Meanwhile, in South Dakota...
While the one-thousand page piece of legislation will send millions of dollars to South Dakota, Governor Mike Rounds says it's still too early to know how it will benefit the state.
A budget shortfall caused Governor Mike Rounds to propose a massive amount of cuts in state government spending. Now, halfway through the legislative session, neither the House nor Senate has addressed many of those issues. [Shawn Neistadt, "State Lawmakers Waiting on Stimulus," KELOLand.com, 2009.02.13].
We've had some numbers to work with for a couple weeks. Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts, and Ohio aren't waiting to start brainstorming. But instead of breaking out the spreadsheets and calling for ideas, Governor Michael Rounds has insisted on pushing off any real consideration of stimulus spending until a special session.
Governor Rounds, haven't you figured out that the Internet is like a constant special session, just bubbling with the chance to gather and discuss ideas? You could have a team going over a list like Virginia's right now, highlighting the good ideas and tallying the dollar figures. Then the moment the money comes from Washington, you scroll down, draw your line, and say, "Here's what we can do. Go!" If there's a lot of money, yahoo. If Harry Reid snuck a line into the bill saying, "John Thune's a meathead, so South Dakota gets nothing," we lose nothing and actually have a great list of projects to do pursue in the future.
Instead, the Governor appears determined to keep the Legislature over a fiscal barrel, forcing them to act on whatever tax increases or program cuts he so eagerly wants to blame them for.
South Dakota plays politics, while other states show Web 2.0 leadership with technology and conversation. Grrr!