Keyes: It is time to clean up Beacon Hill
Falmouth, MA—Today in front of the Teaticket Market Tom Keyes, Republican candidate for State Senate in the Plymouth & Barnstable District, announced his Small Business Bill of Rights.
“Last month the unemployment report showed a net loss. Instead of adding jobs during the summer tourist season we actually increased unemployment. We have been in this recession for more than 3 years. It is time for new ideas and new leadership so that we can revive our economy. The best way to grow jobs is to encourage the small business community. That’s why today I am announcing my small business Bill of Rights,” said Keyes. “Small businesses create 3 out of every 4 new jobs. By passing my bill of rights the Commonwealth will be giving the business community the certainty they crave without fear of new regulations being pushed on them without warning.”
Keyes Small Business Bill of Rights
1. A moratorium on health care mandates for 5 years
2. Require one year notice before increasing fees and taxes
3. Require a one year adjustment period for all new regulations
4. Require a systematic cost benefit analysis of regulations every 5 years
5. Allow businesses to hire freelancers by revising the definition of independent contractor
6. Redefine small business to 50 employees or less. (Increasing the threshold to 50 full time employees will bring Massachusetts in line with the new federal health care law)
7. Require a cost benefit analysis of all new energy projects
“This bill of rights will send a message that Massachusetts is open for business. It will give small business owners the certainty they need to plan for the future,” said Keyes. “Tax and fee hikes can severely impact the bottom line of a business. It can be the difference between hiring an employee or the owner taking home a paycheck. Businesses need time to plan for tax and regulation changes. My plan will give them the breathing room they need to grow.”
Keyes points to the increases the Patrick administration is forcing upon vending machine businesses which mainly employ under 10 people per company. The Governor is hiking up fees on vending machines by 567%. Most of these small businesses which own 1000 machines will see their fees go from $3000 annually to $20,000. That’s a $17,000 increase. Under Murray’s leadership, the Senate rejected an effort to cap the fees.
“Clearly we need a new State Senator who has private sector business experience. I know first –hand how hard regulations and taxes impact small businesses. I can bring new passion and energy to help tackle our economic problems,” said Keyes.
In July the state lost 1600 jobs in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities lost 1100 jobs, financial services lost 1000 jobs, and other services lost 1100 jobs.
This is not the first major reform Keyes has proposed. Earlier in the campaign he released a plan to create more transparency within the legislature and state government. His plan includ
- End the legislative exemption from the public records law.
- Prohibit the passage of controversial items at informal sessions. Once a Senator or Representative has submitted a written objection to the respective leaders of their chamber, then that item cannot be taken up during an informal session. In previous years, Senator Murray tried to push through the controversial wind energy bill during informal session.
- Require the State Auditor to conduct a comprehensive audit of the legislature yearly.
- Stop the bundling of amendments. This will create more transparency within the legislative process and within our state budgets.
- End the legislative exemption for the Open Meeting Law.
- End the legislative exemption from the Fair Procurement Law.
- Require bills to be in print and online for 72 hours before voting on them. Last year the final version of the state budget was passed at the last minute. After it emerged from the Conference Committee, the bill was not in print for 72 hours.
- Subject the judiciary branch to the public records law for administrative records only.
- Require the Ethics Committee to be bi-partisan. Right now the membership of the Ethics Committee is bi-partisan but is dominated by the majority party. Keyes wants equal membership for the two parties. This will ensure accountability of legislators rather than partisan perfunctory investigations. As it stands now the committee is just a rubber stamp for the majority party.
- Prohibit legislative members from serving in leadership if he or she has been indicted. After Senator Jim Marzilli was accused of sexual assault, he was allowed to collect his extra pay as Chairman for months.
- Require that committee votes are recorded and published online.
- Prohibit felons from collecting pensions while incarcerated.
- Reform the public records law so the Governor’s administration and state agencies have to comply not avoid it. The Pioneer Institute has long complained about the lack of compliance with the public records law. “Simple requests can take a year or more to fulfill, search and reproduction fees climb into the thousands of dollars and government offices claim dubious exemption all leaving the public in the dark and denying their basic right to know.”
Keyes, 45, has served on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates and as a Sandwich Selectman. He has also served on numerous boards and committees including: Water Quality Review Committee, Sandwich Economic Development Committee as liaison of the Board of Selectmen , Cemetery Commission, Assembly of Delegates Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, the 21st Century Taskforce to review the Cape Cod Commission and draft operational changes to the County Commissioners, President of the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors’ Association and Board of Directors, and member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Selectmen and Councilors’ Association.
Keyes founded his private practice, Keyes Quality Systems in 1998, providing consulting and contract services in management, ethics and compliance. He and his wife, Melissa have two daughters, Madelynn, and Julia.