Let the F.P. Begin
this week with a ribbon on the new state budget thus averting another
government shutdown...an ugly ribbon but one nonetheless.
Now let the finger pointing begin.
Lawmakers missed by a country mile the governor's recommendation
that the budget be finished by July first. Hey, they were only off by
only three months…close enough for government work.
But now the House Republicans are trying to make some political hay
by bashing the House Democrats for taking so long to do it.
"There is no need to wait until the end," huffs and puffs Rep. James
Bolger who is emerging as one of the "new leaders" of the House.
"I think poor decisions sometimes are made bumping up against the
deadline. We need an open an deliberative process and get it done by
June 30th," he continues his well rehearsed harangue.
He does have a point that June 30 is a preferred date in that all
the schools and local governments start their budget year then and it
would be nice for them to know how many buckos they are getting from
But Bolger lays all the blame at the hands of the Democrats. What
would you expect? He forgets however than when his party was in
control several years ago, not only did the House miss the deadline,
state government went into a temporary shutdown to boot.
But don't let the facts get in the way of a nice political attack.
Veteran Democrat Rep. George "Cush" Cushingberry, gets a little
closer to the real reason for all the delays i.e. term limits and
election year posturing by both parties.
Besides, and here is the real deal, let's assume lawmakers
"finished" the budget on June 30th, there is no question they would
have spent the next three months tinkering with it anyway as the state
revenue picture continued to decline. Seems like writing the budget is
a never ending process.
But for the moment, they are getting the job done, it was not very
pretty and very partisan and there was no shutdown.
No one should take a victory lap but at least they will be home
for dinner on Thursday instead of rolling out the sleeping bags for
another marathon budget session.