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Romney’s Vetoes Target Our Communities

          by John Andrews

Governor Mitt Romney expressed satisfaction with the drastic cuts made to state programs by the Massachusetts Legislature. “I commend you for completing this budget in a timely manner without raising taxes and without using our dwindling Stabilization Fund reserves” he wrote in a June 30 letter to legislators. However, the $2 billion in cuts made by the Legislature were not quite enough, so Romney decided to veto an additional $201 million “to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2004 budget is balanced and that we maintain a more sustainable level of government spending.”

A partial list of the Governor’s vetos are printed below. Take a look. They hit the environment, veteran’s, senior citizens, the handicapped, the mentally ill, health care, libraries, housing, job training, and education. These cuts may only add a small fraction to the damage that has been done by the Legislature, but they show the ways in which healthy communities are being undermined by the “no new taxes” politicians on Beacon Hill.

And here is a challenge for the reader: Find a veto that places a burden upon the venture capitalists who wrote all those $500 checks for Governor Romney’s election campaign. Then estimate how much of the burden of fiscal responsibility Romney places upon ordinary people and the disadvantaged, and how much he places upon the well-to-do and well-connected. This is the major story of the FY2004 budget, but you won’t find it discussed in the corporate media.



ROMNEY’S VETOES (PARTIAL LIST)

ITEM VETOED AMOUNT OF REDUCTION
INDIGENT COURT COSTS $2,000,000
MASS LEGAL ASSISTANCE CORP $7,564,142
MENTAL HEALTH LEGAL ADVISORS $501,085
CORRECTIONAL LEGAL SERVICES $500,000
SUFFOLK SOCIAL LAW LIBRARY $1,704,671
DISABLED PERSONS PROTECTION $39,996
VETERANS’ OUTREACH CENTERS $165,000
RECYCLING COORDINATION $2,900,000
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT $200,000
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ADMIN$675,000
RIVERWAYS PROTECTION & ACCESS $290,293
FISHERIES & WILDLIFE $80,000
FISHERIES PUBLIC ACCESS $20,000
MARINE FISHERIES $282,600
ZOOS $750,000
TRAILSIDE MUSEUM $219,750
STATE PARKS AND RECREATION $100,000
STATE PARKS RETAINED REVENUE $150,000
URBAN PARKS AND RECREATION $247,000
MANAGED CARE PLANS $1,100,000
MASSHEALTH SENIOR CARE PLANS $75,000
CERVICAL/BREAST CANCER $2,784,551
MCB ADMINISTRATION $213,456
COMMUNITY SERVICES $250,000
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE ELIGIBILITY$100,000
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION $325,129
EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE $405,000
INDEPENDENT LIVING $220,000
DEAF & HARD OF HEARING $128,235
CHILDREN’S TRUST FUND ADMIN $870,557
HEALTHY FAMILIES $6,677,891
CHELSEA SOLDIERS’ HOME $250,000
LONG TERM CARE RESIDENT FEES $579,000
TAFDC GRANT PAYMENTS $9,000,000
DPH ADMINISTRATION $791,797
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM $530,000
HEALTH CARE QUALITY RET. REV. $1,382,505
NURSE’S AIDE SCHOLARSHIPS $250,000
REGIONAL EMERGENCY MED. SVCS. $1,246,896
AIDS PREVENTION AND TREATMENT $150,000
GAMBLERS’ TREATMENT $654,942
DENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM $77,603
EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES $697,132
NEWBORN HEARING SERVICES $83,060
SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM $125,000
PROSTATE CANCER PREVENTION $1,000,000
BREAST CANCER PREVENTION $35,678
SCHOOL BASED HEALTH PROGRAMS $8,901,510
SMOKING PREVENTION & CESSATION$835,000
SCHOOL HEALTH SRVC. RET. REV. $6,000,000
HOSPITAL SERVICES $3,000,000
DMR ADMINISTRATION $822,924
COMMUNITY TRANSPORTATION $109,522
COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES $500,000
RESIDENTIAL AND DAY PROGRAMS $903,000
COMMUNITY DAY & WORK PROGRAMS $521,970
RESPITE & FAMILY SERVICES $1,300,000
REGIONAL LIBRARY LOCAL AID $1,048,625
TALKING BOOK LIBRARY-WORCESTER$318,777
DIV. OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY $152,800
WORKFORCE TRAINING SURPLUS $2,224,000
HOUSING SERVICES PROGRAM $221,925
RENTAL HOUSING LOANS $1,704,919
ALTERNATIVE HOUSING VOUCHERS $400,000
DIVISION OF BANKS $588,434
DIVISION OF INSURANCE $1,103,914
PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE $427,072
ITEM PRICING INSPECTIONS $300,000
WEIGHTS & MEASURES ENFORCEMENT$358,900
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS $350,000
KINDERGARTEN EXPANSION GRANTS $10,000,000
EARLY LITERACY GRANTS $2,100,004
TARGETED TUTORIAL LITERACY $1,910,788
UNIVERSAL BREAKFAST $2,011,060
ED REFORM AID: CHAPTER 70 $451,048
ED REFORM RESERVE $7,000,000
SPECIAL ED RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS$6,500,000
EDUCATION REFORM AUDITS $200,000
YOUTH BUILD GRANTS $500,000
COMM. COLLEGE TRAINING GRANTS $900,000
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS $50,000
TOXICS USE REDUCTION INSTITUTE$1,139,853
COMMONWEALTH COLLEGE $1,715,000
BRIDGEWATER STATE COLLEGE $245,814
FRAMINGHAM STATE COLLEGE $160,000
CCC JOB TRAINING PARTNERSHIP $94,395
BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE $108,000
HATE CRIMES AWARENESS PROGRAM $100,000
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD $239,946
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY FEES $750,000
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE $2,328,946
CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING $250,000
HOME CARE SERVICES $2,416,360
HOME CARE CASE MGMT & ADMIN $999,827
CONGREGATE HOUSING $1,094,580
GRANTS TO COUNCILS ON AGING $590,000


For a complete list of the vetoes, see the state website


  

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