Some Things to Expect?

Through email channels, I’ve been alerted to some items from the governor’s supplemental budget. I don’t have time to ponder them extensively, just now, but here they are:

Article #7 suspends any General Revenue Sharing payments for the current fiscal year: loss of $55.1 million
#17 freezes the tax rate applied for the Public Service Corporation (Telephone) Tax to stop further losses in tax revenue which goes to cities and towns
#19 creates a statewide health insurance contract which municipalities may opt out of if they can prove they’re realizing more savings under their own plan
#20 expands joint purchasing opportunities to services
#21 establishes a panel to resolve school-municipal budget disputes in any year there is a reduction in general or education aid
#40 establishes last-best offer, total package arbitration as the impasse procedure to resolve contract disputes with police and firefighter unions
#41 establishes several commissions to study and report on municipal public safety and other consolidations/mergers by March 10, 2010
#42 expands the criteria that arbitration panels must consider in rendering their decision and allows for arbitration awards to be up to three (3) years in duration
#43 removes all issues related to manpower levels and deployment from police and firefighter collective bargaining
#44 mandates a 25% health insurance (including dental and vision care) co-payment for all municipal employees and school teachers
#45 makes major changes to the Municipal Employees Retirement System and also affects private, municipally-administered pension plans (e.g. 1% increase in employee contributions, 50% disability pensions, min. 30 years service or age 59, 25 years service for public safety pensions)
#46 reduces on-the-job injury pay to police and firefighters to 80% of pay rather than 100% of their pay
#47 prohibits municipal employees from being sued in their personal or individual capacity, limits joint and several liability and eliminates the award of pre-judgment interest by the courts

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12 years ago

Well, that certainly looks like the bulk of it. But wait, there’s more!
The first item is no surprise to me at all (Monique can attest to that). You can’t “share” revenue, when you have less of it than you’re spending.
I’m very pleased with the ideas relating to reforming the collective bargaining/arbitration processes for municipal governments.
Some other things to expect will be relief from certain unfunded state mandates, especially as they relate to education. That should help offset the revenue loss to the cities and towns.
PS In East Providence, we’re “only” insisting that they pay a 20% co-pay. If we don’t get that, there are certainly other ways to reduce our labor costs.

12 years ago

Not bad.
Half measures-but all in all not too bad.

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