Another Unlikely Budget Provision

I’m surprised nobody else has highlighted this provision noted in the Providence Journal’s summary of the RI House Finance Committee’s supplemental budget plan:

The budget would also change a school funding “maintenance of effort” provision that requires cities and towns to provide at least as much local money for school as was provided the year before. Instead, cities and towns would be able to cut that amount by 5 percent for the current year only.

Maybe it’s only because I’m up to my ears in budget details for Tiverton, but I’d say this is among the most significant changes that I’ve heard proposed, which is why I’ll be very, very surprised if it makes it into law. Requiring town councils to approve teacher contracts is also significant and unlikely to make it into law.
On a different note, I have to say that I’m still not a fan of mandating health coshare percentages. All we’re doing by pushing these changes up to the state level is increasing the power of the General Assembly and consolidating the target for which the unions have to shoot. As grassroots reformers, we’d do much better to concentrate on local elections and make the contractual changes where they belong: within the cities and towns.
Lastly, every time the General Assembly mucks with one of the governor’s proposed budgets, the same dynamic applies: They reduce the hit to everybody, and the game becomes finding out where they’re getting the money from; that’s the hand that they don’t want us to watch in their magic trick. In the current case, this appears to be it:

Budget hawks, meanwhile expressed concern that the package included a measure to “reamortize” the state retirement system’s $4.3 billion in unfunded pension liabilities over 25 years, a move akin to refinancing a mortgage that costs less now, but more over the long term. The state had been in the ninth year of a 30-year plan to pay off the massive debt.
The overall cost to taxpayers is $2.2 billion, according to House fiscal adviser Sharon Reynolds Ferland.

All they’ll be doing, with such a strategy, is making Rhode Island’s inevitable judgment day even more painful.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tim
Tim
11 years ago

But here’s the beauty in all this Justin. Judgement day for Rhode Island will come at the expense of the moocher and looter above all others. It amuses me to no end how the union pigs fight so hard to keep the current pension system in place.
In essence they’re fighting to cut their own throats.
If I were a state employee I’d be demanding a change in the system that would allow me access to/control of my pension funds. I would want to be in position to have hands on control my retirement funds.
These knuckleheads actually think no matter what happens to RI’s bond rating, economy and Wall Street they are getting their pension checks. lol
Uh no!
Their refusal to see the world as it really is not only puts active state employees at risk but also current retirees.
My only question is who will howl the loudest, residents at the Villages in Florida when the mailbox is empty day after day after day or folk like you and me laughing hysterically as the piggish bloated union chickens come home to roost.
Honestly hoping for this freak show sooner rather than later.
What fun!
Vote Patrick Lynch

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.