Read the Bills Act Coalition

Friday, December 18, 2009

Governor Tim Kaine uses final budget to throw Virginia's First Responders under the Bus

Posted by MAXIMUS

It has come to this. The most powerful man in Virginia Government is using his parting budget proposal to throw state police (and other first responders employed by the Commonwealth) under the bus. These are the folks that protect you and your family. These are the folks that put out forest fires. These folks are Virginia National Guard Troops that are sent out during natural disasters to provide relief and rescue operations for citizens in distress. These folks are the protection class. They don't make a lot of money, but they trade that for working in occupations they love. Many are veterans of foreign wars in which they've fought to protect our freedoms. All they ask is for two simple things:

1.) that the Government of Virginia provide them with good health care, and
2.) that the Government of Virginia take care of their retirement.

The Protection Class of Virginia Government has long ago forsaken getting wealthy for instead they choose to focus one simple premis: to protect and serve the Citizens of Virginia. That's protecting you, me, your family, and even the Delegates and Senators and the Governor himself--just ask Kaine's protection detail how they feel about his Excellency now that he is throwing part of their retirement under the bus.

The folks are the Protection Class of Virginia and the Nation. They have already been asked to take off two days without pay in the current budget cycle to help the Commonwealth meet its budget. Payroll of the Protection Class is a drain don't you know! The Protection Class of Virginia answered that call and did not make a fuss. Better to be without a few days pay than without a job for sure.

With that said, everything changes now that Governor Kaine has proposed a plan to force the Commonwealth's Protection Class to take a substantial pay cut by paying into their retirement plans. How does this work? Gov. Kaine is proposing that the Commonwealth no longer pay it's full contribution into employees retirement accounts as administered by the Virginia Retirement System. Back in the early 80's, the Commonwealth started paying state employees 3% retirement share into VRS--this matched the existing 3% that the state was already kicking in for it's contribution. The state agreed to pay the employees portion of 3% into VRS in lieu of pay raises and this contribution has continued ever since.

As head of the Democratic National Committee, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has supported the Federal Government's actions in bailing out the private sector to include: TARP money for the financial industry; and bail out of billions for the automotive industry even though the Ford Motor Co. closed it's truck plant in Norfolk, VA. This money will never be repaid to the federal gov't. and this debt will be forgiven by the federal gov't. Giving away government money for private industry usage not defined in the Constitution? Yup, our Einstein of a Governor was there in full throated support. Now that was a federal issue, not a state one for sure. However, these actions that Kaine supported offers a glimpse into the Harvard educated, ivory towered mentality that has besieged the office of the chief executive of Virginia, our Governor.
Simply put, screwed up priorities that benefit special interests/voting constituencies instead of the people at large. In Virginia? Governor Tim Kaine is continuing to put monies into the state budget to pay for Pre-Kindergarten classes, FREE DAY CARE, for some of his pet special interest/constituency voting groups. These costs amount to anywhere from $120 million to $150 million--this Pre-K initiative was Kaine's idea all the way and he is now funding it at the expense of the retirement plans of the Protection Class of State Government. The savings generated from Tim Kaine's retirement raid on the Protection Class is estimated to be in the range of $120 million to $150 million. Governor Kaine is taking from the State Troopers retirement plans to pay for his own pet initiatives during a recession. Screwed up priorities indeed. Governor-elect Robert F. McDonnell has already said that he will not change the retirement contribution formula for existing state employees. The state has an obligation to it's Protection Class and it must be met.

Outgoing Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is now a proven predator of the legitimate financial safeguards of the Protection Class of State Government--he instead prefers to fund non-mandated programs like Pre-K for his special voting constituencies. Screwed up priorities indeed. Missouri is calling her native son back home, but first the Democratic National Committee gets to use Kaine as their Chairman for a few more years. Why? They need a "Progressive Leader" to return Congress to the Republican Party similar to the manner in which Kaine returned the Virginia's Governor's mansion to the Republican Party. You stay classy Tim.


Clairese Lippincott said...

I am sick of reading the cliche' "...thrown under the bus..."

One would think that an educated populace could find the necessary words without resorting to using the same stupid cliche's over and over.

Write what actually happened, such as, "Workers are going to be excluded from X program..."

ccMAXIMUS said...

Clairese....I ate his liver with some Chianti and Faver Beans...I get sick when I hear certain "names" espicially those popularized by Hanibal Lecter

Anonymous said...

Many Republicans and Independents support Pre-K throughout Virginia...the caveat though is they want to be able to pay for it through reducing spending in other areas. For example, if you look at the spending associated with our colleges and universities that would be a good start. Kaine has failed to make hard choices and the feel good spending associated from the Va Tech tradegy and its resulting focus on mental health resulted on increased spending in this area.