To expand upon the less-than-admiring budget review by Republican state Representative Patricia Morgan (Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) I posted this morning, here’s Pam Gencarella in GoLocalProv, noting one result of the General Assembly’s unwillingness to do what must be done to get Rhode Island out of the bottom of America’s barrel:
Mr. Stergios explained that the deal was sealed with Massachusetts because of a high-quality workforce, the highest quality educational system in the country, and a governor who has made clear that he wants a predictable tax and regulatory environment. Seems like deja vu for Rhode Islanders. A couple of years ago, CVS stood in front of the RI General Assembly and spelled out the four areas CVS looks at when deciding where to expand. They included all of the areas listed above, plus one more – available infrastructure (ie. quality roadways and bridges).
And what has RI’s legislature done in those two years to address the need for a high quality workforce, a high quality educational system and a predictable tax and regulatory environment? Our elected leaders have severely walked back most of the educational reforms that mirrored Massachusetts reform, they have sent the idea of predictability in taxation into a tailspin with the creation of a new stream of toll revenue, and now they have proposed a RI Big Dig with the 6/10 Connector. And, in creating one of the highest taxing states, legislative policies have driven much of the high-quality workforce out of state looking for job opportunities elsewhere. Although it’s really nothing but another government giveaway, in desperation, our governor has resorted to bribery in an attempt to keep RI’s graduates in the state.
Gencarella suggests that Rhode Island’s government officials should set their sights on achieving status at the middle of national rankings, such as for business friendliness. We all know how likely that is, though. Even pulling the state out of the bottom 10 would require insiders to relinquish way too much of their power and personal advantages for it even to be considered.
And unfortunately, the state government long ago resorted to bribery, such that a population with a large contingent who are bought off will keep attempting to protect their benefits, no matter how paltry, as the ship goes down.