Wednesday Waste: Over-furnished and Underfunded

Wednesday Waste | February 6, 2013

At a time when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is proposing $1.9 billion in new taxes to help close the commonwealth’s fiscal shortfalls, the state somehow found $8 million to spend on furniture in FY 2012 alone.

You read that right – furniture. Things upon which people and objects sit.

In one instance, the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy spent $16,645 for a set of 78 chairs, citing “safety reasons” – while allowing over half of them to remain unused, gathering dust in storage. The supposedly ‘dangerous’ chairs they were intended to replace were quietly moved to other departments.

At a time when Massachusetts civil servants are struggling to provide essential services and Massachusetts taxpayers are facing burdensome new rates, million-dollar furniture budgets are indicative of a larger problem.

As State Rep. George Peterson puts it, “It all comes down to oversight. Somebody’s not watching where the dollars are going”.

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