This is a big week for ethics reform in Massachusetts. The ethics conference committee is expected to release its report reconciling House and Senate ethics reform proposals.
In Belmont Town Hall, on Wednesday night, June 24, from 7PM to 9PM, two speakers who have been centrally involved in crafting the ethics reform legislation will lead a public discussion about the reforms. Jim Vallee is the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and a member of the conference committee. Peter Sturges was former director of the State Ethics Commission and a member the Governor’s ethics task force. The discussion is sponsored by me and Senator Tolman together with the Belmont Democratic Town Committee. The discussion will be moderated by Anthony Schinella of the Belmont Citizen Herald.
Also, on Tuesday night, June 22, from 7PM to 9PM, at the Robbins Library in Arlington, Common Cause is holding a meeting about its legislative agenda, which includes ethics reform, electoral reform and the open meeting law. State Senator Ken Donnelly, and all three state representatives that serve Arlington (Sean Garballey, Jay Kauffman and myself) will participate.
Also, not focused on ethics reform, but speaking about all state issues of interest, Governor Patrick will be holding a discussion on Monday night, from 7PM to 8PM, at the Robbins Farm Park, 51 Eastern Avenue, Arlington. The Patrick event is subject to change or cancellation if it is raining — click here for updates.
Look, while I am not averse to the Governor taking a stand on ethics, I cannot help but see this as a ploy. I would want to know what ethics statues are already “on the books” and not being enforced.
And, what will be the taxpayer’s reward for the Governor signing off on some new statutes: increased taxes (the most regressive being the increased sales tax). Whoopee!
Sure, there is some politics — an effort to regain the high ground. But the movement is in the right direction, so, I’m glad to see it. More on the issue of what is on the books and what is being enforced later.
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