A lot has been made about an alleged revenue shortfall of somewhere between $1.3 Billion and $1.3 Trillion (that's not a misprint) in the state's Operating Budget. As a result we have been told that the only places that the leges could make budget reductions to offset this "shortfall" was in the budgets of higher education and healthcare.
Just for the purposes of this missive, lets say both of the above statements are factual.
The State's Operating Budget (HB 1) was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. Despite all of the dire warnings, a significant amount of our tax dollars was added to various lege priorities. To see the complete list go here: http://forgotston.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/2009-house-committee-amendments-to-hb1.pdf (or just click on the story title link above.
Note particularly those add-ons beginning on page 20 that go to local and non-governmental agencies ("NGOs"). Some in the media write that "critics" call these items "pork" or "slush funds" (or "Boudin"). Put me down as one of those critics.
More such funding priorities will be added as HB 1 goes through the lege process. The next step is consideration on the House Floor this coming week.