On Thursday the Boston Herald reported that a six-member conference committee of lawmakers in Massachusetts charged with creating a bill to boost government performance, accountability and transparency and increase oversight of spending have decided to hold their meetings in private.
Representative Peter Kocot (D-Northampton) stated:
“Holding open meetings, during which negotiators would discuss differences and seek common ground on bills overhauling government administration and finance laws, might inhibit frank negotiations.
“If you look at the rules of committees, the joint rules, conference committees are not included in those rules. Conference committees operate under a separate set of rules and typically it’s been very common practice in the Legislature to close conference committees so that the members of the conference committee can have a frank and open discussion of the merits of the bills.”
Massachusetts is a one-party state. If you would like more transparency and more honesty in the Massachusetts government, you need to make it a two-party state. Even if you don’t agree with one of the parties, having two parties in government tends to make government more accountable.