Thanksgiving in July

Another day, 497 more reasons to be grateful Charlie Baker is our governor.

That's the number of earmarks the governor cut from the FY2017 Budget. Need more reasons? How about over 300 line items he struck?

The special interest groups are going to squawk. We'll hear plenty of belly-aching about how important and complete the Legislature's budget was, and how mean-spirited the vetoes are. But the truth is, the Legislature's budget was packed with pork. Because I know you like the nitty gritty, here are some examples of spending the Governor nixed:

-$50,000 for The Independent Film Society of Boston, Inc., for cultural tourism

-$50,000 for public art displays

-$30,000 for community sculpture

-$200,000 for a skate park

-$100,000 to replace a cast iron fence in Lynn

-$100,000 to repair a carriage house in Beverly

-$75,000 for outdoor furnishings and repairs at Magazine Beach

-$75,000 to study air quality at playing fields in Concord 

-$25,000 to celebrate the oldest man-made waterway

Were resources unlimited, some of these expenditures may make sense. But state government is growing faster than revenue, and good fiscal management demands we choose our projects carefully.

We share the Governor's concern with the stock market's recent poor performance. Revenues are unlikely to meet expenditures, and the administration is wise to plan for belt-tightening. Ultimately, the Governor must implement the budget, and his reasonable, measured revisions ensure a smoother-running ship of state.

MassFiscal's commitment to open government means we'll highlight and make available every single roll call vote taken on the vetoes and spending reductions. 

We’ll keep you posted.

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