To The Daily Sun,
So let's talk about the parts of the state budget that get no air.
When it came time to put together her budget, the governor had granted the Department of Fish & Game (dept of bait, hunting and fishing ) 1.5 million bucks from the general fund, allowed the department to raid dedicated funds within the department, i.e.: wildlife and fisheries restoration funds and the boat ramp funds. All of this to offset the shortfall in the department as if there ever was a shortfall. The House Finance Committee gave the department $600,000 to be used for search and rescue overtime — $300,000 per year for the next two years — and that's it.
Then came the Senate Finance Committee to put in what is most important to them, retaining voters' votes. The Hunting and Fishing members only club (F&G) walked in, sat down and with an air of arrogance, proceeded to ask for the Senate to restore the $1.5 million to the department so they could give all of the 191 state workers in that department a pay-and-benefits raise.
What happened to the shortfall? The lamp was rubbed and the "Genie" in the bottle granted the the department $1.2 million to spend on pay increases or whatever the department wants to do with the dough. This money is not "earmarked"." Hats off to the Senate Finance Committee. You fell under the spell of funding a department that you know little to nothing about. What was the promised price, 200,000 votes? What is your voter base? Last year the Senate gave that dept $750,000. Now the Senate wants to grant them their wish for more pay and bennies.
Wake up. This will not be a one-time deal, for you see. Two years from now we will shell out another $1.2 million to keep up with the new pay scale, and the biennial after that, and after that, and after that, and.....
Strange how all of our state employees aren't getting pay raises, just the chosen few.
The next item on the agenda would have to be the $48 million that Maggie wanted to put into the drug and alcohol programs. The House Finance Committee dropped the number down to $28 million, then came Senate Finance who brought the number back up to $42 million. I do not remember asking any of the candidates who ran for office to throw this or any kind of monies into these programs that do not work — never did and never will. This kind of bleeding-heart spending of taxpayer money has been going on, like, forever. It's a campaign bid for re-election to fight the war on stupid, and I don't care how much money you throw at it, you can't fix stupid.
If you want to kill yourself with harmful drugs and drown yourself in the bottom of a bottle then knock yourself out. Why should the taxpayer be held responsible for your stupidity? By the way, they hide information on harmful drugs and the everlasting effects of booze in books.
Everyone who thinks that throwing 42 million bucks into drug and alcohol programs will solve the problems, please raise your hands. How much will be enough — $50, $75, $100 million? I'm 57 years old and have been hearing from every politician who ever came down the pike of how they were going to fight the war on drugs and all the billions, we in this country have spent, over all of those years, and all that has come of it is more and more jobs for enforcement and administration, but after all, that is where all the votes come from, isn't it. Rest assured that two years from now, when the next budget is formulated, there will be millions upon millions more needed for these programs that don't work.
When I voted last year for the Red, Right, Republicans I was expecting less government and less spending. Increase in state employee pay increases the state retirement requirements that taxpayers pick up the tab on. Increasing programs that don't work result in more administrative requirements, in other words more state employees.What happened to the less government/less spending? I could have voted for the Blue Democrats, at least I know what to expect from them, the same results.
In 2016 I think I'll just skip the voting for state reps and senators. and just vote for the presidential race, and I'll play the "Trump" card, at least the "Donald" will not be manipulated by the mainstream political team.
Eric T. Rottenecker
- Category: Letters
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