July 2010

“I think people want certainty in their elected officials” and “ It’s time to pass the budget … it is dysfunction on steroids” were just two comments from members of the Legislature after it averted an unprecedented shutdown of state government June 14 when they voted for yet another emergency spending bill.

The game of chicken continues with people’s lives. There’s not much more to say then I’ve already written in this column — government continues to hang by a thread. And it’s not just New York State. At press time, the U.S. Senate is late in passing a renewal for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Senate Democrats keep packaging it with jobless benefits and Medicare funding — things Republicans are balking over. So if you live by water, you’re out of luck. By the way, this is the third time this year Congress has let the NFIP lapse.

There’s a lot of talk from the electorate that we should throw out all incumbents. If only it were as simple to do it as it is to say it. Trying to get a state, much less a country, to do anything together is folly. And besides, we’ve heard many candidates say that when they get elected they’re going to change the way we do business — and yet it never really happens. As long as we have the current partisan divide, these shenanigans are going to continue.

The one very bright spot recently was the passing of the Governor’s Emergency Article VII bill, which included a full annual $402.8 million appropriation for the 2010-2011 fiscal year for CHIPs.

This only happened because of your hard work and the tireless efforts of your associations. Government still works; it’s just that we have to be really loud and persistent with elected officials. And you were. Congratulations and thank you for rallying for this vital funding.

P


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