Trying to Keep Up with a Fluid Government
A very tight ’round-the-state schedule today made attending the Tiverton Town Council meeting difficult, but there was an item on the agenda that I very much wanted to follow:
Discussion with Honorable Representatives Jay Edwards and John Loughlin III and Honorable Senators Walter Felag, Jr. and Louis DiPalma Regarding the Governor’s Proposed Cut in Aid to Cities and Towns and Relief from Mandates.
Granted, I was about 25 minutes late, but the item was well into the second page of the agenda. Even so, the state representative discussion was well under way by the time I got through the door. Sounds like the council blew through the early parts of the agenda.
Councilor Jay Lambert is asking the legislators some big-picture questions about the supplemental budget and his impression that the General Assembly is “tiptoeing” around the reasons Rhode Island is in its current position. His suggestions are regionalization
and full state funding of schools, both of which are certainly not as straightforward as he appears to believe.
Councilor Ed Roderick observed the difficulty of budgeting without knowledge of the likely cuts in state aid.
Councilor Louise Durfee asked whether the town will have a number for next year’s aid by the time of our financial town meeting. Senator Felag is explaining that no numbers will be available at that point.
Louise Durfee just stated that many people are thinking about entering the financial town meeting and immediately moving to recess until July so as to deliberate with accurate numbers.
Councilor Joanne Arruda is seconding the underlying notion.
Rep. Loughlin, with concurrence of his peers, just put the time frame for passing a supplemental budget in March or April — as the state bleeds millions of dollars per week!
Jay Lambert just asked about a Curuolo-related provision in the budget, and the two Democrat legislators at the table looked to John Loughlin. Said Rep. Jay Edwards, “He’s your governor.”
Oddly, I’d been under the impression that he was the governor of the entire state.
Jay Edwards has remained behind for the next item on the agenda, which is his House bill (H-5200), naming the Sakonnet River Bridge after local son Christopher Potts, who died in Iraq a few years ago.
The town council passed a resolution to support Rep. Edwards’s bill. Voting against was Louise Durfee and Hannibal Costa.