The session opens tomorrow, and Minority Leader Sen. John McKinney (R) wants to see the budget done early.
“We want to pass the budget early, by April,” said Sen. John McKinney, minority leader.
“People are worried,” said Rep. Larry Cafero, minority leader. “They won’t stand for grandstanding.”(WFSB)
And the new Speaker agrees:
Speaker-elect Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said he wants the Appropriations and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding committees to finish their work two weeks ahead of schedule.
“We want to make the process work as quickly as possible so we have time to get it done,” Donovan said. (Stuart)
It’s encouraging to hear talk of finishing the budget early. That would go a long way toward giving the public confidence in the legislature. I bet that if Jim Amann were still Speaker, he’d be giving the media a long list of reasons why it couldn’t be done.
To be fair, it probably won’t be done. Amann was usually right about that sort of stuff. But it’s good that they’re willing to work towards that goal.
To that end, Republicans are proposing streamlining the way the legislature works and combining or simply getting rid of certain committees:
In an effort to speed up the process, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport, said combining the two budget committees into one “Budget Committee” makes sense. The Appropriations Committee creates the spending side of the budget. McKinney said that often times Appropriations offers a bill that doesn’t match the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee’s corresponding proposal to fund it.
In addition to streamlining the two budget committees, Republicans have proposed eliminating the four Select Committees, which under current law cannot transmit legislation directly to the floor of the House or Senate, and consolidating six other committees into three. (Stuart)
That makes a certain amount of sense. It means longer hours for the committees that still exist, however, and it may mean that some things are overlooked. But it’s an interesting proposal. If there are ways to make the legislature more efficient that also result in better legislation, I’m all for them.
State of the State
The governor is scheduled to deliver her State of the State address tomorrow at noon. If she holds true to form, the speech will contain the following:
- One proposal that Republicans really like that will never in a million years happen
- A proposal that ought to appeal to Democrats, though many Democrats will suspect it of being a trap
- A surprise that no one was briefed about
- Something completely random that will be forgotten as quickly as it’s brought up
- Something I’ll initially like which turns out to be a real turkey
- Laugh lines that fall flat
- Mild enthusiasm from all
This being an economic crisis year, I’m also expecting:
- Predictions of doom, followed by…
- A pep talk about how awesome Connecticut is, and how we’re all in this together
Should be a good time.
WFSB. “Rell Prepares For State Of State Address.” WFSB.com 6 January, 2009.
Stuart, Christine. “Williams On Upcoming Budget Talks:
If It Costs Money, It’s ‘Dead On Arrival’.” CT News Junkie 6 January, 2009.