Rhode Island Union: Social Impact Bonds Are About Greed, Not Good

Source: Jake Blumgart, Next City, June 25, 2014

Social impact bonds sound pretty great. What could be wrong with additional funds to help the poor, the homeless, the formerly imprisoned? Governments are cutting back, but need is greater than ever. So let Wall Street provide (while netting a fine payout in the process)? Rhode Island’s largest public employee union, AFSCME Council 94, isn’t buying that solution….That’s partly why Rhode Island’s AFSCME Council 94 opposed a recent bill in the legislature that would have introduced SIBs to the Ocean State. “[SIB supporters] have bought into the argument that with constrained budgets and constrained revenues, this would provide another source of revenue for noble and legitimate causes,” says Jim Cenerini, legislative affairs director and political action coordinator for Council 94. “Our skepticism comes from the fact that the impetus for this was created by a large Wall Street corporation that obviously has something to gain, ideologically and financially, from the implementation of these bonds. It seems wrong that already very wealthy individuals should be able to make money off of reducing recidivism.”…