Friday, May 16, 2008

Cuts, Cuts, Cuts!

How distrubing it is to read of the sudden library shutdowns in Prov. (thanks, Nomi). Show up to use the library & it's closed. Hundreds lining up at 4 AM in Newport to try to get on the list to receive the paltry housing vouchers available (11-20) with almost 1000 apps rec'd (Daily News 2/20). The waiting lists had been closed for 5 yrs. & were opened only for TWO days. Meanwhile, we have apt. vacancies up the wazoo. Vouchers are a thing of the past, thank you very much. We want you in the projects (if there is room).

The Gen'l Assembly is posed to axe benefits for many- especially the mentally ill who get little enough (talk to me). You can save a million bucks by narrowing down their meds to the earlier, cheaper versions which often have devastating side effects. There are no generics. However there are newer drugs lacking the resulting dangerous consequences. So join the "ownership" society. You wants meds- buy them on your own.

May 1 the Senate Finance Committee narrowly approved the guv's supplemental budget proposed in the House. It would have killed it, but for Senate leadership (both parties) showing up to use their votes to assure its passage. Sounds like a bit of a revolt to me. Those exercising their Senate committee votes refused to cut unless the bowl of gruel was presented to everyone.

Aside from Senators Montalbano, Paiva Weed and Algiere, the Finance Committee members who voted for the supplemental budget include Senators Stephen D. Alves, Walter S. Felag Jr., Maryellen Goodwin, and June Gibbs. The "nays" were Senators Frank A. Ciccone III, Hanna M. Gallo, Beatrice A. Lanzi, Paul E. Moura, Juan M. Pichardo and Dominick J. Ruggerio. (Projo). All good Dems except for Algiere & Gibbs.

The full Senate approved the spending bill & shortly thereafter the Guv signed it. Eleven Senate members voted against it with 25 yea's. Those voting against: Ciccone, Gallo, Jabour, Lanzi, Maselli, Metts, Miller, Moura, Pichardo, Ruggerio, Tassoni. Hats off to you.

One more may Senate committee vote could have made a difference. It reminds me of our Sen. Gibbs telling me that her vote doesn't make a difference anyway, and sometimes she just can't make up her mind. This time her vote did make a difference & she did make up her mind. Less State aid, cut kids & families from health insurance, lower State aid to cities & towns, blah, blah blah.

“When you cut aid in the middle of the year … that can only lead to property tax increases,” said Sen. Paul E. Moura, D-East Providence. “We can kid ourselves that we’re not raising taxes, but we’re raising the most burdensome tax.”
Ah, but who pays any attention to the General Assembly anyway? Committee meeting minutes/agendas for the most part aren't even available online. But then they don't want you there anyway. It's all controlled by special interest groups, right? None of those groups consist of actual, you know, like people. Corporation PAC's and businesses seeking tax breaks, though, are okay & rarely make the editorial section.

Social net? The public good? Property taxes? Who cares? Blame rising property taxes on your local Councilor & School Committees. It's nice to know that a few care & get it. Keep it up, Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III (D-No. Prov.), Hanna M. Gallo (D-Cranston), Beatrice A. Lanzi (D- Cranston), Paul E. Moura (D-E Prov.), Juan M. Pichardo (D-Prov.), and Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-N. Prov.), Beatrice A. Lanzi (D-Cranton), Paul V. Jabour (D-Prov.), Christopher V. Maselli (D-Johnston), Harold M. Metts ( Prov.), Miller (D-Warwick), Paul E. Moura (D-E. Prov.), John J. Tassonni, Jr. (D-Smithfield).
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