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A true "Massachusetts Miracle"

If things like this keep up, I might have to permanently retire the "Mass. Insanity" category.

The Massachusetts legislature, fresh on the heels of the House killing the mandatory seat belt laws, has taken another step towards listening to just what its people want -- and I am dumbfounded.

This time, it's the Senate taking the lead. They have just passed a bill with three -- count 'em, three -- measures to crack down on illegal aliens in the Bay State. The provisions:

  • Housing officials would be empowered to check the immigration status of those seeking public housing, and they would be banned from state support.
  • Courts would be required to confirm a defendant's immigration status as part of their arraignment.
  • The state would set up a hotline where people could anonymously report companies that are employing illegal aliens.

All of these things are simple, common-sense ideas towards dealing with the illegal alien problem. We should not be giving them free housing. Courts should not ignore evidence of defendants' other crimes. And people who see laws being broken should be able to report that with some confidence that something will actually be done.

But this is Massachusetts we're talking about here. These steps are revolutionary. No, beyond that, they are earth-shattering.

Some ascribe the sudden onset of reason to public pressure, fired up by radio talk show hosts. I, quite frankly, don't care if it's more a matter of "feeling the heat" rather than "seeing the light," because, in the end, it's the results that matter.

I just hope that the heat continues long enough to get these measures passed, and their enforcement to actually materialize. Experience with Massachusetts politics is enough to make me cynical, but one can always hope.

Comments (8)

Wow, you guys must just run... (Below threshold)

Wow, you guys must just run around in circles up there. When I lived in Boston in the 80's, we voted down the law that made seatbelts mandatory. 20 years later, and they are still working on that one!?!?

That herald article you lin... (Below threshold)

That herald article you linked to is unavailable, were they talking about Michael Graham? He's been great since he came to 96.9.

Even if they pass it, Massa... (Below threshold)

Even if they pass it, Massachusetts' courts will strike it down.

Hmmm.I think they ... (Below threshold)


I think they passed those laws because they'll be irrelevant shortly. If the senate bill gets passed as the final bill then those Masschusett's laws become mostly useless.

I find the question of usin... (Below threshold)

I find the question of using seat belts one of ignoring facts. It has been proven that the use of seat belts reduce the severity of injuries in accidents If the state chooses not to make such use mandatory, then there could be another approach. Permit insurance companies to refuse to pay or reduce their liability to the insured for injuries suffered in an accident by drivers and passengers who were not using their seatbelts. I believe that the use of seat belts would greatly increase when the driver and passengers were faced with the prospects of paying for their own medical bills.

Acting out of arrogance, I refused to wear a seat belt until the state passed a mandatory use law. I quickly learned that the use of seat belts was not, as I had previously thought, a hindrance, but something I did simply out of habit. A few times, very few, I have found the belt an inconvenience when I needed to reach for something, but that too, was not a major problem.

In the more than 25 years since I began using a seat belt, I have failed to use one less than a dozen times.

hmmm....Mass. recognises eq... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

hmmm....Mass. recognises equal rights are being negelected in regard to gays and lesbians so they pass a bill addressing the problem. They recognise manipulated rising health care costs and uninsured and they pass a bill addressing the problem. They recognise the impact of those in an illegal status and here is a bill addressing the problem. People on all sides maybe did not get what they wanted, but at least it was addressed. The current Administration, Senate and House have faced the same problems and have bailed. Regular folks in both parties and the increasing number of Independents get it.

Talk about not getting it, the DLC and Sen. Clinton don't get it with their full backing of Liberman in CT. Old Joe got the message at their State Convention. Maybe the media and Republicans give Sen. Clinton a lock but events at recent Democratic State Conventions nationwide indicate other directions.

This is a joke, right? I'l... (Below threshold)

This is a joke, right? I'll believe it when they start arresting employers who hire illegals.

The first two items do seem... (Below threshold)

The first two items do seem to be common sense and well within the state's powers, but employer sanctions are federal.

Running a "hotline" isn't an encroachment, but all they could do would be forward the tips to INS. Why not just publicize the INS tipline number, and save state taxpayers the expense?






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