This photo was taken while I was speaking to the body of House Members in the House Chamber. I served under a Democratic Governor, then a Republican Governor, then a Democratic Governor. We had a lot of moments of political wrangling while I was there.
Party political wrangling can be ugly. One side will desperately try to find ways to make the other side look bad. Partisan operatives then showcase themselves and make sure the voters know how much better it is to always vote for their party brand, regardless of the particular candidate. This is how they build brand loyalty.
One of my friends told me that both Republicans and Democrats spend about the same amount of money. It’s just where they spend it that differs. The party in control will tend to reflect the priorities of their party. Democrats tend to like more social welfare programs and Republicans tend to like more corporate welfare programs. Regardless of the rhetoric you hear during the campaign season, the budget continues to grow every year.
Bob Holden was a Democratic Governor when I was first elected and he had to “work” with a Republican majority. The Governor used his Constitutional prerogative to withhold money from public education due to a budget shortfall. During the State of the State speech, the Speaker Pro-Tem, Rod Jetton, had heard enough blaming and yelled out, “Release the money, Governor!”
Amendment # 10, which is on your ballot in November, is more about partisan wrangling over who will control the purse strings. It contains a mix of good and bad together. If you mix a good idea with the right amount of bad ideas, everyone has a reason to vote for it or against it. You will not feel the effects of this either way. Here’s the question:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the governor to pay the public debt, to prohibit the governor from relying on revenue from legislation not yet passed when proposing a budget, and to provide a legislative check on the governor’s decisions to restrict funding for education and other state services?
Here’s some background information:
Missouri Gubernatorial Budgetary Recommendations Continue reading