Why is Massachusetts a Commonwealth?

Local governments have many roles and many challenges and for these reasons, local governments work hard to address these problems and expand their capacities in order to serve their citizens. Different states are differently equipped for their roles, with some being better and more capable of responding to their citizens’ demands. One of the benefits of the states that make them capable of responding to their citizens’ demands includes an effective rule of the law and talented leadership. To understand all this, a study of Massachusetts government, legislature, and leadership will be done in this paper.

About Massachusetts

From what I learned from my state website, Massachusetts was the sixth state to be admitted to statehood on February 6, 1788. The capital city is Boston and it is famously known as the Bay state. The name comes from the native Indian language “masachusseff”, meaning ‘near the great little mountain’. It consists of 14 counties. The House of Representatives includes 160 members who represent 40,000 people approximately, according to the constitution of Massachusetts. The House is led by a speaker who is elected by the members at the beginning of the two-year legislative session. The state population is 6,692, 824 and it is ranked 15th out of the 50 states. The largest cities in Massachusetts are Boston, Worcester, Lowell, Springfield, New Bedford, Quincy, Cambridge, Fall River, and Ellyn. Massachusetts is a commonwealth state led by Governor Charlie Baker. The lieutenant governor is Karin Polito. Local resources within the state include the state courts, the fire department, Massachusetts police, government offices, and counseling services. The economy relies on agriculture and industrialization. The state produce includes dairy products, seafood, vegetables, nursery stock, and cranberries. Massachusetts played an essential role in the American history because Plymouth was the site for the first New England colony founded by the pilgrims. Massachusetts was also the center for temperance, abolitionism, and tremendous movements in the 19th century. The official language is English but other spoken languages include Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Massachusetts is currently known as a global leader in trade, higher education, and biotechnology.



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Massachusetts Constitution

The Massachusetts Constitution is striking and it stands out as a model example on the beliefs of the founding fathers of the generation, in that the republican government requires certain characters from its citizens and institutions. The Massachusetts Constitution is older than the US constitution, the Declaration of Rights, and the Bill of Rights that were a model for the federal constitution. There are few similarities between the US Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution. This includes the three branches and the bicameral legislature. There are also some differences, which are quite significant, such as the declaration of rights. The declaration of rights of the state of Massachusetts is broader and more efficacious. It is also less limited than the U.S Constitution’s bill of rights. There are provisions that can be called upon to provide rights that are beyond anything the federal court can enforce. The supreme judicial court views its role broadly in the federal system as compared to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme judicial court has supervisory powers while the US. Supreme Court always talks about how its authority has been limited. The supreme judicial court has a long-standing tradition of protecting the rights laid out in the state constitution. It is a highly flexible justice system that highly exercises its flexibility. Most recently, the Supreme judicial court of Massachusetts decided that same sex couples had the right to marry within the state. This was demonstrated as the interest of justice as defined within the state constitution. The Massachusetts state constitution was the first to be adopted by the constitutional convention. It is the oldest document of its kind that is still operational in the world. It is not uncommon to hear a supreme judicial court state that they “make decisions in the interest of justice”. This is not commonly heard from the Supreme Court. The Massachusetts Constitution was written by John Adams and adopted after acquiring the majority vote from each Massachusetts town delegate. It has been referred to as a marvelous document and a leading charter for liberty in the western hemisphere. The different governments within the 59 states are structured according to the constitution of those individual states (Bowman and Kearney).

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Massachusetts Legislature

The federal government requires each state constitution to be grounded on republican principles state. The constitution is modelled after the federal government. It consists of the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive branches. The Massachusetts Constitution has four main parts: the declaration of rights, the preamble, chapters that explain the government framework, and the amendments. The preamble defines the constitution as a voluntary association of persons that originate from social compact that protects everyone’s rights and the common good (“Massachusetts Constitution”). The last paragraph of the constitution of Massachusetts is similar to the preamble of the United States Constitution. The declaration of rights of the inhabitants identifies the purpose and the origin of the government. The second part is the frame of government. It consists of the chapters of the constitution that describe the bicameral legislature power, the judiciary, the governor, and his advisor. The rest of the provisions honor Harvard College, Oaths office details, and encourage people to study liberal arts that can also help to inculcate private and civic virtues within the state. The legislature describes the advancement of moral and intellectual character. The articles of amendment show various amendments to the constitution.

Massachusetts Governor

Charles Baker Jnr is the current governor of Massachusetts. He was born in Elmira NY on November 13, 1956. He was elected to the office on November 4, 2014 for the first time. He succeeded Deval Patrick, a two-time governor. Baker won the republican nomination to run for governor in 2010 but Deval Patrick, who was the democratic incumbent at that time, defeated him. He was raised in Needham, Massachusetts and he graduated from Harvard. He also obtained an MBA in management from Northwestern University. In 1991, he was appointed the health and human services undersecretary in Massachusetts. He also served as the secretary of administration and finance under Paul Cellucci and Weld. After his first 100 days in office, Baker had the approval rating of over 70%. His favorability rating as of November 2015 was 70%. He was reported to be among the highest rated governors in the country with the highest approval ratings. This was after a nationwide survey that was carried out and released by the Morning consult – a polling and newsletter outfit in Washington DC.

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There is a four-factor analysis that measures capability dimensions. They include spending, staffing, information management, and accountability. It also includes representation and executive centralization. States usually exhibit various scores across these factors. This suggests that measures that are focused on a stable dimension distort capability. Governor Baker has made Massachusetts a great place to live since his election. He is committed to a growing economy and he ensures that education is available for every child in every zip code. He is also a successful leader in complex organizations in government and business. During his time as a CEO of Harvard pilgrim health care, Baker turned the company facing bankruptcy into America’s highest ranked heath care provider for 8 years straight (Bowman and Kearney).

Local Event

Massachusetts State is concerned about the welfare of its residents and the state’s development. According to a recent press release, the Baker Polito administration awarded $2 million to the regional competitive workforce competitive trust fund. This was to support the regional partnerships between businesses, community based organizations, educational institutions, and workforce development groups. This will go in a long way to help the unemployed or underemployed residents of Massachusetts to acquire additional skills and job training for the occupations on demand. It also helps to strengthen regional economies and increase opportunities for the commonwealth residents. The trainings offer the workforce competitive trust fund and enables the youths to thrive economically. It also fosters partnerships between education, workface, and industry.

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Massachusetts Obama Care

Massachusetts is reportedly struggling under Obamacare. It has been reported to be the home to America’s worst performing Obamacare exchange (Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs). This comes as a surprise since Massachusetts was the state that had inspired the Affordable care act with a functional exchange and a universal coverage. Many residents are surprised by the difficulty that the state has run into in the implementation of Obamacare. Most people have also expressed deep concerns about the road ahead. Former governor Deval Patrick had welcomed the ACA even before it was passed, his political appointees rushed into implementing it into law. However, in the real sense, the implementation was just a seamless adjustment (Leonard). The impact of the ACA will be widely felt within the state. Most small companies will experience extreme premium increases. The residents will also face a heavy tax burden in financing the new law due to its high cost insurance, industry mix and the state’s higher than average income. Massachusetts exchange has also failed in making progress towards solving this problem.

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