Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How to Spend $400 Million Bucks

The 2007 legislative session may be remembered for how lawmakers figure out to spend a budget surplus projected to total between $300 million and $500 million dollars.

I'm just back from a whirlwind trip to Jefferson City, and after all the pomp and circumstance, here are some few observations before I hit the sack.

*Watch my KY3 News @ 6 report HERE on the debate over how to spend the surplus and if there really is even a surplus.

*House Speaker Rod Jetton indicated to me he's considering signing on to a bill designed to overturn the stem cell research initiative passed by voters in November.

*House Minority Leader Jeff Harris says he's not sure if Republicans in the House and Senate agree on the type of tax cut to pursue this session. Rep. Harris also doubts Governor Blunt is even on the same page with Jetton's plan.

*In a gesture of bipartisanship, Senate Minority Leader Maida Coleman seconded the motion to nominate Sen. Michael Gibbons as President Pro Tem of the body. The Democrat Coleman called the Republican Gibbons a man of "great character and integrity."

*The opening ceremonies go on too long, and tire out even family members and friends who just want a friggin' picture of their favorite lawmaker.

*Jeff. City is way too far of a drive from Springfield, but the Capitol building is beautiful and inspires me every time I'm scurrying around up there.

*Much more (serious stuff) to come Thursday from the Session Opening Day


JD said...

This will be a very interesting session, one of the most in recent years, to see how the Republicans in the Legislature interact with the Governor and vice versa. I think it will become a classic study in body language watching Jetton and Blunt when they are together.

Dave, you have a dream job.

Brad Belote said...

Funny you mention the drive to Jeff City.

You would think after all this time, southwest Missouri lawmakers would push for serious upgrades to Highway 5 so that the trip from Springfield to Jefferson City would be four lanes the entire way.

I give MoDOT props for the improvements they've made on the drive.. but I still can't figure out why it goes down to two lanes as you approach Big Surf.

Brad Belote said...

Here's a novel thought: remember the days when there wasn't a surplus and make hay while the sun is shining.

That way future governors won't have to withhold money from schools, higher education and lawmakers won't have to pull accounting tricks, raid tobacco settlements or plug holes in the dike to make budget.

Andrew said...

kabby1...Senator Tim Green is actually a Democrat--