Clearly we live in a nation where people are free to speak their minds. Darn if we actually use them. As Chris Fitzsimon earnestly points out in his June 26 post on NC Policy Watch, The Follies, all Republicans present during the vote to fund a $25 million North Carolina Aquariums Fishing Pier in Nags Head voted in favor of House Bill 638. For someone who is so keenly aware of the bill’s movement – and for those who are keeping score at home – in the Legislature, well, let’s just point out that the pier bill is actually House Bill 628. Fitzsimon’s House bill reference is actually to the Greenville Housing Authority.
In spite of that, the fact that all the homework to get the pier under construction had already been done prior to being placed in front of the Senate April 14 for final approval, and was “shovel ready” within 24 hours of it being signed into law (the construction contract was awarded to Clancy and Theys on April 15), doesn’t raise any eyebrows?
Legislators who are trying to take care of an enormous, historical budget gap in North Carolina may have been hoodwinked by the initial approval of the bill, but that doesn’t mean while both bodies are working out the details of the budget, they can’t go back to correct a wrong. Nothing is final until the budget is put into place. And that means lawmakers need to be as realistic to the needs of North Carolinians as possible; by not raising taxes, and by cutting both unnecessary programs and funding for pending boondoggles that will inevitably make things worse in years to come. The job of the General Assembly is to serve the state, not just the Outer Banks.