|Senator Jack Donahue Newsletter - Where To Start|
|Friday, December 17 2010 - 11:50 am|
The issues are very large and there are plenty of them. Let me give you a few samples.
If you keep up with my updates, you know that the State must cut $1.6 billion out of the budget. It is a daunting task because the only “accessible” money is $2.6 billion which presently funds Higher Education, Healthcare and some other items.
Several groups have sprung up around the State who wants to work to find ways to save Higher Education. I believe that the Higher Ed system is broken and is not capable of fixing itself. What is needed is an outside influence, in a leadership role, to step in and help correct the system. In the absence of any other leadership, private individuals are stepping up.
The hospitals on the North Shore are faring terribly in the present health care system. Our hospital Medicaid per diem rates are much less than the hospitals on the South Shore and our doctors also receive lesser reimbursements than do physicians on the South Shore for the same procedures. The provider rate cuts are making it very difficult for our medical facilities to furnish the kind of quality care to which we have grown accustomed. We need to support our medical community in their fight to receive proper reimbursements.
One Senator has already announced his support for the return of the Stelly Tax, and the increased revenue would be used to help fund higher Education.
Friday, another senator announced support for a cigarette tax whose revenue would be used to help stave off the increasing cost in the healthcare.
Both are well meaning Senators who are looking for ways to help the State get through the budget crunch, but I do not believe that increased taxes are the answer.
Through Streamlining the Legislature passed a bill reducing the number of state government employees by 5% per year for the next three years. Over a three year period it will save a billion dollars.
Why hasn’t this process started?
The bright spot is the people of our great state. I am beginning to see their involvement in the issues, and part of our job, as elected officials, is to keep them working so that we can find solutions to our problems.
I am optimistic that we will come out of these financial challenges as a stronger and better state where our kids can grow and prosper. Please get involved by letting me know your thoughts on these critical issues by emailing me:
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.