October 11, 2009

The General Assembly's Persistent Free Pass

Justin Katz

It's one of those things that, once you've noticed, it's difficult not to see everywhere: How in the world does the General Assembly always manage to step forward as the great authority and protector without shouldering any of the blame or responsibility? Consider:

"Any way you slice it, [next year's budget] is going to have to focus on how we get the cities and towns to get by on less, do some of the same cost-saving things we're doing with state employees and do some consolidations," Carcieri said.

But several Finance Committee members said they want to see more of an effort from state agency directors to cut their budgets before the administration targets local communities.

Why isn't the governor making allies of the cities and towns by hammering again and again the need for the General Assembly to get off their backs with mandates and regulations? And why didn't reporter Cynthia Needham redirect along those lines when the Finance Committee members tightened the rhetorical screws on the relatively powerless administrators?

Whatever the case, municipal and school officials had best be doing some screw tightening of their own, because the state apparatus is intent on bringing them down with the ship.