Monday, May 4, 2009

The Reformer is back.. Deval wants to take pension perks back from 10 law makers, is that all?

SO most of you have read about the pension perks for 10 former lawmakers that are being questioned by Deval. A law passed in 1950 allowed enhanced early pensions for lawmakers who lost the election or failed to qualify for the ballot. Cahill is involved with this also but is pleading ignorance and will not take questions from the Globe regarding whether Cahill should rescind these outrageous and unwarranted benefits.

The reforms that Deval has asked for include the elimination of past pension abuse. The House as you know passed their watered down version that allows many of these abuses to continue.

Now comes the Senate and Ms. Murray. They have to compromise the differences in the Budget along with the pension and transportation reforms asked for by Deval... the once thought of reformer. But he seems to be immune to his own mantra and still is hiring friends of friends in the Democratic party, at hefty salaries.

The senate is looking at a more realistic figure in the budget shortfall, which is a good thing. As we tread water the State House continues to be flooded with lobbyists calling in favors to those who have been endorsed or taken money. Entitlements like the Quinn Bill funding have been pared down, but are still in there.

This all will be played out in the coming weeks and you can bet, DeLeo, Deval and Murray will be under fire the entire time. Power struggles will ensue, partisan politics will play a bigger than usual role and unless there are serious cuts in the spending this year, 2010 and beyond will look even worse for us.

21 Comments:

At May 4, 2009 at 11:49 AM , Blogger abby said...

How does this work Jim? Does the Governer send his version back to the House so they can approve that instead of their watered down version? Or does he wait for their watered down version to come to him after it gets through the Senate, and then he has to use that version? And why did he just bring his version up now, why not before the House worked out their version? I want to believe Patrick wants to do the right thing, and I want to believe that he will not give in to what the House has sent up to the Senate, but not sure how this process works. Should we be contacting the Governor telling him we want HIS version? Contacting our reps seems like a complete waste of time as they never listen to us anyway.

 
At May 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Abb,

Your correct in saying contacting our reps will do anything. They already have done their thing and it wasn't what Deval wanted, not even close. That was when we were 2.5 billion in the whole.

Now, we are 3.5 billion down in proposed revenue shortfalls and the Senate knows this better than the House.

Senate president Murray will roll out something closer to what Deval has asked for in the past. It will hopefully include more spending cuts, before a vote is taken to increase the sales tax.

The compromise part of this will take weeks, the State House will be again filled with lobbyists and the entitlement crowd seeking no cuts at all.

The House budget version is veto proof but the Senate has a say in this. We don't have any say in this at all at this point and we just have to hope, the Senate will align with Deval and get something out that is livable, but it's going to be one huge ugly process and may not even be known until July 4th weekend.

 
At May 4, 2009 at 1:15 PM , Blogger concerned voter said...

I say we all contact Cahil’s office and ask him about this. Maybe if he gets enough calls on this, he will have to respond to the Globe. Playing dumb is his response? You would think saying you are too stupid to understand something a reporter asks you would not be a good way to portray yourself when you are running for a public office. Only in MA could being dumb be considered a political benefit.

 
At May 4, 2009 at 1:40 PM , Blogger Fred J. said...

My question is, where the hell did the reformer go? Seems to me he has been off message and off point for a very long time now. Maybe that vacation was not such a good idea since in my opinion, all the decisions he has been making since then have been faulty. Would like to think he is headed back to the man he told us he was when he was asking for our vote, but not ready to assume that until he actually proves it. His bad choices are certainly not helping the state, and the House's bad choices are certainly not helping the state, and I don't have much faith that the senate will do any better. We need one of those comic book super heroes to fly in and save the day here in MA, we seem more like the corrupt Gotham City from the Batman movies at the moment. But thing could turn around in this state if the Governor takes control and acts responsibly and ethically. Maybe he will do that in hopes of getting appointed to the Supreme Court by his friend, Obama. Guess we will just ahve to wait and see.

 
At May 4, 2009 at 2:01 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

We are in a pretty deep hole here in MA, and not sure that any one solution is going to dig us out, but if someone does not start making sound fiscal decisions, then you can be pretty sure this hole we are in is going to get a lot deeper before to long. This state is losing money every day. You know what happens to a business losing money every day? They file bankruptcy and close their doors. When a state is on the verge of bankruptcy, they get serious, cut pay, furlow state employees for mandatory time off with no pay, but budgets to the bone, and eliminate unnecessary jobs. Look at what they are doing in CA as an example. They are serious out there, we are playing a game here in MA and it is going to catch up with us if we don’t turn our attitude around, and do that soon.

 
At May 4, 2009 at 5:53 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I don't see Deval going to the Supreme Court... maybe you guys do. I don't think Deval could pass the congressional hearings. And there are some appellate judges who are female and would make the short list easier than Deval.

He's got to help us. He's our only chance in this one sided budget mess. I have to believe he's got the emergency powers hand to play here... as Fedup points out, look at what Ca is doing... even with all that bailout money.

Cahill will make more trouble for Deval with this pension abuse case as Cahill is in charge of the pension committee. Let's hope the Globe is around for another few months so we can learn more about what will come of this latest revelation.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 8:23 AM , Blogger Friend said...

Not so sure I would agree that the reformer is back? Did he actually ever do any reforming, or just talk about the need for it? Now I hear that he charged a whole bunch of meals and things to his campaign expenses when he was in DC for the inauguration. Was that the campaign for a Federal Post he was charging this to, something like a Supreme Court justice wannabe? Someone, I don't think my campaign contribution to him in his run for Governor of MA was suppose to be spent having expensive dinners in DC. Call me stupid, but I did not expect my hard earned money to be paying for those kinds of things.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 9:04 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Friend,

I saw that report on WBZ last night. DeLeo is doing that same thing all the time... and to hear it's not in violation of campaign finance rules is even more ridiculous. And I do believe I heard lobbyists have contributed 10 million so far this year...

And did you see Devals spokesperson try to justify those
3 thousand dollar dinners in Washington?

What the hell are these people thinking... wouldn't any one be outraged over this?

Deval has his back to the wall...
The Senate leadership is meeting with top economists today to see what if anything can be done with the new budget, now we learn we are another billion in the whole for this year alone.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Defeated in Fram. said...

We need more than a few reforms in this state, we need a sweeping overhaul of the system as a whole. Whoever he is meeting with today, they better know what they are talking about. Is this the first time he has actually reached out to people who understand this stuff for help? If he has reached out to them before, then they are not going to be much help at this point since their help in the past has obviously failed. The state is sinking in a quagmire of debt, bad decisions, and corrupt politicians. Maybe we are better to sink all the way into the mud, then at least they could not deny that things have to change! Patrick can pull us out of this mess if he acts responsibly, ethically, and wisely. Let's see if he does any of those things.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim you say we are another billion in the hole for this year. Is that after the new sales tax increase, or before that revenue is counted? And if it is before the revenue from that is counted, is that going to be enough to get us out of this hole we have dug?

 
At May 5, 2009 at 5:04 PM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

Really have nothing to say about this, except that the fact I have nothing to say is a sad testimony to what my expectations are for the politics in this state. Apathy runs rampant in MA and so we are getting what we deserve. Time to stand up and do something. When anybody comes up with a workable plan to do that, let me know.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 5:17 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Annon,

No it's before any increase in any new taxes. That's what the Senate is using for a fugure.

The plan... replace most of them in 2010, is what I propose.

 
At May 5, 2009 at 5:32 PM , Blogger Angry in Framingham said...

Patrick has disappointed one too many times for me to have any faith that he will follow through on this. But good information Jim.

 
At May 6, 2009 at 8:32 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Today Cahill announced he will not take action on those past pension abuse cases citing that Deval is grandstanding. The question still remains, why these 10 people who were not voted out, just resigned from office still get pensions at all.

Cahill is eyeing the corner office and is already lining up support from the patronage crowd.

 
At May 6, 2009 at 10:24 AM , Blogger new to blogging said...

So Cahil is not going to do anything, and the Governor is not going to do anything, and the legislators are not going to do anything. Who is left? Maybe they should do to those 10 people what the feds did to the people who got the AIG bonuses and embarras them into giving the money back (giving up their unearned pensions) or tax them so high on those pensions that they end up with nothing, and the state gets the money back via taxes. Hey, it worked with the AIG people, why not here?

 
At May 6, 2009 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

New... some news from the Globe today indicates that AIG is still paying huge bonuses over and above what we learned just a few months ago. 454 million above what we knew to be paid. It's a wonder those building shave not been taken over by rioting crowds.

Deval will seek as much legal advice as he can to get those pensions back... and look like he's doing something on our behalf.

Much to late in my opinion. But the election draws nearer every day and campaign donations are running high for Cahill, Murray and Deval. Not to mention what lurks in the background for the lonely GOP party to bring forward a suitable candidate.

 
At May 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Blogger Angry Voter said...

If we are short on the funding for the budget year that ends June 30th, do we need to make that shorfall up in the 2010 budget? If not, then where does that money come from? What about furloughs for state employees? Other states are doing that, and even some cities are doing it. Why can’t we say state employees, including senators and representative, have to take 1-2 days a month unpaid leave? Who do we send things to if we want to complain about the lack of forsite on the part of our politicians about seeing how bad revenues were going to get. Have they not been watching the news for the last 7 months? To not have seen this coming is a clear indication of how poor they are at their jobs. Either that, or they have been living under a rock somewhere for the last 7 months. Of course, they are pretty slimy characters so living under a rock, like snakes do, is not all that unlikely.

 
At May 6, 2009 at 3:36 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

I heard on the news that the budget shortfal is even greater than they predicted a few months ago. It begs the question, how do we know that this estimate is any more legitiment than the one they gave us a few months ago was? They don’t have a very good track record for predicting what is coming down the pike (no pun intended!)

 
At May 6, 2009 at 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that really the truth what your response says about AIG still paying bonuses? You have got to be kidding? How can they continue to not get it? Isn’t there anything they can do to stop this from happening over and over again?

 
At May 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Tim W. said...

Blah blah blah blah blah. They all say the same thing, and it all amounts to nothing useful. How can they be surprised by the budget shortfall? If that is true, they must owe everyone and their brother on their own household budget! But maybe not, when they need more money to pay their bills at home, they don’t have to cut corners like the rest of us, just give themselves a raise. Sort of like what they do with the state budget, they don’t want to cut certain things for political reasons, so they just find a way to get more money out of our pockets. Who are the idiots here, the people who are making the mess and reaching in our pockets to pay for us, or those of us who keep electing these people?

 
At May 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

True on the bonuses.. for AIG

not much is being done at the Fed level on this either.

The numbers are correct on the budget shortfall... and yes they did know much of this in November of last year. The hand writing was on the wall and easily read. You knew... I knew and so did anyone who was aware of their surroundings. But the legislature has always had their heads in the sand.... and yes, we did elect them.

Senate President Murray is fully aware and so is Deval, who are working on revised budgets now. This year is bad, but 2010 and beyond, unless things bounce back, will be much more devastating to local aid, education and health services. Look for some real drastic cuts in every part of State government and I have to hold out hope, Deval will cut salaries of the legislature.

I still contend, there will be small increases in most of the taxes to get the State by, unless the entitled sacred cows are put to sleep.

LaBoivce resigns today which may make matters worse as his replacement may be another lackey of Devals group.

 

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