The shocking news that the do-nothing, Democratic-dominated Massachusetts Legislature has passed only 10 laws this year is actually great news for beleaguered taxpayers.
Two handfuls? Even that’s too much for our lawmakers, whose favorite thing is to meddle with voter-approved laws and saddle citizens with even more taxes.
The less ridiculous bills House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka conjure up and tell their flunkies to vote for, the better for us all.
The 10 laws passed this year, most of them minor, are the least in decades, but if you look at the numbers, this is not surprising.
The Massachusetts Legislature regularly delays business until the very end of the two-year session, when it usually passes a flurry of ill-conceived and little-studied bills that lawmakers don’t even read. Asking them to pass laws this early in the year is a bit much for our overworked representatives.
And getting them to meet in the summer or on Mondays and Fridays or during vacation time is even more fruitless.
We all know that in reality, this is a part-time Legislature that rarely meets in formal sessions or holds votes. In the month of May, there have been no formal sessions at all. The hallways of the State House are even emptier than usual.
Our state senators and representatives should be paid like part-time legislators but unfortunately their salaries are spiking higher than ever.
For that, the least we can do is ask them to stay out of the people’s business. Go hunker down in their private law offices if they want, or chase ambulances, but stay out of the Statehouse.
The only ones upset with the Legislature making few laws are liberal special interest groups whose mission is to burden us with more taxes and fees.
Do we really want the Legislature to be passing new laws like congestion toll pricing – making motorists pay more for driving during peak hours?
Or allowing prisoners like murderers and rapists the ability to vote while doing time? How about giving in-state tuition to immigrants here illegally?
Do you like the idea of approving additional fees on insurance, so that it gets passed down to consumers? Or adding a “mansion tax” on home sales? And this year a group of liberal lawmakers has proposed increasing the minimum wage again, even though it was just elevated.
Or how about obliterating Chapter 62F, the voter-approved referendum which triggered nearly $3 billion in refunds to taxpayers last year?
Mariano and House leaders have proposed a bill to change the law that voters want so that those paying more in taxes won’t get more in rebates – in other words wiping out millions in refunds to wealthier taxpayers.
Those are the kinds of great laws that get passed in the General Court. And with a Democratic governor now sitting in the Corner Office, there is no one to stop Democrats in the Legislature from ramming through laws like rent control and increasing corporate taxes.
So please stay home, legislators. The less we see you, the better.