People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States

Title: Legislation Working Committee

Shepherd: M K Merelice, Norfolk County Representative

Co-Sponsor(s): Frank Jackson

Vetting Committees: Platform, AdCom, CDLC (?)

Background: Over the years, the GRP has worked on state legislative bills and warrant articles, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes the effort has been frustrating and has discouraged further involvement. However, the party’s advocacy has also helped legislation pass (e.g. MAAPL bills related to the foreclosure crisis).

As an official political party that hopes to engage directly in state government, there are particular issues that rise to the top of party interest. This proposal is to identify up to a half dozen such issues in which the party might help develop legislation or, minimally, follow legislation and communicate progress and any timely need for lobbying to GRP members.

 Proposal Text: The GRP hereby establishes a Legislation Working Committee. The responsibility of members of the committee will be to select up to a half-dozen issues that require state legislation to address. 

     Once the issues are defined (within the scope of the GRP’s volunteer resources), a volunteer will track the progress of relevant legislation from filing to enacting, keeping GRP members informed and activated. Communications will also be posted on social media.

Implementation: Issues to be considered could include the Community Uplift Initiative introduced by the 2014 statewide candidates and endorsed by the GRP, the continuing foreclosure problem being addressed by the GRP-founded Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL), Instant Runoff (ranked) Voting (IRV), Single-Payer Health Care (Medicare for all), eliminating the Supreme Court decision about corporate personhood and money as free speech, and establishing a State Bank (a goal raised during the campaign for State Treasurer and about to be worked on by party members). If helpful, this committee could work under the auspices of the Platform Committee.

Financial impact: None identified.

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Showing 9 reactions

commented 2015-01-09 18:13:08 -0500 · Flag
Also, this committee should be tracking existing legislation that relates to GRP priorities and putting pressure on our reps/senators to support them. I’m not sure that’s too easy; I know the statehouse website lists each legislator’s bills, but I’m not sure there’s an organized list by subject. It is searchable overall, but bills are often phrased in ways that aren’t so easy to look for.
commented 2015-01-09 17:00:54 -0500 · Flag
We need to be doing this alongside party-building and electoral efforts. Getting our policies into the law will help the larger community as much as (maybe, in the short term more than) getting GRP folks elected, and if that means pushing Dems or even GOPs in a Green direction, that’s a good thing.
That said, Joanna suggested this: “receiving all local school taxes at the state level and redistributing payment to municipal school districts on a per capita basis.”
Towns don’t designate a “school tax” that could be redistributed this way. All of them collect property taxes en masse and set up a budget that includes the schools and general government functions, with schools typically representing well over half of total spending. In most cases, local schools depend on significant state aid, and it’s already based on financial need, local income levels and student numbers in a complex formula nobody really understands.
tagged this with Important 2015-01-09 16:50:58 -0500
tagged this with Important 2015-01-09 15:41:56 -0500
commented 2015-01-09 15:41:20 -0500 · Flag
I agree that this is totally needed but I’m not sure if we have the PERSON power to implement another committee. I think people should be more involved politically in general and should be writing/calling their state legislators often. I’m all for this if we can figure out a way to doit without stretching other groups too thin. I wonder if CDLC could work with this committee in actually recruiting candidates OR submitting bills to the legislature. There are several progressive legislators we could work with and everbody should be contacting their own legislators about issues.
commented 2015-01-09 08:05:46 -0500 · Flag
concerned about spreading our human power thin by the creation of multiple entities, some of which are less directly engaged in party-building itself
commented 2015-01-08 17:14:38 -0500 · Flag
Is the Legislative Committee to be a State Committee working group, sending a member to Adcom and reporting to StateComm?
commented 2014-12-26 15:42:12 -0500 · Flag
Legislative Committee Proposal

The proposal for formation of a legislation committee is most welcome. I’ll try to assemble available platform members to vet this proposal. In the past couple of years Platform Committee has noted that, to fulfill GRP agenda, we need to consider certain changes at state level. But we have not found the capacity to do that research. In addition to the issues mentioned in the proposal, we might also suggest:
  • Revising state income tax to more progressive formula (as recommended by a recent state commission), or perhaps something approaching a guaranteed basic income—supplanting welfare system. To study this, we would need to know where money comes from for what and how it is transferable. (Federal funds likely not transferable.)
  • Equalizing public school education budgets by receiving all local school taxes at the state level and redistributing payment to municipal school districts on a per capita basis, as is the practice in certain other states.
  • Exploring what can be done to end corporate welfare, such as tax expenditures enacted without measures for terminating them.
  • Transferring responsibility for adequate housing construction from the private sector by repealing Chapter 40B and proposing alternative legislation. Examine ways to change funding by quasi public agencies (Mass Development, Mass Housing, etc.) which now favors the interests of builders of market-priced housing and make such funding as they offer available to be controlled at the local level on the basis of sustainable land use policy.
published this page in Winter 2015 Proposals 2014-12-19 19:55:00 -0500