Spending Reform 27 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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How is freezing spending at artificially high levels fiscal conservatism? A freeze (on only 1/6 of the budget) would permanently lock in the baseline that increased with the stimulus bill and past budget. The ruling regime is slick, but the loony left is too dumb to know what they are doing so it may be defeated. The freeze would save 15 billion out of a 1.4 trillion deficit. The President increased the spending baseline 140 billion for these programs in the last year and 1. 5 trillion over the next 10 years. The freeze would take it back to to 1.25 trillion in increases over the next ten years. That is like spending 200 dollars eating out and then taking the toll free road home to save fifty cents.
How about tackling entitlement reform? Why are talking about everything but that? A Presidential and Congressional, bi-partisan commission there would pay dividends. We don’t need to give it extra constitutional powers. We, the people, just need to pay attention. Entitlements are the long run threat to the economy. Any plan which ignores that fact is just window dressing.
If you want real spending reform, change the rules. This is inside baseball, but it may be the way to win the game. Follow me on this. Mandate that all 13 spending bills be out of house committees by the 2nd week of July. Any bills that are not will be combined into a continuing resolution. The bills would then go before a committee of the whole one by one in the third week of July through the first week or two of August. The larger ones would be given up to 3 days and the smaller ones a half a day. Any member would be able to offer amendments to cut funds. If any member wants to increase spending in one area on the bill, they have to cut another area. Any spending increase would require a suspension of the rules which requires 290 votes.
The effect of this would be to allow the Ron Paul’s, blue dogs, and others not on the favored committees to offer amendments on the record and in the open. It would make every member own the budget. It would allow us to hold people accountable. The way the game works now is that the bills are put together in ways that no one outside of the favored crowd knows exactly what is in the bill. Both parties keep fiscal conservatives off of the appropriations committees in any numbers. They manipulate the rules to keep amendments to a minimum. If you want to truly change the system, open it up. Strip the lobbyists, power elite, and revolving door (between Congress and Special interest groups) staff of their power. Give it to the people we elected. Until we do that (either with this proposal or some other), we are just talking about reform.
Biden not running 26 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Beau Biden is running for reelection not the Senate. It is official. Who is running?
Huckabee beats Obama 26 January, 2010Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Governor Huckabee’s “populism” may not excite Rush Limbaugh, but independent voters love him as well as most Republicans. One Republican beats President Obama right now according to Democrat leaning Public Policy Polling. He is Mike Huckabee. Team Huck is organizing in Delaware. Look for a future post. Rasmussen shows similar popularity.
Huckabee is in many ways the opposite of President Obama. He has 10 years of executive experience. He is Conservative, people oriented, and in favor of thoughtful change. They are far different on the issues. Governor Huckabee also appeals to the average person and eschews elitism. He is a modern conservative who favors the individual over large institutions. He reflects much of the public mood.
Mid Alantic in the New Year 8 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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New Jersey keeps marriage between a man and a woman with the state senate voting down efforts to scrap civil unions and redefine marriage. Now the state can focus on the out of wack budget and weak economy.
Maryland’s largest city is getting a new mayor with the resignation of Shelia Dixon as part of a plea deal.
New York’s governor is seeking to raise the cap on charter schools after a national study showed that they may hurt charter performance. Pensioner’s who trusted the post office over the bank found out their faith was misplaced. Thousands of checks were lost in the mail in the western NY district. Direct deposits went without a hitch.
Virginia’s new governor is appointing his cabinet. He has tapped a technology CEO to be his secretary of technology and fix the mess left by the previous occupants. The Democrats suffered a set back in their hopes for claiming the state senate seat vacated by the new AG. Their candidate doesn’t live in the district and just rented a home for $600 a month that he does not live in to run for the special election.
Pennsylvania’s house and senate have finally agreed to add table games to their gaming mix. So much for the great gaming strategy of Delaware’s governor Markell. I am sure that people will drive past two or three to come here especially after we just repealed the exemption of lottery (all of our games are technically state lotteries) winnings from state income tax.
A Democratic perspective–the year in review 2 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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Despite extremely challenging times — by most accounts the greatest our state has faced in several decades — we were able to pass legislation in 2009 touching nearly every Delawarean in an ongoing effort to improve their quality of life. Ranging from public safety measures, education bills, anti-discrimination legislation, new protections for our seniors and bills honoring our military, when all summed up I believe the 2009 General Assembly session was a success.
An early success of the session was the re-authorization of sports betting. House Substitute 1 for House Bill 100 provided our Racino partners with a competitive advantage and has resulted in adding much-needed funds to the state’s revenue.
The summaries below highlight some of the legislation passed and signed into law this past year.
· Established enhanced penalties for registered sex offenders who commit a sex offense against a child under 12 years of age.
· Added paramedics, EMTs, fire marshals and fire police officers to a list of first responders whose death can result in a first-degree murder charge.
· Increased the penalties for the crime of “sex offender unlawful sexual conduct against a child” when the victim is under 18 and has a cognitive disability.
· Replaced the costly and ineffective DSTP with the new Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) which will provide teachers a better tool and greater flexibility as to when to assess a student’s progress.
· Granted local districts substantially more discretion with respect to expenditure of state education funds and also established a number of safeguards to ensure that those funds are spent in a responsible manner.
· Expanded an existing program allowing Delaware National Guardsmen to receive financial assistance for a master’s degree without allocating any additional funding above the amount already appropriated in the fiscal 2009 budget.
Quality of Life and Seniors
· Prohibited discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation, whether the orientation is real or perceived in areas of housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations or insurance.
· Allowed competent adults to receive visits in a hospital, nursing home or nursing facility from any person they choose. The law does not overrule a facility’s visitation policies that are based on the patient’s medical condition, visitation hours or a court order.
· Gave the public online access to the Adult Abuse Registry so Delawareans seeking to hire someone to help care for their elderly loved one could easily go online and check the job applicant’s name against the registry.
· Increased penalties for repeat drunk drivers.
· Placed the General Assembly under the state’s Freedom of Information Act as a public body, subjecting the legislature to the state’s open meeting laws.
· Prohibited state agencies from granting an unpaid leave of absence to workers while they are incarcerated.
· Restructured the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, a result of the work of the Sunset committee. Reforms include reducing the compensation of board members to a $100 per meeting from an annual salary of $10,000 including pension benefits.
· Amended the Freedom of Information Act to take advantage of current technology by permitting members of certain public bodies to participate in a meeting using video-conferencing under certain conditions.
My recap of the session would not be complete without a couple of comments regarding the budget approved the morning of July 1. Faced with an $800 million deficit meant making some extremely difficult decisions. The budget we approved reflected our commitment to the guiding principles used to direct our effort.
· Fiscal Responsibility – Reductions should real and sustainable. The budget approved included over $300 million in spending cuts, including the elimination of 1,000 positions out of 15,000.
· Keep our core commitments – Ensure the health and safety of our families, foster the growth of our economy and protect the quality of our air and water, give every child an opportunity to succeed, assist our senior citizens when needed and protect the rights of all of our citizens at all times. I believe the budget approved met this principles’ objective.
· Shared sacrifice – No group will bear a disproportionate burden. The budget required sacrifice from all constituencies including our state employees, Delawareans making more than $60,000 per year and corporations doing business in Delaware.
Our focus on maintaining our core commitments and fiscal responsibility will provide Delawareans with sensible solutions while protecting our children’s future, our seniors and those citizens with the greatest needs.
I will remember this session as very challenging yet rewarding – rewarding because I had the opportunity to meet and serve many constituents this past year. I look forward to serving them again in 2010.
Darryl M. Scott
State Representative – 31st District