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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

They wouldn't. Would they?

The Herald is out today with a story that's been rumbling in the weeds and on the radar screens of junkies who thrive on the Statehouse News Service: the Speaker and the Senate President are playing a game of high-stakes chicken and the consequences could be major.

It's the ultimate in inside baseball and nothing really new under the sun. And they would have to go a long way to match the epic battles between Tom Finneran and Tom Birmingham, whose 1999 budget standoff stretched into November and included negotiating sessions on office balconies.

Time is the enemy here, with the formal sessions set to expire when the clock strikes August. And the issues are weightier than "just" a budget.

DeLeo is fuming the Senate has slowed down the runaway train called his casino proposal, which is undergoing serious rewrites in anticipation of a debut next month. So he in turn is talking about holding up Murray's health care cost control bill, the equivalent jewel in her crown.

Who blinks first? It's anybody's guess but don't underestimate Murray's will or the important hole card she just drew: the probation department scandal.

Judiciary Committee Chair Cynthia Stone Creem has come up with a plan to rein in the rogue department without turning oversight over to the executive branch.

That's in sharp contrast to the shoulder shrug offer by DeLeo, whose godson is the state's young chief probation officer and whose trusted sidekick, Speaker pro tem Tom Petrolati, has had a productive career matching his supporters with probation jobs.

It is the silly season on Beacon Hill and the level of cluelessness has been high as speakers and senators get indicted while the public anger builds. I somehow doubt this latest standoff between the House and Senate will end badly for their respective leaders.

I wish I could be as sure about the public.

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Blogger Judy Meredith said...

It's getting more and more likely , I think. Some discussion about a o 1/12 budget.Won't be meeting on the balcony though. Neither of them smokes and Neither suffers from the smartest person the in room syndrome.

You should re-post this diary. I was blogging to find a good article about that stand off and you came up first.

June 19, 2010 12:37 PM  

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