For what it's worth, here's my quick take on some of the cuts proposed:
- State Fair subsidy: Yes. It was a bad idea even when times were good.
- School for the Deaf: Can we really serve the needs of these kids by closing the school and diverting resources to outreach? I'll need more numbers on that.
- TCAP: This program give teachers extra pay for extra training and work over the summer. It's better than nothing, but it still enshrines the idea that we pay teachers plenty as it is, and that they don't deserve a penny more unless they jump through more hoops. I don't want to take away an opportunity for teachers to scrape together a few more dollars, but TCAP hasn't been the right approach to establishing better long-term teacher salaries.
- State arts programs: I hear from my friends at the Brookings Arts Council that the Governor would eliminate the state arts council. But do this, and we lose our cut of federal arts money. Why hit ourselves with that double whammy? Make some cuts, but maintain enough of a program to qualify for that federal money and leave the infrastructure in place to expand the program again when the economy rebounds.
- Mosquito control: Um, West Nile, anyone? Instead, let's reverse the increase the governor is proposing for snowmobile-trail grooming (come on: real men don't need a groomed trail).