WLTX: Whether you are for the stimulus or against…

Today the House sustained more than 20 vetoes before procedural “do overs” were called for by certain members so that the outcome on some of those could be changed.

After a handful of those sustained vetoes were flipped and overridden, we ended up with 17 sustained at the end of the day. Two of the flips saw votes of 58-58 go to 88-28, meaning 30 members apparently changed their minds in less than an hour. In doing so those vetoes went from being sustained earlier in the debate to being overridden later.

If anything, those reversals (there were more than two) shows that elected officials should have more time on these vetoes and budget. Either members arms were twisted to change their vote from sustain to override (let’s be honest, they were) OR maybe more information was learned in that hour that members had a legitimate reason to change. I’ll even concede some of the latter if others can concede having only a few hours to review a $6 billion version of a state budget (hashed out between a few members) is not enough time either.

Even when the alternative budget was presented last week , we agreed to adjourn to have more time for folks to consider that. We thought that only fair too.

Today though, the much watched “stimulus” vetoes were handidly overridden by the House (and I assume Senate by now) and I fear the worse in the next few weeks.

While some are saying “halleluia, we’re getting the stimulus,” the State Supreme Court may ultimately have the final say-so. If they rule the Legilsature can’t usurp the Governor then Part 3 (where the stimulus money lies) gets thrown out and our state is left with Part 1 only. Some have called Part 1 the ‘chaos budget’ because it’s believed to have been drafted in such a way to garner more votes to take the stimulus just to avoid the ‘chaos’.

Instead of giving strong consideration to an alternative budget that didn’t rely on stimulus funds and funded several agencies higher than Part 1A of this year’s House/Senate budget , our state could be staring at Part 1 should the State Supreme Court rule the legislature cannot usurp the executive branch on this matter.

Stay tuned. I’m sick of it too but that’s what happens when folks are unwilling to give peace a chance .