Loading...
http://super-sound.shopcool.ru АБСОЛЮТНО БЕСПРОВОДНЫЕ BLUETOOTH НАУШНИКИ (АНАЛОГ AIRBEATS) Беспроводные наушники с...

Rank and file excluded from budget process

Tom Campbell.jpg

Tom Campbell

Loading…

Saturday, May 26, 2018

After hearing what is apparently taking place in our General Assembly we have to ask why we even need 170 members in the General Assembly? We could save millions of dollars, free up lots of office space and greatly simplify state government if we permanently furloughed 150 or more of them. They obviously are not needed.

That whooshing sound you hear coming from Raleigh is the budget freight train racing nonstop through our legislature. Lawmakers are about to pass a $23.9 billion state budget with no input from rank and file members, no hearings and no opportunity to amend it. The spending plan was agreed upon by a handful behind closed doors and, to guarantee speedy passage, a questionable maneuver will be employed so that there’s no chance for amendments or meaningful debate.

The maneuver is known as “stripping a bill.” Here’s how it works: the language of an insurance bill, already passed in slightly different versions by each chamber of the legislature, will be completely stripped of previous content, replaced by the entire budget for the coming year. The stripped bill will then be presented as a conference report, meaning it cannot be amended and rank and file legislators have only two options: vote for the conference report as presented or defeat it.

It won’t be defeated, because that would require Republican members to turn against their own leadership. They may not like what’s happening, but they don’t have the courage to do defeat it. Republican lawmakers know that next year, if the GOP retains control of both houses (a likely scenario), their Judas-like betrayal will be rewarded by lousy committee assignments and the surety that no legislation they propose will see the light of day. They are all standing for re-election this fall and the GOP caucus often provides needed campaign funding. When they solicit your vote ask them if they are proud of what they did.

This stripping maneuver has been used before, however to use such a trick to pass the entire budget is unprecedented and makes North Carolina state government appear to be little more than a banana republic. It should enrage every citizen, regardless of your party preference.

I come from an era where crafting a state budget was a big deal. Appropriations subcommittees in each chamber laboriously considered spending requests in public hearings, finally voting out budget recommendations that were passed along to the larger appropriations committee. After further debate and passage by the big appropriations committee, the final package was brought to the floor of the chamber, where it was again debated, sometimes amended, and voted upon by the 120 members of the House or 50 members of the Senate.

After passing one house, the bill went to the other chamber, where it was once again scrutinized, amendments made and voted upon. Differences between the two versions were ironed out in a conference committee and then brought to the floor of each chamber for a final, up or down vote. The process required statesmanship, compromise and a bipartisan camaraderie unknown today. Top leaders in each chamber had a large voice in the final version, but rank and file members were respected and their votes counted.

My sources tell me this is outrageous budget trick is going to happen. We should be shouting from rooftops that this is a shameful way to run state government. If it goes through as anticipated you have all the proof you need that we don’t need most of the 170 lawmakers in our General Assembly. Send them home.

Tom Campbell is former assistant state Treasurer and creator and host of NC SPIN, a statewide panel discussion that airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday on UNC-TV and 10 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday on the North Carolina Channel.Contact him at www.ncspin.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

September 19, 2018

Three days before the Washington-based trial against Paul Manafort was set to begin, special counsel Robert Mueller raised eyebrows in the legal community when his office filed a new charging document. Many began to wonder whether an announcement about a plea agreement with Manafort, President…

 Deanna Paul

September 19, 2018

So much of our reasoning about race is both emotional and faulty. In ordinary, as well as professional, conversation, we use terms such as discrimination, prejudice, racial preferences and racism interchangeably, as if they referred to the same behavior. We can avoid many pitfalls of misguided…

Walter Williams

September 18, 2018

Since 1999’s Floyd, we’ve come to the conclusion that with hurricanes, water is the new wind.

Smarter construction methods — from beefed-up building codes to plain old common sense — seem to have helped mitigate damage solely from wind and, to a lesser extent, storm surge.…

September 18, 2018

Readers of the Los Angeles Times were furious in 2003 when — only five days before the California gubernatorial election — the paper published a stunning investigation in which 16 women accused candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger of groping them.

They canceled their subscriptions in droves…

Margaret Sullivan

September 18, 2018

If recent history is any guide, we'll still be hearing about the Hurricane Florence recovery effort well into 2020.

The recovery from Hurricane Matthew — which flooded large parts of Eastern North Carolina in October 2016 — was still creeping along as Florence hit the state. Just a week…

Colin Campbell

September 17, 2018

The Washington Post

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday promising to punish anyone attempting to meddle in U.S. elections, including with "measures that could be capable of devastating an interfering country's economy," according to an administration description. For a…

September 17, 2018

Over the past year, the movement to ban plastic straws has seen tremendous success. Major companies including Starbucks have decided to eliminate them in their stores, and some metropolitan areas have passed citywide bans. This consumer and environmental trend has been an encouraging example of…

John Podesta

September 17, 2018

When natural disasters or other emergencies hit our state, North Carolinians respond in droves — and I’m not just referring to the crucial and praiseworthy work of our public employees who work in emergency management, public safety, and public works.

North Carolinians respond in many…

john hood.jpg

September 16, 2018

Under any other president’s watch, this would be big news, that the budget deficit has reached $895 billion. Thanks to President Trump’s tax cut, corporate tax revenue fell 30 percent in the last 11 months, and the need for social services remains despite the good economy.

Wages are…

douglascohn.jpg

September 16, 2018

Should an unaccountable United Nations court, created by a treaty to which the United States is not a signatory, and that the Senate has not ratified, be allowed to investigate, try and imprison American citizens?

Unfortunately, this is no longer a theoretical question. In November, the chief…

Thiessen
296 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»