March 16, 2012

WHAT DID THEY EXPECT WHEN THEY ELECTED ANOTHER REPUBLICAN?:

Et Tu, Chafee, Mi Fili? (Josh Barro, 3/16/12, Forbes)

Last fall, Rhode Island enacted a sweeping pension reform that other states would be wise to imitate. Now, Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) is pushing the state to enact mandate reform--eliminating rules that impose mandatory costs on municipal governments. Ted Nesi of WPRI remarks that Chafee's mandate reform agenda sounds very much like the one championed by his predecessor, Donald Carcieri (R).

Chafee, a governor often painted as the anti-Carcieri, is back at it, asking lawmakers to take another look at many of his predecessor's proposals: pension benefits, health insurance, joint purchasing, collective-bargaining rights, school bus monitors, "nurse-teachers," and more. (A pre-governor Chafee actually testified in favor of some of the municipal tools in 2010 - though, notably, he said lawmakers shouldn't touch workers' benefits.)

Chafee's pitch on Thursday sounded much like his predecessor's in December 2009. "I urge the General Assembly to pass the municipal tools articles immediately upon returning to session," Carcieri said. "There is no need to debate them again this year. Pass them and free the cities and towns to manage their own budgets."

Carcieri is a conservative, while Chafee was widely viewed as the leftmost candidate in a four-way race in 2010. Chafee came in with the support of public employee unions, but they can't be happy with the pension reform he signed or with the mandate relief proposals he is now advocating.
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Posted by at March 16, 2012 5:36 PM
  

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