The state budget commission appointed to help Woonsocket with its finances says it needs a supplemental property tax in order to make ends meet this year. Such a tax would need to be approved by the General Assembly, but the House won’t vote on it until it has the support of the Woonsocket delegation, which it doesn’t – local legislators would rather have a receiver appointed than add a new tax.
So, to make a long and politically complicated story short, three Woonsocket legislators hold the financial fate of the city in their hands – and there is nothing Mayor Leo Fontaine, the city council, the budget commission or to some degree even the governor can do about it … unless the House decides to vote for the tax over the objection of Reps. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and Jon Brien.
Speaking of Woonsocket, Bill Sequino is an excellent choice to serve as chair of the budget commission … He’s the longest serving municipal manager in the state and knows the budget process backwards and forwards. East Greenwich, where he has served for more than 20 years, may be known as a haven of conservatism but its local pols actually spend public money like drunken sailors (EG is again raising property taxes this year to help pay off debt service on huge spending projects) and then look to Sequino and his staff to make it all work.
Interestingly enough, Sequino’s former adversary on the town council, Vince Bradley, is now serving on the West Warwick School Committee, reports EG Patch.
No wonder Curt Schilling’s $75 million loan guarantee was so easily approved by the EDC – he was doing business with one of the board members who voted in favor of the deal. The Projo reports this morning that when the EDC was voting on the Schilling deal, the ex-Red Sox was also developing board games for Hasbro, whose chairman of the board Al Verrecchia was one of the EDC board members who voted for the deal. Verrecchia is also a good friend and close ally of former Gov. Don Carcieri.
The Patriot Ledger takes RI to the proverbial woodshed for the 38 Studios deal.
Ian Donnis on the efforts to reform payday lending.
It was a bad day for organized labor across the country … not only did Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker survive the recall election waged against him, two California cities voted to cut pension benefits to public sector retirees.
The good news coming out of Wisconsin: Democrats regained control of the state senate.