Poli-ticks

Arlene Violet: What must they be thinking (if they are thinking)?

By Arlene Violet
Posted 3/19/20

Never have taxpayers spent so much to get so little. With a ten billion dollar plus budget the folks up on Smith Hill seem incapable of doing their respective jobs. Both the legislative and the …

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Poli-ticks

Arlene Violet: What must they be thinking (if they are thinking)?

Posted

Never have taxpayers spent so much to get so little. With a ten billion dollar plus budget the folks up on Smith Hill seem incapable of doing their respective jobs. Both the legislative and the executive branch are clueless.

LEGISLATURE-
The stereotype of being a big spender with other peoples’ money (i.e. yours) has never been  more evident in the Katherine Gregg story (Providence Journal, March 9, 2020) regarding the $39.3 million budget for the part time legislature. Lawyers’ salaries plus benefits burgeon. Salaries and bonuses skyrocket. Tens of thousands of dollars for food fests is ridiculous. Folks who are reading this who work know that their employers do not provide a trough from which they are fed. Legislators are paid well enough with their respective stipends, health care coverage, mileage reimbursement etc. Bring a brown bag!

EXECUTIVE OFFICE-
Just who is managing the state? It appears nobody, including the governor. As anyone knows who isn’t living under a rock the UHIP computer system still isn’t working as advertised despite a heap of good money after bad being heaped on it. Reimbursement by Deloite who sold this mess to the state is lagging.

The Veterans Home overruns are disgraceful. Despite the tab mounting higher and higher for its construction, the public learns (WPRI) that 23 doors have to be fixed so wheelchair residents can exit the facility. Taxpayers are dishing out $23,000 for a “study” by an architect firm plus there will be costs to actually fix the doors. QUESTION: Why aren’t the original architects on the hook to pay the mistake? Gilbane was paid whopping sums of money to “oversee’ the project. These people should be coughing up the money to fix the place. Residents have told me that there are other deficiencies that need repair. So-called leaders sue them and stop letting them get away with a poor job just because they throw trinkets into your campaign sack.
Now we learn that the state is $20 million short since the administrators appointed by the governor can’t count. For 6 months the state has fallen out of compliance with the requirement that beds cannot be more than 50 percent for mental illness cases in a facility, so the feds won’t pay. How irresponsible can you get?

These aforesaid issues come on top of the horrifying story of mismanagement leading to a child’s death by the Department of Children and Families. Poor families and elderly people are stranded by the state’s transportation program that is supposed to get them to medical appointments. Frustrations abound because of the incompetence pervading the system.

Yet, the “ordinary folks” seem to be the only ones who care. The governor is off campaigning for a presidential candidate following her job last year as chair of the democrat governors committee which also took her out of state and, well, the legislators are too busy checking the menu for the next meal at taxpayers’ expense.

Meanwhile, IGT and Twin River had an all page ad in the March 8 congratulating “us” for being winners since they both are on tap to get the lottery contract. But what are the terms? Maybe the Guv can stop jet setting and the legislators can put down the meals to let us know.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet

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