Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From a former State Rep.. on the Speakers authority

AS A former reform-minded state representative, one of my pet peeves is how the media can create a perception among the public that their individual lawmakers are at the mercy of House speakers when it comes to legislative business, and that there is nothing these individual legislators can do.

A case in point is the March 13 story about the legislative staff pay raises and promotions by the outgoing and incoming speakers (Page A1). The reporter wrote, "The House speaker has absolute authority to hire, promote, or grant pay raises." The fact is, a speaker can only do what a majority of legislators allow him to do. Any House member can question the actions by Salvatore DiMasi and Robert DeLeo, and if he or she can obtain the support of a majority, such actions can not only be undone, but more important, the speaker's "absolute authority" can be curbed or eliminated.

Media reports highlighting a speaker's authority mislead the public into believing their representatives share no blame for a speaker's action. The representatives are happy with this because it allows them to duck their individual responsibility.

Anyone who is outraged at these latest shenanigans by the former and current speaker should contact their representative and demand that he or she initiate legislative action to stop such actions.
Frank Jakubowicz, Pittsfield

Something to consider, as we make changes for the future. But as most of you know already, change has to happen at the rep level.

Official's kin had no-work state job... from the Globe

Transportation secretary's sister got $60,000 Legislature post in August

Her title was chief of staff, but she had no staff and reported to no one. That did not prevent Carol Aloisi from collecting a $60,000 State House salary for six months, until a state representative found her - literally - sitting in his new office and put her to work.

Aloisi, the sister of state Transportation Secretary James Aloisi Jr., was assigned in August by House leaders to the onetime office of former state representative Rachel Kaprielian months after Kaprielian had vacated her post to head up the state Registry of Motor Vehicles.

After seeing this, as most of you will agree... we can't be shocked at any story like this. I wonder, how many positions are there in the total state budget, just like this one? Could we guess at hundreds? or could it be thousands? If you go to the Boston Globe on line, you will see over 100 comments from outraged residents.

Deval better do something about this, even the one party loyalist must be hiding their faces now.