Well, hold your horses!

The Massachusetts Legislature is tearing through important legislation without conducting public hearings. In other words, they don't give a damn what you think about it. They do so under the guise of pandemic concerns.

In one such case, the House of Representatives on Monday extended "vote by mail" in Massachusetts until June 30. There was no debate, no public hearings, and no roll call. Representatives voted to suspend the rules and passed the measure. That's what you get when one party rules.

You may disagree, that is your right, but I believe that mail-in voting can lead to all types of election fraud. I should be allowed to say that during a public hearing before a committee of the Massachusetts House. That privilege was denied to me and many others when the House leadership failed to schedule a public hearing. That is no way to enact controversial legislation.

The Massachusetts Senate has agreed at least to take written testimony on the legislation through March 8. It's no public hearing, but it is better than nothing.

Democrats rule the roost on Beacon Hill. They have for years. The new Speaker of the House, Ronald Mariano, was handpicked by his predecessor, Robert DeLeo, and representatives knew to vote for him or else. Mariano rules with an iron fist, as did DeLeo.

Other bills, such as the carbon emissions and energy bill, sailed through the process very quickly and without a public hearing – another controversial piece of legislation that would have drawn opposition had a proper hearing scheduled. Hell, the State House remains closed to taxpayers after a year.

This stuff has to stop. The Democrat machine that controls the government in Massachusetts is out of control. Taxpayers deserve adequate opportunity to voice their views on bills such as these, and it is not happening. No bill should pass from committee without there first being a public hearing.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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