Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why does Providence Financial Condition Matter?

    I have written before about the legislative mistake /gift on the last day of the Rhode Island legislative session about a month back. In order to answer the growing complaint by some observers that the media and candidates Gina Raimondo , Angel Taveras and other candidates are far too focused on Providence . The refrain goes like this  "the Governor represents the entire state of Rhode Island  not just Providence"  while that is normally true , in this particular 2014 race, the next Governor will very likely have to deal with Municipal Bankruptcy(receivership) of several towns including Providence.
    Some might say "so what I live in a town that has no unfunded liability and is well run, I don't care what happens in Providence" .  My concern and why I believe the Providence financial condition and any prescription is critical for the Governors race,  has been heightened by General assembly Activity on the last day of the last session. This  is the bill that went through:

Senate Bill No. 2332  SUB A as amended
Chapter 358
BY  Crowley, Metts, Pichardo
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TOWNS AND CITIES - RETIREMENT OF MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES IN CENTRAL FALLS (Provides that the state would appropriate sufficient funds to the city of Central Falls for payments to Central Falls' city retirees of seventy-five percent (75%) of their base pension benefit.)
I believe this was a gift to unions and inappropriate and dangerous.

My warning  is as follows , every State Taxpayer now is at risk for Providence going under,.It is now clearly RI  legislative intent to use taxpayer dollars without citizen  consent to bailout the worst managed Towns in Rhode Island. For example , people in Towns with a volunteer or low cost Fire Department may likely be bailing out poorly funded towns or plans  like Johnston Rhode Island Fire Pension plan for a few hundred million dollars. Can you imagine being a volunteer fireman in South Kingston and being told you have to pay for or "pitch in " Johnston Firemen  retirements of $100,000 thousand a year for life? On what planet is that fair and just?
        There fore ,it is a fair question to all gubernatorial Candidates to ask if they will veto any attempt to use state taxpayer dollars to bailout any municipality or fire district or school district in order to pay retirements of those districts.

Here is an article I wrote previously on this issue:

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