With a Democratic Trifecta in Sight, will the Legislature Step Up?

The September 15th issue of The American Prospect features an analysis of the Massachusetts State legislature, which, while controlled by the Democratic Party, is often at odds with progressive principles, not to mention progress. As Gabrielle Gurley writes, “In the Massachusetts legislature, what the leaders want, the leaders get. They fiercely guard their own legislative priorities, which range from moderate to conservative. They ride herd over a compliant rank and file who fear the wrath that might yank any defiant ones out of committee chairs and into basement office exile. They refuse to make joint committee votes public and deep-six bills on greater transparency. Above all, they preside over an institution that conducts business so leisurely that lawmakers in a full-time state legislature end up cramming significant amounts of business into the waning days of a session.”

Ward 4 Chair Jonathan Cohn is cited in the article, adding, ““The way I describe the Massachusetts legislature’s evolution over the past decade is that they have gone from doing things that are actively harmful to things that are woefully insufficient. There is a certain type of conservatism bred out of inertia, risk avoidance, lack of engagement on policy on an individual level and the fact that the most powerful interests militate in favor of the status quo. Not an outright ‘big C’ conservativism like a Republican legislature, but a status quo bias in operation.”

This will certainly be a challenge for Governor Healey’s agenda from day one.

Read the full article: https://bit.ly/3eMXu01

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