Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Ugly budget starting to come out of the paper bag

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We’re starting to see what the final budget is going to look like, and it looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down:

The Old Budget was 1743 pages.

Right now the New Budget consists of a 182-word press release (see below) with promises that the details will be coming “later.”

There is no analysis available as to whether cuts in school aid and shared revenue will be across the board or politically targeted.

The $100 million Phone Tax that was meant to cover 911 services has been ‘re-deployed.’

The new Hospital Tax has already been jacked to bring in an additional $165 million.

No one explains what the item marked “Improved Tax Collections” (to get to $185.2 million) means.

No one explained the specifics or the long-term implications of the “debt restructuring” and whether the New Budget will offset transportation spending with bonding and use the ‘savings’ for other spending within the budget.

While defending the policy, the Governor failed to say whether the changes in “Joint and Several” liability will remain in the budget. He also did not answer whether his proposed new gas tax will survive, or be increased.

The Democratic leaders of the Joint Finance Committee are insisting that the Committee will meet over the holiday weekend and be finished voting on the budget by next week.

The devil is in the details and the public is still awaiting them.

Right now we’re just getting a glimpse of the ankle. I don’t want to see it naked.

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