BOSTON -- It's hardly surprising that Democrats are entering the final day of an embarrassing, failed legislative session with an enormous backlog, and the likely prospect that the closing hours will feature little transparency as Democrat leaders seek to ram through multiple bills.
"After racking up a record of corruption, pay hikes, and missed budget deadlines, it's only fitting that Democrats will conclude the session by ramming through bills in a frantic final day with no transparency," said MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes. "With a series of scandals, Democrats proved they can't be trusted to keep their own house in order, and with a late budget and end-of-session chaos, they're proving they can't govern responsibly either. It's not surprising the Democrats are already losing seats: They openly admit they view this reckless approach as standard operating procedure."
Legislators left an enormous backlog for today's final day of the session. "Five hundred and seventy-four days after kicking off the 2017-2018 session, the Massachusetts House and Senate head into Tuesday, July 31 with only a few hours to tie up the many loose ends on bills that legislative leaders have left to the proverbial last minute.
"Failure to strike eleventh hour deals on the major bills could prove embarrassing since legislators launched the session in January 2017 by voting large pay increases for themselves, saying the boost in compensation was overdue and deserved given the scope of their responsibilities." (Michael Norton, "Deadline pressure coming to bear on Beacon Hill," State House News Service, 7/31/18)
At the end of the last session, Democrat leaders admitted that the end-of-session chaos is standard operating procedure. "'No one moves their position until the end. Nobody changes their position until they have to because we all think we're right and have the right ideas. What drives compromise is the timeline,' House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano said." (Matt Murphy, "Weekly Roundup: Everyone to their corners," State House News Service, 8/5/16)
Democrats started the month by failing to deliver an on-time budget, after moving quickly to raise their own pay. "Early in 2017, the Massachusetts Legislature wasted no time hustling through a package of pay raises for themselves, with the Democratic-controlled body overriding Governor Charlie Baker's veto to make it happen. The entire package, which included raises for lawmakers, judges and other officials, cost taxpayers nearly $18 million.
"Too bad they're not as expedient on other matters, starting with their No. 1 responsibility of all, the state budget." (Editorial Board, "Late state budget is an embarrassment," Springfield Republican, 7/7/18)