The state budget is a serious moral document that greatly affects the current and future well-being of every single Tar Heel. If I didn't know that statement to be true I wouldn't do what I do for a living.
That said, it should also be acknowledged that the budget is a comedic document as well. So please take a moment to laugh with me (out loud if you won't disturb your workplace) about certain knee-slapping excerpts from this year's budget proposals. Here are three bits from this year that had me in stitches.
The Senate budget had me laughing out loud when I read that they were going to save an eye-popping $190,000 dollars (nonrecurring) by not funding the annual "teacher satisfaction survey" for one year. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it just cannot be coincidental that the one year that we don't ask teachers about their satisfaction with their jobs is the same year that the legislature is providing a 3% pay raise (way down from the 7% proposed by the governor) and the legislature is providing nowhere near enough funds to pay for the ABC performance bonuses either. Wonder what teachers would have to say about their "satisfaction" this year? Guess we'll never know. (A certain song by the Rolling Stones comes to mind).
The governor's budget provided me with a few LOL moments as well. This was particularly the case when I read that the proposed $3 million increase to fight the state's growing obesity problem – described in the budget document as "chronic" and "epidemic" – was going to be nonrecurring. That's just downright funny.
Finally, the Senate budget instructs the Department of Transportation to stop making a new North Carolina map every year and instead instructs the department to make a new map every other year and report to the General Assembly ASAP about any savings that result. Given the crisis in the transportation budget all of those dotted lines indicating future loops, etc. aren't likely to be replaced with solid red and black lines anytime soon. So maybe it's just as well that the maps will be updated every other year. But don't you think regular taxpaying citizens are going to be peeved when they hear the news? And, somehow this seems prejudiced against those of us that can't afford cars with built-in navigation systems.
Please feel free to add your own LOL moment from this year's budget proposals by posting a comment. If you're a legislator, reporter or lobbyist feel free to add your comment annonymously – why should anyone be left out of the fun?