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Can you believe that in one short month we will be halfway through this year? It is true that time goes by faster the older we get! Also staying busy makes time fly.
While we do not have a big trip planned again until October, we are staying busy making plans for it – plus the one after that, and the one after that, and now looking at adventures into 2025. Planning for the future helps take the load off looking at the past and what “could have been.”
The state legislative session is another thing that has now come and gone. By the time this edition is published they will have gone Sine Die – adjourned indefinitely probably until next year. I am disappointed in some of the legislation that has been passed and some that did not even make it to a vote.
My major complaint is the Price Act (School Choice) not even getting to the floor of the Senate for a vote. It was discussed in several different committees and was approved to be put on the calendar for a vote. There were 18 committed votes in favor of it, but it would have needed 21 to pass.
This was one of the biggest discussions, yet nothing was done. Of course, the lobbyists won and shut it down. While I did see several issues that needed to be cleared up, I think it should have at least had an opportunity to be debated on the floor. We will now start working on a new bill being ready to go next year.
While this legislation to give ALL parents access to tax money to pay for their child’s education did not pass, one other bill is still on the table. It will provide MORE state funds for scholarships to students who want to go to PRIVATE schools – $10,000 a year. So, what is the difference between the two bills?
The Price Act would give all the power to the PARENTS while this change to the Accountability Act keeps the power and decisions with the STATE. Plus, this one provides up to $4,000 MORE per student and is ONLY to move to private schools! How stupid do these elected officials think we are?
Another big topic was the budget surpluses! At the beginning of the session we were hearing about receiving a nice refund, or a tax cut, to help the taxpayers. As I understand it now, each taxpayer will receive a walloping $150 – and they will probably withhold taxes from it.
The sales tax on groceries only received a short-term decrease instead of being done away with entirely as had been discussed. AND, when they considered local legislation by the counties, the Democrats – with the help of some Republicans – got the Senate to pass a proposed constitutional amendment to redefine gambling in Greene County.
Even though the bill is written only for Greene County it will probably have statewide implications. The unwritten rule is that if a County Commission puts forward a bill that only pertains to THAT county, all the other legislators will vote to approve it.
Just like in Washington, D.C., and our national legislature, the leadership (the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader) determine what is and what is not voted on. While OUR senators and representatives might listen to “We the People,” the leadership pays more attention to the lobbyists and donors. That is why some things that make perfectly good sense are never discussed because they might receive a positive vote and ridiculous things slide right through.
Meanwhile in our nation’s capital, there is a conflict about raising our debt ceiling. I heard the following analogy that makes sense to me. If your annual income is $30,000, but you constantly spend more than that and must continually borrow money to pay your bills you eventually are in much more debt than what your income is every year.
You continue to borrow more on your credit cards and finally reach the limit on all your cards – let’s say $300,000. So, you contact your creditors and ask them to extend your limits so you can keep spending. All the while, you are paying interest on all these debts that may eventually EXCEED your ability to borrow more money or to cover normal expenses (both necessary and optional).
Eventually no one will loan you money, and they might even decide to “call” your debt and you would be required to pay the debt IN FULL immediately. What would you do? Do you go out and get a second and third job? Do you cut your expenses to the bone? This is what our nation is facing by continually spending more money than we take in and spending more money on things that ARE NOT NECESSARY. And do you know who we owe large sums of money to? China and Japan, companies, and independent investors. Read that again – China and companies? Who does our government give in to the most on issues? Yes, China and companies. And they expect things in return for their continued loans.
Well, again some of these issues are still on the drawing room boards so we will just have to continue to watch and listen to what our leaders decide on OUR behalf. Ain’t politics grand?!