In case you missed it, last week House Minority Leader Brad Jones was joined by his colleagues on the Joint Committee on Transportation, Representative Steven Howitt and Peter Durant, in calling on Speaker Robert A. DeLeo to conduct a public hearing on his soon-to-be-released transportation financing bill.
Unfortunately House Democrats nixed the idea of a public hearing on their plan saying, in part, “As these matters continue though the legislative process, they will continue to benefit from open discussion and debate in both the House and Senate."
However, this past weekend various media outlets around the state weighed in on this topic. The resounding consensus – a public hearing on the Speaker’s transportation plan should be held.
Boston Herald: “But the fact that Democratic leaders in the House are dismissing calls for a public airing of their tax-and-transportation plan — the one they’ll draft behind closed doors — is another sad statement about the way business is conducted on Beacon Hill.” (Boston Herald Editorial - “Hearing On Tax Hikes,” The Boston Herald, March 31, 2013)
Taunton Daily Gazette: “Partisan political polling is not a proper substitute for legislative hearings.” (Taunton Daily Gazette Editorial – “Our View: Hunting For Answers From Beacon Hill,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 30, 2013)
Commonwealth Magazine: “One man’s transparency fantasy land is another man’s daymare. Holding public hearings on the Speaker’s transportation finance plan is politically dangerous for Beacon Hill leaders.” (Commonwealth Magazine – “Transportation Transparency Fantasy Land,” Commonwealth Magazine, March 29, 2013)