Friday, January 23, 2009

What are they thinking....

Scanning the bills that have been filed in the General Assembly by local lawmakers, will leave you wondering if any of them realize the state's in a fiscal crisis.

Is it really a priority to bond $15 million for improvements at the Garde Art Center in New London? Apparently some of our legislators think so.

How about $700,000 for the LymanArt Museum in Old Lyme? It looks that way.

And let's not forget the lobster restoration program. Granted, an argument could be made that putting our lobster fishermen out of work doesn't help the economy...but it does raise the question that I've asked over and over....where are the priorities?

Right now...it appears everyone is taking cover, trying to protect their own from the budget spending cuts that will have to be made. So...if it's not this....than what does get sacrificed?

(Shameless self promotion....more on this subject in Sunday's Hackett on Politics column. Have a good weekend.)

3 Comments:

Blogger dweeb said...

The short answer to your question is 'they are thinking about their own survival.'

We've created a rewards system that encourages (if not outright coerces) those we elect to treat the public trust as a public trough.

A legislator who would otherwise NOT vote to renovate the Garde Theatre could discover a project important to her/his constituents gets stonewalled because there was no previous quid for a pro quo.

Speaking of which,why not renovate Dodd Stadium? After all, the city of Norwich OWNS that facility. (See how slippery this slope gets and how quickly?).

Instead of doing the right thing, we reward officials who do things right.

If I can deliver X amount of government dollars for building improvements, or infrastructure upgrades, I improve my chances of being elected by those sectors of the industries in my district whom I've helped.

There are probably legislators in Litchfield County who see little value in approving any bonding to upgrade the Groton SuBase facility. However, if their pet project is to get any traction this session, they know they have to get along to go along.

And we, the electorate look at 'our representatives' in Hartford, at least come election time, and ask 'what have you done for us lately?' before voting.

1:47 PM  
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

When you ask a legislator "Where's the plan and the priorities?" the answer is "We are waiting for the Governor to lay out her budget. Then we will take the appropriate action." The legislative leaders seem to be locked into the "Process" in Hartford, rather than looking to developing a plan outside of that process. The Minority Republicans can come up with plans and priorities because they know that what ever they say doesn't count. The Governor and the Dem majority will set the agenda and the Dems seem to be waiting for the Governor's shoe to drop before taking action. I guess that is leadership as defined by the legislative process. It is just hard for those of us not in the state legislature to understand. I certainly don't.

12:24 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Well I hate to defend the Democrats but they aren't quite as clueless as they look.

The Democrats do rely on the Governor's super-agency OPM (Office of Policy and Management) to formulate the budget. They don't have the resources to do that.

The Dems will just tweak the edges so to speak. Raise some taxes there and spend a little more there and raise some taxes over there and spend some more and raise even more taxes over there and take care of their pet interest groups like the teachers unions.

Everyone is waiting on OPM to get the ball started.

9:47 PM  

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