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Keller @ Large: State Sen. Baddour Talks Beacon Hill Politics

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State Sen. Steven Baddour

State Sen. Steven Baddour

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BOSTON (CBS) – Lawmakers on Beacon Hill have been busy debating everything from the casino bill to immigration reform.

WBZ’s Jon Keller recently sat down with State Sen. Steven Baddour (D-Methuen) to discuss the issues.

Lawmakers were debating an amendment to the casino bill last week that would require legislators a certain number of years before seeking employment with the new gambling facilities that are coming to Massachusetts.

Then, Sen. President Terese Murray called off the debate. What happened next?

Part 1:

“The debate was getting heated, and at one point, there was a lot of animosity, and it was getting to a point where it wasn’t the collegial branch,” said State Sen. Baddour. “She banged that gavel to bring people back into the caucus, to calm people down, to remember that we’re here to have a debate. It’s not about personality, it’s about sort of moving an issue forward. In the end, we compromised, and we came up with a ban that’s across the board in all agencies for one year consistently throughout the law.”

Why not five years, as originally discussed?

“Because the law right now in every other area of politics and government is a one-year ban. We spend a lot of money in health care, bio, there’s a one-year ban in those areas. Why make casinos any different?” said State Sen. Baddour.

Will this combat the image of political corruption on Beacon Hill?

Part 2:

“We do have to address the issue of the corruption that’s happened in the last three or four years, but at the same time, we just can’t paint a broad brush, and somehow sort of convict everyone who runs for political office. There are good people that care about the Commonwealth and care about the district that they represent. They’re not gonna be there for life. There needs to be opportunities when you leave the legislature, and it shouldn’t be sort of a closed door,” said State. Sen. Baddour.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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