Short title: The Nebraska Solution
Sponsor: Roni Beal, [email protected]
Co-Sponsor: Brian Cady 617-943-2853 [email protected]
Vetting Sought: Platform, CDLC, LegisComm, Adcom.
Background: Nebraska has no House; only a nonpartisan Senate, avoiding joint committees & partisan speakerships. For more see: https://nebraskalegislature.gov/about/on_unicameralism.php
Summary: Send the Massachusetts House of Representatives home for good, leaving only the MA Senate as the Mass. legislature. Adopt nonpartisan top-two primaries for Senators, and top-two runoff final Senate elections. Eliminate all joint committees. Elect speakers in nonpartisan, all-Senate elections. Otherwise duplicate Nebraska's inplementation. Financial Impact: 160 representatives * $61,440+ + 64 * $7,500 + $35,000 = at least $ 10,350,000 savings for the State. No cost to the GRP.
"The House of Representatives has 160 members, and about 40 percent of them get salary bonuses ranging from $7,500 to $35,000 for serving in leadership positions. This includes committee chairmen, some vice chairmen and party leaders. The House Speaker gets $35,000." Ballotpedia.
Implementation: CommComm will explain this in a blog entry and quarter-sheet handout. CDLC will review the laws proposed. A referendum petition drive will be started by Brian Cady.
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Is anyone else working on this in Massachusetts? I think StateCom should prioritize demands that we can actually campaign on. It’s much easier to campaign on issues people are already mobilizing around, like police brutality, military interventions, rank choice voting, the Green New Deal, immigrant rights, labor solidarity, etc. If nobody else is raising these ideas I would consider this proposal low priority (which should be a check-box option – the opposite of important).
2. While I support the creation of a unicameral legislature in Mass., there is a good argument to say that it is the Massachusetts State Senate that should be abolished and the Massachusetts House of Reps. that should remain, rater than the reverse. Arguably the Mass. House of Reps. is the more democratic institution, as it has more members/smaller districts so it has more ability to be attune to its constituents.
3. I think that any plan should insist that voting take place by RCV
4. The Green Party supports proportaional representation. Given this, in addition to the regional seats, I would support the creation of 50 additional ‘proportional seats’ in the Mass House of Reps. in which if say 4% of the vote is GRP, the GRP would gain two seats in the Mass House of Reps. Since I think proportional representation is very importatnt towards the creation of a multi- party political system, I don’t know if I would support this proposal without some element of proportional reprrsentation included.
Thanks, Brian, for this thought provoking proposal.