and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation


Thursday, February 19, 2004

House sneaks through Proposition 2˝ change:
On voice vote in informal session during vacation week
Republicans don’t object

The following news release was sent to the media statewide.

For Immediate Release
February 19, 2004
Contact:  Barbara Anderson - 508-384-0100

A controversial bill intended to get more Prop 2˝ overrides passed was sent to third reading in the House yesterday; whipped out today, and was engrossed immediately, without objection.

The bill gives senior citizens who are eligible for the state circuit breaker an exemption from future Proposition 2˝ overrides. If the bill passes, those seniors’ share of property tax hikes will be paid by young families with mortgages and college loan repayments, saving for their own children’s college costs and their own retirement; lower-income taxpayers who are not yet seniors; unemployed homeowners; people with high medical costs or who are caring for elderly parents; and everyone else in town.

This incentive for override passage and shift from one group of taxpayers to all other groups may explain why cowardly legislators did not want to be recorded on this issue. So their leadership, both Democrat and Republican, pushed through a vote while the $55K-plus "full-time" legislators are "in the district" or, in Florida, the Islands, or schussing down a slope.

Enough with the voice votes. Legislators are being paid a considerable salary at taxpayer expense to show up, to do their jobs when they deign to appear, and to be recorded on the votes they cast.

CLT will count today’s voice vote as a zero in its rating for all House members. Any legislators who don’t like this can call their leadership and complain.

P.S. Speaking of Prop 2˝ – Cutting-edge reporters who are doing insightful reports on the "deep cuts in school spending" should seek out information on recent teacher step-increases and pay raises, to give a complete picture of what has occurred over the past decade with expanded education funding.

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