Step Up, Legislators

For Your Reading

We’re thankful for many things here at MYD this year, but the non-functional state legislature isn’t one of them:

For all his lousy poll numbers, Gov. Paterson has actually been a lone steady voice of vigilance, reason and concern about the state’s budget crisis from the second he took office in March 2007. And he hasn’t just been complaining. He’s been offering reasonable solutions for the Legislature to consider.

He’s called for a state spending cap. He’s called for across-the-board cuts in departmental spending. He’s called for the creation of a new pension system tier to lower state expenses. He’s proposed ending unfunded mandates. He’s made it easier for local governments to consolidate and share services. He’s called for mid-year budget cuts to schools. He’s threatened powerful state unions with massive layoffs if they don’t make concessions. He’s laid off workers in the executive branch. His deficit reduction plan has included significant cuts to education and health care, two areas protected by powerful special interests.

Say what you want about Gov. Paterson. Make all the jokes you want. The guy is right about the budget crisis. He’s been right all along. And he’s the only one who seems to care about finding a solution.

State Senators, in particular, should be ashamed of themselves as they utterly fail to meet their obligations as legislators not only on the budget crisis but also marriage equality:

But negotiations have been fundamentally stalled — and even irrational at times. Senate Democrats, who have thus far refused to hold a vote to legalize same-sex marriage, have nonetheless floated the theory in negotiations that the state could expect to take in more than $50 million a year in new revenue from the legalization of same-sex marriage, from a combination of marriage license and tourism revenue.

Ugh.

Governor Gets It, Legislators Don’t