June 3, 2011

To Whom Chafee Would Give a Refund

Justin Katz

Some last-minute budget amendments that Governor Lincoln Chafee has submitted to the General Assembly are telling with regard to his attitude and priorities:

In another budget amendment, [Budget Officer Thomas] Mullaney announced a "medical-benefit holiday" for state workers, that will spare them, for one pay period, of having to contribute to their health insurance benefits. ...

The reason: the state's numbers crunchers said they initially overestimated by $3.086 million how much the state is likely to need to cover the cost of the self-insured benefits.

So, in the governor's view, when the state overestimates the cost of employee benefits and budgets accordingly, it should in some way transfer the excess to employees. That's certainly defensible, and it might even be advisable, but then we move on a few paragraphs:

Asked how Chafee intends to pay for the 25 new DMV staffers and other additions to his original spending plan, spokesman Michael Trainor pointed to the recent upswing in revenue collections in the months since Chafee laid out his $7.66-billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. His new proposal stands at $7,753,482,420.

State budget analysts now believe revenue will run $53.8 million ahead of earlier estimates for the year that ends June 30, and $65.9 million ahead for the year that begins July 1.

That is, when the government collects more in taxes and fees than it expects, in the governor's view, it should spend every penny, mostly in ways that will build in the expenses for future budgets to, for example, pay for hired employees. As writer Kathrine Gregg goes on to note, the total increase in revenue projections is $113.3 million, which "could be used to offset the projected $331-million deficit next year."

Not if this governor has his way.

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Now this is the perfect illustration of the crack-head nature of our politicians. They just CANNOT manage money properly, which is precisely why we must fight every attempt on their part to take more of our money via higher taxes. They will waste the money!!!
Chafee figuring he can now hire more DMV workers, because revenues came in a bit higher is no different than someone getting a one-time $400 tax refund, and going out to lease a car for 6 years at $400 a month. This is insane!
Crack-head Chafee and those like him throw our money around because IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY! This is why we need to keep our money and not give it to them to pilfer.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at June 3, 2011 9:29 AM

Hellooo!!! Mr. Chafee!!! Is anyone home? Even with the unexpected increase in revenue, we're still projecting a deficit!!!

He wants to hire 25 new DMV employees. Does he realize that when they had 40 more a couple of years back, service still sucked?

Posted by: Max Diesel at June 3, 2011 9:44 AM

Is there a stupider guy on the planet than Governor Linky Chaffee

The guy has never had a real job and he has no understanding of the real world

Posted by: Doug Misner at June 3, 2011 10:20 AM

Even in benighted New York State, they can think outside the box a little for their DMV. For example, NYS has outfitted RVs as branch offices. They ride a circuit to town halls on published dates. Goodbye bricks and mortar and associated fixed costs for infrequently used offices.

Posted by: chuckR at June 3, 2011 1:29 PM

The DMV "business model":

Have clients go to a physical location during very narrow work hours, guess which line can address their needs, take a ticket for that line, and then wait 4 hours in cattle-car conditions to have their paperwork processed (all of which could have been completed and submitted online).

Only government could perpetuate such a antiquated system in 2011.

Posted by: Dan at June 3, 2011 2:44 PM
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