, Newburyport, MA


April 15, 2014

Our view: Lawmakers wrong to gag debate


The argument for the ban on debate over contentious issues like EBT reform was that it will make things run more smoothly. Sure — and Mussolini made the trains run on time.

The real reason for the ban, of course, is to spare legislators from a difficult vote that might have consequences for their chances of re-election.

The essential duty of elected legislators is to cast an independent vote that represents the interests of their constituents, or one that they believe best serves those interests.

Now they refuse to accept that responsibility.

Last year, the care and feeding of Bay State legislators cost taxpayers almost $60 million.

Since the state is always crying for new sources of money, we propose eliminating the jobs of all but Mr. Speaker to free up those millions for other purposes.

Because, clearly, our paid elected officials have become “non-essential workers.”

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