Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does this sound familiar to you?

Well, unless you have been hiking in Outer Mongolia, you know that:
--Every government (Fed, State, Local) is suffering a downturn in revenues
--Politicians promise that "Next Year", or "Next session" they will get built what you want.
--There are full scale campaigns in progress, with Politicians promising things (Pandering) a,d making excuses for what hasn't been done.

See if this sounds familiar in your area.

Legislative adjournment may signal relief to some but to many more it is another year of frustration. The purpose of the so-called “short session” of The (Legislative Body) was to adjust the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, but in years past this session has produced some significant legislation. Not this year.

What we witnessed was a system out of control, especially in our Senate. A handful of Senators made decisions behind closed doors and shoved them through to approval with only token opposition from other Democrats, who supposedly hold majority control. One longtime observer remarked that this year’s (Political Machine) run Senate was far worse than the infamous “gang of eight” led by Politico#1 and Politico#2 back in the 1970’s and ‘80’s.

Even more offensive was the unwillingness to address (Affected State's)serious issues. The list is long.

One-third of our ninth-graders drop out of school before graduating.

The Mental Health reforms the legislature passed in 2001 are a disgraceful failure.

Our roads are crumbling and congested.

Schools need to be built, water and sewer systems need replacement and expansion, many of our bridges are structurally unsound and we are trying to pay for public needs with a tax code that is woefully out of date.
Our courts and criminal justice system scream for modernization, sentencing reform, fixing the parole system, and we have waited over a year for leadership from our legislature as to what to do about resuming executions of those on death row.
The state’s economy is softening and state revenue projections have been adjusted downward, while our legislature passed a record MUCHO $ billion budget.

2009 is shaping up to be another problematic year. In addition to adding more than $150 million more in recurring expenditures than we have in recurring revenues, we will face increased debt service payments on the more than one billion dollars legislators borrowed without giving taxpayers any say-so in the priority of what should be built, enrollment growth in public schools, significant employee health plan deficits, and employee pay increases to add in what is sure to be a weak economy. We were told lawmakers postponed major decisions because this is an election year and, besides they want the new governor to have the opportunity to set a new course. Wait until 2009. Then they will tackle these issues.

Wait ‘til next year is the traditional cry of losers. (Affected State) is not a state of losers, but this is the cry we hear every year from our leaders. The economy isn’t good, this is an election year, blah, blah, blah. When keeping a job trumps doing a job we have lost the vision of government by the people, for the people, and of the people. We deserve better. We need more openness in government and we need more leadership from our legislature in solving problems. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, not a liberal or conservative problem. The people of (Affected State) deserve better than “Wait ‘til Next Year.”


Wait ‘Til Next Year
by Tom Campbell

July 17, 2008

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