No time to read, just vote

By: - June 17, 2008 7:51 am

 Senate budget subcommittees took no votes on the parts of the Senate budget released Monday afternoon. No amendments were allowed either. Senators were told they could offer amendments at Tuesday morning's meeting of the full Appropriations Commitee.

Senator Linda Garrou announced on the Senate floor Monday night that any proposed amendments had to be turned into Senate staff by 10 a.m, shortly after the budget meeting begins, and that Senators should have 75 copies made.

There'a a catch though, for Senators interested in offering changes to the budget. As of 8:00 last night, they hadn't seen it. Garrou said copies would be delivered to Senators' office sometime after the Senate adjourned its evening session.

It is only a 205-page bill and a 132-page report that spends $21.2 billion. Seems like folks ought to be able to read it, understand it, and prepare any proposals to change it first thing in the morning, maybe while having that first cup of coffee.

Could the Senate budget process be any more absurd?

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066