Spring 1998

Spring 1998

Journal of the House

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE Thursday, April 31, 1998 Met according to adjournment, at eleven o’clock A.M. in a Full Formal Session. Prayer was offered by the Guest Reverend Scarlet Byrd-Tanager of the First Unitarian Church of Salem, as follows: Oh God, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Divine Spirit, Great Whatever — shine your(...)

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John W Sears on the Grand Old Party

There is little about John W. Sears that suggests a thoroughly modern man. From the Gilbert & Sullivan references dropped into conversation, to the books aligned on the top of the piano in his Beacon Hill home (assorted memoirs of such noted Massachusetts Republicans as Henry Cabot Lodge, Leverett Saltonstall, Elliot Richardson, and John Volpe),(...)

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Term Limits and Turnover

Massachusetts is above the national average in turnover among state Senators, but is lower than average in the House. A term limits law was approved by the voters in 1994 but was thrown out by the Supreme Judicial Court last July. Though 21 states have passed term limit laws, there are only 18 with term(...)

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Counterpoint

A group of investors is clamoring to lower the taxes they pay. There’s nothing new here; wealthy people and businesses are always trying to shift the tax burden onto working families. What is surprising is how easily they have used weak claims to push their proposal to the top of the agenda. Any budget surplus(...)

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Argument

Is it fair that Massachusetts penalizes you for saving? At 12 percent, the tax on investment income is double the rate on wages and salaries, and is the highest tax on personal income in the nation. This tax unfairly penalizes hundreds of thousands of working men and women across the Commonwealth who are struggling to(...)

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Rainy Day Savings

When Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci sent his budget proposal to the Legislature earlier this year, it represented a politician’s picture of paradise. The economic boom has lifted state revenues to the point where Cellucci could propose more spending on education, health care, child care, and crime fighting, while forecasting $30 million in savings from welfare(...)

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Prisoners and Profit

In North Carolina, prison inmates process meat for private companies. In Minnesota they make fishing lures. And in Montana they help do the ranching. Convicted criminals in 24 states across the country work for private business from behind bars. So why shouldn’t Massachusetts prisoners do the same? Legislators have been pondering that policy question, and(...)

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Peace Corps Nexus

What do Bob Vila, Paul Theroux, and David Magnani have in common? No, they have not appeared together in “This Old House,” on the cover of The Mosquito Coast, or on the floor of the state Senate. But these Massachusetts residents did give two years to the Peace Corps. They’re in the company of thousands(...)

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Citizen Lawmakers

He may be remembered best for his bill requiring dogs to wear diapers. But Rosaire Rajotte has pitched 685 other legislative proposals to clean up the Commonwealth. The retired maintenance man has filed more bills in the Massachusetts Legislature than many longtime legislators. And if you don’t believe him, “you can come here and count(...)

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