It is difficult to say why no one has been assigned to the committee. But there is not doubt that this is a bad sign as to how serious anyone is taking this hearing. Most insiders understand that the real discussions will be taking place amongst the Big 5. This hearing will like be nothing more than an opportunity for Democrats to shoot down Republican proposals and have the myriad public employee unions and other interest groups to voice their objections to cuts that everyone knows are necessary. Each one will give compelling testimony as to why they should not be cut. And the truth is that in many cases they will be right.
But at the end of the day, everyone is going to have to feel the pain on this one. Nobody’s sacred cow should be off limits. Education, public safety, health and welfare will all take hits.
The questions that must be answered are: What will our priorities be? What hits will have the least impact on our state? What sort of relief from burdensome regulations and controls are we going to give schools, local governments, employers and state agencies so that they can make the best of the resources they have left?
I don’t know that anyone is ready to have these sorts of conversations.