Last week a $4B temporary spending bill was passed, without a roll call vote in the House of Reprsentatives. Only nine members stood, out of the sixteen required, for a roll call vote. This is part of a strategy by the Republican Leadership Office to punish rogue members. Marc Lombardo writes about this strategy in this Red Mass Group blog post.
This is exactly what is wrong with the MA GOP today. The Republican Leader Brad Jones is so locked in with the speaker of the house that he would rather sit on his hand for roll call votes that would be bad for the Democrats than stand with members of his caucus who want to challenge the Democrats for the benefit of the GOP candidates running for office.
Today, the House, in formal session, will take up a $36.5B budget. The budget is built on the tax increases of last year. In includes more money for DCF, even though Massachusetts ranks 10th highest in the nation in per capita child welfare expenditures already. There is no real reform of the management structure of DCF in this legislation, just more money. The Boston Globe writes::
State lawmakers are poised to vote Monday on a budget that would boost spending on the troubled Department of Children and Families to lighten caseloads for social workers, put new money toward drug addiction treatment, and increase support to cities and towns that have felt the pinch in previous years.
The $36.5 billion spending blueprint, a melding of earlier versions, was finalized Sunday night, a mere 30 hours before the new fiscal year begins. The plan introduces no new taxes or fees, but relies on $250 million in one-time revenues, including about $54 million in casino licensing fees that might evaporate if voters repeal the state’s casino gambling law in November. It also draws $140 million from the state’s main reserve account, the rainy day fund.
The question on some people’s minds today is, will minority leader Brad Jones instruct his members to stand for a roll call vote on the budget?
Call your legislator at 617-722-2000 to ask them to stand for a roll call vote this afternoon. While you are at it, ask them to vote against runaway spending.