Where there is a will, there is a way

( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

It turns out where there is a will, there is a way to get things done at the State House.  Despite Republicans being the minority party, we can make a difference for the Commonwealth.

For the past three years I have actively pursued reforms within the Department of Transitional Assistance.  As you well know, I don’t think taxpayer dollars should be abused.  Hence, I have led the fight to stop recipients from using EBT cards on non-necessities, require eligibility verification to stop the scamming of the systems and implement more oversight of the program to limit the fraud.  

Last Wednesday the House budget was released from committee.  I am pleased that many of my initiatives were included.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

Over the past two years I have tried to get the MBTA to publicly disclose their secret pension payouts.  If we have to bail them out, then taxpayers have a right to know about their pensions, just like the other public authorities in this state.  

During last year’s MBTA bailout debate, I offered an amendment to require the MBTA to publish their pensions online.  I did it again ten days ago while the House was debating the latest tax bill.  Both times the amendment was ruled out of order.  

It turns out where there is a will, there is a way.  Yesterday, the Senate passed an amendment similar to my language requiring public disclosure.  I guess it wasn’t really beyond the scope.

While I am pleased that the House budget has welfare and EBT reforms and the Senate passed the transparency requirement on the MBTA, I am still concerned about implementation and loopholes.  For example, if there is no date requirement on the MBTA making the pensions public, it will never happen.  Moreover, there are some major loopholes within the EBT and welfare reforms.  

Rest assured, I am going to keep waging the battle to get real reforms.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  

Shaunna O’Connell

State Representative

Third Bristol District

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