Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nero: Where Are Those Fiddles?

We read this evening on Capitol Ideas that Pennsylvania's Senate Republicans decided to take the day off from budget debates. Here is an excerpt:

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee ...
... is holding an annual fund-raising golf tournament at the Lehigh Country Club in Allentown this afternoon. And for the bargain price of $500 for cocktails and $1,000 for golf, you, too, can stroll under a blinding late-summer sky in an absolutely bucolic setting and wonder, "Now why the heck don't they have a budget done yet?"

Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said his boss was taking a pass on the annual fund-raiser and was instead bound for one of his district offices in the scenic Philadelphia 'burbs.

And when we asked, Arneson insisted that short duration of today's Senate session had nothing to do with freeing up GOP lawmakers so they could go raise money on the links.

While I wear many hats the most important is the mother of my children. In that role I would like to politely ask today's golfers:

Where is my school funding? WHERE IS IT? WHERE?

The state has missed one expected payment to the state's schools and another will be missed soon.

One of the governor's proposals is to remove the sales tax exemption on candy and gum. As someone who consumes, perhaps, more than her fair share of chocolate, I would like to volunteer to pay sales tax on my M&Ms if that means my children will not see a decrease in their educational opportunities or expectations. Or that parents whose children are still in preschool won't see those preschools close. Or that local foodbanks will see an end to empty shelves.

But maybe you can't see all those scenarios from the Lehigh Country Club drinking a $500 cocktail.

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