Skip to main content

Beth O'Conner's Testimony Before the Maine Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee

Testimony by 
Beth O'Connor
Before the Maine Congressional Committee
January 8th 2014

Thank you Senator Hill , Representative Rotundo, ladies and gentlemen of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee for taking my testimony on "An Act to Repeal Bonding Authority of the Maine Governmental Facilities Authority."

My name is Beth O'Connor. I am the Chairman for Maine Taxpayers United and am here as a representative for our board of directors and members in favor of supporting LD # 790 Sponsored by Representative Sirocki.

Every day in the newspapers, magazines, social media, etc. we see that the Maine legislative body is struggling to find solutions to pay current debt and all of our mandatory obligations, not to mention our moral obligations. We are all aware that all debt incurred by us today, will be paid for by our children and grandchildren. It is up to all of us to ensure the obligations placed on the future are not only prudent, but just.

A few years ago I was made aware of a piece written by the Honorable Peter Mills regarding the Government Facilities Authority, I was most intrigued by this statement;

"Government Facilities Authority (the "GFA"). In 1998 the money was used to build new prisons and to renovate the State House complex. The record surplus of that year was spent on other things" he went on to say "GFA bonds are technically unenforceable in the sense that no subsequent legislature is legally required to pay them off. Because they are not passed by a 2/3 vote of the legislature and are not approved by voters, they do not carry the "full faith and credit" of the state."

That does not make me, or many others feel very comfortable knowing one legislative and executive body can have a field day spending other people's money on pet projects that they can take credit for today and pass the buck down the road for the next body to determine how this debt is to be paid. The GFA gives each legislature the power to make the next five (2 year sessions) legislatures pay off the debts that it creates.

As of 2012 debt for the GFA was 187 million by tax dollar supported agency budgets.

As of 2012 our moral obligation debt was over four billion in promise of payment, but it is not legally enforceable.

Our total tax supported debt burden in Maine is currently 2.3% of personal income.

All proposed bonding, borrowing, should be able to pass the test of muster and be able to secure, as is Constitutionally required a 2/3rds vote from the legislative body and be further sent out for approval of the taxpayers who ultimately are the ones footing the bill. Supporting this legislation will help attain the fore mentioned.

Thank you for your time and consideration as well as your service to Maine citizens.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Incomplete Theory of Inflation Made to Order for Mass Consumption.

M oney is not what it used to be, so must our ways of thinking about it adapt. jaakko-kemppainen-unsplash The message treads across the media terrain, beating louder and louder as if to drown out the beat of the distant drummer. W arning! The only thing the stimulus will stimulate is inflation. The people will pay as the wealthy elite invests their windfalls in financial assets. Doom and gloom set to march across the land to the beat of the distribution of stimulus funds. In recent years as past predictions of fiscal disaster following stimulus spending failed to materialize and so the thinking about national debt and deficits has evolved, most noticeably with the development of  Modern Monetary Theory . In the   fall of 2020,  National Affairs  published a story,  Does the Debt Matter ? by Peter Wehner & Ian Tufts. Peter Wehner is vice president and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and served in the last three Republican administrations. Ian Tufts is a recent g

JECD Group Holds Master Plan Pow Wow for Boothbay Peninsula

The most honest statement to come out of the ringleaders of the Joint Economic Community Development Group in their first workshop program was "none of us are experts on economic development", which in my most humble opinion is evident in the fact that the JECD begins with the premise that economic development can be master minded by central management. The article in the Boothbay Register begins with this paragraph: The Joint Economic Development Committee master plan workshop on Thursday, Oct. 12 discuss findings from stakeholder interviews conducted early last month. The interviews centered around building an overall economic development strategy for Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport. Who are the stakeholders?  A search for articles in the Boothbay Register comes up short. Why is the public not told who the stakeholders are. Since the taxpayers of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor footed the bill for the JECD's consultants, why are they not the stakeh

Why are social impact investors trying so hard to defeat smaller shelters for the homeless?

  "Social Impact” developers in Portland, Maine seek to squelch a referendum for smaller shelters called for by qualified practitioners with concrete experience in the field. A large sign says Vote C to support the Homeless, small handmade sign next to it says Untrue! That sign is paid for by developers who want / Photo by Jess Falero In   the 1970s under Governor Longley , Maine became a centrally managed economy that expanded Maine’s wealth gap and merged, almost seamlessly, the public and private and the non-profit and for-profit economic sectors into one mutually beneficial wealth-concentration & distribution system. Currently, mutually benefitting factions are coming together once again in hopes of building a mega-shelter for the homeless in a Portland, Maine industrial development district. In addition to beds for the homeless, the project will include, dining, and locker facilities, as well as offices and an attached health clinic. The promotion  describes the facility