|3. Brad Jones believes in term limits for the Speaker but not for Minority Leader
According to the State House News Service, Fran Marini, the immediate predecessor to House Minority Leader Brad Jones, set term limits for himself. Marini did not run for a fifth term as Minority Leader. The News Service reports that Jones sees a need for term limits for Speaker, but not for his post.
In an interview, Jones, whose district includes part of Middleton, said the term limits on the top jobs in the branches, which were instituted in the House by Speaker Robert DeLeo, are "appropriate" but drew a distinction between his job and DeLeo's.
While the Speaker is elected by all members of the House, the Republican floor leader is chosen by only members of the minority party, he said. There are "dramatically different power levels" between his post and the Speaker's job, Jones said, adding that both DeLeo and Murray ran the powerful Ways and Means committees before being promoted. "That adds another wrinkle to it," said Jones.
His determination to stay on as head of the House Republicans through another session in which the branch is dominated by Democrats may cause some to recall the days when former House Speaker Thomas Finneran, before his dramatic downfall, was described by many on the Hill as "speaker for life."
Jones told the News Service Monday that he does not have a self-imposed limit on his run as minority leader or a number of years in mind. He said he loves his job and accurately noted that his handle on it depends on the support of Republican members.
4. Governor Patrick looking to regionalize housing authorities
When the Governor thinks outside the box, I think we as conservatives need to applaud him for it. Patrick is looking to regionalize housing authorities in the state. Instead of having hundreds of such authorities, he wants to bring the number down to six. the Associated Press is reporting.
Gov. Deval Patrick is hoping to streamline the state's public-housing system by eliminating 240 local public-housing authorities and replacing them with six regional agencies aimed at ridding the system of corruption and saving taxpayer dollars.
Patrick proposed a bill Thursday that he said would help modernize the system that shelters 300,000 low-income families and elderly residents. There are now 83,000 public housing units in the state.
The proposal would consolidate public-housing management -- including budgeting, planning and administrative functions -- into six central offices. Local communities would retain control over land use and redevelopment decisions.
This may have a dramatic savings to the Commonwealth, and should be explored. One of our competitive disadvantages in government costs is that every square inch of Massachusetts is incorporated. Meaning that we have hundreds of public agencies for things like schools, fire and police when other states have county government that provides these services. Regionalization needs to be looked at seriously. I applaud the governor for this.
5. Howie Carr on court dates for Pols
Howie Carr has a great look at court dates for politicians coming up in the new year. Check it out.
Next week, it'll be Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester) due back in Cambridge District Court for discovery motions. He had a problem with his ex-girlfriend last summer. Now he's charged with three counts of
assault and battery, one count of witness intimidation and one count of larceny under $250. They dropped the kidnapping charges.
Yeah, 2013 is shaping up as another banner year for CSI State House. Kinda like 2012, which started with ex-Rep. Mark Carron getting arrested a fourth time for drunken driving. A police spokesman said: "They had to bang on the window several times to wake the driver."