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."