May 19, 2007

Surprise: Budget Crisis due to Overspending

Marc Comtois

Nothing new to us.

Overall, the State of Rhode Island spent $4.53 billion in 1998, a figure that includes federal money and is adjusted for inflation. The governor has outlined a conservative spending plan for 2008 that will cost taxpayers $7.02 billion — an increase of 54.8 percent over the last decade.

The governor’s office largely blames the General Assembly for the current fiscal crisis.

“Year after year, the governor has proposed reforms designed to bring state spending into line with underlying revenues. Year after year, defenders of the status quo hold rally after rally at the State House to condemn the governor’s budget plans. Year after year, the General Assembly acquiesces to the demands of the unions and the advocates. And year after year, because we haven’t made the tough decisions, the budget deficit grows bigger and bigger,” Carcieri spokesman Jeff Neal said.

Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, dismissed the criticism.

“That’s a simplistic approach,” she said. “No comment.”

Um. I don't think it's really that simplistic, Senator. Though your "No comment" is...and it speaks volumes.

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The irony is the last time BOTH Houses of the Rhode Island General Assembly was held along with the Governorship was from 1939 to 1941!The last Republican Governor to have that advantage was the late William Henry Vanderbilt who served the 1939-41 term and was not re-elected.
The GOP has not controlled the State Senate in recent decades and the last time was 1957-59,.That was Dennis Roberts last term as Governor.
If I was advising the Governor he needs to go around the state and talk to newspaper editors and other opinion leaders about this problem.With Rhode Island's small size that is still possible.
I do not necessarily agree with everything the Governor does but the future of Rhode Island,I do have concerns about.
Frankly we have only five Republican State Senators out of eighty-five and only over a dozen Republican State Representatives.Seriously a Democratic State Senate Majority leader and Democratic House Speaker should be easily held accountable for the "leadership" of their members.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at May 19, 2007 10:46 AM

Clarification/Correction;We have a total of 38 State Senators and 75 State Representatives in Rhode Island.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at May 19, 2007 10:49 AM

Actually, Senator Weed, the "simplistic approach" is the only way to go. Fourth highest taxed in the country is good enough for most of us. In fact, we wouldn't mind going backwards on that list.

Posted by: SusanD at May 19, 2007 9:30 PM
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