Fwd: skub blog tuesday
Sent: Thu, Feb 3, 2011 10:11 am
Subject: Fwd: skub blog tuesday
Sent: Thu, Feb 3, 2011 7:13 am
Subject: skub blog tuesday
Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.
This one is dead.
The new governor did a silly thing the other night. He established a
goal that can't be met. Points off. The three previous governors failed
at goading lawmakers to finish the state budget ahead of the October
1st deadline. There is no reason to believe Gov. Rick Snyder will do
any better even though he really believes he can.
Can you say rude awakening?
The budget deadline is one of those few visible elements of state
government that the typical Joe and Josephine can actually understand:
either lawmakers hit it or they don't.
And when they miss it, the government shuts down. That story usually
gets in the paper and on the tube and even folks who flunked civics,
determine that is bad..even though some would be pleased if the
shutdown was permanent, but we digress.
Now comes the new gov. in town who has moved the deadline to May 31st
so that lawmakers can march in their Memorial Day parades and boast
about getting the job done ahead of time.
When he revealed the accelerated time frame from the previous July
1st date to the new one, everyone in the house chamber erupted in
Wowie, wow, wow. Some of the newbies in the audience must have
thought: This guy is a real leader and we will follow him.
Mr. Snyder will present his draconian budget slashing spending
outline the middle of February. That will give the two budget
committees exactly three and one half months to complete the job.
Who is he kidding?
Over half of the house appropriations committee has never done this
It could take them three months to figure out the difference between
a line item and boilerplate language.
In normal times when money was flush, this might be possible. But
times ain't normal and the state ain't flush.
Faced with a formidable deficit of $1.7 billion and counting,
lawmakers are not going to rubber stamp the new governor's first budget
no matter how much they like him. The lobbyists, special interest
groups and everyone and his uncle who does not want a cut, will see to
And in reality a budget deadline for lawmakers is not like one in the
private sector where the CEO needs to get widgets out on time.
There should not be a rush to get the job done. Democracy, they tell
us in the civic class you flunked, should be deliberate so that all
sides can weight in.
Three and a half months won't cut it.