Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Legislators study HOPE initiative

"State lawmakers are planning to study how the passage of a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with education spending might affect the rest of the state budget," the Associated Press reported today. I attended part of the interim study this morning (OFRG live-tweeted the proceedings), and couldn't help but be struck by a few amusing "with friends like these ..." moments.

Phillip Busey, president and CEO of The Busey Group, testified in favor of the HOPE initiative. He reminded legislators that state revenues are down -- he said shortfalls could reach a billion dollars -- and said "I don't see those coming back before 2011 or 2012." Hmmm. And he is testifying in favor of putting more strain on the state budget?

OEA staffer Joel Robison, who did a nice job presenting his information in a not altogether friendly environment, told legislators that OEA was pursuing the initiative route because the legal route had proved unfruitful. It struck me as odd that a testifier would tell legislators, Hey, remember me, I'm the guy who sued you.

In all, my take on the HOPE initiative hasn't changed:

First the teacher unions backed a radical, irresponsible spender.

Now they're backing a radical, irresponsible spending scheme.

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