Did you see that legislative leaders on Beacon Hill are already floating another borrowing bill?
Eight months ago, the S&P Global Ratings lowered the Commonwealth’s bond rating to AA from AA+. Among the chief concerns cited by the credit agency were Massachusetts’s “elevated debt levels, and below-average pension funded ratio.” The most glaring practical effect of this downgrade is that it is now more expensive for our state to borrow money.
In this last budget alone, Governor Baker was forced to allocate $2.66 billion on debt service. One would think that now would be a good time to quit borrowing so much and begin working down our debts. Not so, Massachusetts!
Legislative leaders continue to stick their fingers in their ears and ignore the problem.
Their insatiable appetite for spending reared its head today as they floated an upcoming $3.5 BILLION bond bill to pay for what they say is basic maintenance on state and local government buildings and “local projects” (See: Pork Barrel Spending). This is on top of the $1.7 billion borrowing bill passed by the House at the end of January.
Our state budget has grown by 60% since 2006, but for Beacon Hill politicians it’s simply not enough. Legislative leaders want to keep borrowing billions of dollars a month to pay for earmark-laden projects filled with obscure pork-barrel spending. With all the scandals on Beacon Hill over the last few months, it’s the only way to keep their rank and file members happy. No amount of taxpayer money is too much for them to hang on to power.
We’ll have more on this as it makes its way through the legislative channels. Stay tuned!