NO BUDGET - AGAIN
Another day. Another $64K a day for legislators to come back in special session and do what they should have done in regular session. That's because the 2010 session is stumbling to a close without passing an executive branch budget. Legislative and judicial budgets are taken up separately.
Hey, Kentucky! Still going to vote for your incumbent legislator?
Traditionally 95% of incumbents are re-elected. Despite the sturm and drang of the teabaggers demonstrating on tax day, there seems to be no reason to think that statistic will be changed this year. Kentuckians are weary, angry and, frankly, ill informed. If they know who their legislator is, they see him/her as a nice person who is doing the best he/she can do. If they don't know who their legislator is - then they have little invested in voting them out of office. Kentuckians are more interested in the Cats line up than in who represents them and what kind of job they do in Frankfort.
Incumbents don't have to do much - in fact, doing nothing has been a sure fire winner. Doing nothing means no excuses or explanations need be made to the folks back home. Doing nothing means not offending an interest group or well heeled donor. Doing nothing means no record for a challenger to run on.
This session, in a move that reaches the pinnacle of cynicism, leaders of the General Assembly have painted their inability to compromise as standing on principle.
On the Senate side, no new debt means no government construction jobs to fix crumbling infrastructure and to boost communities suffering from double digit unemployment. On the House side, projects galore for those with a "D" behind their names. The list of projects was made in the belief that schools and highways in GOP districts are immune to the ravages of time.
There MUST be an executive budget or the teabaggers will get more than they are asking for - no government at all. That means no police officers. No teachers. No social workers. No issuers of state retirement checks.
Closed unemployment offices. Closed parks. Closed schools. Closed senior centers. Closed health departments. Closed medicaid offices. Closed food stamp offices.
All this could come to pass after the primary in May. The vast majority (more than 95%) of incumbents will win their party's nominations in a walk (if they even face an opponent - which most don't).
64K more a day is just the start of the cost to Kentuckians for the failure of the 2010 General Session.