Rep. John Quinn (D-Dartmouth) is my State Representative & as such he has a lengthy opinion piece published in today’s edition of the Standard-Times on the subject of his plans, joined by Rep. Martin Walsh, to reform the legislature.
In the spirit of reform and in the name of efficient and transparent government, we have put forth a 12-point plan to make our Legislature run more efficiently and help restore the public faith and confidence in our elected leaders of the Massachusetts Legislature. While each component of the plan has its own unique aspects, the thrust of the plan is to provide transparency to the legislative process and to dramatically increase the involvement of all members in the day-to-day legislative procedures.
The central themes of decentralizing power and increasing the transparency in the legislative process are addressed in several components of this reform proposal:
1. Three components that will empower the rank-and-file members in the House of Representatives:
Term limits for the office of speaker of the House Representatives;
Election of the position of speaker pro tempore;
Decrease the number of members necessary to call a party caucus or special session.
2. In the area of increased transparency we propose:
Reforms to the Ethics Committee process and makeup;
Home-rule petition reform.