One thing that’s become increasingly clear about the Senate “budget” bill that received final approval this morning is this: it’s a heckuva lot more than just a budget. As today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File highlights powerfully, a more apt moniker for the Appropriations Act of 2013 would be something like “the Right-Wing Legislative Catchall Act of 2013.”
The darned thing includes a secretly-authored provision to move the State Bureau of Investigation, a new scheme to discourage hybrid and electric cars, a provision to funnel money to fake medical providers at so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” a provision to eliminate meaningful legal representaion for incarcerated individuals that had been ordered by the courts, a provision to repeal the law that mandates “Education Lottery” proceeds go to education, as well as disastrous plans to decimate early childhood education and the health care provided to pregnant women. There are, of course, dozens of others.
The bottom line: While no one is denying the conservative majority in the Senate its right to pass whatever legislation it wants to put forth, Senator Berger and his cronies ought to at least have the decency to hold timely, publicly-noticed discussions of the ideas that they are acting to make the law of the land before they’re passed.
Failing that, they ought to at least alter the inaccurate and incomplete name attached to the massive statutory overhaul they just passed.