Special Session Resumes Today
Today is day $480,000.
Today they will finally pass what the Governor, in his speech nine days ago, called "The first piece of legislation, by far the biggest and the most critical, is to balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins in just two weeks."
The Governor said it'd be simple:
My budget bill spends federal stimulus dollars in the way that you authorized in the regular session earlier this year.
It preserves the same priorities you and I preserved when deciding together how to fill the current fiscal year shortfall.
It protects the same services - the basic K-12 funding formula, higher education, Medicaid, and public safety - that you and I long ago decided are the keys to the quality of life that Kentuckians deserve.
Yet here we are, a half-a-million dollars later, still not done. All because the Governor decided to call a session without reaching any sort of understanding beforehand and throwing inessential nonsense into the call.
But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that we've spent half-a-million without accomplishing anything of significance to the future of the commonwealth. A land transfer for a battery plant might be a critical piece of a new industry. But that doesn't take nine days.
Yet unaddressed are the state's failing pension system, our failing unemployment insurance fund, and the general hostility to the free market that makes Tennessee such a more attractive place to do business. In fact, if the incentives bill passes, this session will only make Kentucky that much less attractive.
Back in April, we wrote:
The 2009 legislative session should be characterized as nothing less than a disaster. The cooperation they are so proud of is nothing less than a mutual agreement to abscond without action or responsibility.
Kentucky is burdened by leadership that is more serious about the next election than addressing tough problems. As the rhetoric rises and the chimes sound for the next wasteful special session, remember this dismal record and tell your legislators: "No thanks!"
Not enough of you said it...