I've received a lot of emails and calls about the decision to put aside our gay marriage laws. The President is encouraging Federal Judges to rule against the voter approved state laws. Our Attorney General could have petitioned the court for an emergency stay until such time as the Supreme Court rules on the merits of the case. It is the job of the Attorney General to enforce the Marriage Amendment that voters approved in 2004. Once again, political ambitions are stopping our elected officials from doing their constitutional duty. Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rights of Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Michigan to regulate the definition of marriage and likely sets up a review by the Supreme Court. This is how it should be done, not a politically motivated end run by 2016 hopefuls!
While we were in Jefferson City last week, I visited with the Budget Chairman about this coming years' revenue projections. He told me that the thought is to establish a moderate figure of around 2% and if we exceed that, there is a Surplus Revenue Fund where additional allocations for Education etc. can be set aside. After all the "sky is falling" rhetoric from the Governor this past year, the House and Senate budget projections are nearly dead on. The nearly 6% growth number forecast by the Governor's office was the only glitch. He tenaciously held out for those projections and made un-needed and harmful withholds based on his flawed math. We're still waiting for him to restore the funding for Education, Mental Health, and Children's Services. The overwhelming passage of Amendment 10 will hopefully put a stop to these political manipulations of critical funding.
Representatives from CLAIM, a group that helps us make decisions on Medicare enrollment for Part D, were here for the second year. They spent 2 hours at the Library in Pineville then went to Seneca for 2 hours and helped participants find affordable solutions to Part D insurance. There were several people at both locations for the help they offered.
Seneca FFA had their "Barn warming" on Friday night. Jane and I were there for great fun, great food and (great music??). Did I mention that my granddaughter was one of the Queen candidates? I even got to dance with her! Mrs. Roller does a fantastic job with those kids. It's always one of the high points of my year when they come to the Capitol.
More next week, until then I am and remain in your service.