QUABBIN AREA DROWNS...AGAIN
Editor, Daily News
I can't remember a time in my eight years as a selectman when I was more frustrated with the one-party rule on Beacon Hill.
Well, they've done it again - drowning the towns in the Quabbin area, not with water like they did in 1938. This time we're being drowned in a sea of red ink from serial local aid cuts over five years, and we can't even debate it!
I am referring to a bill passed last week, H3999, that sets rules for the budget debate. The Massachusetts House voted strictly along party lines with a vote of 117-29 to preclude any budget amendments that impacted local aid or welfare reform. I can't think of a more appropriate time to debate municipal aid then during budget discussions.
Welfare or EBT reform must be discussed and debated to ensure that those in need are being fed. Every case of EBT abuse or fraud literally takes the food from the mouths of children.
What about our communities? What about our schools? What about our police and fire departments? What about the safety of our elderly? Enough is enough!
This one-party rule is the reason I decided to run for state representative two years ago, and why I've never given up. The North Quabbin area deserves better than a representative who'd vote to steal the voice from the people, all while she continually votes to take more from their wallets!
Since 2009, the Second Franklin District has had over $10 million cut from our municipal aid. Let me be clear, municipal aid is not charity or a hand-out from the state, it is our hard-earned money that we send to Boston, which never sees it way back to the people who have earned it. Cuts to municipal aid cause increased property values, and decreases to services, public safety, education and public works.
In the past few years the legislature has met to create at least five supplemental budgets because the Commonwealth took in more revenue (taxes and fees) than expected. Five times Ms. Andrews has had the opportunity to give back to the people of the district. Not once has she voted to significantly increase municipal aid to our communities. Our towns have seen cuts not only to municipal aid, but to Chapter 70 (schools), school transportation and Chapter 90 (roads and municipal infrastructure). Enough is enough!
Susannah Whipps Lee