I was away over the holiday weekend and am just getting caught up on things. Here is the best comment on the state budget I have seen so far, from the best of all Pennsylvania's state political blogs, Capitol Ideas:
If you are a lawmaker or a member of the administration, we do not want to hear about the pain brought on by cuts to early childhood education programs. You are not allowed to bother us about the inconvenience of shuttered state parks or forests. And please keep your kvetching to yourself when it comes to reductions to the budget for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
We're not interested.
We will give you two reasons. In total, they cost $20 million and were included in legislation giving Gov. Ed the right to handpick nearly $300 million of $600 million worth of economic development projects as parting gifts to Pennsylvania in the coming months.
Language in the bill allocates $10 million for the construction of something called the "Arlen Specter Library" at Philadelphia University. The balance goes to something called the "John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy."
He ends with this:
So if you are a lawmaker who voted in favor of the bill authorizing these projects, we now ask you to keep silent and not complain when state employees in your districts lose their jobs or four-year-olds are dropped from "Pre-K Counts."
That's because the $10 million for the project for Sen. Specter alone would have restored the cuts to Pre-K Counts more than 10 times over.
You have officially lost your right to complain.
You should read the whole thing for more details but this captures the essence, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.