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State Rep. Winslow Meets With Wrentham Selectmen

State Rep. Daniel Winslow visited Tuesday's Board of Selectmen meeting.

State Rep. Daniel Winslow came to Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting and spoke with the board about the state's budget situation.

Winslow told the board that he is trying to visit all the boards of selectmen and school committees in his district to keep them informed about state initiatives. He said the state House of Representatives will begin its budget debate next week.

"The house budget, interestingly, did not cut local aid worse than the governor's budget," he said. "The house has coupled the cut with potential cost savings for municipalities."

He said the local aid figure is reasonably solid, but catastrophic circumstances could change it.

Selectman Michael Carroll asked about the prospect of a one-year override, noting that Proposition 2 1/2 initiatives often fail because they represent a permanent tax increase.

Winslow said such a move is unlikely.

"I don't think there's a lot of sentiment to amend Proposition 2 1/2," he said. "At the end of the day, all Prop 2 1/2 did was give voters a direct voice on their taxes."

Board Chairman Joseph Botaish noted that Winslow had been vocal about the state's cuts to the Norfolk prison mitigation payments. Botaish said Wrentham is undergoing similar problems with the state school.

Winslow said the state will not be increasing aid soon. He added that the state's eventual plan is to close the school down once its last resident ages out, and urged the town to plan for such a contingency.

"My feeling is that towns should be in the driver's seat," he said. "Rather than having the town react to future actions of the state, we should have the state reacting to the future plans of the town,"

Winslow said the site would be suitable for a college campus or other alternate use.

"One thing you should know is that the state is a horrible absentee landlord," he said. "When the state leaves buildings, they rot."

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