Clark gave governor expanded powers to cut $128 million for cities and towns
State Senate candidate Craig Spadafora today accused his opponent of not being honest with Malden voters about her commitment to local aid when just last year she voted to give the governor expanded 9C powers that resulted in a $128 million reduction in state assistance to cities and towns.
“Once again, Katherine Clark is trying to run away from her own voting record and pretending to be something that she isn’t,” said Spadafora. “Apparently, she’s forgotten that she voted to give Governor Patrick expanded 9C powers last year, which he used to cut Malden’s local aid by $1.5 million. If she is so concerned about Malden’s budget problems, then she has to take some responsibility for what’s happened because she gave the governor the authority to cut local aid.”
In Massachusetts, the governor has limited “9C” powers that allow him to make unilateral reductions in the executive branch of government to maintain a balanced budget when revenues fall short of projections. However, the governor needs legislative approval before he can cut from other areas of the budget, including local aid.
On January 14, 2009, the House of Representatives voted 132-22 to give Governor Patrick expanded 9C powers. Two weeks later, he used this authority to reduce local aid by $128 million.
“Twenty-two representatives stood firm and voted against giving the governor these expanded powers because they knew local aid was on the line and they knew the cuts would be devastating, coming halfway through the fiscal year,” said Spadafora. “The bottom line is, Katherine Clark had an opportunity to stand up for our cities and towns, but instead she turned her back on them.”
Spadafora noted this is not the first time Representative Clark has tried to distance herself from a controversial vote. He cited her support for a series of tax increases over the last 2 ½ years, including a higher sales tax, meals tax, alcohol tax, lodging tax, telephone tax, satellite dish tax, cigarette tax and taxes on businesses.
“We’re starting to see a pattern here,” Spadafora said. “Katherine likes to portray herself as a savior of small businesses and someone who cares about creating jobs, but she’s supported eight tax increases totaling over $1 billion which have crippled employers and stifled jobs creation. Now she’s trying to pass herself off as someone who will protect municipal services, but how is cutting local aid by $128 million helping cities and towns?
“My opponent and I agree on one thing, and that is that Malden’s next senator must be willing to fight for increased local aid,” he added. “I’m committed to doing just that, but Katherine Clark’s record proves she’s no friend of cities and towns.”