Ah, yes. The Massachusetts Republican.
Last week, when the state Senate passed as much as $50 million in new fees, every Republican member — all seven of them — in the chamber voted for them.
Raising underlying fees at the registry of deeds, for transactions like recording a mortgage? Check.
Raising a surcharge at the registry to support community preservation? Check.
Imposing a $2 fee on each car rental to support municipal police training? Check.
No Senate Democrats voted against the fee increases. But if those GOP votes on state budget amendments seem at odds with the image that state Republicans often try to project — they are.
“We support a moratorium on new, nonemergency state regulations, fee increases, and business taxes,” the updated 2018 state party platform reads.
The Globe asked Senate Republicans — Donald F. Humason Jr., Richard J. Ross, Vinny M. deMacedo, Ryan C. Fattman, Patrick M. O’Connor, and Dean A. Tran — about that dissonance. Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr responded in a lengthy statement.
He said Senate Republicans have been “relentless” in seeking proper funding for police training through many initiatives that have been rejected or haven’t gotten law enforcement the necessary funding. And public safety through that training must prevail over other considerations.
He did not say why the roughly $8 million (with-an-M) that new car rental fee is projected to bring in annually couldn’t be found in the nooks and crannies of a $41.5 billion (with-a-B) budget without imposing a new fee.
On the proposed new surcharge to support the Community Preservation Act, which would boost parks and open spaces, affordable housing, and historic preservation, Tarr said Republicans have worked to limit the size of the increase.
“Our fiscal conservatism guides us, but does not blind us, to finding practical solutions for important priorities,” he said.
For his part, deMacedo, of Plymouth, said he doesn’t believe in “adhering to political principles to the detriment of my constituents,” that funding for police training is key, and community preservation efforts in the state and in his district have been “incredibly successful” and are worthy of more financial support.
The House of Representatives passed a different bill that would also impose the car rental fee to support police training. Many Republican representatives voted with their Democratic colleagues for that, too.
The House-passed budget did not include the other fee hikes in the Senate-passed budget, so their future is unclear.Joshua Miller can be reached at email@example.com.