Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

With little notice, and in a clear power play to challenge the Governor’s authority to craft the state’s budget, Democrats fast-tracked legislation to increase the Department of Children and Family Services’ budget by $100 million without going through the appropriations process.

Many Republicans would have supported the funding of the programs identified in the bill and even championed them in budget negotiations. They could not however support the circumvention of the appropriations process or voting for a bill of this magnitude without review.

Republicans asked the sponsor numerous times to hold the bill until they had time to read it.

Leader Durkin made a rare appeal to the sponsor, “We want to help you and we want to work with you on this...give us some time. Just over night. Please extend that courtesy to us. We are trying to stress a bipartisan solution to our problems.”

The sponsor of the bill refused to hold the bill and it passed.

Most Republicans voted "present" in protest of the process and were disappointed that the Democrat-controlled House talks of bipartisanship but their actions prove otherwise. Even more important to note, it was their past actions that put the state in the current precarious financial condition in the first place, passing a budget last year that was $1.6 billion out of balance.

A common held definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s clearly time for something new.