The Hidden Agenda Behind Budget DelaysThe legislative Democrats in Nashville have joined with the Governor to continue holding the General Assembly hostage, still failing to issue a budget proposal with Memorial Day nearing. Now comes word that the Governor may not even send a budget to the Hill until May 29th-the Friday after Memorial Day and a day in which the General Assembly is not even scheduled to be in session.
The Governor could have presented the budget long before now, but he used the federal stimulus as his excuse to fail in doing his duty to the people of this State, saying that he intended to wait in order to find out just how much federal money Tennessee was going to have doled out to us. It became clear that the so-called stimulus was not going to be the budgetary panacea which the Governor and the Democrats attempted to make the people of this State believe, and the Governor has delayed the presentation of the budget until such time as he knows that the Legislature should not be sitting at all.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have gone about attempting to accuse the Republicans of doing nothing except pass SJR 127 (the abortion amendment) and a slew of gun legislation. The Democrats have done their level best to make it appear as though the General Assembly isn't "doing anything," but what the Democrats are hoping is that the average voter will not come to the realization that the Legislature can't fulfill its primary constitutional responsibility-passing a budget-when it has no proposal from which to work and therefore no budget to pass.
The Democrats think it fine to play fast and loose with the budget, knowing that most of the subcommittees of the House have been shut down and that a budget submission on May 29th will mean that the General Assembly will remain in session well into the month of June. The longer the Legislature remains in session, the more Legislative Days (days when the whole body meets) it will use by necessity, and it may only use 90 in a two-year period. Using many Legislative Days this year will mean that there will be fewer to use next year, which will mean that either the Legislature will adjourn too soon, or could go through much of next year's session without pay because they exceeded that 90-day limit.
The Democrats seem to be dragging out the session needlessly this year in the hopes of getting out quickly next year-an election year where the sooner the General Assembly adjourns the quicker these people can raise money and campaign...how convenient.