Senate Dems warn of 'closed-door' budget
Senate Democrats say they're afraid Republicans are writing the budget behind closed doors. It's the same charge the GOP leveled at Senate Dems for years.Posted — Updated
Pot, meet kettle.
Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt and Senator Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, used their weekly presser today to complain that Senate Republicans may be putting together a budget behind closed doors, leaving the public out of the debate on big policy matters.
Now, no one’s arguing that two wrongs make a right. But it’s fair to point out that when the Democrats ran the Senate, they often engaged in precisely the same practice.
In fact, just last year, a provision mysteriously materialized in the Senate budget that would have stripped State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin of his ability to regulate insurance rates.
At the time, then-Minority Leader Phil Berger complained that Democrats had been constructing budgets behind closed doors for years.
“They materialize full-blown on somebody’s desk one morning…It’s as if it was transported here from an episode of Star Trek, and nobody wants to claim responsibility for all or part of it,” Berger said.
Nesbitt says there’s a difference of degree between what the Democrats did, which he described as “just balancing the budget,” and the “major fundamental changes” he believes Republicans are making behind closed doors.
“Decisions are going to be made that are going to affect the future of this state,” Nesbitt warned. He says major policy changes and budget cuts should be weighed in committee, to make sure “the public can know that we’re thinking about it so the public can weigh in.”