The commonwealth is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. After years of spending beyond their means, the legislature can no longer pay its bills. As such they and Governor Patrick have been scrambling (although half-heartedly) to make cuts over the past few weeks in order to balance the budget.
Our cities and towns have borne the brunt of these cuts. And they were hit again recently when bus funding was cut by the governor. Yet the legislature seems to have no desire to make even the smallest sacrifice to help solve the problem that they created.
In recent years the legislature has overfunded its operating budget (no surprise there). So much so that they couldn't even spend all that they gave themselves. Rather they opted to roll their unused funds over, year after year until it amounted to 18.8 million dollars.
Governor Patrick decided to veto this excess money--a rare wise decision on his part. Why cut money that is going toward a program, when you can cut money that is just sitting around.
Unfortunately the legislature overrode the veto. Only 31 representatives and 6 senators had the courage and moral fiber to agree to cut their own unused funds in the interests of the state as a whole. This was far short of the mere 54 representatives OR 14 senators necessary to uphold the veto.
The $18.8 million would not have solved the crisis on its own, but it certainly would have gotten us a lot closer. More importantly, it would have meant less cuts somewhere else, like local aid. Yet the legislature refused to see past their own self-importance and forced others to pay the cost of their wastefulness.
Let's vote everyone out of office who voted to keep the money in 2010.