Call it what you want, just put your name on it

One thing I’ve learned in life (and politics) is that people will justify anything.

I’m fine with that fact and I certainly understand how everyone has their own view and opinions when describing events that happen or maybe even the definition of certain words in society. (Think President Bill Clinton: It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.)

However, I think everyone is aware that – right or wrong – local projects get funded with state tax dollars. It’s been happening longer than any of us have been alive and will certainly continue long after.

That being said though, what’s wrong with letting everyone know what you feel is “needed” and where that money will actually go? When I presented a budget amendment last year for our State Libraries, I had my name on it (along with several others) and had to stand in front of the full House, explain what I was asking for, why I was asking for it, and then have my colleagues vote to approve or reject the amendment. (By the way, if you’re wondering – it passed and the money went to EVERY county in our state, on an equal basis. It didn’t go to only the two counties I represent).

Is this concept too much to ask for with our state budget instead of just amendments? Why should we let projects (needed or not) hide in the budget through subcommittee votes or committee votes (often anonymously) and rarely be questioned on the floor or during the veto process.

Now I’ve only been in the State House for three years so maybe this “new age thinking” has flaws I’m not aware of yet; but I’ll continue to work for what many in my district (and throughout the state) consider a “common sense” approach to government.

If an elected official needs (cough, wants) money for a specific cause, group, county, or his/her constituents, there’s nothing wrong in asking for it. I just think you should see whose hand is being raised and where your state tax dollars are going.