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Act On Mass Explains:
What's Wrong with Our State Government?

Tackling Transparency

Massachusetts is known as one of the most progressive states in the country. Democrats even have full control over our state government! Despite this, our legislature kills popular progressive bills that are on the Democratic party platform session after session. Why isn't our legislature passing these popular bills?

Because they operate largely behind closed doors and have become unaccountable to the public. In fact, Massachusetts is consistently ranked as one of the least transparent legislatures in the country!

There are a number of reasons for this. One, they don't publish their committee votes, and most of the votes they take on the floor are voice votes---meaning they aren't recorded. The outcome is predetermined by House and Senate leadership. 

Two, they have exempted themselves from good governance laws that are in place in the majority of other states, like public records law and open meeting law.

Three, bills get rushed through with just twenty-four hours notice, meaning lawmakers, never mind the public and advocates, hardly have time to organize around a bill before it comes to a vote. 

All this lack of transparency means our lawmakers operate virtually without public scrutiny and don't feel accountable to their constituents. Think that should change? So do we!

Visit to learn more and get involved in campaigns to reform the State House! 

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