Note to Self, re: Future Research
Here’s how yesterday’s Peoples and Gregg production begins:
Desperate to close the state’s largest budget deficit in modern history, former Gov. Bruce Sundlun did not wait for labor union leaders to come to his office to discuss the situation.
The Democratic governor went to them.
In 1991, several weeks after he was elected, Sundlun personally appeared at the AFL-CIO’s Providence office to negotiate a cost-cutting proposal to shut down state government for 10 days. The subsequent three-day shutdown and pay-deferral plan saved nearly $50 million over two years.
“That’s the only way to get agreement,” Sundlun said yesterday of the importance of collaborating with unions. “If you don’t let labor in the door, you’re going to get nothing but your head handed to you.”
I’m not so thoroughly caught up on my Rhode Island political history studies to say one way or another, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the components of Sundlun’s “collaboration” ultimately laid the groundwork for the doom and gloom that we currently face. It’d certainly be a question worth investigating.
Speaking of collaboration, one of the photos accompanying this story just begs for captioning:
“Could you fax us some language to put in the bill, George. I always find it nerve-racking to try to rewrite your legislation in my own words.”