Hello Valley Patriot Readers,
We have been under an indefinite state of emergency, declared by the Governor, for one year now – a challenging period in which we have witnessed countless small businesses close their doors for good and all too many individuals scramble and struggle to obtain a vaccine appointment. More now than ever, we need checks and balances against the Administration’s pandemic response, much of which have been sorely misguided.
That is why I have filed legislation, SD2335, An Act relative to the duration of a proclaimed state of emergency, to finally reign in the powers held by the Governor of Massachusetts when it pertains to declaring a state of emergency for an indefinite period of time.
This bill would provide the Legislature with a greater check on the Governor’s Administration by limiting a state of emergency declaration to only 60 days, at which point the Governor would be required to request an extension of the emergency declaration.
Ideas for responding to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic should come from the working families in our communities and not from a single person or administration. We need to come back to the democratic process, where our residents have a seat at the table again. There must also be a return to a bidding process, as we’ve seen throughout this pandemic the Governor unilaterally hand out millions and millions of dollars taxpayer-funded contracts to hand-picked, private companies no bidding process involved.
We’ve seen, time and time again, the administration take unilateral action, without input from the community, only to need to go back and change things that could’ve been addressed from the beginning had he only sought such input. The Administration wasted time and taxpayer dollars on a website that more created headaches than helped and allocated the vast majority of vaccine doses to mass vaccination sites that were inaccessible to our most vulnerable populations. If the Governor chose to consult with the elected representatives from our communities, about what residents like you were saying, this could easily have been prevented.
The Governor’s Administration is not supposed to be the main lawmaking body in Massachusetts. Legislators are tasked with working alongside residents every day on the ground, in the community, and legislating based on those conversations. Instead of that community-based approach to governance where the people have the power, the current administration has instead relied on hand-picked appointees and completely bypassed the elected representative voice of the people at every corner. We are living under a new form of rule in Massachusetts where there is now a complete top-down, authoritative approach to the issues facing Massachusetts.
No one person, regardless of who the person is, should have this much authority for this much time. The people of Massachusetts deserve to have their voices heard again in a process that respects all voices, and not just the most powerful. I am hopeful we can get this bill across the finish line as soon as possible and provide our communities the voice and support they continue to desperately need in recovering from the pandemic.
If you have questions about this or any other issue, please contact me and my team anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 978-984-7747.
Yours in service,