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Public Statements

Issue Position: Fiscal Watchdog

Issue Position

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Fiscal Oversight and Pension Reform

Steve Grossman believes the Treasurer needs to play an aggressive role as the Commonwealth's chief financial officer -- using his oversight of state spending and borrowing to keep careful tabs on the public's money. He keeps a careful eye on the books when running his own business and will do the same as Treasurer.

Data uncovered by the Treasurer's office were among the early warning signs of the massive Big Dig cost overruns. That watchdog role should continue and be expanded. Any major infusions of new money into government spending -- be it federal stimulus funds, gaming revenues, or anything else -- carry with them the prospect that the expenditures will grow faster than the Commonwealth's ability to monitor them. Steve will make sure that the Treasury works closely with the governor's office, the auditor's office and the state comptroller to assiduously monitor state spending to guard against waste, fraud, and abuse.

Moreover, as chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Retirement, the Treasurer will have responsibility for implementing the major reforms of the state pension system adopted in 2009. These eliminated such abuses as allowing defeated politicians to claim special termination benefits, claiming years of service credit for work in voluntary positions, permitting a single day of work to be counted as a year of service for elected officials, and leaving loopholes in disability retirement rules that allowed some workers to receive larger pension benefits based on temporary work at a higher paying position.

In the judgment of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, these reforms eliminate some of the most egregious abuses of the system, but more work needs to be done. As someone who runs a business with generous benefits, Steve knows the difference between taking care of loyal, hard-working employees and letting a handful of abusers scam the system.


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