22 May 2007

The Backlash Continues

I'm surprised I'm saying this but thank goodness for Alaska's media. They are the ones bringing to light - as is often the case - the numerous ill-conceived projects that are funded (but don't deserve to be) in this year's capital budget.

The latest example is a Christian school that received some money. House Finance co-chair Kevin Meyer, one of two prime overseers of the capital budget process, appears to completely abdicate his leadership role:

Meyer said that he wasn't aware of the exact wording of the constitutional funding prohibition. But he also says there are checks and balances. Even if the governor does not veto the appropriation, it will be reviewed by a state agency before a check is cut.

Well, yeah, but aren't there also checks in the legislative system? Like the oath you swore to uphold the constitution? I don't think that oath said you'd let a state agency uphold the constitution. And if a state agency is doing all that work, why not let them examine all the projects in the state and then decide which ones get funding, rather than letting a lawmaker's seniority and partisan affiliation be the judge? Shouldn't the House Finance committee - as a general rule - leave enough time to ensure its work meets a basic standard of constitutionality? Perhaps the 15 minutes you gave the Senate to examine your work was not sufficient?

Just a thought.


First Alaskan Man said...

Go Kevin Meyer! After reading the story, I have to take my hat off to that man. It’s politics at it’s finest. He’s the good guy who got the money but rules preclude having it spend.
Jessie, is there a State site where we can see which legislators got what monies for their districts? I don’t begrudge good causes and kudos to my legislator who helps push for needed projects/programs in other districts. If my reps are consistency last in securing money for my district, I would like to know this too.

Coldfoot said...

Yeah. That's terrible.

Giving taxpayer money to a responsible, results driven institution. This could only lead to trouble.

I second your indignity.