Interesting Times in Rhode Island (and Wisconsin), June 6
1. The major national story is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his recall election, 53%-46% despite substantial efforts to unseat him from organized labor groups who oppose the budget and collective bargaining reforms he has spearheaded. The real message here is that there are still many Americans who don’t like to be told that there is a deep government, superior in certain areas to the governments they elect, that mere elected officials shouldn’t interfere with. This is a healthy attitude that should be cultivated.
2. And speaking of deep government, the East Bay Energy Consortium legislation that I wrote about yesterday was replaced in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee with a “study commission” bill which was then held for further study (Justin has coverage of this meeting at the Ocean State Current). According to a GoLocalProv article by Stephen Beale, Governor Lincoln Chafee is on record as opposing major enhancements of the EBEC’s powers in this legislative session, which makes last minute passage of the bill, ala what happened with 38 Studios, unlikely.
3. West Warwick appears to be in worse shape than Woonsocket, according to a Brian Crandall report from WJAR-TV (NBC 10)…
Meanwhile, the West Warwick teachers union president confirmed to NBC 10 that they have been notified by the school administration that the school department won’t be able to make payroll for the full year, that it will be two paychecks (4 weeks pay) short.From a fiscal perspective, one way out of this, following the example of Woonsocket, would be to put a budget commission in charge in West Warwick which could request an acceleration of state-aid to address the shortfall. Are there any others? It seems too late for a supplemental tax increase, given that a supplemental would have to be approved by the General Assembly. A budget commission, by the way, would also have the authority to reverse a decision made by the West Warwick school committee, which opposes school sports programs and voted to eliminate them.