Budget Shutdown Looms As Before

Eventually, we’re going to have to ask ourselves what the Maine Legislature actually does.

Now we are engaged in the usual biennial budget impasse/power struggle/clown car collision that has plagued this state since the early 1990’s. We’ve grown so little in twenty six years that the squealing from both sides has the same familiar ring, the same hollow echo.

This is not about a stubborn Governor. As much as I’d like to lay the circus at his feet, he’s only a partner in the problem.

This is about legislatures fighting for power, and fighting for re-election.

Let’s lay it out. Two measures were passed at the ballot box by citizen initiative. Rank Choice Voting, and legalizing the left-handed lettuce.

I hated RCV since first hearing of it. As for the other, I gave it up long ago for frequent drug tests and frequent employment.

In a snit because the idea didn’t originate in the legislature (you had a chance twice, guys) they managed to bollox up the process of legalizing so badly it may be six more months to a year before it gets untangled.

On the RCV front, it took a double whammy from the AG’s office. Sure, this is legal to put on the ballot… we’ll worry about the Constitutionality of it later.

Later came oops, sort of like an unexpected pregnancy. If you screw with the voters without protection, that tends to happen.

The legislature held many meetings and hearings…and accomplished nothing.

The Governor blustered and bloviated…with similar results.

The courts looked at a measure passed at the ballot, technically an amendment to the Maine Constitution…and said no.

Why are we paying any of these folks again? It certainly can’t be for results.