State Government

But What About the Other Campaign Promises of Gov-Elect Chafee?

By Monique Chartier | December 3, 2010 |

Governor-Elect Chafee has declined to reconsider his decision to rescind Governor Carcieri’s Executive Order 08-01 (pdf) on the grounds that he cannot back away from a promise that he made during the campaign. After looking over some of Mr. Chafee’s other campaign promises, I’m excited to hear this – at least, his grounds for doing…

The Governor-Elect and his Transition Team Decline to Answer Anchor Rising’s Civics Questions, Citing Disagreement with Their Premises

By Carroll Andrew Morse | November 30, 2010 |

I submitted the Anchor Rising list of Gubernatorial civics questions to the transition team of incoming Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee — who, you may recall, stated during his campaign that “Rhode Island state government must be open, accessible, and accountable to its citizens” — and asked if the Governor-elect would be willing to sit…

King on Pensions

By Justin Katz | October 26, 2010 |

Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me that there’s a huge conceptual flaw in general treasurer candidate Kerry King’s pension solution: “We have a crazy system of 150 pension plans, which makes no sense at all,” he said. “We need to bring all these plans together.” That would put all government employees into…

The Little Policy Details That Say So Much

By Justin Katz | April 14, 2010 |

Sometimes, in the noise and rancor of politics and budgeting, one’s attention becomes monopolized by particular details. Consider the following: [The state’s public-employee unions’] chief target: a proposal to limit annual pension increases to the first $35,000 in retirement pay initially. The $35,000 would go up each year, in keeping with the Consumer Price Index,…

A Familiar Tale in New Jersey

By Justin Katz | March 5, 2010 |

A recent speech by New Jersey’s new Republican Governor, Chris Christie, to that state’s League of Municipalities sounds some strikingly familiar chords: Our citizens are already the most overtaxed in America. US mayors hear it all the time. You know that the public appetite for ever increasing taxes has reached an end. So when we…

A Glimpse of Competitive Possibilities

By Justin Katz | January 22, 2010 |

I’ve been meaning to note this little clue of a possible reality under a more rational government: One effect of the recession, however, was a fall-off in private construction that left contractors hungry for work. They moved into government construction work, competing with the contractors who usually do those jobs, driving prices down. The result,…

RE: Budget Misery – Moderate Solutions

By Marc Comtois | January 6, 2010 |

Over at the FrumForum (a moderate Republican blog run by David Frum) Eli Lehrer explains: Many of the biggest budget items for states—Medicaid, bond payments, pension obligations to retirees—are virtually impossible to reduce. Big , broad-based tax increases, although difficult to avoid under many states’ balanced budget laws, will simply discourage investment and growth. Without…

Budget Misery and the Government Payroll Economy

By Marc Comtois | January 6, 2010 |

Rhode Island is not alone in facing budget deficits as many other states (if not most) are in the same predicament. As a recent study by the Cato Institute shows, a lot of the deficit problems stem from generous public employee compensation packages. State and local governments face large budget deficits as revenues have stagnated…

Is a New Way for Labor to Limit the Options of School Committees in the Legislative Works?

By Carroll Andrew Morse | January 3, 2010 |

The Rhode Island General Assembly has posted the list of bills from the 2009 session vetoed by the Governor that will be considered for overrides. The House’s list is available here, the Senate’s list is available here. One bill (passed unanimously by both houses in the last week of the regular session) scheduled for an…

Morfessis Withdraws as EDC Director

By Carroll Andrew Morse | December 30, 2009 |

WPRO news (630AM) and Projo 7-to-7 are reporting that Ioanna Morfessis has withdrawn herself from the Directorship of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, citing a family medical concern.