Friday, May 01, 2009

Tully On The Worst Legislature

Star political columnist Matt Tully makes some very salient points on the Indiana General Assembly's adjournment without successfully approving a state budget--its constitutional duty:

Thursday morning, a few hours after lawmakers performed their latest belly flop on the state of Indiana, I sat in front of my computer screen and surprisingly couldn't muster the anger needed to write a column full of outrage and indignation.

It should have been easy.

The case against the Indiana General Assembly is damning. Beyond a reasonable doubt, our pathetic legislature is guilty of incompetence, arrogance and backward-thinking.

After four months of silly games and petty politics, lawmakers ended their 2009 session without fulfilling their only constitutional duty: passage of a new state budget. Despite a winter and spring spent cashing paychecks from taxpayers and enjoying free meals from lobbyists, the General Assembly failed Indiana . . .

Some things are clear now that lawmakers have spent a session dodging their constitutional duty, picking fights with the inspiring charter schools movement and rejecting efforts to restructure the state's antiquated and inefficient local government system.

First, the General Assembly is in dire need of new leaders. The annual brawls between House Speaker Pat Bauer and Republican leader Brian Bosma have turned the House into a gridlocked embarrassment. Second, there is a stunning lack of effective rebels in either chamber willing to challenge their legislative bosses and the old way of doing things. Third, if things don't change and if the legislature doesn't start thinking less about politics and more about policy, Indiana is going to sink even further behind other states.

4 comments:

I know said...

AI said:
"There is a stunning lack of effective rebels in either chamber willing to challenge their legislative bosses and the old way of doing things. Third, if things don't change and if the legislature doesn't start thinking less about politics and more about policy, Indiana is going to sink even further behind other states."

Gary,
100% dead on and AMEN! Convince some legislators in believing some of the tax payers information and they will be leaders not rebels.

MissouriDemocrat said...

The sad thing is some of us citizens have grown to expect this sad behavior from the world's worst state legislature that we are un-energetic to do a thing about it as in, the republicans hold their districts so strong you can't get rid of the dead weight there and the democrats are the same. The biggest hypocrite is Bosma who can moonlight as a high profile lawyer and then try to act like a great citizen advocate. Both Bauer and Bosma should be banned from serving the public in any capacity except dog catcher for 10 years.

Doug said...

Got a citation to the part of the Constitution that explicitly requires the General Assembly to pass a budget? I hear this bit about Constitutional duty from time to time, and haven't been able to identify its source.

Obviously, the budget is a practical necessity, but I haven't found they duty spelled out in the Constitution.

Advance Indiana said...

Doug, In Section 3 of Article 10, it reads:

"No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations made by law."

You can't have a state budget to draw moneys from the state treasury if the legislature doesn't make appropriations.