RE: Governor Carcieri’s Big Proposal
Governor Carcieri this afternoon laid out a plan to “solve the state’s budget crisis” that includes seeking legislation to freeze all state wages at current levels and cutting 1,000 state employees.
Carcieri said the employee reductions would save taxpayers $26 million in fiscal 2008 and another $40 million the following year.
The state is projected to be in a deficit at the moment. Carcieri says his plan today aims at making “fundamental reforms” to avoid future budget problems.
The governor’s proposal, which is being announced now at a State House news conference, also calls for:
— Renegotiating the health-care plan used by state employees by increasing the co-pays those employees would have to make at doctors’ visits, emergency room visits and for prescription drugs.
— “Putting out to bid every state service that could possibly be performed more efficiently by the private sector.” The governor will form a Competition in Government Task Force to review services where that could possibly work.
Carcieri “ruled out” using proceeds from the sale of tobacco bonds — the state’s share of tobacco settlement.
“Being well run means having a government that delivers quality service at a price our taxpayers can afford, and which is sustainable over the long-term,” Carcieri said in remarks prepared for delivery. “That is not the case today.”
The move comes preemptively as Democratic legislative leaders prepare to release their state budget proposal tomorrow.
Sounds like the Governor doesn’t like what he’s seeing coming out of the Legislature and that he’s resolved it’s nut-cutting time. Signal: “Enough pussy-footing around.”
MORE: Governor will be on Yorke’s show at 5 PM. Back to you Andrew….
MORE II: Yorke is reporting that apparently the Governor tried to talk to both Speaker Murphy and Majority Leader Montalbano about this proposal but that they balked. So I don’t want to hear anything about the Governor “legislating by press conference” or not talking with the Democrats. He tried, they didn’t want to. Remember, this is a two-way street.