This is a bad sign for transportation reform. Based on the Globe's inability to get a copy of the budget the Turnpike Authority's board just passed for the upcoming year, it seems the Governor's board appointees are using the excuse of pending consolidation to duck even rudimentary disclosure. Regardless of whether the entity is called the Turnpike Authority or the Transportation Department, those are your tax and toll dollars - $430 million of them - being spent, apparently in ways that the powers that be would prefer not appear in the newspaper.
This is just disturbing. The US House of Representatives has 435 members. Per the Constitution, the allocation of seats to the various states is determined by population. Here in the Commonwealth, our population is relatively stagnant, if not shrinking. Other states are growing at a much faster clip. This sums it up:
Arizona is going to pick up seats. They have to come from somewhere. That "somewhere" is likely to be here. It's no coincidence that "city clerks have already met to talk Census strategy with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell..." As the junior member of the Massachusetts delegation, she has reason to be particularly concerned. At base, though, our population is what it is. Secretary of State Galvin should take care this cycle to ensure that political zeal does not lead to mathematical shenanigans. As proud citizen of Massachusetts, I am concerned about the likely prospect of our state losing representation in Washington. As a taxpayer, though, I'm not sure Congress won't be just a little better off with one fewer Massachusetts Democrat.
The state [of Massachusetts] has grown 2.3 percent in the eight years since, based on the bureau's 2008 population estimates. The average growth per state for that time in the United States is 8 percent, according to the Web site. Virginia, which has 11 members of Congress, grew 9.7 percent in that time, and Arizona, which has eight U.S. representatives, grew at a 26.7 percent rate since 2000.