Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lack of budget constitutes epic failure when put into perspective

It amazes us that the Commonwealth still does not have a FY2012 budget in place even though the new fiscal year starts tomorrow, July 1.

Just how amazing is it? Well, we thought it might be useful to put it into perspective by looking at what else has happened in the world while state lawmakers have been working slavishly to finish work on the budget.

First, a quick recap: The House released its budget plan to the public on April 13, 2011. This marked the beginning of formal legislative consideration of the budget. The House passed its version on April 28, and the Senate followed suit on May 26.

April 13, the night the House released its budget, was the same night the 2011 NHL Playoffs started. Since then, the Bruins competed in all playoff rounds and eventually won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

On April 28, when the House passed its budget version, Prince William and the former Ms. Kate Middleton were still single. The royal wedding took place the next day (and it was supposedly being watched on live television by Representative Mark Cusack and others reveling in the House Speaker's Office/Chamber). That same day, jury selection in the corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi was just beginning. That trial would last several weeks, until DiMasi would be found guilty of 7 out of 9 charges on June 15 (the same night the Bruins won the Stanley Cup).

The House budget was already passed and sent to the Senate days before the United States found and killed Osama bin Laden (May 1), which ended a manhunt ongoing since 2001, and weeks before the FBI captured fugitive Whitey Bulger (June 22), who had been on the lam since 1995. And both the House and Senate budgets were done deals before tornadoes struck western Massachusetts (June 1) and Sarah Palin visited Boston (June 2).

Yet, despite the fact that the House and Senate budgets were originally heralded upon passage for their frugality and austerity (translation - they didn't really do anything), there is no agreement on their terms many weeks later.

We're sure lawmakers are working tirelessly to complete work on the budget as soon as possible in advance of the upcoming long holiday weekend. Yeah, right. Could a last-minute deal still be reached so lawmakers could called in on the Friday before a long weekend to pass the budget? Oh, the humanity...

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like they may vote today....a FRIDAY! Egads, can you imagine asking our elected reps to WORK on a FRIDAY of a THREE day weekend. But they missed June 30. They'll need a all point bulletin to corral the gang back to Beacon Hill. Oh, I forgot, they are working in their districts on Friday. Maybe they'll take a comp. day to offset having to actually work. Better yet, maybe some fool could cast just one vote as a YEA. All the goodies will be in the next supplemental budget, not here.


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