Our state legislative body is back in session. They have a tough agenda to deal with again this year. Revenues are down and the needs are bigger than ever.
With that in mind, there will be some hard decisions to make and I'm glad I am not the one who has to make them. I have voiced my opinion about what I feel priorities should be on many occasions, but once again most of those budgets are back on the chopping block.
Some of our legislatures are also deciding that this is the year to thumb our noses at the federal government. We surely seem to have a lot of constituents in the state that are mad at one federal regulation or another. It stands to reason.
Our federal government was set up to take care of the entire nation. With that, there will be laws and rules that feel unfair to some while they benefit others. When it is done right, the majority will benefit.
There certainly is a time to take a stand and defend what you feel is right. There are many recourses to do that. But you have to ask yourself with a tight budget that has no fat left, is passing "statement" laws that are almost certainly going to end up in court a wise move?
Budget woes are forcing our legislature to throw out some very unorthodox ideas to save money.One thought bouncing around is to cut out 12th grade and put all students on an accelerated path for graduation. I thought this would get laughed right out of the room, but it keeps coming back into the spotlight like a Jon and Kate divorce update.
While a lot students could probably make the adjustment, many could not and I predict the drop out rate would skyrocket. Would we fund the colleges at a rate that would allow them to accept more students at an earlier age? If so would we still be saving money?
What about sports? Many athletes rely on their senior year to be seen by college scouts to secure a scholarship. As juniors, would they be able to compete with athletes in other states for the same look over? I certainly see a real maturing of most kids as they play their final year.
Hopefully, our representatives find the strength to look at what we need to do with a Solomon-like wisdom as they wrap this year's session up.
I ask those who represent us to make sure every dime of money is spent as wisely as possible. It is the decisions made without thought to the long term future that scares me the most.
Soon we will know if those we have chosen are truly thinking about the majority of us, or just those who can pay to play.