Some Final Gubernatorial Campaign Wonkery
In recent debates, Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille has drawn criticism from other gubernatorial candidates for his answer on how he would decide where to cut the state budget, i.e. by asking for 5%, 10% and 15% reduction options from each department. But what Robitaille is describing is a straightforward and reasonable method for dealing with the unglamorous side of executive governance.
If you go to this page describing the staffing of the State of Rhode Island’s Budget Office, you will see a bunch of positions described in this form…
Roger Williams (401-222-xxxx)Each budget analyst is responsible for working directly with the relevant state department heads to develop a budget recommendation for the list of departments under his or her name.
Budget Analyst I
Department Of Attorney General
Department Of Environmental Management
Department Of Public Safety
Department Of Children, Youth, And Families
Rhode Island Council On The Arts
What Robitaille is saying he will do is instruct the analysts (via the State’s Budget Director, who reports directly to the Governor) to develop a set of options involving 5%, 10%, and 15% cuts, for the departments they are responsible for. Then, after options for each department have been created, the Governor, the Budget Director and the analysts will sit down to choose from and adjust the options, to develop the total budget for the state.
Independent Gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee, for one, does not regard the 5/10/15 plan as a substantive one, I suspect, because he is likely to utilize a different budgeting process — just give the unions and his other political allies whatever they want.