Entries in MassPoliticsProfs by sjenkins

I’ve signed on to a letter in support of Tom Brunell’s appointment to be Deputy Director of the U.S. Census, along with other political scientists. 

With the start of a new academic year in September, academics often make resolutions, which are really all about how we can make things better.  With that in mind, here are a few ideas of how we can make our Massachusetts political system better.

The Voters' Will Up in Smoke

If reports in the Globe and other media outlets are correct, the House of Representatives will release its version of the marijuana legalization bill tomorrow.  And just a day later, the full House is expected to vote on this bill.  The public deserves a chance to see what the House is doing here and to comment on these proposed changes.

In Defense of the Massachusetts House of Representatives - Sort of

In April’s Boston Magazine, David Bernstein calls for the abolishment of the House, arguing that such a move would “improve efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness to the public.” While I don’t necessarily disagree with Bernstein’s identification of the problem, I certainly don’t agree with his cure. 

Headlines around the Commonwealth touted the finding that charter schools don’t affect district funding from a new Mass Taxpayers Foundation report.  After actually reading the report, I’d like to suggest a few alternative headlines.

Think term limits are a good idea?  Not so fast.  Political science research suggests term limits don’t always work the way many think they will.

All throughout the Commonwealth, towns are holding local elections in April.  Generally speaking, turnout in these elections is dismal, which leads me to ask—is this any way to run an election? 

Winter break? February break?  Summer break?  When should schools take breaks and for how long?  These sorts of questions are at the heart of Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang’s proposed changes to the Boston school calendar.

While I am sure Jimmy Buffet was thinking of warmer climes when he penned his Changes in Latitude song, part of the reason I was brought on to this blog was to highlight the politics outside of the beltway of Boston, so that’s what I am going to do today.

Looking for some information about the General Court?  Need to contact the clerk of the House for information about the business of the chamber?  You’ll have to use the phone as there’s no email information provided—and who uses the phone these days? 

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