Are you sick of living in an anointed dictatorship?
Every year the General Assembly rolls out some boneheaded decisions that we get to live with. This year “The Most Powerful Politician in the State” lost control of the wheel, declaring that the General Assembly had reached a “point of no return” and had to stay up all night blindly passing bills.
Why our legislators put up with giving up their power, swearing fealty and kissing the ring of anyone is beyond my ken.
Here’s a brief look at some of the foolishness…
$7.8 million in tax breaks for Ocean State Job Lot
The short version: because of the impending and yet unimplemented because there’s an election coming truck toll tax that will put a blight of gantries across our state, we taxpayers just gave Job Lot a whole bunch of money to stay put. This includes a $3.2 million job creation package over 10 years that gives Job Lot $7,500/year per new employee hired. Tat works out to $625/month per employee per job that we’re paying to create jobs. Whoo hoo! Let’s grow the economy. By the way, with a population of about 1 million, that means we’re each paying $7 to Job Lot, whether we shop there or not.
Who doesn’t like going to the beach and spending less money? Me—if the money from the beach passes was going to make sure that the beaches were kept pristine and beautiful, and to pay the life guards and crews. Yes, it’s nice to pay only $30 as a resident, but the fact that the law doesn’t take effect immediately means that the DEM had to come up with a whole “Season Pass Credit” refund procedure.
Even worse, we lowered the seasonal beach pass for out of state folk from $120 to $60 and the daily rate for tourists dropped from $28 to $14. Really? You mean that having tourists pay less to go to our awesome beaches is a good thing? Anyone who’d rather save $14 than go to East Matunuck deserves a beach vacation in Connecticut. Are we trying to curry favor with the cheapskate tourists?
$100,000 to Protect Mattiello’s Interests
Yes, $100,000 of our tax dollars are going to fight an ACLU Lawsuit which argues that prisoners at the ACI shouldn’t count as voters in Mattiello’s district, because they can’t vote there. In other words, our Anointed Dictator, who has amassed a huge campaign war chest because he’s such a great guy, actually needs fewer votes to get elected than every other legislator in the state.
Providence to Newport Ferry… Starting… NOW!
All of a sudden it seems that there’s going to be a Providence to Newport Ferry. This year. Starting July 1 the 45-60 minute trip will cost $10 each way and $20 round trip. This is very, very cool.
What’s a little bit odd, in my opinion, is that we’re taking $500,000 in funding from the US Department of Transportation, passing it through the RI DOT, and paying the Seastreak company to run the service. Are any profits from the service (and its bar) rolling back into to the state coffers? According to the Providence Journal, the state hasn’t set any ridership targets, so we won’t know if it’s successful or not.
In a state that’s trying to promote tourism, having this information out and available when tourists began making plans in say February or even June would have been a nifty idea. The website wasn’t even up last week, but now it says that there’s going to be “Complimentary shuttle bus service between the Providence train station, convention center, downtown, and the Providence to Newport ferry terminal.” Also, the last ferry leaves Providence at 6pm or Newport at 7:15, so nobody’s going to be staying for dinner…
It’s a nice idea, but the last-minute execution could be cooler. Or warmer.