Massachusetts Needs Term Limits [OPINION]
An important deadline is looming for members of the 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The 40 members of the Massachusetts Senate and the 160 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives have until this Friday to file legislation for consideration during the current legislative session.
Once legislation is filed, it is assigned to a committee that will schedule hearings. Lawmakers have until the bill is designated for committee assignment to sign on as a co-sponsor. House Speaker Ronald Mariano will determine which legislation survives the committee process and which will not. Most bills will die in committee.
Student concussion protocols, climate change, immigration matters, and taxes are just some of the issues to be addressed in legislation filed this session. Many of these are reoccurring bills that reflect the priorities and constituencies of the various lawmakers who file them. Lawmakers will likely vote this session to ask you to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to allow for a so-called millionaire tax. Be careful with this one.
The Massachusetts Legislature will grapple with a hopper full of heady and worldly issues this session, many of which are beyond their purview, in my opinion. I mean, I elect representatives to fix the potholes in the roads and make sure the budget is balanced, not to lower the depth of the oceans.
One issue I wish state lawmakers would address, and they won't, is term limits. The Massachusetts Legislature is a corrupt swamp filled with hacks who have been there way too long and have amassed too much power. It appears the only way to evict them is by limiting the time they can serve.
If the legislature wants to tackle an issue that is sure to have mass appeal, take up term limits for statewide officeholders. That's an issue I think we can all get behind.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.