As if we didn’t know who calls the shots in RI
So the long-awaited supplemental budget has finally made it’s way to the RI House floor. According to Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, “This is a budget where everyone shares a little bit of the pain.” Well, at least, that was the plan:
Changes are possible in the coming days, as evidenced by one reversal by Democratic leaders over the course of four hours on Thursday, a day characterized by closed-door meetings among the Assembly’s Democratic elite.
Fox shocked public-sector unions when he confirmed at roughly 4:30 p.m. that the budget plan would require municipal employees to contribute at least 15 percent of their health-care premiums in new contracts.
An hour later, AFL-CIO President George Nee vowed to spend the coming days “aggressively lobbying every member of the House” to reverse the plan, characterizing the move as “a totally unacceptable intrusion into collective bargaining.”
The outcome, according to Nee, could have political consequences: “This is an election year,” he said. “It could be a factor in how endorsements are made.”
By 8:30 p.m., Democratic leaders had confirmed that the co-share requirement had been stripped from their budget plan, a victim of a final round of negotiations among House and Senate leaders, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.
Nothing much to add.