Are legislative departures a canary in the coal mine?

Are legislative departures a canary in the coal mine?

By GLEN JOHNSON

AP Political Writer

BOSTON- Slowing home sales, rising mortgage defaults and decreased consumer spending are signs of a sputtering economy. Are legislative resignations a similar sign of trouble in the House of Representatives?

Rep. Paul Casey, D-Winchester, has become the latest in the 160-member House to announce he won’t seek re-election this fall. That makes eight lawmakers, so far.

Another four House members are planning races for the state Senate, creating at least 12 openings for new members next January. That’s fewer than January 2003, when 22 new members joined the House. But it’s approaching the 2005 tally of 13 and the 2007 total of 18, and there are still several weeks before the state’s primary filing deadline May 27.

One of Casey’s explanations for his move was unusually blunt. He said a failure to allow bill amendments is emblematic of dysfunction he’s seen creep into the House under Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, D-Boston…

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