A Budget Committee of their Own

So the legislature is off for Town Meeting Week. I saw Mayor Liz Gamache and Rep. Corey Parent at the polls at Saint Albans City Hall this morning. One committee that probably isn’t taking a break is the new GOP not-so-secret special committee combing through the budget.

House Minority Leader Rep. Don Turner (R-Milton) mentioned it matter-of-factly last week on Vermont Edition.

We have a committee working with our appropriations people, that started before the session began, and have started to scrub and comb through all areas of state government. We’ve initially focused on the high cost areas.

The VPO already covered how spectacularly ineffective this committee has been to date here. So, I’ll move on to talk about what’s on my mind: What does this new committee mean about the GOP’s faith in its own Appropriations committee members? Also, how does it relate to the rumored absence of members from their afternoon committee meetings (reported to me in hushed tones by several of my old statehouse friends)?

If you’re new in the Vermont House, especially a member of the minority party, then your only hope of being respected and effective is by showing your skills in committee. I’m not sure how less politically-inclined tax payers feel about having our legislators doing partisan work while their committees are meeting, but it ticks me off.

People who don’t respect the process in Montpelier do so at their own peril. If seasoned members of the Appropriations committee can’t find some juicy cuts to make to the budget then I seriously doubt that freshmen ditching their committees to comb through the budget will. If this new GOP committee really wants to serve their constituents they should work on some legislation and leverage the power of their committee assignments and respect their colleagues of all party affiliations on the Appropriations committee to do their jobs.  

About Mike McCarthy

I'm a guitar-playing Democrat living in Saint Albans, VT with my wife Steph and my daughter Molly. I represented Saint Albans in the VT House in 2013-2014. I care about good government, and a safe, healthier world for all of us. I work for an awesome solar company and love helping Vermonters re-power our communities.

2 thoughts on “A Budget Committee of their Own

  1. When we send these folks to Montpelier, we like to think that they warm their assigned committee seats at least long enough to understand the job.

    Some of them seem to have attention issues, or maybe they just get bored easily.  ‘Kind of reminds me of Tom Salmon, who famously gave the impression that he wanted to do anything but his own job as soon as he got into it.

    Fellas: You can toss the green eyeshades and the gnashing of teeth.

    It’s not your job to

    scrub and comb through all areas of state government.

    We’ve got a real Auditor now, who is actually doing his job rather well.

  2. They have their purpose.  For one thing, they caution us against complacency.

    I’m just glad there are folks willing to take a bold stand against our social safety net, paying teachers, paving roads, protecting water, etc, and not get re-elected when they have nothing to show for their grandstanding whilst everybody else did the People’s work.  That’s the kind of bravery we need, just like those who authorized torture.  And that ain’t hyperbole.

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