Have we gotten the Legislature we deserve?

Dateline: Sun 27 May 2007

Indy Star columnist Matt Tully has a very good and revelatory column today about spending by our Legislature.

It's not the big-ticket items, he notes, such as the billions for public education, prisons and property tax breaks.

Noooo, it's the $825,000 for "Young Abe Lincoln," a long-running and not very good play at Lincoln State Park, and -- this is the real killer -- $1 mil for the Lamkin Center for Instructional Leadership and Development at Ivy Tech.

Grrrr. This is, Tully reports, "a think tank named after outgoing president Gerald Lamkin.

"Ot might be unnecessary, but it's not hard to figure how this boondoggle found its way into the budget. A Lamkin legacy, after all, is giving lucrative Ivy Tech jobs to state lawmakers who make budgetary decisions." (That would include former state Sen. Robert Garton and Rep, Patrick Bauer, proving that this is a bipartisan, across the board offense).

Tully questions the wisdom of the huge spending that this Legislature enacted, notes that some items are necessities but concludes that "the budget reflects the tendency of our state lawmakers to spend, spend, spend -- and then spend a little more."

The late Harrison Ullmann commonly referred to our Legislature as the worst in the nation. No question, it is one of the porkiest.

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