BILL CRAWFORD: Chokehold budget hits state employees, poor

Merry Christmas state employees. The budget proposed by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn, and their budget committee colleagues targets you. If you get to keep your job, they want you to work harder and do more for no more pay. The budget is bad for your retirement (PERS), too. Oh, but you will get a tiny tax cut.

The proposed budget is $195 million less than the twice-cut current budget and cuts nearly every agency. It would eliminate funding for almost 2,000 currently unfilled positions and remove civil-service protection to make it easier for agency heads to fire workers.

Gunn warned agencies “to pay strong attention to this budget.” They will be expected to operate “at the leanest levels possible.”

This is, in effect, government by strangulation. Republicans have a stranglehold on state government and will do whatever it takes to strangle spending so they can cut taxes. Doesn’t matter if you’re already a high performing, efficient agency or not, you’re getting cut (except for K-12 and a handful of special programs).

Daily Journal
12/18/16