In The News
Rep. Peter Durant, R-Worcester, believes more ambitious legislation has been held up by lawmakers trying to put all those bills into one box. “We’re seeing bills that have many more pieces to them instead of just taking individual pieces,” Durant said. “Sort of an omnibus bill that has a lot different moving parts. That can be good and bad, I think we’re finding out that in a lot of instances, for any member there are bad parts of a bill, and hopefully the good parts outweigh that.” In the House, for instance, lawmakers had been busy passing a $1.1 billion tax relief package, but Durant said a change to chapter 62F that would give all residents the same tax rebates rather than an amount proportional to what they paid in income taxes gives the historic reforms a murky future in the Senate. “You had a large bill with a lot of good pieces to it, and end up putting something into it that Republicans and some Democrats didn’t like,” Durant said.
A proposal by state representative Peter Durant (R-6th Worcester) to suspend the state’s gas tax was shot down on Wednesday.
Durant asked for the $0.24/gallon gas tax to be dropped anytime gas prices rise to more than $4 a gallon and suspend it until they fall to less than $3.70 a gallon. Durant said he’s still working to push similar ideas forward, but was shocked some of his Democratic colleagues called it a "gimmick." “Some of the arguments they were making were that it would hurt our bond rating because the gas tax goes to a dedicated revenue stream,” Durant said. “What we’re looking to do is back fill that revenue stream with the surplus we have.”
For Rep. Peter Durant, affordability in Massachusetts is still a real concern. From the state house floor Thursday, Durant said Massachusetts is losing 1,100 residents a week due to the rising cost of living, along with the state' higher taxes. Durant says he's hearing it first-hand from constituents in his district, with some saying living in the Commonwealth is a burden. "One of the other things we talk about is housing," Durant said. "We see that the cost of housing is going up astronomically for renters, obviously interest rates are going up. That's adding to the difficulties in Massachusetts in our affordability issues. And that means adding housing, adding rental units, making sure that businesses can thrive, making sure that people who are out earning a living can keep more of their money." Durant says the tax cut approved by the House last week does take steps to correct disparities with the estate tax, the capital gains tax, and also adds to the earned income tax credit.
State Rep. Peter Durant (R-Spencer) told 25 Investigates it must be clear who should – and shouldn't – have police powers. “They need to have the training that brings them all to a level of standards that are acceptable,” said Durant. “We need to make sure that anyone who carries a gun, who carries a badge, has some core competencies so that the public can feel confident that they have their best interests at heart.” Right now, each city and town sets its own rules for special police officers, but Durant said he would like to see all officers working with the public in the community have the same training and standards.