Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer 2011 legislative poll: Make your opinions known

It is important that I get a "read" from constituents regarding important legislation that is likely to come before us soon. The poll is now closed, but you can review the results and read a sampling of comments below.

Click here for the results.

Here are some comments received from survey respondents (most recent first):

Do you support casino gaming in Massachusetts?
If you do it start small. Do not go all in with new casinos and slots at the tracks. Let the track locations compete for 2 licenses to add slots and table games. Watch that and decide later if it should be expanded.

Oddly enough I have no strong opinion on this one. Just that whatever is decided on should have little constraints. Free market economy, personal responsibility and accountability for providers can often be applied.

I do not like to see MA money going to RI and CT, however I can't say I believe that the Wamponoag Tribe should have more of a right to open a casino than anyone else.

On general principles I object to gambling because of the inherent dangers of addiction; of spending money many cannot afford and the often increased criminal element coming into a community.

Those most likely to gamble are those who can least afford to.

Affects the people who can least afford it.

Our residents can easily gamble in neighboring states. We might as well gain the revenue being diverted to R.I. and Conn.

For the politicians to think that the monies spent out of state by MA residents is somehow money that is theirs is not good thinking. It belongs to the people who spend it and where they spend it is their business. My other fear is that the State would build a lackluster casino(s) and would have a hard time competing with the well established CT and RI casinos. They would also eat into the very successful MA State lottery. Is this consideration figured into the revenue estimates?

Further erodes "Public Virtue" as the Romans through Adams stipulated.

No additional slots at race tracks.
Limit to three total in the State.
Transparent bidding process for application process.

I don't gamble and don't really like it but it seems there is a lot of money leaving the state to other casinos that we could use here.

Yes- one facility. Although I wouldn't participate, it could help a city like New Bedford and ultimately the state's revenues. Focus on reducing state spending and eliminate programs. Don't keep expanding programs to give more taxpayer assets away to those who should be self sufficient. If they can't be self sufficient, make their family and church responsible- like it used to be in the "good old days". The liberal mind set on Beacon Hill is to be all things to all people- enough!

If well formulated, implemented, and monitored could be a good thing. Many MA residents gamble and go out of state to do so . . .why not in MA?

Most jobs in casinos are low paying positions.

I don't really want it but understand that we are a free country and if I don't want to support the industry it's my right to not go there. It's not my right to say they can't exist in our State. Much like the dog tracks in MA.

There is enough corruption, both political and personal (gangs, thieves, murderers, rapists in this state) so why bring in the "boys". Not just that they will bribe to benefit themselves, but also make our one-party leaders more corrupt.

While there is some social downfall from Legalized Casino gambling we as a State are losing way too much potential income to our surrounding states. You cannot regulate morality so let legalize it and make some cash!

As long as it isn't on the Cape.

Do you support the Right to Repair Bill?
Competition is good!

Knock off diagonistics already on the streets, can not stop the entreprenurial (sp??) spirit. Let the free market rule the day. Consumers are becoming too dependent upon Government to cover them for their (consumers) bad decisions. Personal responsibility must be demanded.

I just cannot make up my mind on this one! There are so many pro's and con's. I will toss it to you, O WIse One, and trust that you will make the best choice.

Of course...are forgetting free enterprise and the right to compete?

I support the concept, but there have been a lot of contradictory statements in the press.

It will give the local mechanics a chance to compete with the dealerships. My wife just got through fighting with GM over a recall. It took six months and dealing with a person named "Leo" who was located in Canada to straighten it out. Whether parts are made in the USA or imported isn't relevent to this bill.

I don't think the real issue is diagnostic equipment, but parts. Should manufacturers be forced to sell current model parts outside of their dealer network? It seems that with current models, the manufacturer has the right to control access to parts, particularly when the manufacturer is still obligated to cover warrantee issues. I'd compare it to a pharma company being forced to make their drugs available to generic manufacturers right off the bat.

My local garage should be able to acquire any part or info.

Freedom of choice.

Yes, if the repair shops pay a fee to the manufacturer for the information.

It is not the right/role of the state to dictate where an owner of a car should bring his/her car for repairs.

Codes could be tied into warranty dates or mileage limits. Shades of monopoly.

Not necessary. Repair garages can get a hold of the info they need now. They just want it for free.

I share your concern over the loss of proprietary information but have always prided myself on working on my own vehicles. I can no longer change my oil without a computer. I can't replace my brakes without special tools. I would prefer my mechanic to do these tasks instead of going to see Mr. Goodwrench for twice as much.

Do you support the Expanded Bottle Bill?
Never supported the original bill, just another fee/tax. (Government scoops unclaimed deposits.)

I do a lot of travelling. I can always tell what states have a good bottle bill. In MA it is so obvious that water and other drink bottles don't have a deposit. They are all over the streets, parks, and other recreation areas. I have written letters about this issue to various authorities in the past. The BOD of the Mashpee Environmental Coalition have discussed this issue many times. It is about time, hopefully, that something will be done about it this year. NY is the state to emulate.

Kind of fed up with the overreach of the 'greenies.' As for the government, 'never ignore a tax you can add.'

Most are recycled already...just another way of raising taxes.

It's just a way for the politicians to raise more money. Another tax coming in under the radar. The original reason for the bottle bill was to stop people from throwing bottles onto the side of the road, and that has happened. Success. This additional cost would be overkill.

Just another tax We'll end up paying higher prices while Beacon Hill gets the extra $$ to spend until the bottles are redeemed. By the way, how big is that slush fund of unredeemed deposits? Besides, if the "Cape Cod Daily Worker" is for it, I am usually automatically against it!

This is a revenue bill. That not returned goes to the state.

The law needs to be reformed, not expanded. If all bottles/containers are going to be covered, then the amount charged should be based on the weight of the container. That would allow consumers to "crush" the containers to limit storage space and permit return based on weight. This would reduce the cost to the retailers, as they would not need as much space or as many people to operate the program and eliminate one of the biggest reason consumers do not return containers (space).

Yes but you need to include NIPS in the bill. I participate in community clean ups every year and find more nip bottles along the roads than anything else.

Gov't needs to participate in every fraud available to support itself. Bottled water is one of the greatest frauds of our time.

Right now there is a glut of recycleables, the price per ton has taken a nose-dive because there is so much. Most of the bottles returned are ground up and buried anyway.

I believe it would encourage recycling.

I already recycle. This is nothing more than a money grab by the State because less folks are drinking soda so there are less purchases than before. Also, folks are watching carefully where their money is being spent so I believe people are being more attentive to making sure they take that can/bottle back for the refund.

No, it would just allow the folks in Hyannis where I bring my empties to forget to count even more of my bottles.

I know this is a measure with good intentions to make Massachusetts more 'green' but it amounts to little more than a hidden tax. You can't legislate behavior.

Do you support legislation to reform health care delivery in Massachusetts?
I'm frightened of a single payer, gov't run system. Even so, my Dad in the UK has been thru a lot and has no complaints. Truth is, I just don't know enough about alternatives to have a valid opinion.

Whatever system provides competition amongst providers resulting in options for consumers and thereby lower premiums. No penalty for choosing no coverage. Free market and supply and demand should rule the day.

I'm not well versed on this subject. However, I know there are many problems such as billing, that is confusing and a duplication of resources.

I would personally LOVE to see RomneyCare repealed - along with ObamaCare. I know too many physicians who are contemplating leaving MA and at least one who is planning to set up practice in Costa Rica if ObamaCare actually takes effect. That said - there are also many people (frail elderly, the very poor, handicapped with physical and/or mental incapabilities) who remain in dire need of health care. These are the people we should concentrate on helping - NOT a one-size-fits-all government plan.

The State had to reimburse hospital emergency rooms $36 million last year. Why isn't the personal mandate to carry insurance being enforced? People who use emergency rooms should be chased down to make them pay their bills. The state needs a method to identify and track those who are using emergency rooms and aren't carrying medical insurance. A simple photo and finger printing device at the emergency rooms should be in place if they don't have insurance. It wouldn't cost that much.

I want to go to the Doctor and hospital of my choice,able to get test's that are needed without government interference. Free choice vs government control.

Too complex for me to understand, but let's not forget the concept of "unintentional consequences"..every time we enact a major piece of legislation! I'm in favor of baby steps, i.e. change the current system on a step by step basis. We are not smart enough to understand the consequences when make major changes.

Health Insurance should be for two things - wellness and to cover catastrophic illnesses. In between should be the individual's responsibility basically with high deductibles and a reasonable co-pay.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Vermont is a communist state anyway.

I don't think any of these choices are what I would want, but perhaps that's because my preference is not going to happen: we should repeal Romneycare, and the individual mandate. We should also reduce treatment mandates to decrease the cost of health care and encourage catastrophic plans for those who can't afford the more expensive and extensive plans.

There should be more options available to those who fall into the middle area - not poor enough for state help, but self-employed and not able to get an insurance plan through work. There still are not good enough and reasonable choices out there.

None of the above! I strongly oppose any government "mandated" health insurance program. Put the healthcare spending decision back in the hands of the consumer. No single payor. No mandated "acceptable coverage" requirement. Eliminate restrictions on purchase of insurance across state lines. Expand the use of Medical Savings Accounts. And last but not least, Tort reform!

I am self employed. Just me. "they" want over $1,000.00 a month to meet the state requirment. This is already way out of control.

Frankly, I'm at a loss to know what we should do next. I feel that there is real damage being done when we continue to change the existing programs, so this need to be done carefully and with expectations that the plan will last long enough for the providers to establish programs and budgets that they can depend on.

Not clear to me what really is the long term best system given all the opinions floating out there. Perhaps the national election will shed more light on the best system we should commit to. However, without serious tort reform linked to health care, there will not be significant improvement.

I could have answered with both 1st & 3rd answers.;however, the Romney care should not have been implemented as it stands now! The state or the government should not DICTATE/MANDATE health care in a way that is not enforceable, that is punitive, covers ILLEGALS, NOT COST EFFECTIVE, FRAUD AND ABUSE etc. etc. Repeal if possible and formulate a better one; cut the abuse and strictly monitor.

ACO's are able to provide better health care at more competitive pricing while lowering costs. Key to this is the Health Information Exchange (HIE) which provides a better undestanding of costs and patient need.

There is not a good choice above. Health care is a retail service. Where are my TV repair stamps?

Deja vu indeed (ACOs versus HMOs). Been there, done that, enjoyed it's ups and stressed over it's downs. Overall, it was better than what we have now. Design a plan that's basic to good life - we all experience childbirth, some kind of illness, injury during a lifetime; we should all get vaccinations and preventive care. People who want plans that cover excessive/exotic elective procedures, weekly chiropractic, invitro fertilization etc should pay more for it, or out of pocket.

The entire MA mandatory healthcare system should be JUNKED!

Multiple billing for reading the same test is a single point I have witnessed.I am sure there must be similiar situations that could be corrected.

My choice isn't up there... Repeal Romneycare and implement tort reform.

I am not an expert on this one, but the Insurance companies are a big part of the problem. A lot of the time it's cheaper to pay cash.

It's time start over. Romneycare is a nightmare. Obamacare is insane. Let the consumer and the doctor figure out what works best, not the lawyers and bureaucrats.

I believe the current system should be changed to require mandatory public disclosure of health care prices each provider charges.

Do you support allowing illegal immigrants who have attended a Massachusetts high school for at least three years to receive the in-state tuition rate at state universities?
What part of illegal don't the law makers understand!!! ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL!

Goodness knows the public school system is already overburdened. Teaching youth to obey the laws may be a good lesson. Perhaps the schools would provide a good way to flesh out illegals?

Allowing this will just encourage more of the same from all over. We all struggle to pay or help our children pay for their tuition. This is just the nose under the tent to a much more difficult issue - Drivers licenses = Voters for the Democrats forever (by non-legal folks)!

Is this question for real???? The only thing I would support for illegal aliens is to be instantly deported upon identification of their illegal status. Please send them home in the most cost effective manner.

This shouldn't even be up for consideration. If the parents are illegal, so are the children (PASS THAT AS A BILL). Get legal. That's the only way. I'm totally against any of them getting ANY benefits, except a trip home. I'm willing to pay for that!! They are going to destroy this country. Put AMERICANS to work.

ABSOLUTELY NOT - we'll end up paying for scholarships and dormitory etc as well !! Typical Gov. Patrick liberal give-away ( to buy more votes ) since he has never paid for anything in his life!

NO ! I am sympathetic toward these young people who are here, not of their own accord, but because of the illegal status of their parents. The more I read the more I discover that illegals are getting low cost housing, social security benefits, food stamps, free education and health care! Subsidizing their children's higher education is just too much! Illegals already cost us too much.

Absolutely not... When does illegal mean you get what out of state H.S. students who are legal citizens do not get and have to pay more tuition than illegals at state university.

What part of illegal don't you understand They should not even be in this country.

If they are in the country illegally then they should be prosecuted for violating the law.

Illegal means Illegal and should not be given citizen status.

You have to be kidding!

Absolutely not!

The bill will say "attended a Massachusetts High School, OR THE EQUIVALENT" That last phrase is open for interpretation and a reason to kill the bill. It would open the flood gates. And aren't we a country of laws? Why reward people who are here illegally? The state college system is full of state employees. As the number of legal citicens reaching college are is shrinking they are looking for additional students to fill the seats so there won't have to be cuts in staff.

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! Close the borders and then we'll discuss it. Let's get rid of the criminals who are here illegally. We see their names in the news every day.

The rule of law is in bad shape here, and is necessary for a stable republic. An end result is Lawrence.

How many times do we have to say " no" to this idiotic idea?

Sure, what the hell, how about a new car too.

We can not reward illegals. That simply encourages the problem.

Although I am not sure. It seems there are some good arguments on both sides.

Illegal immigrants should become legal to receive any money form the State. They are illegal!!! What would other countries do with illegals?

No, nor do I support them attending our public schools to begin with. I do; however, support an aggressive program to return all illegals to their home country as soon as they are discovered.

HELL NO!!! They are in MY COUNTRY illegally;They are not entitled to benefits that should only be available to a USA's citizen. Again, you are here illegally. I refuse to have my taxes used for their benefits. A few suggestions: 1) Be
grateful for not being sent back to your native country. 2) Thank my country,my state and the people along the way who helped YOU at zero cost. 3) BECOME a USA's citizen. 4) ASSIMILATE & OBEY MY COUNTRY'S LAWS. NO DEMANDS OR BENEFITS UNTIL YOU COMPLY!!!

Bad idea.

As long as they have no criminal record. Throw in some public service requirement that altogether leads to citizenship. This is a stupid issue that brings out the worst in people over-endowed with middle child syndrome (he's getting something for nuthin. I earned it, he didn't; he DESERVES less than me) and entitlement issues. You can't control where you're born/where your parents bring you, just what you do when you get here. That's when you earn whatever. Hasn't that always been the American way?

NO NO and NO!! MA doesn't allow citizens who live in neighboring states and work and pay taxes in MA to have THEIR children attend at in-state rates, so why on earth should people who are in our country ILLEGALLY be allowed these benefits!

Illegal is Illegal and should be treated as such.

What part of illegal does one not understand. There are many years prior to college years that citizenship can be worked towards. When veterans from other states are not offered in state tuition should they decide on a MA educational institute - then absolutely NOT! Illegals seem to get a pass in way too many areas that us legals would be in court now and I am tired of picking up the tab.

It makes me angry that every time Beacon Hill thinks we're not paying attention they try and sneak this in. I'm tired of constantly calling my Senator/Representative about this. What part of illegal does Beacon Hill not understand?!

I feel that it is not the fault of the children involved that they were born here. I do think that their parents should be sent back. I disagree with the attorney general who says that illegal immigrants are not illegal (go figure). I heard her say it. Does that mean that illegal crimes are not illegal?

If we allow illegal immigrants to go to our high schools, why not? I would think when the child shows up at high school someone would know he was illegal and this could have been fixed: become a citizen or not?

The reduced rate is for our own citizens. If a person is illegal they should not be provided better access to our system than say a student from RI.

I support sending them home and giving them the oppurtunity to walk in the front door, the right way-like millions more before them. An illegal alien is not a citizen, therefore he is not eligible for in-state tuition.

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