January 20, 2008

Budget Commentary on WPRI's Newsmakers

Monique Chartier

William Felkner of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute appeared in the third segement of today's Newsmakers to discuss the state budget.

Felkner voiced the thought of many of us that while the Governor's proposed initiatives in the supplemental budget are a good start, they may not go far enough. [Side note: there are rumors that his proposed 2008/2009 budget will contain more ambitious measures.] He touched also upon the generous compensation to be found in state and municipal employment, introducing the novel and daring concept of public sector workers receiving the same level of pay and benefits as private sector workers.

In this segment, look also for The Phoenix's Ian Donnis to explicitly admit to a cell phone addiction as he expresses opposition to a proposed $50 fine for the use of a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.


I think they're a little more than rumors. "Ambitious" may not be quite the right word, but I would tend to agree with your general assessment of what will need to be done.

If you think they're whining now over the supplemental budget cuts the governor just proposed to close the FY 2008 budget gap, you just wait 'til he releases the budget for FY 2009! If one isn't prone to increasing broad-based taxes, the only way you get to a balanced budget is by more spending cuts -- and lots of them. I assure you, they aren't going to balance the budget with $50 fines.

From a purely political point of view, I have an observation. May I remind everyone that the governor is not up for reelection, but all of the General Assembly is? Publicly advocating for hefty tax increases in an election year to close a budget gap which is primarily due to repeated bad spending decisions which have been made to appease a few vocal interest groups, is something that most politicians would do to their peril.

P.S. Everything is on the table -- even some things you probably haven't considered yet (insert cackle here).

Posted by: Will at January 21, 2008 1:23 AM

Lawyers and consultants? Haven't seen those put on the table yet.

Posted by: rhody at January 21, 2008 10:42 AM

Lawyers and consultants? Haven't seen those put on the table yet.

Posted by rhody at January 21, 2008 10:42 AM
EVERYTHING is (or should be) on the table. Lawyers, consultants, governor's staff, judges, state police, prison guards, JCLS and more.

Posted by: Mike at January 21, 2008 5:04 PM

Repeat, everything is on the table. I'm not saying they're gonna take a chainsaw to the budget, but it's probably not going to be good for anyone. There are going to be a lot of very difficult choices ahead. It's gonna be baaaad.

I don't think the budget will be released before or at the State of the State Address. Since they're almost always late late with presenting the budget, I don't see any reason why this year would be any different (especially this year). These addresses tend toward the generic.

I don't think the Gov is going to use the "Ship of State" analogy again -- unless a reference to "taking on water" or "hitting a fiscal iceberg" is included.

Posted by: Will at January 22, 2008 2:37 AM

>>I don't think the Gov is going to use the "Ship of State" analogy again -- unless a reference to "taking on water" or "hitting a fiscal iceberg" is included.

How about a "Titanic" analogy, with the union band playing on, the welfare lifeboats departing half-full and the Democrat General Assembly busily rearranging the deck chairs.

Posted by: Tom W at January 22, 2008 11:41 AM

"Democrat General Assembly busily rearranging the deck chairs"

... or actually drilling holes in the hull below the water line, in a few cases.

Conversely, Dan Yorke spoke to some legislators this afternoon before the Gov's State of the State who sounded reasonable and quite concerned. Let us hope they are the prevailing voice as the General Assembly crafts upcoming budgets.

Posted by: Monique at January 22, 2008 8:21 PM
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