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Thursday, March 11, 2010

SD GOP Rushes Last-Minute Budget Cuts to Avoid Public Input

I recall various Republicans crying foul over the climate change and health insurance reform bills pending in Congress. Too big, too partisan, too many deals behind closed doors, too much thrown in at the last minute....

But that's exactly how the Republicans cobble together South Dakota's state budget. They negotiate budget cuts in a wholly partisan process behind closed doors. They wait until a week before the end of the session to announce their general plan. They start piling amendments onto the budget bill during the last couple days of the session, when they will face no committee hearing and offer no opportunity for public testimony and minimal opportunity for lobbying.

The Republicans do this, says Representative Susan Wismer (D-1/Britton), "so as not to attract any more negative attention than necessary before they make the amendments."

If I governed that badly, I guess I'd try to hide from the public, too.

Good for the goose, good for the gander. Republicans, the federal climate change and health insurance reform bills have been out in the open for months. Your South Dakota budget cuts have been available for not even 24 hours, and you're going to pass them before the weekend. Your whining is as ridiculous as your own closed-door governing style.

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