Ah, summertime. Beaches, Barbecue’s, cold beer and tool kit legislation.
And so it begins. The long budget debate that started in March has carried over into what I will officially call late July. It really is all part of the same conversation. And conspiracy theorists are convinced that Governor Christie has forced this march to continue in order to get people’s attention off the ultra-frugal budget which even it’s biggest supporters describe as “painful.” But the austere budget doesn’t work properly without a cap, and the cap cannot be reasonably enforced without enacting the major provisions of the tool kit. So it really does all go together, and it really is Christie’s entire economic agenda. All. At. Once.
But this process feels sooooo looooong, doesn’t it? It’s like that ridiculous song from the 1970’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” It just goes on and on and on. Like the plot of that movie “Dune.” My goodness. Please, just make it stop.
Maybe supporters of the toughest tool kit bills are hoping no one has the fight in them when it’s hot outside. And all the shiny, suited-up State House dwellers are thinking more about their upcoming two weeks at the shore than they are about how eliminating civil service will affect their cousin’s municipal job. Yeah, maybe this whole thing is by design. A plot to wear down the resistance and enforce an agenda the gleams with fiscal restraint, financial accountability and the end of living large off the public dime.
Let’s hope so. And let’s hope people don’t come back in the Fall and exclaim, “what have they done??!!” Let’s assume for now that while the changes are being made everyone’s head is firmly in the game. Because in the end, it’s harder to fix things after the fact then it is to get them right the first time.