I’ve often wondered where the legislators get such outrageous information they give their constituents.
I’m not talking about opinions, I’m talking about facts, and after recently watching some of the House floor debate on the state budget, I learned where it’s coming from – each other.
During debate on an amendment by Rep. John Bel Edwards, a representative asked a straight forward question of Rep. Jim Fannin, chairman of House Appropriations Committee.The legislator asked what part of the state’s more than $24 billion budget was federal funds.
Surrounded by knowledgeable legislative staffers, Fannin hemmed and hawed as if he was being asked to explain the Theory of Relativity.
Finally, Fannin said the budget contained $8 billion in state general funds (SGF).
When asked by the questioner if the rest was federal funds, Fannin said it was.
Note: The SGF is merely one of the state’s “checking accounts.”FactsUsing the budget documents posted online, one finds as the budget was presented in February, it contained $9 billion in SGF; $2.3 billion in self-generated state funds; $3.5 billion in dedicated state funds and $9.7 billion in federal funds.Subsequent to those documents being posted online, the House passed more than $600 million in new taxes, the revenues from which were added into the budget.
Those are all state funds.
Thus, the amount of federal funds in the proposed fiscal year 2016 budget is $9.7 billion, not the $16 billion Fannin led his colleagues to believe.Why?After eight years of handling the state budget, either Fannin is totally ignorant or he intentionally keeps his colleagues ignorant under the theory in the land of the blind where the one-eyed man is king.
I don’t know whether to be more upset with Fannin or his 104 colleagues who failed to question what they were told.Now you know why our state has been driven into a fiscal abyss.
The legislators are not only ignorant, but don’t give a damn.