Andover’s State Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, is not letting the spirit of the holidays get in the way of some old-fashioned partisan politics. Last Tuesday, Governor Baker made the politically difficult but fiscally responsible decision to cut $98 million from the state budget due to sluggish state revenues. L'Italien lashed out at the Governor in last week’s Townsman: "This is a failure of leadership by Gov. Baker ... . By unilaterally cutting funding for Andover's Historic Mill District, the governor has shown that he does not care about investing in a centerpiece of Andover's economic future."
The only failure of leadership is that of Sen. L'Italien and her colleagues in the state Legislature. They created this fiscal mess and are now trying to pin the blame on Gov. Baker. First, Baker vetoed $231 million of spending proposals in this year's budget but L'Italien's Democrat-controlled state Legislature overrode those vetoes which led to the current budget shortfall. Second, the $98 million in cuts represents just one-quarter of 1 percent of the state's entire $40 billion budget.
Last week’s editorial correctly pointed out at that L'Italien misses the point ... . "Baker is being vigilant. If you start making less money, and you're not sure if things will improve over the next few months, you spend less money. You don't run up the credit cards in the hopes that sunny days will soon return."
Sen. L'Italien is part of the problem. We have massive structural deficit problems in our state and our senator is worried about pork-barrel spending projects for her district. That type of myopic thinking has led Massachusetts to one of the worst fiscal solvency ratings in the country according to a 2016 study by George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
We deserve better.
4 Seminole Circle, Andover