What a huge loss for the Legislature. Hochberg knew more about school finance than any other member, and yet he never used his immense store of knowledge to get the better of anyone, or to gain a partisan advantage for Democrats. He was a completely square shooter, and it is not a stretch to say that he was one of the very best and most trusted members of the entire decade of 2001-2011. For a time he had a close relationship with Pub Ed chairman Rob Eissler, but the R’s shut him out of the discussion in the 2011 regular session. He did play more of a role in the special session, but it was clear that he was tiring of fighting battles he was doomed to lose. He leaves a huge void that few have even a hope to fill. If there is ever a legislative hall of fame, he deserves a place in it.