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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, August 06, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe...

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. Hide your children and definitely hide your wallets. They may be coming back.

Like a vampire in need of a silver stake, there are rumors afoot that the casino bill, not to mention the 186th Great and General Court, is not as dead as we once thought.

The reason for the speculation centers around the potential $655 million in federal aid that could be coming soon to the Bay State now that Scott Brown has lost his effort to block it. And therein lies the potential for political mischief among the tiny band of GOP Republicans.

Lawmakers are slated to meet in informal session for the rest of the year, dealing only with non-controversial issues. That's because just one objection can block action during informals.

Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei, who is still drawing his legislative salary while running as Charlie Baker's No. 2, is thinking that disbursement of any additional federal aid should be a controversial issue.

He believes the federal stimulus cash should be put away into the Rainy Day Fund, even though terms of the grant will be that it should be spent now, you know as a stimulus.

That GOP plan is apparently prompting speculation a formal session will be needed to vote on an appropriation Patrick and the Legislature most outlined during the budget debate. And if lawmakers opt to come back to vote that, is there anything else they could do?

When last we left Deval, Bobby and Terry they were all busy dodging fingers over the failure of Speaker Robert DeLeo's all-in on racinos gambit. Deval Patrick called the Speaker's bluff and sent the bill back to lawmakers as a casinos-only measure.

Senate President Therese Murray was last seen declaring she did not have the votes to override a Patrick veto and her members had no interest in a special session.

Well what better GOP plan to sow pre-election chaos than to tear the scab off that Democratic wound?

There is a slight downside in that the debate would flash a new light on the Tisei's running mate's lack of viable alternative. Baker says he's for one casino and one racino and would push forward on that. Only problem is Baker's plan totally ignores the reality that he must deal with legislators to win approval and his idea is a non-starter.

Still, it seems like sound political mischief to force Democratic lawmakers to spend dollars they aren't allowed to save and to renew their internecine warfare over slots.

Now if only Republicans governed as well as they play politics.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally read your blog and disagree with most you stand for but it is generally well written. Except when you throw in partisan petty digs such as the one about still drawing salary. It cheapens your points and should be beneath you. Do Dems take unpaid sabbaticals when they run for other offices?

August 06, 2010 2:33 PM  

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