Harsh Realities – Galluccio sizes up our state’s budget woes

This week’s Revere Journal contains a letter written by State Sen. Anthony Galluccio to some of the elected officials in his district, including, naturally, Mayor Thomas Ambrosino. The letter is noteworthy for its bluntness and candor. It’s not the kind of correspondence that elected officials usually throw out for public consumption. We applaud Galluccio for sharing his thoughts on what he terms the “global economic crisis” with his constituents. After all, if mayors have to hear this news, voters do, too.

Galluccio’s letter contains a lot of important nuggets, but a few stand out. First and foremost, the budget deficit is bad and getting worse, and it’s going to take some deft maneuvering to deliver the fiscal year’s remaining local aid payments in June. Secondly, the state isn’t generating any new revenues, certainly not at the rate needed to close the budget deficit.

Municipalities need new revenue, but Galluccio writes, “At this point, I am not sure that there is a majority of votes in the Senate for any one particular form of revenue. My suggestion is that you design your FY ‘10 budget accordingly within this context.”

Concerns about the long-term are no less daunting. As Galluccio points out, rainy day funds and stimulus funds may help us today, but they won’t prevent us from landing in the same exact spot at this point in 2010 and 2011.

Galluccio’s chief motivations for reaching out to city officials and voters are obvious. He fears that people don’t understand the severity of the predicament we’re in, and that, currently, there are more uncertainties on the table than solutions.

File this under We Need to Hear What We Don’t Want to Hear.

If you’re a taxpayer, we strongly encourage you to read Galluccio’s letter. It may help you determine what financial solutions you’ll find palatable in the coming months.

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