2013-2014 Session Wrapup

We have now finished the formal portion the 2013-4 session of the legislature.  Here is a summary of what we did and did not get done in the session.

Much of good government is effective reaction. When problems surface, we have to do something and the challenge is to use the energy created by the emergent problem to make lasting improvements, or, at a minimum, to respond without creating new kinds of problems.  Major legislation in the considered reaction category in this session included:

We spent a lot of time on continuing stewardship issues:

  • We grappled with the funding level for transportation system maintenance — my focus was on increasing long term funding.
  • Many multi-year bond authorizations were up for cyclic review. These authorizations typically are occasions for legislators to express support for particular local projects — see especially the environmental bond bill (parks projects) and the transportation bond bill (road and transit projects).
  • As in every session, the annual budget process allows us to consider (with varying levels of attention) everything that is happening in the operating agencies of state government.
  • We’ve also developed a biennial routine of passing an “economic development” bill, which is a a grab bag of regulatory ideas and smaller spending proposals that support private sector activity. I’m always a little queasy about it, tending to feel that much of what we do may benefit certain businesses, but may not really expand the pie much.

Finally, we chipped away at many of our major long-term challenges.

Click here for a fuller inventory of bills passed in this session or here for my wrap-up of the 2011-12 session.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

2 replies on “2013-2014 Session Wrapup”

  1. Under laws passed that benefit people with disabilities, I was disappointed not to see listed bill S 1985, which you sponsored, Will.

    Local disability commissions are one of the main ways that disabled people communicate with their local governments, and by enabling commissions to meet more often through a technical fix to the open meetings law, your bill helps empower disabled people to advocate for our civil rights.

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