Tuesday, May 17, 2005

'They failed'

Alabama legislators fulfilled their destiny: not doing their jobs.

Lawmakers didn't pass the $1.5 billion General Fund budget on Monday, the final meeting day of this year's regular session. That means Gov. Bob Riley will have to convene a special session, which could cost up to $430,000, according to The Birmingham News. Riley spokesman Jeff Emerson said it all: "The constitution really requires very little out of the Legislature: Pass two balanced budgets. They failed."

Riley, for his part, made two good decisions Monday. First, he vetoed the Legislature's education measures, which give teachers a badly needed raise but rely too heavily on one-time money to do so. Second, he rejected them in time for legislators to override his vetoes, realizing that a less-than-ideal education budget is better than no education budget at all.

On the bright side, state senators broke a filibuster by Jefferson County lawmakers and voted 32-3 to approve an $80 million allocation to expand the Mobile docks. The expansion will give Mobile a huge edge in its efforts to land a $600 million aircraft plant and other similar projects. Unlike our legislators' sad inaction on the General Fund budget, that's good for the state.


Blogger Marlin Caddell said...

Here's the sad part of this whole deal.

Because I'm in Montgomery right now, I got to attend the last day of the general session. I saw filibustering like nobody's business. These people were getting up and talking about their childhood, where they grew up and something about brick walls as metaphors.

Anyway, on to the more sad part. The legislature has a vast amount of days to create things like the general fund budget and education budget, and they wait until the very last day of business to push everything through at one time.

The legislature does very little until the last day, and then try to crank out a month's work in a day.

9:18 PM  

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