Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tisei: Governor's Budget 'Doesn't Add Up'

Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei issued the following statement in response to the release of Governor Deval Patrick’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal:

Governor Patrick’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011 just doesn’t add up. Instead, it continues to expand government spending at an unsustainable level. The governor has yet to embrace even the most basic reform measures that are needed to bring state spending under control and to assure the residents of Massachusetts that their tax dollars are being spent wisely.

Last year, the governor resorted to rampant tax and fee increases to balance the budget, and it still wasn’t enough to avoid 9C cuts. The residents of Massachusetts are tired of being asked to bail out Beacon Hill when there is no accountability from their elected officials, but the governor still refuses to implement something as simple as a wage and hiring freeze to tame out-of-control government spending.

The day of reckoning has arrived. By some accounts, we are facing a structural deficit of as much as $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2011, yet the governor continues to rely on one-time fixes to bridge the gap between spending and revenues without undertaking fundamental reforms in the way state government operates. Why won’t he promote privatization by repealing the Pacheco Law, or move MassHealth recipients onto managed care plans? These are just a couple of steps the state can take right now to realize immediate savings.

Governor Patrick’s latest budget shows that after three years in office, he is still unwilling to make the tough decisions that are needed to ensure the Commonwealth’s long-term fiscal stability. We’ve had enough of the governor’s quick fixes and lack of follow-through; what we really need is a commitment to fiscal discipline and spending reforms, both of which are missing from the governor’s proposal.