Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GOP Members Fight to Protect Local Aid

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. along with the entire Republican Caucus mounted a massive effort today to protect local aid as the House debated a bill that would essentially give the Governor power to cut aid to municipalities across the state.

“In July, the Governor signed into law a bloated $28.2 billion budget knowing full well that the budget was unsustainable,” said Representative Jones. “In fact, the Governor and his staff said the budget was $400-600 million dollars off. So, why was it signed? That’s the question I want answered. We in the Republican Caucus said no to this budget because we knew we couldn’t afford it.”

Communities across the Commonwealth depend on local aid to fund their budgets. Cities and towns are already making cuts to essential services in order to stay afloat. Cutting local aid would be detrimental as services Bay State residents depend on such as police, fire and education would see the chopping block.

“The most discouraging and disheartening part about this entire situation is that it was predictable and most importantly preventable. Out of control spending on Beacon Hill needs to come to a grinding halt. It is not fair to the people of the Commonwealth to ask them to sacrifice one more penny because of the Majority Party’s mismanagement of funds and misplaced priorities. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Legislature spent too much, the Governor vetoed too little and too much was overridden.”

The GOP caucus calls on the Governor and the Majority to join us in instituting real reform. We ask the Governor to eliminate funding for his Washington, DC office which is costing Bay State taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, put an end to his multi-million dollar Commonwealth Corps program and refrain from proposing and/or fund new costly programs and initiatives.

“The Governor waited too long to act and everyday he waited, the fiscal crisis worsened. Today, we are in the middle of what is expected to be a very deep recession making cuts to our municipalities and those cuts are going to sting and most certainly force layoffs in our towns and cities. That means more people out of work and depending on government programs. It is a perfect storm of financial disaster and the only way out is through real reform.”