You always assume that the horse trading and arm twisting that goes into the crafting of a state budget is a lot like a massive chess game where the citizens of North Carolina are all just pawns, subject to the whims of the Appropriations Committee Chairmen. But let's not forget the toll it takes on the horse traders and arm twisters.
I had the chance to speak with a chairman the other day and I was surprised at the strain the budget negotiations have taken on them. The Chairman put it very bluntly to me, "This is the worst week of my life."
I guess it is a very traumatic experience to have to begin to say no to people this year after having said yes, year after year, to state employees that want a raise, state departments that want new programs, nonprofits that want to fund everything imaginable and rent seeking corporations that want state government to give them money and advantages not enjoyed by their competitors.
Don't worry Representative, this will be a good character building exercise for you. Just think how bad it could be if you lived in a competitive district, too?