LETTER: Dykema Responds to Criticism

After voting down an amendment to post legislative votes online, Rep. Dykema said she supports the intent.

Submitted by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston.

Last Thursday, the state Republican Party publicly questioned a vote I cast last week against an amendment to post legislative committee votes online, a concept that I had supported during a pre-election debate.

As your legislator, it is my responsibility to explain any vote I cast on your behalf and I appreciate this opportunity to respond.

While I fully support the intent of the amendment to increase transparency, passing this type of proposal without understanding the practical resource requirements is not something I could support.

Unlike roll call votes, which are currently posted online and number in the hundreds each legislative session, there are approximately 6,000-8,000 committee votes taken in the same period.  Cataloging this quantity of information online is not a trivial task. In requesting support for the proposal, the amendment’s sponsor did not provide any basic information on resource requirements or planning, nor had they contacted legislative information services to request that such information be compiled.

This session I am co-sponsoring a bill (HD 3412) that, unlike last week’s amendment, will pass through the full committee and public hearing process allowing important details to be addressed. This will allow us to move forward with a more thoughtful and productive proposal.

As we continue to discuss ways to increase transparency in our legislative process, I appreciate the opportunity to highlight some of the progress we have made in recent years: 

  • All House and Senate roll call votes are available online.
  • Video of all House and Senate formal sessions are available online.
  • New House and Senate budget websites that allow citizens to track amendments in near real time as they are filed, debated and voted on.
  • Video of many committee proceedings are available in real time and are archived online
  • As part of the FY11 budget, the Open Checkbook website was launched which details state spending, payroll and pension information and tax credit information.

Thank you again for this opportunity to respond and, as always, please contact me at carolyn.dykema@mahouse.gov if I can answer any questions.

Shelli Sandrew January 31, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I appreciate your explanation and I agree. Just because a vote comes up, it is important to examine the ramifications on person resources, technological resources, etc. She clearly supports transparency but in a way that makes sense and does not end up costing the taxpayer more money to deliver. Good job Ms. Dykema.
Timothy Roesch January 31, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Shelli, do you need a chiropractor to untwist yourself from the position you put yourself into to accuse of Ms. Dykema (of the do nothing but collect a salary Dykemas) of doing a good job?
Nancy Quimby January 31, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Transparency on HER term-it's all very clear to me!
SJohnson February 01, 2013 at 02:51 AM
@Shelli Sandrew: If Rep Dykema truly wants to support something in a way that it does not end up costing the taxpayer more money to deliver, as you say, then Rep. Dykema should be helping Rep. O'Connell in EBT reform. Talk about costing the taxpayer...! I'd like to see your angelic Rep. Dykema doing something in THAT respect. Oh, I'm sorry, the Speaker wouldn't allow that. If it weren't for handouts, how else do all these charlatans get elected?
K Napolitano February 01, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Many of us realize that legislation doesn't get out of committee. Also, committee votes is not supposed to be law. It is the operating procedures in the House. The rules were debated 10 days ago. They will not come up again for another 2 years. This matter has been considered by the legislature and cannot be taken up again. That's the indisputable fact. Ms. Dykema lied.


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