Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
As if this week’s cover story on Shrewsbury State Rep. Karyn Polito’s bid for state treasurer wasn’t enough press, she’s making noise this week for being the sole opposition to reinstating $450 million of delayed federal funding into the state’s budget.
From the State House News Service:
House Republican leaders on Thursday released their hold on the bill but Polito remains opposed to the measure, saying it should be debated by the full House in January, rather than passed in an informal session, and expressing concerns about compounding next year’s state budget problems by adding spending to this year’s budget base.
Way back when it was announced we would finally be getting this money (which is a longer story in itself), Polito released a statement lauding the funding, but calling for it to be placed in the state’s rainy day fund, rather than be allocated into budget line items. So she’s physically holding it up, like Strom Thurmond reading names out of the phone book. Take it away, State House News:
House Republican leaders on Thursday endorsed the spending bill and Polito was alone Friday, without any other GOP lawmakers willing to stand in the way of legislation that she believes is fiscally irresponsible and will add to next fiscal year’s budget gap, already estimated at $2 billion. “Every penny we add today will make it harder to balance the budget next year,” said Polito. Throughout Friday’s session, Polito camped out at her desk, ready to object to the budget bill’s consideration should leaders raise it. On the rostrum, Rep. Paul Donato and leadership aides waited Polito out. At one point, Polito secured permission from leadership aides to leave the chamber briefly to go to the bathroom. A court officer filled a water bottle for her so that she wouldn’t need to leave the chamber. And just after 1 p.m., Rep. Vincent Pedone brought Polito a piece of pizza that she described as “cold” but which she ate.
It worked, according to a post of hers on Twitter at 9:45 pm Friday night:
Stayed in the House until the end tonight; the spending bill was not taken up, and session has recessed until Monday at 10 a.m.
To be continued.