Szczepaniak: Bunker Hill Day Holiday Good Place to Begin Budget Cuts
Tom Szczepaniak is calling for the state House of Representatives to follow the state Senate and eliminate the Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day state holidays. “At a time when our communities are about to be hit with deep reductions in state aid, cuts to local libraries and the closing of state parks, lets end these holidays for a select few in one county and save the taxpayers $5 million per year,” Szczepaniak said.
Szczepaniak listed a number of other programs and line items that could be pruned from state spending in advance of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations process. “With the loss of the federal stimulus funds and the already depleted rainy day account, we need to get serious about making common sense cuts now because the budget for next year looks to be even bleaker,” he said.
“The Legislature can set an example by tightening its belt first. Why do we need a House Committee on Personnel & Administration to dole out office space and assign staffing levels when we have a House personnel office which does the very same thing?” Szczepaniak asked. “With the federal stimulus program sun-setting, let’s get rid of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight. We can also get by with fewer court officers at the State House. These reforms would allow us to whittle down the more than $39 million for legislative operations.”
Additional budget cuts suggested by Szcepaniak:
Eliminate the Governor’s Council for an annual savings of $500,000
Cut $506,704 for the Suffolk County Social Law Library, the only free public law library which is closed to the public.
Cut $145 million for outside counsel services at state agencies.
End public subsidies for the Hynes Convention Center ($7.8 million) and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center ($10 million).
“The Governor’s Council is a colonial anachronism and I would task our state Senate with voting to confirm judicial appointments as is done at the federal level,” Szczepaniak said. “Paying for outside lawyers when each agency has their own legal counsel makes no sense either. As for the convention centers, they need to operate without taxpayer bailouts.”