BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A legislative panel will hear from the public Thursday as it weighs a string of proposed state constitutional amendments.

Several of the proposals cover the judiciary — including one setting term limits for judges, another eliminating lifetime tenure for judges and a third eliminating the Governor’s Council that signs off on judicial nominations.

State Senator Brian A. Joyce said the council has “outserved its purpose.”

“There’s simply no need for it,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday.

“The Governor’s Council is a relic of a bygone era. It was formed in 1628 to serve as a check on the royal governor’s powers.”

Joyce talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jon Maclean

Joyce said the new bill would shift the council’s few remaining duties to other branches of state government.

“For example, the senate would approve judges. It’s the way it’s done in 48 other states and the federal government.”

Councilor member Charles Cipollini of Fall River said getting rid of the council would be a “disservice to the people of the Commonwealth.”

“Where would they (the state senate) have time to accommodate this into their schedule? They don’t meet in the summer. Who’s going to do it in the summer?” he told WBZ.

Cipollini talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jon Maclean

Cipollini said the council is busy with meetings, public hearings, research, meeting constituents, and answering letters.

“What do they do (the senate), other than spend our money, in the senate and put us into deficit?”

Joyce claims the Governor’s Council is simply a waste of money now.

“We looked at the council for a 4-year persiod. During that 4-year period they met less than once a week, met about, on average, about 40 times a year, for an average of 5.2. minutes,” he said.

“That 5 minute meeting,” Joyce explained, “costs the taxpayers in excess of $500,000. it’s simply unnecessary and I think we owe it to the people to abolish this.”

Comments (7)
  1. DStein says:

    Senator Joyce is being disingenuous, to say the least, about the elimination of the Governor’s Council. The Council is the ONLY outlet that the people of Massachusetts have to give input regarding judicial nominees, and it is limited at that. What Senator Joyce is REALLY doing is consolidating power into the hands of the few, the most anti-democracy thing you can do. Especially in what is essentially a one party rule state.

    I’m all for amendments to the state constitution that eliminates lifetime tenure for judges, but am against setting term limits for them.

    1. Brooklyn says:

      Mr.DStein, If U think that Joyce is,” consolidating power into the hands of the few”,( the Senate) U have to think again. I must remind U that the Senate has many many more members than that waste of money council, and is an outlet for the taxpayers to express their opinions. I would rather complain to our Senators and lessen the Hack jobs to save $500,000 There is NO justification to use $500,000. of taxpayers money for a council to meet less than once a week for 5.2 mins for about 40 weeks over the last 4 years. I want that job.Last time I looked there were 52 weeks in a year. Working 40 weeks means that the council missed 12 weeks somewhere. In Cipolini’s own words,”who is goin to do it”, for the 12 missing weeks that this BS council is missing now and for the past 4 years ?

  2. emom says:

    Ok if these folks are not needed why has it taken all these years to finally realize it,, and at $500,000 for a 5 1/2 minuite meeting, that kind of money can help out schools, fire departments, police, seniors, and so many other services needed… OH but wait ,,, $500,000 X 40 = $20,000,000.. gee thats a lot of money this state can use to SAVE services,,,, about time they are looking at THEIR spending habits.

  3. foamy says:

    I would agree with Senator Joyce IF the Givernor’s Council was an APPOINTED entity – but it’s not – it’s an ELECTED entity, which means it’s accountable to the voters. I think DStein hit the nail on the head – in this ONE-PARTY state, eliminating the only forum for dissenting opinions on the Governor’s nominations is taking the peoples’ voices away. This is especially true with this particular Governor – whose nominations are becoming more and more liberal and pandering to more liberal special-interest groups. Leave it alone Sen. Joyce!!

  4. Brooklyn says:

    Meeting less than once a week for 5.2 mins in 4 yrs is a real waste of $500,000. I can see why this councilor, Charles Cipollini , doesn’t want to loose this honey deal he has. He is crying now that he and the others we caught with stats. that just don’t add up for the TAX PAYERS of Massachusetts.. (They can’t be the only waste of Taxpayers money in this state. All you have to do is look.) Cipollini’s excuse for having this wast is that he and his pals are so busy having meetings, public hearings,research and answering letters. I’ll bet they have secretarys doing all this research and letter answering. It seems to me that the excuse of the Senate not working in the summe thus they can’t do what Cipolini and his gang does is BS. There aren’t too many public officals working in the summer. It is common thing for then to take long vacations then. Who cares if they don show up for the 5.2 mins it takes to rubberstamp judges. They are all crooked anyway.If a judge is needed to replace one of their own in the summer there are plenty of then who could respond. They don’t work 40 hrs a week either. Combind cases from one jusisdiction into several other jurisdictions. That would save money too.

  5. taxedout says:

    Another HACK Hide-out….Instead of cutting needed services for the blind, jobless, save some money for a change and get rid of this Waste of Money!!!

  6. CEO says:

    Brooklyn, based on your standard you might has well dissolve the entire legislature. They’re hardly EVER in session or do any REAL WORK on behalf of the residents of Massachusetts. That goes for our traveling Governor, Deval “Book Tour” Patrick who seems to spend more time out of state than in.

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