Following the adoption of this years budget, it is clear that despite substantial reforms, we still have a deeply flawed process. Once again, the budget was negotiated behind closed doors, far from the public eye, and without the legislative input that our constituents have come to expect. In light of the economic downturn, it is more important now than ever that we begin to work on next years budget immediately to ensure that we do not run into the same problems again.
This years budget does have its highlights. The 2008-09 spending plan contains increased support for education, health care and public protection. The increase in health funding will go a long way to ensuring that every resident has access to quality, affordable health care, and the increase in school aid will provide the resources needed to ensure our students can compete.