By ART CHANCE
I had to get married to get my checkbook balanced, but I knew enough about the Executive Budget Act and State budgeting processes to ask questions and call BS.
My knowledge is dated, but my experience in dealing with the State is that dated knowledge is better because these days the State mostly runs on the “this is how we’ve always done it, principle.” Few seem to know or care whether or not that way is legal.
I’ve never believed that going to Legislative Budget and Audit for disbursement of the CARES Act subsidy money was appropriate.
I always viewed the Revised Program – Legislation or RP-L process as a way to move money between existing appropriations, not a way to make appropriations.
Maybe somebody is thinking my way, in that LB&A moved to act on CARES money to existing appropriations to State agencies. But now Rep. Chris Tuck wants a special session to consider the distribution to other entities.
Or maybe it is something very sinister.
First, a special session isn’t necessary because the Legislature is in Session already. That said, if they’re thinking clearly, the Legislature could adjourn and either move itself to special session or have the governor call a special session, in such a way that only a clearly delineated subject can be considered by the Legislature.
Relations between the governor and the legislative majorities are so bad that it is unlikely they would give the governor the opportunity to call the session. Therefore, if there is to be a special session, the Legislature will call itself into session and the agenda will be CARES Act allocation and, maybe, veto overrides. They’ll probably throw the vetoes in so there can be some horse-trading with the governor over where the CARES Act money goes.
That brings us to the sinister scenario. The legislative majorities are the chattel properties of the public employee union racket, the education racket, and the healthcare racket.
A session about CARES Act money is going to be about whether the money goes to local government and small business or whether the money goes to the rackets that own the Legislature.
This legislative leadership really doesn’t care about the People of Alaska. They care about making sure that every dime of available revenue goes to the union racket, the education racket, and the publicly funded healthcare racket.
You who are not in that exclusive club can just go bankrupt and die. They really don’t care. They really have no shame.
Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon.