NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 20, 2013

The hazy days of summer

(Continued)

Trying to follow our state government’s timeline: For some reason, the budget was sent to the governor before the Legislature sent him the bill to fund some of it. He vetoed the budget because it wasn’t balanced and also sent back the funding bill because it wasn’t big enough. Somewhere in there, he cut some local aid, which is sacred to many legislators, to pressure them to support more taxes.

The House and then the Senate were expected to take up this mess this week, either to override the governor’s vetoes or give in on a higher gas tax, or restore the local aid either way. No one yet understands the impact of the Internet tax on our small businesses.

Could we elect a governor with management skill next time? But good news: After state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, R-Taunton, paid the Patrick administration $800, it released information on how many EBT cards are carrying surpluses (nearly 1,800, with one account topping $12,000). Full disclosure: I and the other two Citizens for Limited Taxation staffers each sent her a personal check for $25 to help reimburse her political fund. Taxpayers need to know how much their generosity is being abused.

State Rep. Brad Hill, R-Ipswich, reports that legislation has passed requiring the taxpayer-funded MBTA retirement payments be posted, so we can better understand why we need transportation revenue hikes. It’s not all about keeping fares reasonable, folks.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., our federal government is still arguing about immigration reform. This week, the Black America Leadership Alliance led a rally Monday demanding that “our leaders reject amnesty, enforce immigration laws as written and support policies that put black U.S. citizens back to work.” Speakers included Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Elbert Guillory (R-La.) and former Florida Congressman Col. Allen West.

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