Nothing Is Ever Easy Up Here
Weeks ago when the governor announced her plans to eradicate the state’s whopping budget deficit, the air was filled with optimism as everyone was committed to getting this done long before the debate bumped up against the October first state government shutdown deadline.
Well guess what?
We is (sic) bumping big time with eleven days to go.
Now it is still highly unlikely these folks are dumb enough to preside over another shutdown in the midst a reelection campaign which is a prescription for the electorate to throw the bums out.
Yet, based on the partisan bickering over essential elements of the governor’s blueprint, you could make a case for them doing just that.
She wants to get senior members of the state government workforce off the payroll and onto the retirement rolls. It’s a $60 million savings.
Problem is for those workers left behind, to coin a phrase, they would get stuck with a new 3% fee for health care to be phased in over five years.
State government employee unions have balked and have told lawmakers not to do it, or else.
Now some Republicans, who should be all over this thing like flies on a horse, are complaining the five year phase in is not fast enough.
Add to the mix some house Democrats who want to talk about alternative ways of raising the $60 million Each proposal they suggest could not be enacted in time to avert the shutdown, yet they chatter on and on about a graduated income tax, Medicaid fraud reform and that old stand-by prison reform.
To their credit most of the budget bills are being adopted, but that is really the easy part. The heavy lifting is finding the money to pay for it.
They like to say this is a work in progress.
A better description would be a train wreck in progress.