I’ve gotta hand it to Bullock - he is persistent.
I mean, when most of us fail miserably, we’ll pull back, take stock, figure out what went wrong, and try a new approach.
But not Bullock. He’s a plow-right-ahead-kind-of-guy, and damn whatever torpedoes might be in the way!
This year the governor wants $290 million for infrastructure, with $160 million of it coming from bonds.
Bonds means we take on debt to pay for something.
And lo and behold - he wants Romney Hall and the new Historical Society building!
Perhaps you remember last session, when Bullock wanted the same stuff. In late-January 2017 he came forth with his idea to have $187 million in bonding. By the end of April his bonding request had fallen to $80 million.
Then there was the session before that, in 2015. On January 29 that year Bullock revealed HB 5, which called for $391 million in infrastructure spending, with $212 of that coming from bonds.
So maybe this third time’s the charm, eh?
Usually if you want to continue these same losing, hail-Mary type of situations you’d have done one of a few things:
- Win enough seats for your party to take a chamber of the legislature over the past two election cycles
- Convince enough people from the other party to see things your way
- Spend a shit-ton of money to get voters to convince their representatives themselves
Alas, I don’t think any of those things have happened, or anything else that might have created a mindset in the GOP-controlled legislature that says, ‘You know, what the hell...let’s just abandon our decades-long principles and take on this load of debt.’
Who the hell’s drinking the Kool-Aid in the governor’s office?
Folks, this isn’t about infrastructure. Two years ago the legislature funded $1.1 billion in infrastructure. The vast majority didn’t require bonding. $173 million in cash alone was used to fund certain projects, like wastewater infrastructure.
Bonding costs more long-term. Back in 2015 we know that the $212 million in bonding the governor wanted would have added $67.8 million to the construction projects over the life of the 20-year bond.
At least this year he’s asking for his lowest amount, just $160 million in debt. Two years ago he wanted us to take on $187 million, and four years ago it was $212 million.
I just don’t think most of the legislators in the capitol are going to be impressed. I think even some Democrats are scratching their heads, wondering about this deja vu all over again.
But hey, if our governor wants to try the same thing as before while assuming he’ll get different results...go right ahead.
Most call that crazy.