Governor Carcieri’s 2009 Budget

The Governor is presenting his 2009 budget right now. Here is the prepared text, the actual components of the budget can be found here.

This FY 2009 budget contains general revenue expenditures below our Fiscal Year 2008 spending, both enacted and revised. The reductions in this budget are necessary because our FY 2009 resources will be less than our FY 2008 resources. I am proposing sweeping changes to our State’s Family Independence Program in order to preserve the core principals of the federal TANF Program and increase work participation rates. My “Work First” initiative will encourage personal responsibility and promote family independence. I am also proposing major reforms to the State’s Medicaid funded programs to promote a person-centered, cost effective health care delivery system with transparency and accountability.
I am proposing efficiencies through reorganization of State government in four major areas, the Office of Health and Human Services, the Public Safety function, the Environmental function, and Advocacy for older persons and persons with disabilities. Concurrently, I am proposing efficiencies through the physical consolidation of agencies in order to reduce outside rental costs and better utilize state properties.

Concerning the last (efficiency through reorganization) I’ve only looked at a couple specific areas so far, but it seems like the efficiency is being done by eliminating upper-level positions (legal and business management types) and a few lower-level front office people. For example, in the case of DCYF, it looks like he didn’t touch the “ground troops” (case workers and supervisors) but did cut such positions as Assoc. Director, Legal Services (DCYF), the Deputy Chief of Legal Services and the Principal Human Services Business Officer have been cut. The Governor also mentioned eliminating the Coastal Resources Management Council and Water Resources Board and placing their responsibilities under the purview of the Dep’t of Environmental Management. That accounts for a reduction of 35 FTE’s and close to $5 million.

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16 years ago

Without examining the details, it seems that the governor relies as much on smoke and mirrors as substance. Something he has too often done.
Where are:
1. Reducing benefits and pensions to state workers and mandating that the towns do the same. Mandating 55 as minimum retirement age for police/fire. Ending the “disability” scam.
2. Trimming the absurd babysitter boondoggle.
3. Reductions in all staffing (police, teachers, fire, prison guards, judges, etc. to national per capita mediums.
4. Ending all unfunded mandates.
The numbers don’t seem to add up either. Look for a $200 million + supplemental 09 budget by next January. Can someone file a taxpayer lawsuit to stop the blatantly unconstitutional unbalanced budget.

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