Catching up and the week ahead

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Hey everybody! Long time, no see. I have to apologize for being away for the past week. I had to take an unplanned sabbatical, as life intervened and made me a temporarily single parent and gave me incredibly painful wrist cramps all at once. Typing (or even faithful budget watching) were not in the cards. Things should begin to get back to normal this week.

Fortunately, my tireless collaborator, fiscalyearzero, has been more than picking up the slack, writing several a number of articles this week you may have missed:

Another big week of budget hearings in the Senate this week. Up on Monday, the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State and Attorney General, plus a number of cabinet agencies. Tuesday features some visitors, including education officials from Indiana and Massachusetts. I wonder which of them is going to confirm Kasich’s education advisor’s assertion that student-teacher ratios of 50 to 1 are now a good thing? Here’s the complete list of upcoming events.

Public testimony on education continues Tuesday, while the public is invited to testify about health and human services Wednesday, and anything on their minds Thursday. We assume the week will also see the announcement of a deadline for members to submit amendments to the Chairman for inclusion in the substitute bill.

Finance committee has changed the rules a little bit – only public officials are asked to submit testimony electronically for posting on the website. All others must notify the Chair’s office 24 hours in advance they wish to speak, are asked to limit their remarks to 2 to 3 minutes, and must bring 40 paper copies to the committee. Guess we aren’t quite yet in the golden age of electronic democracy after all. And folks, keep it short. Senators have important business to attend to that doesn’t include listening to a bunch of whiners talk about their poor kids’ education suffering at the expense of the Governor’s $170,000-a-year Chief of Staff.

We are hearing that conference committee (when the House and Senate meet to hash out differences between their two versions of the bill and when new revenue magically appears, allowing both chambers to spend some more on their favorite support groups; nursing homes, for example) will get underway by the second week of June.

* here’s the full set of instructions from the Finance Committee Chairman’s Office:

Witnesses are asked to submit a witness form to the office of the Chairman no later than 5:00pm on the day before the day you wish to testify. Witnesses who do not meet this deadline will be heard, though wait times will be longer.

On the day of your testimony, please check-in and deliver 40 copies of your testimony to the Chairman’s office (Room 127). Witnesses are asked to limit prepared remarks to 2-3 minutes; you may submit longer testimony and summarize your remarks if you prefer.


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