Only 9 DAYS Remain
Until the Signature Deadline

Another weekend of petitioning has passed -- and a beautiful one it was! We hope all of you got out and took advantage of it, added to our signature total, moved us closer to success.

We have only next weekend remaining to pull off this drive: all petitions must be turned in to the appropriate city and town clerks no later than 5:00 PM a week from this Wednesday -- just nine days from today!

We still have a long way to go, and even less time in which to get there. I hope you're doing your part in helping to Keep the Promise to finally end the 11-year old "temporary" income tax increase.

The next week will decide whether the past three years of our effort -- collecting over 200,000 signatures in two petition drives -- will finally pay off!

Whether or not we make it to the November ballot is now entirely up to you.

We are counting on you in the week ahead!

Chip Ford

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If you were NOT a CLT volunteer petitioner last fall and want to help us help you now

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A Special Report from Barbara

Last Monday night I attended the swearing-in of the new Secretary of Administration and Finance, Steve Crosby, replacing Andrew Natsios who is now in charge of the Big Dig.

I know some of you were concerned when Steve was chosen over our long-time legislative ally Peter Forman and the Herald headline read: "Gov's new fiscal czar no diehard Republican." I was concerned too, less because of his years working with Kevin White than by his recent support of Scott Harshbarger (though he gave money to Paul Cellucci too). So I did call around, and was assured that he is solidly in support of the income tax rollback.

He called me last week to reiterate this, and invited me to his swearing-in -- at which he stated, first before anything else, his "personal commitment to the rollback of the income tax rate." The room, filled with his family and friends, applauded enthusiastically (including Kevin White!).

Chip Ford theorizes that Steve Crosby may well be "Nixon opening China," someone who can get the support of elements of the political community that we don't usually have on board with our petitions.

He later said that his first internal policy initiative will be "online government -- to maximize the internet," something which I know many of you have been wanting.

Peter Forman was there, cheerfully helping to show Steve's family and friends around the State House; he told me he is looking forward to working with the new Secretary. So am I.

Barbara --

P.S. For those who have missed CLT on talk radio: I am now on WMEX every Thursday from noon-1:00 with Marjorie Clapprood and another "Out to Lunch" guest. OK, it's not "The Governors," but it's kind of fun. The format is borrowed from Bill Maher, people talking about things they aren't known for talking about: we have discussed television shows, fashion, reincarnation, bisexual dolphins, our mothers and our kids along with the Big Dig, Red Sox stadium subsidy, legislative bad behavior (an area where Marjorie and I agree) and of course taxes. Have to start reaching those soccer moms if we are going to win in November. Tune in at 1060 AM, or if the signal is weak, on the internet at

State House News Service
Advances -- Week of June 12th

FISCAL 2001 BUDGET:  House and Senate budget conferees are in place and meeting regularly, hoping to get a budget to Gov. Cellucci by the July 1 start of fiscal 2001. The two branches are at odds over major matters like taxes, the future of special education, the number of Appeals Court judges that should be added to the system, and an overhaul of the public construction system. And they disagree over bottom line spending, with the House bill totaling $21.7 billion and the Senate's $21.55 billion. If conference committee negotiations reflect those of recent years, the final bill will likely weigh in at more than $21.7 billion. Outside sections in the House bill number 500; there are 310 in the Senate's version.

[Note: Bear in mind that the following proposed "supplemental budgets" are in addition to the $20-plus billion state budget passed five months late in November of last year for this fiscal year! Add them to this year's the bottom line.]

NEW FISCAL 2000 SUPP BUDGET:  The $4 billion-plus Medicaid program continues to consume taxpayer dollars quickly, especially in light of claims by providers that Medicaid payments are not covering costs. A $255 million fiscal 2000 supplemental budget filed last Thursday by Gov. Cellucci is headlined by a $197 million appropriation to allow Medicaid to pay its bills as the fiscal year winds down.... An end-of-the-fiscal-year supplemental budget is a tradition on Beacon Hill as lawmakers are annually called on to appropriate funds for programs that have run out of money or for emergency needs. Because the "supp" budget is destined for passage, it's always a target of special interests and lawmakers in search of a vehicle to get their pet projects and initiatives to the governor's desk.

OLD FISCAL 2000 SUPP BUDGET/REGISTRY:  As lawmakers consider the new mid-year spending bill, they still have an old mid-year spending bill before them. The House (149-0/May 3) and Senate (38-0/June 8) have each approved different supplemental budgets (H 5139 and S 2218) that may go to a conference committee if the branches are not able to iron out their differences in a less formal manner. The Senate bill includes $50 million in road and bridge funding and $13 million to shore up operations at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The House bill includes $13 million for the Registry, but not the $50 million, which the House included in its main fiscal 2001 budget. The branches appear, for the first time in a while, to be on the same page concerning Registry funding.

[Didn't you just know it was only a matter of time! With the outrageous "Teachers Early Retirement" bill that the governor vetoed yesterday, the floodgates have opened. If it passes (see the Boston Herald report below), expect every public employees union to demand equal access to your wallet!]

State House News Service
Weekly Wrap-Up
Week of June 5, 2000

Encouraged by Teacher Retirement Bill
Prison Officers Say "Us, Too"

Correctional officers on the front lines of minimum security facilities renewed their call to be allowed to retire five years early, as a reward for dealing with dangerous inmates. The powerful teachers unions have pushed to Gov. Cellucci's desk a bill granting significant retirement sweeteners. Cellucci spokesmen say they don't like the prison officers' request any more than the teacher bill because they fear both proposals will drain away experienced public servants. Cellucci is set to veto the teacher bill on Sunday, but lawmakers have plenty of votes for an override.

The Boston Herald
Monday, June 12, 2000

Early teacher retirement bill
cut down by governor's veto

by J.M. Lawrence

Gov. Paul Cellucci vetoed an early retirement bill for teachers yesterday and launched radio ads contending the law would create a teacher shortage by prompting thousands to quit for bigger pensions.

"This legislation represents an abandonment of education reform and our schoolchildren by our state Legislature," Cellucci said during an afternoon news conference yesterday, the last day he could veto the bill.

Squaring off against legislators who have unanimously approved the measure and are likely to override his veto, the governor accused lawmakers of putting the interests of the Massachusetts Teachers Union ahead of children's education needs. He vetoed the measure in part to force lawmakers to have their votes recorded, he said.

"We're going to know who's stepping up for the children of the commonwealth and who's not," Cellucci said.

But Rep. John P. Slattery (D-Peabody), one of the sponsors of the bill, said Cellucci wants revenge against the MTA for opposing his election. "There is an antipathy on the governor's part to the MTA and that antipathy blinds him to the needs of the commonwealth," he said yesterday.

The governor's radio ads airing today don't mention the union by name but refer to "special interests." His campaign fund bought the ads.

Overriding his veto would require a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate. The bill, which has been circulating in various forms at the State House over the past three years, would allow full retirement benefits after 30 years of teaching.

Stephen Gorrie, president of the MTA, waited outside the State House yesterday to counter Cellucci's claims that the bill will create a teacher shortage at a crucial time in education reform when students must pass state exams to graduate in 2003. "One thing he keeps forgetting is this is an optional program," Gorrie said.

About 23,000 teachers -- more than 25 percent of the state's classroom teachers -- would be eligible to take early retirement over the next five years, the governor said, predicting "a mass exodus."

In the first year alone, 8,000 teachers could leave, he added.

But Gorrie called those numbers misleading because not all of the teachers who are eligible would leave their jobs. And as veteran teachers retire, almost 17,000 teaching graduates who have passed the state's exam in the past two years are ready to take their places, Gorrie noted.

"This is about allowing new teachers to energize the classroom and older teachers to go out with dignity," said Thomas McGee (D-Lynn).

The early retirement bill will help school systems keep and recruit teachers who might otherwise be lured to other states such as Connecticut and Rhode Island, which have better retirement plans, according to the MTA. Regardless of lawmakers' actions, 40 to 50 percent of Massachusetts teachers are expected to retire over the next eight years.

Critics of the measure, including Boston University Chancellor John Silber, say the law would let retired teachers double dip by returning to the classroom at ages as young as 52.

Lee called that argument "another red herring" and noted teachers cannot return to the classroom for two years after retiring.

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