During the 2011-2012 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to increase transparency and promote efficiency in our state government:
Massachusetts invests heavily in economic development each year. Yet in many cases we don’t know which companies are receiving development subsidies, how many jobs they are promising to create in return, and how many jobs they are actually creating. As we saw most recently with the closing of the Evergreen Solar plant at Devens, we also need stronger “clawback” powers to recapture subsidy funding if job creation promises are not kept. This bill would increase the efficiency of the state’s economic development agencies by collecting the performance management data we need to make informed decisions and ensure that our economic development dollars being spent as efficiently as possible, while strengthening our clawback authority.
An Act establishing a sunset for economic development tax expenditures
Unlike budget line items, which must be reauthorized every fiscal year, once tax expenditures become law they can go without reauthorization indefinitely. This bill would set up a framework that would allow economic development tax expenditures to be periodically reviewed and reauthorized every seven years to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely and that resources set aside for economic development are being used most efficiently.
This bill defines records within administrative offices of the courts – including Probation and the Office of the Chief Justice for Administration and Management – as public records subject to freedom of information requests. It does not apply the public records law to confidential criminal justice records or other court records.
An Act to enhance access to electronic public records
This bill will make it routine for electronic public records to be provided to requestors in usable electronic form, and for information of significant interest to the public to be posted online.
This bill will improve access to public records by reducing and rationalizing the fees requestors must pay to obtain records, permitting requestors to obtain attorneys’ fees if they have been denied access to public records without valid reasons, and putting systems in place to facilitate state agencies’ management of public records requests.
An Act establishing biannual tax incidence reports
This legislation would direct the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to study how state and local taxes affect different income groups every two years, and report the study’s findings to the Legislature, so we can make better informed decisions about how changes in tax policy affect constituents at all income levels.