason of insanity” defense used during criminal trials.

To view the entire segment, play the video posted below.

Insanity plea bill: Accused murderers would be barred from using insanity defense:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Speaker Robert DeLeo’s Legislative Agenda

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) issued the following statement today after Speaker DeLeo’s address to the House of Representatives outlining his agenda for the legislative session:

"I welcome Speaker DeLeo’s agenda for the upcoming legislative session and applaud his vow not to increase taxes or fees on the residents of the Commonwealth.

The upcoming session will undoubtedly be full of tough decisions, some of which the Speaker and I may not agree upon. However, we should be steadfast in our commitment to remaining constructively engaged on issues and ideas that will continue to move Massachusetts forward despite our partisan differences."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

House Republicans Go Red!

Yesterday, members of the House Republican caucus wore red in support of the American Heart and Stroke Association’s Go Red for Women event at the State House. Held annually, this event is a dual effort of the American Heart and Stroke Association’s national campaigns aimed at bringing women together to end heart disease and stroke.

Representative Peter Durant Appears on the FOX-25 Evening News

In case you missed it, Representative Peter Durant (R-Spencer) recently made an appearance on the FOX-25 Evening News. Representative Durant joined Sharman Sacchetti to discuss his calls for an investigation into the spending habits of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

To view the entire segment play the video posted below.

Rep. Durant discusses Conservancy spending probe: