Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Legislative Walkouts: The Real Price

Yes, the Indiana House Democrats are back -- not even Illinois would have them, I guess -- and both sides of the aisle are trumpeting compromise on the several bills over which they'd walked out. (Other than Right-To-Work, which was killed outright).

And if not having a law is better than having a law, then a watered-down law must only be half-bad, I suppose, though you have to wonder at sharply limiting the number f participants in a school voucher program that could have given low-income kids a shot at attending private schools and look askance likewise at capping a bill meant to save money on big construction projects in a way that means Indiana can only do so on smallish projects....

But hey, give them that; let's say the whole thing is a happy, happy win. We -- citizens of Indiana, not one party or another -- still lose: the legislature's now got one month to finish everything that sat piled on desks while the Democrats sulked in IL.

If the weasels'd sat out the entire session, I'd've cheered: nothing would have got done. If they'd been hauled back over the border by an ISP infiltration team after a few days of playing hooky, I would have been shocked but hey, they'd have been busy as little bees.

But what we have now is a prescription for sleight-of-hand, double-dealing, sneaky language and insufficient debate. We are going to have to watch these boys and girls like hungry hawks over a mouse nest, and I mean both parties of them; they are going to be in a hurry and they're still fair seething over the walkout and/or issues that led up to it. Even with the best will in the world, mistakes will be made -- and make no mistake, there's not all that much goodwill in the House.

I think I'd rather watch sausage being made than laws: you can be pretty sure that the end result of the first process will only go to those who want it and don't mind paying the price.

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