UPDATED: The Governor’s Proper Stance

Governor Carcieri struck the right notes on budget deliberations in his op-ed yesterday:

THE STATE BUDGET plan for fiscal year 2010 passed by the House Finance Committee is not a plan to lift our state out of this economic malaise. It lacks a coherent policy and strategy to move our state forward.
My budget, which I submitted back in February, proposed a clear strategy to move Rhode Island in the right direction and offered real solutions to pension reform, economic development, tax reform, education and municipal spending. …
My budget proposal made new investments in education and economic development, and included significant tax reforms for individuals and businesses. These changes would send a loud and clear message that we are serious about growing jobs in our state, and that we are serious about improving our children’s education. Our early- literacy programs and charter schools are having great success, especially in the urban districts, and we need to continue investing in them.
The House budget eviscerates these critical investments and sends a message that we don’t care about jobs, economic development or our urban children.

For too long (probably), the governor allowed an aura of comity and cooperation to serve as cover for the General Assembly’s mismanagement. The message from here on out has to be that Rhode Island’s problems legislators’ doing.
ADDENDUM 6:09 p.m.
George rightly snaps me out of the Rhode Island fog that had drifted over me somewhat with the rainy days: The governor could have been much more vociferous and prominent in declaring that there should be no changes to his budget. Every day in the news. Once a week outside the State House with a bullhorn.

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George
George
11 years ago

“My budget, which I submitted back in February, proposed a clear strategy to move Rhode Island in the right direction and offered real solutions to pension reform, economic development, tax reform, education and municipal spending. …”
Then why didn’t you fight for it?
Too late for whining.

Will
11 years ago

I’m sure he could have used the bully pulpit if he really thought it would make a difference in the end result. Given that he has very few troops behind him in the General Assembly, it’s almost a pointless exercise. I hate to be so pessimistic, but there is virtually nothing coming out of the General Assembly that lends itself to optimism.
The current budget plan is a joke. I think he needs to be a little clearer about letting people know it’s not his budget, if for anything, to avoid any blame from the public when the state goes into freefall (yeah, it can get worse … and almost certainly will). It’s still my hope that he will veto the budget, even if the veto is largely symbolic.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Does anybody else think The Don has given up on Rhode Island and become more interested in doing the talk show circuit (Billo, 700 Club)?
I never used to believe he had ambitions beyond Rhode Island, but I’m being proved wrong.

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