The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance made the following statement today as Senators are expected to debate the IT Bond Bill, An Act financing the general governmental infrastructure of the Commonwealth.
Senators have already loaded the bill with dozens of partisan earmarks that have nothing to do with the Information Technology needs of the Commonwealth. The amendments, primarily aimed at helping incumbent lawmakers in an election year, would be paid for by borrowing. Taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for these election year earmarks despite record unemployment and an estimated $7 billion shortfall in tax collections. Below is a list of some of the greediest election year earmarks.
Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Earmarks $230,000 for parks and recreation improvements in the city of Methuen.
Senator James Welch (D-Springfield)
Earmarks $175,000 for the replacement of two hybrid vehicles and a warehouse box truck for the Hampden Sheriff's Office.
Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow)
Increases the appropriation for the Massachusetts public library construction program by $35,000,000.
Senator Michael Moore (D-Auburn)
Increases the appropriation for the replacement of state police cruisers by $52,500,000.
Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer)
Appropriates and earmarks $2,000,000 for the town of Hardwick to provide public water and sewer service for affordable housing and small business expansion.
Senator Pat Jehlan (D-Somerville)
Earmarks $2,000,000 for the city of Somerville to install triple glazed windows in the Mystic River Housing Development to mitigate the impacts of noise and air pollution.
Senator Michael Rush (D-Boston)
Earmarks $175,000 for the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department for the replacement of 3 hybrid vehicles and a warehouse box truck.
“Lawmakers are once again demonstrating to the taxpayers that their number one priority is to get re-elected. They will do anything—including bloating a non-partisan IT bill with partisan earmarks—to achieve that goal. Even if you think some of the spending projects are valid, an IT Bond Bill isn’t the appropriate vehicle to achieve that goal. What should be debated today is how to fund the bill instead of borrowing. Sadly, many senators prefer to add more spending to a project they cannot even afford to begin with,” stated Paul D. Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“It’s an election year and there is a pandemic so lawmakers are being clever in how they disguise their greedy earmarks. They will say it’s for their districts but if that was the case, why stuff it into a completely unrelated piece of legislation,” concluded Craney.