Supplemental Spending Bill

Here’s the supplemental budget that our legislators are being asked to read, digest and pass this evening. I’m short for time and in a hurry, but here’s what I can gather for “highlights”:

Reduction of almost 300 Full-Time Equivalent Positions (ie; jobs cuts)
Amendment that essentially kills the future privatization of government services.
Makes the accumulation of “good time” easier for early release of prisoners.
“Provided that any family where an applicant adult has reached or exceeded his or her sixty (60) month time limit, no person in that family shall be eligible for cash assistance under this chapter as of June 1, 2008. This provision shall not apply to the minor child(ren) for whom there is a caretaker relative deemed responsible for the care of the minor child(ren) due to the absence of a parent.”
Removes medical assistance benefits from non-citizen children “who w[ere] lawfully admitted for
permanent residence on or after August 22, 1996 or who first become otherwise entitled to reside in the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and was receiving medical assistance on or before December 31, 2006.” Also REMOVED the previous $10,000 family income cap.
RITE CARE to families at 133% of Poverty Level instead of 185%
Health care subsidies for Child Care providers are repealed.
Council set up to investigate whether or to what degree Central Falls can contribute to its own education funding.
“For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008 the apportionments of state aid as derived through the calculations as required by subsections a through c of this section shall be adjusted downward statewide by $10,000,000.”
Limits the total amount of allowable “tax credits to be claimed against the state’s tax revenues [not] exceed twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) for tax year 2007 or forty million dollars
8 ($40,000,000) for tax years 2008 through 2017.”
Reduces the PUC from 5 to 3 commissioners.
No more “good driving” passes: fee = fine.
General Laws in Chapter 45-19 entitled “Relief of Injured and Deceased Fire Fighters and Police Officers” amended to be applicable prior to April 1, 2008.
Cell phone ban while driving is imposed.

UPDATE: 7to7 has a bit more and so does Ian Donnis.

Last week, when I took part in a taping of A Lively Experiment, Ron St. Pierre asked whether it was wrong for state lawmakers to take a spring break with the state facing such dire fiscal problems. Lou Pulner offered the best response, describing how the traditional last-minute passage of a cascade of legislation poses a greater concern.
Now, House Finance, on the second day after the legislative break, says it is expected to vote today on the supplemental budget. While a small number of individuals controlling the process is status quo on Smith Hill, it hardly seems to offer the chance for thorough consideration of the budget.

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16 years ago

Anyone know if the 60-month welfare cap also ends the notorious “child only” scam?

16 years ago

So as to maximize the number of dollars kept out of the General Fund, it is everyone’s civic obligation not to get a speeding ticket or moving violation.
Other questions in addition to Mike’s pose themselves about the funding of social programs – like, why sixty months to begin with? However, this is a supplemental budget for a fiscal year that ends soon. More tweaking will hopefully be donein that and other areas to the Fiscal 2009 budget.

16 years ago

Something for everybody! I suppose it could be worse … which is exactly what I think they’re hoping we’ll think. In other words, it appears to be aimed at reducing spending, rather than overtly taxing us more. I say “overtly,” because some of the spending “cuts” will likely have the effect of causing revenue (read: taxes) to have to be raised at the local level … robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Of course, even more fun than what we’re discussing now, is that the new state revenue forecast will be released in just under two weeks. If you think things look bad now, just wait (insert anticipatory glee). Lest ye think I’m hoping for our imminent demise, I’d prefer to think of it more as an “opportunity” for positive change.

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