Hacks Line Up to Take Credit [OPINION]
The state budget has been enacted some three weeks after the start of the new fiscal year and as usual, the hacks on the Hill are lining up to take credit for everything that's in it.
The $43 billion budget contains a whole lot of stuff, some of it even coming to New Bedford. Probably most importantly, the city will receive some $14.5 million in additional education aid. That is good news, though it is considerably less than what is needed and should be allocated.
What is hilarious and predictable are the press releases that flow from the offices of our delegation once the budget is approved. Our representatives and senators who are otherwise largely unreachable during the rest of the session gush forth with praise for their efforts to secure all sorts of wonderful things for us.
In a two-page press release, State Rep.Tony Cabral's office says Cabral "successfully secured" funding for a number of things including "significant increases in Chapter 70 funding for the New Bedford Public Schools." Now, how is that possible, when according to Sen. Mark Montigny's office, Montigny got us the loot. "Montigny worked with Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues to ensure New Bedford would receive the highest funding possible," read a release from his office.
Cabral's office says Cabral also secured funding for 11 other New Bedford-based organizations and programs such as opioid abuse treatment, the Zeiterion Theater, and other stuff. But, Montigny's office says he got the opioid money. What the...?
Here is the truth: much of what is enacted on Beacon Hil, including education aid, is the result of a team effort between the two chambers of the Massachusetts Legislature and the governor's budget writers. The members of the New Bedford delegation are a part of that team.
Any individual member of the delegation that attempts to take credit for what the team has done is not a team player and is being dishonest.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.