Sometimes a day unravels. Sometimes it just starts with a conversation you can not believe your committee is having. Fifty thousand Idahoans unemployed. A nation trying to keep states from going bankrupt. Laying off state employees. Hundreds of businesses folding up and blowing away.
I remember how former legislator and Joint Finance Committee member, Margaret Henbest looked in here in the statehouse hallways sometimes. It was a warning to anyone asking anything of her. I used to think she was just a bit high strung and should chill out a bit. I feel that look in myself somewhere now on days like this.
People's lives are affected by our actions so clearly in years like this. What we fund and what we cut. Who loses a job. What business closes because no one can afford to buy what they sell. There is weight to this year that is unusual. More gravity and uncertainty. What we thought could be a short session, may lengthen as forces between the Governor's office and Republican leadership debate whether and what of the stimulus to take. Their delay helps no one.
These dollars are dollars paid to and to be owed by Idahoans to the Federal Government, regardless whether we send the whole check back to Washington. Some of the money headed our way may not rescue us from ressession but will keep states like ours from raising taxes for roads or to keep schools open next year. Some will help insulate us from further crisis. It is not the recovery package I would have crafted but it is the one we have in front of us. The indecision and posturing does not help one single business stay open or one single family put food on the table.