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Legislators, ‘you had one job’

House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano and House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz speak to reporters in the Massachusetts State House on August 1, 2022 as lawmakers continued to deliberate high-stakes bills.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

Does the governor have to explain the law to the speaker?

So let’s get this straight. According to Matt Stout’s reporting, Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka, in addition to Governor Charlie Baker, get the state auditor’s report when a regulation in a 1986 law, Section 62F, is triggered by excess revenue, yet Mariano whines because the governor didn’t explain Massachusetts General Laws to him (“Mariano says Baker kept lawmakers in dark on tax law,” Page A1, Aug. 3). Perhaps it’s time to elect legislative leaders who understand the laws of the Commonwealth without having statutes explained to them by others.

Paul Stewart


Used to think state government was inept — now we know it

Ron Mariano cannot, with a straight face, expect us to believe that he did not know that a tax rebate law was being triggered. The Commonwealth is swimming in tax collections. But, like all folks who believe that taxes once collected can never be returned — except in “acceptable” ways, is mad that it may occur.

The Legislature has two years to do its work. That is a long time. If you work, think of all you have done in two years. If you are a legislator — you do almost nothing for two years, then cram all of that work into a few weeks, and then congratulate yourselves on how much you achieved. Bills you didn’t read, but voted the leadership’s way on. Laws that are reported to you, that you claim you never knew about.


So, two years pass and when good changes to bad laws don’t get passed, you try to blame the governor who has been reasonably flexible for two terms. You claim ignorance — as if you didn’t know this deadline was coming.

I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I am pretty productive. One tool I use is a calendar. I look at my deadlines and I plan backward accordingly. It’s an amazing tool and I hope in the next budget, we order 200 of them.


If you don’t do things that your constituents and the business leaders of the state tell you that we need — then you have failed. As the old saying goes: You had one job. Most Bay Staters think our state government is inept — and now we know it.

Dave Pill