Summarized Testimony from 1st Platform Hearing 1/10/13

Public Safety and Crime Prevention

  • (Wait until later this month when a legislative package is expected and comment at that time.)
  • There should be stricter mental evaluations for prospective gun owners.
  • Gun owners should be civilly and criminally liable for the use of their guns.
  • Research should be funded regarding the causes of violent behavior.

Revenue and Expenditures

  • There should be a complete listing of all state expenditures on the web, including trends and changes in expenditures, in a format that is easily accessible and understandable,
  • There should be a listing of all expenditures for energy, broken down by energy sources, in a usable format so as to measure the amount of carbon emissions (and allow savings to be computed).
  • There should be a database of the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint so that we know where the CO2 is coming from.
  • State expenditures should be listed on the web in order to promote transparency, to the degree that it is affordable.
  • There should be a full review of the MBTA — its past, present and future — to provide information on how to best finance it.
  • The Commonwealth should secure adequate revenues to provide necessary services.
  • Public transportation should be adequate throughout the Commonwealth as an important tool for economic development and environmental protection.  Investment should be made in both capital and operating expenses.

Voting and Democracy

  • The Commonwealth should investigate e-signatures and docusign as a means to allow electronic voting.
  • Technology should be used to make voting easier.
  • E-voting should be done in a way to assure security.
  • Massachusetts should take a national leadership role in electronic voting.
  • Election Day should be an official state holiday so as to promote voter turnout.
  • Citizens should be fned for not voting.
  • When schools serve as polling places, those buildings should be closed for school activities.
  • Schools should be polling places because it allows the engagement of the public who might otherwise never visit a school building.
  • Elections should be administered in a way that voters don’t have to wait too long to cast their ballot.
  • Elections should be held in public rather than religious facilities.

Economic Growth and Job Creation

  • The preamble should specifically mention the importance of transportation.
  • Infrastructure for alternative transportation should be promoted, e.g., bikeways.
  • Not only job training, but job-retraining is needed for all people who want to work, especially older workers.
  • The Commonwealth should lead the way in new technology.
  • There should be a uniform code for recycling of e-waste (such as is incorporated in Rep. Smizak’s bill) which would lead to job creation and savings to municipalities.
  • There should be increased support for the employment and training of people with disabilities.

Healthcare and Human Services

  • There should be a focus on reforming health care delivery (not just the cost of care).
  • Mental health should be fully incorporated in all health insurance plans.
  • Physicians should be able to ask their patients about firearms.
  • The Commonwealth should be a model to the nation for health care (including cost control).
  • The Commonwealth should adopt a single-payer health care system.
  • The savings gained by proving primary care through health reform should be highlighted.
  • Primary care physicians and pediatricians should be paid at a higher rate.
  • The Commonwealth should adequately fund the Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program and significantly increase the tax on cigarettes and “other tobacco products” (small flavored cigars and smokeless products) prevalent with youth.
  • Incentives should be provided to assure that there are adequate numbers of primary care physicians throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Research should be funded regarding the causes of violent behavior.
  • There should be a move away from employer-based coverage towards single payer, but without returning to fee-for-service payments.
  • There should be a comprehensive study of single-payer with recommendations on how to do it efficiently.
  • The size of soda bottles should be reduced.
  • School lunches should be healthier.
  • Local farm produce should be used in our schools.

Education

  • Virtual education should be promoted.