Monday, March 21, 2011

Around the World in 80 Days

According to our planners, today marks the 80th day of 2011; the 12th week of the year.

And, according to the political page on, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has been out-of-state for 23 of those days. That's more than one-quarter of the time. And, roughly half of that time was spent internationally.

But, while we think our traveling Governor is vulnerable to criticism for having been away from Massachusetts quite a bit lately, we do give him credit for at least attempting to address certain issues facing our state. Contrast that with the complete and utter silence of our full-time Legislature so far this year.

Oh, pardon us. The Legislature is still in the process of "organizing" itself after last year's elections. It takes time to assign new office space to everyone, dole out plum committee assignments, and process the many thousands of ground-breaking bills filed by legislators.


But, think about it. So far, the state has paid our 200 senators and representatives about $2.8 million in base pay so far in 2011 to do... um... pretty much nothing.

What have they really accomplished? Well, they froze unemployment insurance rates this year, which is good news for employers but also an action that was under deadline. They passed a reorganization plan proposed by the Governor, but that's a pretty small accomplishment after 4 years of the Patrick administration.

And, other than that.... Well, not a lot that we can see. A couple of sick leave banks and a local bill for Medford. Some hearings. A protest march or two outside the windows. But, nothing that would really affect the daily lives of people struggling to make it through a cold winter with lower salaries and higher gas prices.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported by our friends at Beacon Hill Roll Call that legislators raked in a whopping $462,546 worth of per diem payments last year.

Must be nice.

People on Beacon Hill sometimes wonder why legislators have a bad name with the electorate. We say, wonder no more. Tick, tock. People can't afford to wait for political action on important economic and public safety issues.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder if the Republican wiz kid reps who allegedly did not take the legislative wage increases last year are now doing so this year? Wonder if they made donations like they promised? Wonder what our Minority Leader would say? Hmmmmmm.........


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