The Fight Moves Outward
The General Assembly will no doubt search for tricks and methods of denial, but the state is going to have to continue cutting its budget, and according to the Providence Business News, Governor Carcieri is looking toward the cities and towns:
The state budget would be balanced by cuts in spending for local education, aid to cities and towns, one-time land sales that include the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and other savings, under a plan Gov. Donald L. Carcieri was expected to submit on Tuesday.
The amount in reimbursements for vehicle excise taxes that the state would keep for its own use would go up to $65.1 million (having previously been about half that, as I recall). School districts would also see a $41 million cut, offset in part by the end of cost-of-living adjustments for pensions.
In general, sending the fight out to the cities and towns is a positive development, from a taxpayer perspective, because it’s easier for engaged residents to rally against entrenched forces at that level. The missing components, however, are statewide regulations and mandates, which limit what municipalities can do and which restrict economic activity.