Yesterday, I engaged in a brief dialogue via Twitter with two people who support the actions taken by the 14 Wisconsin State Senators who, this past week, left the state in order to avoid a vote that would adjust state employee pension and health care contribution.
Specifically, Governor Walker of WI has proposed that state employees to pay 5.8% of their salaries toward their pensions (they pay almost nothing now) and he wants them to cover 12.6% of their health care premiums (their share would go up from $79 a month to about $200; the average private-sector employee pays about $330). Coming from the private-sector, myself, I believe that everyone needs to make concessions to help our states and country get out of the financial disarray that we’re stuck in. Read the rest of this entry »
The title of this blog entry does not reference the movie, but a hard fact for two of the towns I represent. Both Abington and East Bridgewater have aging facilities that need repair or replacement. Whitman’s Duval school also needed a roof repair. The past week’s events were dominated by the meetings with the MSBA and votes involving the final decision by the people of East Bridgewater to fund a new high school. Not only did the Abington Woodsdale school and the Whitman Duval school get their respective repair approvals, but all the hard work done by “A Better Community,” Superintendent Susan Cote, and the people of E.B. paid off with a positive vote to move ahead with the new school project.
Additionally, the residents of East Bridgewater also approved a new Senior Center to replace the terribly undersized building next to Town Hall. It was good to see that the townspeople recognized citizens at both ends of the spectrum who aren’t always able to effectively represent their interests. Read the rest of this entry »
This week’s posting for the BHB will be unique in that I have been extremely busy reviewing as many of the 5,258 bills introduced into the 187th General Court (for which final sponsorship was due this past Friday) and continue to be busy this weekend with commitments to Boss Academy, the studio my wife and I own – the winter recital is this weekend. Therefore, I’ll briefly review meetings and, most importantly, deliver on the transparency of government that I’ve promised you by posting (below) each and every bill I authored or for which am a co-sponsor. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1952, CBS aired a historical reenactment show called “You Are There,” hosted by Walter Cronkite, who would begin the program each week with “What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times… and you were there.” Actors would play key historical figures and recreate scenes from American and world history and there would be a reporter narrating the scene as it unfolded.
This past Tuesday, Treasurer Steve Grossman and I had a meeting regarding a mortgage relief plan for homeowners and we each spoke about the chance to make significant contributions to the Commonwealth through our roles on Beacon Hill. The Treasurer recalled watching Cronkite’s show as a child and expressed the excitement he felt each time the words, “and you were there” were uttered. It was must watch television for him and, as he explained, gave him a unique perspective on history – something he hoped to play a big part of someday.
As my fourth installment for the Beacon Hill Blotter, I hope that I am able to give you a sense of the activity and context of what transpires here at the State House. It’s my goal to enlighten and also document the work being done by myself and my colleagues to move Massachusetts forward. Read the rest of this entry »
Growing up, I used to look forward to visiting my grandparents. On my father’s side, I especially relished the chance to ride on Grandpa’s lap when he mowed the lawn. Watching him operate his Lionel train set was awesome and I felt I’d died and gone to heaven when he’d “help” me with a project at his workbench. Without fail, he’s proclaim, “Good enough for government work,” as we (he) would finish making a wooden boat, a model rocket or a pencil holder. My grandfather, Wilmer Diehl, had been a mechanic in the Army, specializing in airplanes, so following his service, he was recruited by American Airlines to become a “flight engineer.” It was, literally, a new seat in the cockpit -the third – and was a role that he and a select few from the military pioneered for commercial aviation. His favorite joke, both in and out of the military and throughout his life, was the quip about his work meeting the minimum for government standards. Everyone who knew Will understood that the joke really was that he never did anything unless it was to meet the highest standards he set for himself – be it work, family, or his faith in God. Read the rest of this entry »
The 2011 Red Sox bullpen seems to be shaping up. Hideki Okajima is back in, Bobby Jenks looks to be a huge asset and, between Bard or Papelbon, we should have a lights out closer. If all goes well, the Sox pitching staff has the makings of a World Series-bound crew.
The 2011/12 bullpen for the 187th Massachusetts General Court also has some promising talent and, with 20 (possibly 21) new Republican State Representatives, it is welcome relief to the returning member of the House GOP. Still outnumbered 4:1, the caucus was in an even greater minority last session, serving in a 9:1 ratio (16 members vs. this sessions count of 32, pending the Durant/Alicia court case). But with a diverse group from around the state, Beacon Hill has the potential to make a significant and positive impact on the future of this great Commonwealth. Read the rest of this entry »
This being the first blog post for WATD’s “Beacon Hill Blotter” (and my first-ever blog entry in general), I want to thank you for your interest and welcome you to share with me your thoughts and ideas about how we can continue to make Massachusetts better each and every day. Hopefully, this post (and future entries) will give you a clear perspective of how I believe the days’ events will impact our lives. I start with the Inauguration of the House of Repesentatives yesterday… Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Morrissey was sworn in as the new Norfolk County District Attorney at the Curry College student center in Milton Wednesday night. Governor Deval Patrick administered the oath of office before a packed audience of about 500 people. Morrissey spoke with WATD’s John Penny after the ceremony about some of the principals he’ll focus on as Norfolk County D.A. Read the rest of this entry »
Republican State Rep Geoff Diehl, less than 24 hours after being officially sworn in as a member of the 187th general court, is making it clear he’s ready to get to work. Diehl took time away from an inaugural celebration at the Abington Ale House for his supporters to tell WATD what’s on his mind.
Diehl of Whitman is part of a wave of incoming Republicans to the Massachusetts House. He said the overriding issues, going into his first term as a state rep, include the state’s economy, the state budget deficit, health care costs, benefits to illegal immigrants–which he is against–and ethics.
Diehl said there still needs to be work done on lowing healthcare costs, which he believes contributes to budget problems. Diehl also said he plans to file legislation to make local aid a fully-funded mandate, and not discretionary spending as it is now.