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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

PA Budget Secrecy

Pete DeCoursey of Capitolwire asks an interesting question. Since lawmakers are likely to vote on the budget tomorrow (given they don't want to come in on the 4th and they have a two-and-a-half month vacation waiting), shouldn't, you know, they have some idea of what they will be voting on?

Several explanations are offered: 1) everyone wants to get home for Fourth of July weekend, and hey, budgets are leaders-only affairs anyway; and 2) there is enough unpopular stuff in this 2008-2009 state spending plan that they have to pass it before anyone can read it, or they can’t pass it; and 3) The modern House is so unruly and partisan and lobbyists so rabid, that you can’t let members figure out what is in a budget, or you won’t get the votes needed to suspend rules and pass it. ...

And while a few hush-hush provisions of this budget have begun to leak out - provisions to let the state pension boards further conceal contracts from the public, and possibly to take the right to regulate billboards from municipalities - it still feels like more is still being concealed. ...

Because delaying til Monday only risks furloughs if the budget would collapse if people had time to read it. And if that is true, if the budget is that bad, then, gosh, should we be passing it?

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