Here’s an interesting twist on “what are our State Representatives & State Senators doing up on Beacon Hill?!” Rather than take the point of view that the pols are sitting up there doing nothing, the Standard-Times interviewed our SouthCoast legislators, dominated by Democrats, who wonder if city & town leaders are listening to them. Are municipalities availing themselves of those reforms being put forward by the State House?
Why, asked state Rep. John Quinn of Dartmouth, is the state’s health plan not good enough for local city and town employees?
He’s upset, he said, that not a single Southcoast city or town had taken advantage of the Legislature’s vote last year to allow municipalities to save money by purchasing the state’s health insurance.
Joe Michaud, chairman of the Dartmouth selectman, pointed out that transferring town employees to the state health plan cannot be done unless the switch is collectively bargained with municipal unions.
Michaud also said it is the state lawmakers who frequently saddle municipalities with unfunded mandates, the most recent, he noted, requiring cities and towns to inspect every trench deeper than three feet.
I should note that my friend, Joe Michaud, who is a municipal reformer in his own right, is also a long-time member of the Dartmouth Republican Town Committee.