Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Guv's Budget Plan

The Guv spoke to the "Newport Daily News" about his plan to cut $200 mil from the State budget in his "Media Tour" to bolster support for this. He plans to cut 1000 workers from the State payroll as follows: 150 temps, 500 from leavings or jobs not filled, "125 from the administrative workforce within the five state departments providing human service assistance, because the five have been combined under one overall director: the newly created health and human service secretariat," and the rest (225 by my count) layoffs (which will take at least 5 mos.). He's looking to save a mil here.
He hopes to achieve another $50 mil in Union concessions (I'm sure he's got his fingers crossed), and another $50 mil in program cuts slicing welfare benefits by raising the threshold & decreasing time length. Stupid you for being poor (or jobless). Plenty of jobs at McDonald's or Tim Horton's.
He also encourages departments not under his authority to cut costs. "Carcieri ruled out raising revenue through taxes, but did say the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has talked about possibly raising the toll to cross the Pell Bridge." Yes, that's great news for those who have no choice but to use it daily, inc. URI students.
He will not increase revenues. Uh, that's why he's vetoed Newport's bill to increase property taxes on time shares 3x. However, the Lege recently overrode this one (about time, too). Wonder how our Rep. delegation voted? Sen. Gibbs has voted for it & against it. Guess this was just one of the times she couldn 't make up her mind. Perhaps the Lege will even update its site to include a journal for Oct. 30 so that we can find out.
Regarding raises in his office, "(Salaries of $100,000) sounds like a lot of money to the average Rhode Islander ... but it's not," Let's see, the average household income in Middletown is slightly over $50,000, $40,000 in Newport, $55,000 in Little Compton, and slightly over $50,000 in Tiverton. Yeah, one salary over $100,000 not only SOUNDS like a lot of dough, IT IS!
Regarding the flap over his criticism of State interpreters, his thoughts now are that in non-court areas, "We need to have people come here and learn the language," he said. "We don't want to provide them a crutch by providing those services." Nope, especially if they're entitled to those services.
No problemo with virtual blackjack video games at Newport Grand. "But he said he would not support 24-hour gambling at the two slot halls unless the local community supported it." Hey, the line of an anti-casino Guv needs to be drawn someplace. He's done more to advance gambling in this state than anyone. File this under, "don't make me laugh."
I'm still wondering what happened to all those "Big Audit" savings? Yes, indeedy, the coming Lege session should prove quite entertaining. And we could have had Charlie Fogarty.
And thanks, to the "Daily News" for endorsing this man & giving us 3 more wonderful years.

Thanks to reporter Joe Baker & other Daily News staffers for the article.

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