Barry Richard – MA and Congressional Lawmakers Have Ambitious Agendas For 2017
The holidays are over and state and federal lawmakers are preparing to deal with busy agendas in the coming year.
The Massachusetts Legislature kicks off the 2017-2018 session on Wednesday and it promises to be a busy one. Criminal justice reform, health care, education funding, income inequality, just some of the many issues expected to be discussed on Beacon Hill this session. Taxes and online gaming will also be on the docket.
Lawmakers must also decide how to implement the question approved by voters last Fall that legalizes marijuana in Massachusetts. It is almost certain that taxes on pot sales will have to be increased from what was called for in the initiative petition in order to support the bureaucracy that was created by it.
State lawmakers must also begin addressing a rapidly aging population that places greater demands upon the shrinking working class. The aging "Booomers" add more of a demand on state resources. Slowing school enrollments create issues for local communities, many of which recently bonded to construct large new schools.
In Washington the 115th Congress is in session and faces it's own challenges. Voters have demanded big changes in everything from health care to highway construction while reducing the 20 trillion dollar debt.
It should be an interesting year.