Monday, September 27, 2010

Jones: Business as Usual on Beacon Hill

Boston – In issuing the following statement, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. called the last minute filing of a supplemental budget business as usual on Beacon Hill.

Other than closing out the books on the FY10 budget, I cannot in good conscience support rushing through the proposal polled out of the Ways and Means Committee Friday night and filed only moments before today’s informal session. The bill is 80 plus pages and some 134 outside sections.

While it appears that the list of items to be funded has been pared back it remains extremely frustrating that such little information is available to the full membership from the Patrick-Murray Administration about the spending priorities for this fiscal year. If the Governor had kept his word and filed a plan there would have been dramatically more information about many of these spending items.

The absence of a spending plan by the Administration highlights that this budget was, is and will remain out of balance despite Governor Patrick's happy talk to the contrary. Instead, today we are left with a lengthy document which is still changing, no direction from the Administration and the push to lump everything together into one mega bill. The fact that changes are still being made this morning by Democrat leadership underscores the point that this bill has not only been rushed but that members have not had adequate time to read and analyze its contents.

For at least today, the appropriate course of action is to slow down and allow everyone a better opportunity to review the bill and try to understand the fiscal implications as well as the needs of the programs and agencies it seeks to fund. The Governor can and should facilitate this effort by at long last filing a plan and sharing publicly information on where we stand fiscally for FY11.