May 27, 2010

The RI Public Sector Always Wins

Justin Katz

I haven't had a chance to review all of the substitutes that the RI House Finance Committee made to the governor's proposed budget, but over on the TCC Web site, I have explained the upshot for school funding in Tiverton. Basically, the General Assembly looks likely to bump up the governor's school aid number for the town, meaning that our 7.88% tax increase could have been 5.7%.

Put differently the local appropriation could have been not even $150,000 more than the Budget Committee recommendation that would have "gutted," "decimated," and "destroyed" the schools and had no deleterious effects.

Well, they're certainly not going to give the extra money back, so anybody want to wager what the $684,319 in "unexpected" money will go toward?

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Either teacher step pays or performance bonuses?

Posted by: Roland at May 27, 2010 11:18 PM

Well, the "found" money is more than 150% of the amount of concessions that the School Committee was even seeking prior to the FTM.

Posted by: Justin Katz at May 27, 2010 11:21 PM

Does this mean that the TCC and its dire doomsday prediction of no funding from the state were mistakes or were they poltically motivated BS?

Posted by: trip at May 28, 2010 1:36 PM


Trip, only in Rhode Island could an 8% tax high in the middle of a severe recession strike someone as not at all a problem.

Posted by: Monique at May 28, 2010 5:38 PM

No, Trip, it means that one of the three possibilities was realized:

1. Lower-than-predicted state aid and higher taxes, thanks to the FTM guarantee.
2. Higher-than-predicted state aid and an unnecessary increase in taxes.
3. Exactly-as-expected state aid.

We got number 2 (for now), and one can't help but think that the folks offering doomsday scenarios about closing schools, just two weeks ago, should have been in the best position to have some inkling of the General Assembly's intentions.

Of course, the General Assembly's budgetary promises have proven subject to revision, throughout the entire year, so we'll see what develops.

The point, as the title of this post puts it, is that the public sector (meaning those who govern as well as those who work for them) always wins, no matter what the outcome. The deck is stacked in their favor.

Posted by: Justin Katz at May 28, 2010 5:49 PM
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