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With state Legislators scheduled to end a Legislative session on July 31, those lobbying for the “We the People” act to become law are facing a nail-biter.
At the end of the month, measures not acted upon are swept away and proposals must be re-introduced.
Locally, resident and political activist Barry Rosenberg is pushing for passage, but resident Dennis Galvin, a member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee opposes it.
“I would not support opening any new constitutional convention to change anything during these divided times,” Galvin stated. “Once the constitution is opened no telling what could happen.”
But Rosenberg views the matter differently.
“The bill establishes that Constitutional rights are for real people only and mandates that federal and state governments limit political spending,” he stated.
According to the We the People of Massachusetts website, “the Supreme Court has extended to corporations constitutional rights meant only for individuals and ruled that money spent to influence elections is protected free speech.”
While he would support term limits of elected officials, Galvin said he doesn’t support any caps on private money donations so long as donors disclose who the donors are and they report their sources of funds.
“In general, tampering with the constitution to correct some of these perceived inequities is too risky a proposition for me,” Galvin said.
“By giving corporations constitutional rights they are able to protest when there are laws passed to protect the people that they object to, by claiming their Constitutional rights have been violated,” Rosenberg said.
State Sen. Jamie Eldredge, an Acton Democrat, introduced the act along with state Rep. Carmine Gentile, a Democrat from Sudbury, and state Rep. David Vieira, a Republican from Falmouth.
The Committee for Veterans and Foreign Affairs gave it a favorable review. State Rep. James Arciero, a Westford Democrat, sits on the committee.
Petitions supporting a vote on the act has been filed a number of times since 2016 when it was first introduced, Rosenberg said.
“It will be very disappointing if it doesn’t happen,” said Rosenberg.
Bills not passed by the end of the two-year legislative session must be refiled in order to be considered during the next session.
To ask senators and representatives to push for a vote, visit Twitter.com/wethepeoplemass and look for a blue link beginning with “salsa.”
UPDATES: The word “institutional” was changed to Constitutional and the year 2013 was corrected to 2016