Governor Chet Culver will chew on the numbers a bit longer before he releases his budget plan for the next year. He apparently will wait until the end of the month. His office says the Gov wants to wait for President-Elect Barack Obama to take office first (January 20). Obama has pledged to help states out with some federal cash to help them rebuild infrastructure. That could obviously help state leaders make the numbers work a little easier as they put together what will be a tough budget. His office helps me remember Culver issued his budget with his Condition of the State address last year. His first session in office, he delivered it the end of January (Tom Vilsack was still the Gov for the Condition of the State).
Speaking of the budget... two things stick out from today. Three things, I guess.
Number One...Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said leaders will be "saying no" a lot to people who want more money for existing programs or any money for new ideas.
Number Two...House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was not in attendance at a statehouse news conference today (House Speaker Pat Murphy and Senate Prez Jack Kibbie were). Murphy said McCarthy had the flu.
Number Three...Kibbie at one point said "we will spend more money than last year". As you might guess, that got our attention pretty quickly. When Radio Iowa's Kay Henderson questioned his words, Kibbie later corrected himself with the obvious statement that "we'll spend less next year". Too bad. That would have REALLY made this an interesting session!
My Cardinals are now saying arbitration may limit them. Funny, because at the beginning of the season, I remember them saying they were knocking $30 million off the books when several players' contracts expired. $10 million of that may go toward raises due to arbitration. That leaves $20 million for new signings. Sounds like now there's some funny math going on. I realize money may be tight in a bad economy. But Cardinal fans expect to have a chance at winning it all each year and I don't see them flipping open their wallets for a team that's skimping in this economy.