Two of my pledges to you, since I first ran for office, were to fight for a fiscally responsible government, and a transparent government where the public can see what's going on "behind the curtain".
Since nearly all elected officials make similar pledges, such a pledge without a voting record that backs it up is a hollow promise. Being "against waste fraud and abuse" as all politicians claim to be, eventually requires one to take votes to reform government.
Thankfully, there is a fiscal watch dog organization, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, that has put together a scorecard to evaluate how every legislator votes on issues of good government, transparency, and fiscal responsibility. They regularly update their scorecard (often within days of a formal session), and have included recent votes such as requiring an audit of the Dept of Transitional Assistance (the department responsible for welfare benefits like EBT), requiring multiple public hearings across MA before a vote on tax increases would be permitted so that stakeholders can voice their opinion, and others.
As of October 23, 2013, I maintain a perfect 100% voting record on the dozens of votes they have evaluated, one of only 17 out of 200 legislators to do so. The average House member scored 25%. My scorecard on their website, the entire list of votes they have evaluated, and an explanation of their stance on the votes, can be found at MA Fiscal Alliance Scorecard.
This legislative session I have been appointed to the following committees:
Joint Committee on Elder Affairs (ranking Republican)
Feel free to contact me if you have interest (either pro or con) in any bills running through the committees.
I was honored to serve on the conference committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Jobs bill. We worked through the weekend before the end of formal sessions, and the bill was passed almost unanimously. While there's no one thing the government can do to create jobs, we can create an environment for others to do so. Here are my comments on the bill, and the need for a greater sense of urgency in helping get our constituents back to work.
As a father of two awesome sons, I feel there are few things we can do
in government that are more important that protecting our children.
Here I am testifying before the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.
On Tuesday, April 3rd, I testified before the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities. I was testifying on behalf of my bill H.03902 – An Act Relative to Mandated Reporters. The act would require that all state employees be required to report any witnessed acts of sexual assault against children.
Under MA General Law Chapter 119, Section 21, the list of mandated reporters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is limited. The bill would require changes to be made to Chapter 119 Section 21 which would add all state employees to the list of mandated reporters. As a graduate of Penn State University, I sponsored the bill to help ensure that the “Sandusky Scandal” that took place on the Penn State campus does not take place in Massachusetts, because our current mandated reporter laws are similar to Pennsylvania's.
The Jerry Sandusky scandal which dominated the news last November was very upsetting in that a number of eye witnesses to sexual assaults against children failed to report the assaults to the appropriate authorities. As it turns out, they were not mandated reporters in PA and nor would they be in MA. My bill expands the list of mandated reporters so that employees of the Commonwealth have a legal obligation, in addition to their moral obligation, to report crimes they witness against children.
While I wished we lived in a world where we didn't need laws to have people report crimes against children, the clergy scandal of yesteryear and the Sandusky scandal that unfolded last Fall prove otherwise. I hope the committee sees fit to move this bill forward for the safety of our children.