Oaks: Legislature Must Read The Budget Fine Print First
In his budget presentation to the state Legislature this afternoon, the governor put forward a grim fiscal outlook. I agree with him that this is not going to be an easy budget, but I do not agree with his solutions of raising taxes, increasing borrowing and relying on one-time revenues to get him through an election year.
We should concentrate on spending more efficiently, assuring that we are getting the best value for our tax dollars, and providing mandate relief to our municipalities and our school districts to ease the burden on our property taxes.
The governor's budget presentation included numerous policy initiatives that have little fiscal impact. I recently introduced a bill that would exclude such policy proposals from the budget. Last year's budget was adopted late over issues that should have been discussed as separate measures, not used as bargaining chips during budget negotiations.
With this governor, I have learned to read the fine print. We will be reviewing the budget bills closely during the next few days in preparation for the budget hearing process that will begin next week.