In his June 23 column on Sunacom, State Senator Bob Odell writes:
'Agreement [on the budget] was finally reached around 3 a.m. on Thursday...' 'There are no new fees or taxes or increases.' '...it is balanced and should get a strong bipartisan vote when the House and Senate vote on Wednesday.'
'Increased spending went to mental health services, disabilities wait list, higher education and Children in Need of Services.' 'LCHIP funding is fully restored...' '...UNIQUE scholarship program that was dismantled two years ago has been reassembled.'
'A pay raise for state employees hit the conferees like a bomb...' 'Most employees will get three raises over the next 18 months...' 'Somebody else had to pay some of the cost and the Department of Health and Human Services took the hit.'
'The Senate has not had the opportunity to even hold a public hearing on Medicaid expansion.' '...conferees agreed to a study commission that will report its recommendation by Oct. 15.'