Friday, April 4, 2008

Budget thoughts, part 1

I label this part 1 as I figure I will have other thoughts to share as we go along.

First, this is no way to run a government. This is not a reflection on the people who negotiate the budget or the staff who put it together. But when a system exists that drops a 250 page document on your desk and a 30 page summary to digest about 6 hours before you have to vote on it, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system.

The good news is that for the first time in a while the state is doing a better job living within its means. The projects in the original budget document were at a minimum. We lower our overall debt ratio. We make progress toward fulling funding the state portion of the retirement system for this biennium. NKU now has the authority to build their dorm. Plus we have a budget, which is better than leaving without one and have to spend more taxpayer dollars coming back to finish up.

The bad news is that there are many cuts. The is no increase in the SEEK formula, but it holds steady. A 3% cut to higher education. Cuts to other educational services like Safe Schools. Cuts to Human Services. No adolescent treatment center for NKY.

More thought to come.....