Spokane newspaper columnist Jim Camden has written a thought-provoking piece that reflects on the Legislature’s style of passing a state budget. In short, he thinks lawmakers could and should up their game.
Too often, he writes, budgets that move public funds around are determined privately and with little, or no, public notice. Procedural rules are bent and decisions with significant impact on businesses are made with little or no public notice, he writes.
“This process keeps the people and businesses who will pay for all the programs and salaries out of the loop for most of the key decision points,” Camden writes. To legislators who cite tradition and the way budgets typically are approved, Camden countered: “If that was a good reason, one would think we would still be hanging horse thieves, placing miscreants in the stocks and throwing debtors in prison for not paying bills, or doing any number of imperfect things we’ve stopped doing.”
The full piece is here.