Post by Libby
Dan noted earlier this week that the Governor is thinking about possible actions on the Municipal Health Reform language that is sitting on his desk and awaiting his signature (or not). The big question is will he sign it as is or send it back to the legislature with amendments? As Dan pointed out, amending the language instead of signing it without alteration will likely amount to killing it all-together. Unfortunately, all signs point to the Governor making amendments to appease labor and not signing this important reform into law. The State House News reported today that the Governor was in talks with the Senate over the Municipal Health Reform. From the State House News yesterday:
Patrick told the News Service Wednesday that he was struggling with the role of labor in the proposed municipal health care reform plan, and the budget as a whole.
This issue has been covered by many so I will not get into the arguments about why this reform, which is estimated to save at least $100 million, is so important to the taxpayers and cities and towns in the state.
What I want to know is, where the bleep has the Governor been for the past six months?
It should not have been a surprise to him that the conference budget would include Municipal Health Reform. There have been three versions of this policy floating around the state house since January (filed by the Governor, the House and the Senate) so it was a sure bet that one version or another would end up on his desk in the 2012 budget.
Since the Governor filed his budget plan on January 26th, he has been MIA on budget discussions during its preparation. We hear repeatedly that the state is facing unprecedented budget challenges in 2012 (as the Governor himself said in his budget filing letter).
Yet during this crucial period, Patrick spent a great deal of time out of the state and disengaged on important state issues: a 10-day “trade mission”; an out of state speaking engagement at the Democratic Party Dinner in Colorado; the 18-day multi-state book tour; and let’s not forget the multiple fundraisers for his newly formed federal Political Action Committee. The list goes on.