Saturday, April 4, 2009

Please, don't fret o'er the budget; TX style!

It is interesting, almost humorous (from a pathetic perspective), that the person who’s been the Chairman of the TX Senate’s Finance Committee for multiple legislative sessions, Steve Ogden, has noted that (after participating in the Republican state legislative majority’s reduction in regulation, revenue and expenditures) there are unfunded obligations (promises made, funding forgotten) in many of the state’s permanent investment funds (e.g., the Permanent University Fund, the Employee’s Retirement System, the Teacher’s Retirement System, etc…).

After years spent creating the problem Senator Ogden is proposing legislation to appear as if he were addressing said problems. The proposed investment board oversight should have been in place already, conflicts of interest a matter of public record and fiduciary responsibility clearly defined long ago. The current economic downturn, that has affected everybody’s investment funds, has exacerbated the long-standing lack of state funding and will only be solved when financial markets, as well as state funding, recover; irrespective of the Senator’s current legislation.

Pretending to address the state’s permanent funds problems, erecting state obstacles to stem cell research (attention: all Scott & White Hospital [TX A&M System] and MD Anderson Cancer Center [UT System] aficionados) and frothing with 2nd amendment issues (VA quietly slapped gun and ammo ownership restrictions on folks under court ordered psychiatric care after one of the aforementioned individuals went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech)...

Mayhaps all this will draw attention away from the underfunded, state, biennial budget; or not!

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