State Representative Denny Hoskins (r – noun, verb, CPA) issued a video “capitol report” on the state budget via YouTube. The first term state representative is being challenged in the 2010 race for the seat in the 121st Legislative District by Democratic Party candidate Courtney Cole.
In the video Representative Hoskins (r) confirms that the republican majority in the House essentially punted to the Senate when it comes to making sufficient cuts or revenue enhancements to balance the state budget:
Representative Denny Hoskins (r): Hi, this is State Representative Denny Hoskins, proudly representing the citizens of the one hundred twenty-first district, as well as other citizens of Missouri. I’m standing before you in the House chamber where, where we’ve spent numerous hours this week debating on the House version of the budget.
When the governor submitted his budget in January of this year he submitted an unbalanced budget. And what we’ve had to do is go back and try and cut around five hundred million dollars in order to have a balanced budget for the next fiscal year which starts July first.
As I mentioned in previous capitol reports the budget has been the main focus and will continue to be the main focus until it is delivered to the, on, to the, on the governor’s desk on May seventh.
Uh, some of the cuts that we were, that we had to make in order to have a balanced budget this year. We cut our own expense accounts, uh, for House members. We also cut five hundred thousand dollars out of the House, um, overhead account for some of our administration, um, personnel.
We ended up only cutting about two hundred and twenty-four million, but like what I’ve said, the budget process is, is a marathon, not a sprint. So we, between the House Budget Committee, which I served on, and out on the House floor we’ve cut about two hundred and twenty-four million out of the five hundred million that we, uh, need to cut in order to have a balanced budget.
After we third read and vote out the budget bills today, they will go over to the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Senator Pearce is a member of, for debate in committee and out on their, and out on the floor. Uh, the Senate is going to have to make some cuts as well. And I believe that they have a duty and I, I know that they realize their duty in order to pa, uh, make those cuts in order to send, make those further cuts in order to send a balanced budget back to us where we both, both, the House and the Senate can vote those out.
You know in these tough economic times we here at state government, like I mentioned, you know we cut our own expense accounts, we cut five hundred thousand dollars out of administration. There’s no easy cuts. We have trimmed around the edges all that we can. Um, I am happy to report that at least, as far as pre, pre-K through, uh, twelve education we were able to hold funding at, at the same amount that we were for last year. Unfortunately we were not able to fully fund the additional one hundred and five million to the foundation formula this year. But, when, in order to have a balanced budget and in order to make sure that we didn’t have to close a prison or some other drastic measures that’s one of the cuts that we had to make.
Well, I’ve told you all before, I’m a proud supporter of education and I think that it just seems, it was prudent and appropriate in this time to maintain the same amount of funding that we had last year for this next fiscal year.
If, as always, if you have any ideas or concerns, especially if you have any ideas on how to generate revenue and maintain a balanced budget, or if you do see some, um, fat in the budget where you think that we could make some cuts, please give myself a call, uh, or shoot me an e-mail.
There’s are tough, like I said, it’s tough economic times we’re tightening our belts and there’s no, there’s no easy cuts right now. But, I was elected by you all in order to serve here and make those tough decisions and I’m proud to serve the one hundred twenty-first district. It’s an honor to be your state representative and feel free to stop and say hi this weekend when I’m at home. Thanks a lot, have a great day.
Let’s parse the video, shall we?:
“…We ended up only cutting about two hundred and twenty-four million, but like what I’ve said, the budget process is, is a marathon, not a sprint. So we, between the House Budget Committee, which I served on, and out on the House floor we’ve cut about two hundred and twenty-four million out of the five hundred million that we, uh, need to cut in order to have a balanced budget…”
Uh, so the republican controlled House punted its responsibility to make two hundred seventy-six million dollars in cuts or revenue enhancements for the next state budget to the Senate?
“…Uh, the Senate is going to have to make some cuts as well…”
That’s what we thought you said.
“…Um, I am happy to report that at least, as far as pre, pre-K through, uh, twelve education we were able to hold funding at, at the same amount that we were for last year…”
Here’s a logic problem for you. If you didn’t cut education (and you didn’t enhance the foundation formula) and the Senate still has to make two hundred and seventy-six million dollars in cuts, didn’t you effectively invite them to do your work for you and cut education funding? Just asking.
Is there another way?
“…especially if you have any ideas on how to generate revenue..”
Did we just hear a republican in the Missouri General Assembly state that he was open to raising taxes? Nah, couldn’t be, could it?
By the way, the capitol press corps let you up in the press gallery? Don’t tell them you’re a blogger.