Budget Moves On

The RI Senate has passed the budget 36 to 2. Again, “the plan softens the blows to some programs hit hard under the governor’s original budget proposal.” How’s that?
The Providence Journal report on last night’s House offered this noteworthy commentary:

Indeed, lawmakers couldn’t recall another budget vote that passed without a single “No” vote. The enormity of the challenge brought political alliances together like never before, according to Costantino.
“We are in very difficult times. We walk outside this building, we feel it, we see it, we touch it, we experience it,” he said. “With this budget we have demonstrated the resolve to tackle the issues of these tough times.”

One thing that statement ignores is the fact that there is distinct disagreement, across ideologies, about how one weathers “tough times,” and the utter lack of contention in these votes implies a false victory for those who’ve been pounding the rightward, taxpayer-based solution to our fiscal crisis.

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Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

One dares not dismiss the possibility that the Democrats who control the General Assembly have made a Faustian bargain with the union-welfare axis, e.g., “stand down until after the election, don’t run primary candidates against us, and we’ll take care of you on the other side.”
I sincerely hope that my cynicism is misplaced and that the Democrat leadership is truly becoming enlightened and that last night’s vote signals the start of a new and better era in RI. But it will take more than one good night to become convinced that we’ve overcome decades of special interest hegemony.
I am really dismayed the “Republican” Bruce Long from my Town of MIddletown seconded Savage’s post-Amy Rice amendment defeat attempt to offer a “Plan B” poison pill amendment to the Mayoral Academies bill. Amy Rice is a union whore, so one expects it from her. Long has no excuse – a pure pander to the teachers unions from a RINO. The RIGOP would be better off without Savage or Long – better to deal with Democrats who at least look children and taxpayers in the face while stabbing them, than to deal with “Republicans” who stab children and taxpayers in the back.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

One dares not dismiss the possibility that the Democrats who control the General Assembly have made a Faustian bargain with the union-welfare axis, e.g., “stand down until after the election, don’t run primary candidates against us, and we’ll take care of you on the other side.”
I sincerely hope that my cynicism is misplaced and that the Democrat leadership is truly becoming enlightened and that last night’s vote signals the start of a new and better era in RI. But it will take more than one good night to become convinced that we’ve overcome decades of special interest hegemony.
I am really dismayed the “Republican” Bruce Long from my Town of MIddletown seconded Savage’s post-Amy Rice amendment defeat attempt to offer a “Plan B” poison pill amendment to the Mayoral Academies bill. Amy Rice is a union whore, so one expects it from her. Long has no excuse – a pure pander to the teachers unions from a RINO. The RIGOP would be better off without Savage or Long – better to deal with Democrats who at least look children and taxpayers in the face while stabbing them, than to deal with “Republicans” who stab children and taxpayers in the back.

Will
12 years ago

Amy Rice is just dumb … like Patrick Kennedy dumb. We’ll leave it at that.
I have to defend my Rep. Jack Savage, but only a little bit. He’s not a RINO (by Rhode Island standards). He’s great on most economic and social issues from a Republican / conservative perspective, but when it comes to public education, he gets very squishy. While he is technically “retired” as the local educational jargon calls it (and collects a pension), he still actively works as a part-time principal in the East Providence school system (up to the maximum number of days per year allowed for “retirees”). Therefore, he still has to face and communicate with those in the public system regularly, as well as with the local NEA who run everything here (and not very well, as you might imagine). His wife is also a teacher in the EP system, and has been since I was in elementary school.
I actually watched the Capitol TV stuff, and I agree, Jack did not put on his “A game” (he’s a friend, so I’m being really, really kind). As Obama might say, “that’s not the Jack Savage I knew.” I’ll give him a good talking to … and an education perhaps.
Despite Mayor McKee being a Democrat, I think highly of him, and think his idea has a lot of merit, because it’s primary focus is on educating children better (imagine that!). Maybe Jack can be made to see the light.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Jack Savage is what’s wrong in this state.
When it matters most, when there is an opportunity to stand up against the single most destructive and ENTITLEMENT minded force in the state, the NEA, Jack folds like a typical chicken-shit Union backed political hack.
And defending him and his ilk is what keeps the whole mess rolling along.

Monique
12 years ago

“One dares not dismiss the possibility that the Democrats who control the General Assembly have made a Faustian bargain with the union-welfare axis, e.g., “stand down until after the election, don’t run primary candidates against us, and we’ll take care of you on the other side.””
Let’s be clear as to what this budget accomplishes. It is the first budget ever which is lower than that of the prior year. It also continues with badly needed pension reform. In that regard, it is a very important turn in the right direction.
At the same time, it does not abate our ranking as the fourth highest taxed state in the country nor does it improve our business climate. This is not to complain, only to point out that there is much left to be done in future budgets.
It would be counter-productive, to say no worse, if we failed to build on the small but important progress achieved this session and revert to our bad old ways.

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