A Page from Patsy
Your tax dollars were spent unnecessarily again this week. The General Assembly was called into a session which started Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. This is the time when many people are still visiting with families over a long Thanksgiving weekend or are on the road driving home on the second busiest driving day of the year. Is that the time when legislators need to be on the road or cutting short rare family visits in distant places? Absolutely not!
The kicker was that when we got to the session, which was indeed a skeleton session as the Speaker had said, he announced that the session for Monday would not begin until 2:00 instead of noon. That means most of us could have come in on Monday and saved the state $50,000. It’s not so much what the Republican leadership does; it’s how they do it! The lack of solid, trusting communication is insensitive and disrespectful.
Did we accomplish anything? Yes, there were no veto overrides! Other than that, there was a procedural vote on a bill which would merge county health and social service departments. Buncombe County is a leader in this area, but there are some issues which still need to be worked out state-wide. This bill will come back for a vote in the short session in May and will very likely pass. I will support that effort.
We also voted in a bipartisan manner to fix minor glitches in a few bills, one of which dealt with breweries and will benefit Buncombe and Henderson Counties. There was a debate on capping the gas tax which is quite a complicated issue. All the while, we knew the Senate had already adjourned and would not even take up the issue, so it was a moot point. All the vote did on the House side was make it a political issue as to whether we voted to “raise taxes.”
And lastly, right before we adjourned for this mini-session, the Republicans brought forth a Resolution to the National Democratic Party regarding the national convention which will be held in Charlotte in the summer of 2012.The major work for this convention, which will bring jobs and money into our state, has been going on for over a year. Why choose now to interfere with the progress? This is the sort of nonsense which goes on during these min-sessions.
Thank goodness we are not scheduled to go back until after the holidays! It will give us all a chance to breathe deeply and focus on the more positive spirit of love and giving that is part of all of our deeper beings.
May your holidays be filled with love, friendship and family.