Tag Archives: 2011

Endorsements 2011

7 Nov

These are not predictions. These are preferences. Please be sure to join WNYMedia.net Tuesday for election night coverage starting around 9pm. Your mileage may vary. Offer void where prohibited.

1. Erie County Executive: Mark Poloncarz

No surprise here. Mark is a personal friend and I believe in the work that he’s accomplished on behalf of all the taxpayers of Erie County. His office has been run with excellence in mind, and with the taxpayers’ best interests at heart. He is a middle-class kid who hasn’t forgotten from whence he came, and wants to go up 5 floors in the Rath Building in order to represent all the people of Erie County – city, suburb, rich, poor, black, white – everybody. I won’t repeat four years’ worth of posts exposing Chris Collins for being the tax-hiking, elitist hyperpolitical tinpot Machiavelli he is – just do a search for “Chris Collins” on our site.  What I will say is that Poloncarz is going to bring not just competence, but excellence to the County Executive’s office. Despite lots of pressure to do otherwise, Mark is a believer in maintaining a meritocracy in his office. He hires and retains people who do the best and most thorough work for their county pay. He’s a hard worker who doesn’t back down from a challenge or a fight. When it comes to dealing with a dysfunctional legislature, a county control board, and his enemies’ slings and arrows, Poloncarz has proven that he’s up to it, time and time again. He fought to make sure his office did county borrowing because he got the better financing deals. He’s exposed waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money large and small. He doesn’t think you need to substitute creative thinking and common sense with some expensive cluster of management-speak to get the best and most efficient results for your tax dollar.

But on top of that, Mark has his priorities straight. He doesn’t think you should privatize WIC or shutter clinics to score political points with a certain population of voter. On the contrary, he thinks that the county should save money wherever possible; clinics are cheaper than emergency room visits. WIC is now less convenient for its users. It wasn’t Six Sigma that found how DSS was using 19th century technology to maintain its files – it was a vigilant comptroller’s office. It’s not simply about frugality for its own sake – it’s about being smart with money.

All of the fights that take place in our largely redundant and pointless county government center around the very small (8 – 12%) of the budget that’s discretionary. That’s what most of our anger and derision flows from.  Given that this percentage is so small, it’s best for everyone – politicians and the community-at-large – if it’s spent thoughtfully, if at all. Instead, the incumbent County Executive has hyper-politicized the funding of libraries and cultural organizations rather than used real merit or apolitical considerations. Collins needlessly created a funding crisis for the county libraries out of whole cloth, which he’d prefer to resolve through a brand-new tax and special taxing district; just the sort of authority-creation that New York State is trying to abolish. That’s old-style spendthrift liberal thinking. It lazily shunts responsibility off of the county and on to some other entity, whether it be a new tax and bureaucracy, or the towns.

Remember – when it comes down to brass tacks, we like these services that we get with our taxes. It’s only in the abstract that we yell about taxes, until we’re reminded what they pay for.

Likewise, the process to fund cultural organizations shouldn’t be at the County Executive’s whim; it shouldn’t be, as it is now, just a newer version of old-style spendthrift liberal thinking like the member items of yore. Instead, Poloncarz would return that duty to the apolitical, non-partisan Erie County Cultural Resources Advisory Board, or ECCRAB. It was a system with which everyone was on board, and it took politics out of the equation. We didn’t have the huge fights then that we have now, as Collins artificially picks winners and losers with zero input from public stakeholders.

Finally, Collins is nothing more than an old-fashioned tax & spend liberal. Although Collins likes to say he’s looking out for the taxpayers, he’s raised taxes on us, and gone to court to prevent the legislature from keeping those hikes lower. Although he says he’s careful with our money, he’s spent millions on his friends and cronies, without regard to results or merit. Although Collins likes to seem as if he’s a good government type, he’s in ongoing violation of the county charter in terms of providing monthly budget monitoring reports. Although Collins says he’s trying to create a brighter future, he maintains the tired, failed status-quo when it comes to attracting and keeping businesses in western New York; he eschews the notion of IDA consolidation, and hasn’t set up a one-stop-shop for businesses to use when considering a move to our region.

For someone who promised to run the county like a business, why has he behaved like that?

So, on Tuesday, I’ll join Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Representatives Higgins and Hochul, and Mayor Byron Brown to vote for Mark Poloncarz for County Executive.

2. County Clerk: Maria Whyte

As a county legislator and community activist, Maria’s been a tireless advocate for the poor and underprivileged on Buffalo’s west side.  It will be a huge loss to lose her to the quiet administrative work of the clerk’s office, but she has pledged to improve the public’s access to county information, to improve efficiency and wait times, to build upon the DMV improvements already built-in to the system under Dave Swarts and Kathy Hochul, and to modernize recordkeeping to reflect a 21st century where people look stuff up on computers and read PDF files.  Although I have nothing against Chris Jacobs, he has run from his tenure on the Buffalo Board of Education when he’s mentioned it at all, and he has illegally played politics with the 501(c)(3) foundation he created to help underprivileged, bright kids escape the crushing hopelessness of the very public school system he helped run. These, I think, disqualify him from running the largely ministerial clerk’s office – if you can’t follow simple rules and you’re embarrassed by your own record, maybe go back and fix those before asking for a promotion.

3. Assembly 148: Ray Walter

I like Craig Bucki, and I think he’d make a fine Assemblyman.  I also like Ray Walter, and I find that he’s as thoughtful as he is brash; as willing to debate the finer points of policy and the law as he is to roll his eyes when Betty Jean Grant is speaking. Let’s face it, being an Assembly Republican is a thankless job – just ask Jane Corwin. It’s replete with big smiles and bigger checks, and yelling about Shelly Silver and the evil downstate Democrats. All of this comes back to my thought that we need a unicameral legislature. Because I think that Ray is a smart guy and an independent thinker, and because I know that he has big ideas on how to reform government and includes people who don’t always agree with him into the conversation, I’m going to give Ray the edge. I’m not convinced that Bucki would do better or worse – I just don’t know him well enough to make that determination. I am confident, however, that Ray is the kind of legislator who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and is willing to take the time to research and examine ways for government to do its job better. I know his nickname in the county legislature is “Rush”, as in Limbaugh, but maybe the Assembly needs that.

4. Erie County Legislature

As a side note, I’m appalled by the number of uncontested races this year.

District 1: Tim Hogues over Barbara Miller-Williams and Joe Mascia: Hogues will replace the Democrat-in-Name-Only who currently occupies this seat and chairs the legislature. Miller-Williams’ tenure has been replete with her doing her BFF Chris Collins’ bidding, oftentimes to her own benefit and her constituents’ detriment. She doesn’t belong anywhere near county hall.

District 2: Betty Jean Grant is unopposed. 

District 3: Lynn Marinelli is unopposed. 

District 4: Jeremy Zellner over Kevin Hardwick: I like the professor personally, but he had an opportunity to establish his bona fides as an independent thinker rather than a Collins rubber-stamp when it came time to over-ride many of Collins’ 2010 cuts. He didn’t take it, even going so far as to acquiescing to Collins’ continual petty attempts to decimate the personnel and effectiveness of the Comptroller’s office.

District 5: Tom Loughran over Shelly Schratz: Unlike Hardwick, Loughran has shown himself to be an independent legislative thinker from time to time. Schratz is a perennial candidate who is aligned with the noxious tea party movement. We need fewer Collins acolytes in the legislature, not more.

District 6: Ed Rath over Toni Vazquez: Vazquez didn’t seem to really have a firm grasp on county issues in general, or district issues in particular. Rath is poised to do something with the office he’s in, but I’d like to see some more independence and aggressiveness from him in the future.

District 7: Tom Mazur is unopposed. 

District 8: Terry McCracken over Mike Cole: I have no idea about anything having to do with McCracken, except that he’s not Mike Cole. Cole, you’ll remember, was, in effect, an Assemblyman-for-life until his drunken Albany shenanigans with interns got him in trouble with oft-hypocritical conservative family values types. Hey, Mike: it’s too soon.

District 9: Jon Gorman over Lynne Dixon: Gorman’s is a brilliant mind, and he’s a hard worker. Dedicated to the people’s business, he’d be one less Collins follower in the legislature, and would bring a legal eye to the proceedings to help minimize any recurrences of “null and void” declarations, should Collins win.

District 10: No Endorsement: I will not endorse Christina Bove, as she helped create the de facto Collins majority in the legislature as a consummate follower and “what’s in it for me” type politician. On the other hand, the Lorigo name should be drummed out of our collective body politic, firstly by abolishing the family nest egg that’s built upon the hyper-corrupt electoral fusion system. Lorigo’s efforts to bully Bove by having daddy file a $3MM defamation suit over an ad in – of all things – the f’king PENNYSAVER, takes pettiness to a whole new level – the fact that this prominent law firm can’t even be bothered to actually file and serve a Summons and Complaint, with the alleged libel plead with the requisite particularity, instead relying on the lazy lawyers’ “Summons with Notice”, which gives them indignant headlines and nothing else.

District 11: John Mills in unopposed. 

Town of Clarence: Scott Bylewski

The town race has been exquisitely ugly this year, thanks in no small part to the execrable Joe Weiss and his puppet, Dave Hartzell. Bylewski enjoys bipartisan support from people who truly care about the town and the direction in which it’s going. His opponents have proven themselves to be a dirty, hypocritical collection of fetid assholes whose idea of good government is to lie to town residents when they’re not berating them. Don’t be fooled by the lies and deception – Bylewski is working hard to keep the town on the right track, despite myriad pressures from many sides to go against the town’s land use constitution.


Siena Poll on the Erie County Executive Race: Dead Heat

6 Nov

Things I find interesting from the Siena Poll for the County Executive’s race that was released last night, apart from the fact that the race swung from a statistical dead heat of 49/46 for Collins with a MOE of +/- 3.4%, to a genuine dead heat of 48/48 with a MOE of +/- 2.7%.  Undecideds went from 6% to 5% overall.

Low & High Earners: County on Wrong Track.

49% of Erie County Residents think the county is going in the wrong direction. 45% think it’s going in the right direction. Among those making over $100,000 per year, the split is 49/47. Among earners of less than $50,000, the split is 53/42. The only earners who think the county is on the right track more than wrong are those earning $50k – $100k, where the split is 48/47.

Poloncarz Has Higher Favorables and Lower Unfavorables than Collins

Collins’ overall favorable/unfavorable is 51/45. Among those making more than $100,000 per year, Collins is less liked than among those earning less; among people making $100,000, Collins’ favorable/unfavorable is 49/50.  Among earners of less than $50,000, the split is 52/49, and among earners of between $50,000 – $100,000, that range is 53/44.

Poloncarz’ overall favorable/unfavorable is 52/44. Among $100k+, that split is 55/42. Middle earners? 53/41. Less than $50k give Poloncarz a favorable/unfavorable of 52/37.  Compare that to October, when Poloncarz’s overall favorable/unfavorable was 49/27 – the last 3 weeks of lies and negativity from Collins have hurt, but not badly enough that Poloncarz’s favorable went up 3 points. By contrast, Collins’ favorables dropped from 55%, and his unfavorables went up from 41%.

Dead Heat

48/48 as between Poloncarz and Collins. Men prefer Collins, women prefer Poloncarz 49/46. 5% of voters remain undecided.  Interestingly, those making under $50k and those making over $100k prefer Poloncarz – 49/47, and 51/45 respectively. Those earning between $50k and $100k prefer Collins 50/46.

The sample this time reduced people from the city of Buffalo from 25% to 19% of the sample, reflecting what Siena says is the fact that city voters said they were less likely to vote. The largest income bracket sampled is that middle one that prefers Collins, and note that people across the board overwhelmingly think that Collins is going to win, in spite of the fact that the race is a dead heat with Democrats coming home and undecideds breaking more for Poloncarz.

GOTV

People are locking in their votes, and there’s less room for the candidates to maneuver. Everything now comes down to party apparatus and getting out the vote. This should be interesting, since Poloncarz and the Democrats have entire machines ready to hit the streets on Tuesday, while the Republicans simply won’t have the same amount of boots on the ground.

In 2007, only 291,244 votes were cast in Erie County, and Keane only won the City of Buffalo, where 46,517 votes were cast in total.  16% of the turnout was in the City of Buffalo, where Clark smeared Keane in the African-American press as being a Klansman, or worse.  No such shenanigans will be taking place on Tuesday, where Poloncarz has strong support in the city, and turnout is expected to be higher than in 2007.  Collins and his allies know they’re in trouble because they can’t match the Democrats on turnout, which explains the last-minute push to pin the absentee voter fraud on Poloncarz and turn it into an issue – an effort that’s failed completely.

As far as predictions, I think it will be as close as the SD-60 race between Grisanti and Thompson. In other words, I think that Poloncarz will have a 3-digit edge in the unofficial BOE tally, and it will come down to hand-counts and absentees.

State of the City 2011

17 Feb

Yesterday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown gave the 2011 State of the City address, announcing a three-year property tax freeze for overtaxed homeowners.  The whole speech:

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The Erie County Legislature of 2011: More of the Same

10 Jan
Chris Collins, New Erie County Executive

His Highness, King Chris du Lac

By the way, last Thursday, the Erie County Legislature held its annual “reorganization” session to elect this year’s Chair.

Despite the backstabbing and rancor of the 2011 budget process, three Democrats yet again broke away from the rest of their caucus to reconstitute the so-called “reform coalition” with the Republican minority (including Lynne Dixon, of the Independence Party).

Buffalo’s Grassroots political club is aligned with Chris Collins and Steve Pigeon, the former county Democratic chair.  Grassroots and Byron Brown basically have a deal whereby they stay out of the county’s business, and Collins largely stays out of the city’s business. Barbara Miller-Williams, who is aligned with Grassroots, was joined by Christina Bove, who is closely linked with Pigeon, and Tim Kennedy’s replacement, Tim Whalen to vote with the Republicans for Miller-Williams as chair.

This means nothing changes and the county legislature will operate in 2011 much as it did in 2010.  There will be no changes in the way the county puts its budget together, there will be no progress on the issue of spending or taxes, there will be no examination of better ways in which the county could do its largely ministerial duties.

Seriously, I might as well just re-submit this paragraph from my 2010 roundup:

In the meantime, a so-called “reform coalition” was formulated in the county legislature, giving County Executive Chris Collins a de facto majority. Democrats Tim Kennedy, Christina Bove, and Barbara Miller-Williams broke away from the remainder of the Democratic caucus to form a coalition with the minority Republicans and help progress the Collins – Pigeon – Brown agenda. It was the embodiment of the alliance of the Collins and Brown political machines, and died hard just 12 months later. Some of our writing got a bit inside basebally, so Chris and I wrote  “Profiles in Fail” to help fill in some blanks. The legislature became what we termed an “orgy of transactional politics”, and we explained the legislature coup in some more detail here:

Two things: firstly, Democratic counsel Jen Persico was summarily dismissed on Thursday, replaced by Shawn Martin, the West Seneca town attorney.  Persico was appointed a few years ago by then-chair Lynn Marinelli, and this change appears to be Bove’s price for her continued role in the “reform coalition”.  The second is redistricting.  Over the next several months, a seemingly democratic process will be implemented to reduce the number of legislative districts, but in the end Chris Collins will pull out all the stops to get his way and eliminate districts represented by legislators who give him trouble.  Think “Kozub” or “Marinelli”.  Maybe “Loughran”.

So, we leave you again with a video we did last year to explain what’s behind this process.  The language is NSFW.

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On Ending The Three-Tiered, Three-Ringed Circus

15 Dec
Joel Giambra, Erie County Executive

Remember Me?

I started writing about local politics on my blog in the midst of the 2004 – 05 red/green budget crisis.  I was still sort of new to town and to local politics, but I distinctly recall that prior to that meltdown, it was the city of Buffalo that was in a fiscal disaster so bad that there was talk of bankruptcy.  There was quite a clamor about the county just absorbing the city, since Giambra was running things so swimmingly.

Then all hell broke loose as Giambra’s one-shot budget fixes ran out.  Then, it was tobacco settlement money.  He gave people a stark choice – a red budget which would slash discretionary county services, or a green budget that maintained services but raised taxes.  Giambra had just won re-election about a year earlier, running on his record of having cut property taxes.  We were faced with a deficit in the tens of millions and the prospect of the highest sales tax in the state, if not the country, or no parks, no funding for culturals, no discretionary anything.  When we got together to maintain the Santa’s Park at Chestnut Ridge, we learned that union rules prohibited private people or groups from assuming the duties formerly performed by county employees – even if they were volunteering.  The whole system was rotten and backwards.

Yet what really got people’s dander up wasn’t just the penny sales tax, or the dysfunction.

People were really angry about Victor Getz.  They were furious that Giambra had hired friends and family to fill county jobs, especially with the prospect of thousands of crisis-prompted layoffs.  The anger over Getz was largely about symbolism, as well as cronyism.  There were calls to change the way the county does business. We amended the charter a couple of years later.

Those charter amendments passed overwhelmingly through referendum the year before Chris Collins was elected County Executive.  Among the many changes, the county Comptroller’s office took on new responsibilities so that there would be better monitoring and auditing of county finances.

In the end, both the county and city found themselves under the “adult supervision” of separate state control boards.

Yet nothing has changed.  This year’s budget is in litigation.  Chris Collins’ efforts to eliminate checks and balances on his power have merely shifted those responsibilities from the legislature and comptroller’s office to State Supreme Court, where Justice Glownia ruled that Collins has no right under the charter to declare legislative budget cuts “null and void”.  Six years ago, Justice Lane wrote of budget process litigation:

“[T]he courts cannot and will not intervene in the budget process if doing so requires them to substitute their judgment on matters of discretion” (id.). In considering the budget provisions of the Erie County Charter, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department has stated “[t]he charter imposes guidelines upon the Executive and the Legislature which must be maintained to prevent either branch of government from usurping the powers of the other. The check and balance system incorporated in the charter is basic to our traditional government policy (Swanick at 1037 citing Gallagher, 42 NY2d at 233-234)

The process is fundamentally broken, and has been for some time.  Yet no one has the desire to change it.  Every year we go through this same three-ring circus.  Every year the culturals come protesting for funding, every year there is a battle royal over who gets how much.  Every year we go through this same nonsense.  Is it beyond reformation at this point?

Yesterday, the culturals were de facto divided into three tiers: the libraries, the 10 Collins-approved culturals, and everyone else.  The Republicans fashioned a deal whereby $100,000 in stimulus funding would go to the Oshei Foundation, where Robert Gioia will decide how to dole out that money, plus $400,000 the foundation is putting up.  A “public/private partnership” along these lines is a great solution, and one that some Democratic legislators would have considered supporting had the Republicans bothered to present it to them as an option.  The libraries will get $3 million in stimulus funding, as well.  (Notice the renewed dependence on one-shot funding?)  This freed up the Republican caucus to vote against overriding all 154 Collins budget vetoes.  Each line item was defeated on a 9 – 6 party line vote which went well into last night.

Most distressing is the fact that the Republican legislators voted to gut the comptroller’s office, and effectively neuter its ability to do its charter-mandated oversight.  This is in direct contradiction to the will of the people as expressed in the 2006 charter revision referendum.

Perhaps Poloncarz could get his office to conduct audits through interpretive dance and compete for some of the Oshei Foundation’s county cultural funding for 2011.

The other problem with the cultural funding for 2011 is that it solves just enough of the problem to help Collins’ re-election bid next year.  You’ll notice that the budget process heats up well after election day, so this three-ring, tri-tiered circus will play out again in December 2011, and the Oshei resolution is a one-shot deal.

If the Republicans in general, and Collins in particular, are even remotely serious about reforming county government, they’d offer up long-term solutions that would prevent this sort of community battle every December.  Yet the only solutions that ever get ink have to do with reductions in the size of the legislature or term limits.  All well and good, but how about shutting down the annual circus?

The courts will decide the question of whether Collins has the right to declare things the legislature does “null and void” as regularly as he does. The Republicans will be appealing Glownia’s order. The forgotten third tier of culturals get a reprieve for a year. The approved second tier of culturals was noticeably silent about the budget battle, even though the Democratic amendments would have maintained their current funding.  Odd, that silence. The libraries will be funded even though no one has the resolve to discuss consolidation and other ways to fix that annual part of the circus.

We get all up in arms as a community over Victor Getz’s $70,000 driving gig, yet we yawn when the annual budget de-funds pregnancy prevention programs, after-school programs, cultural attractions, entire swaths of elected officials’ critical staff, and the medical examiner’s office.  As Chris points out, Collins wants to gut stuff his constituency doesn’t really care about.

Maybe everyone involved can agree that this is a horrible way to go about doing all of this and talk about lasting changes.

Le comté, c’est lui

13 Dec

There is no county government. Only Zuul.

Chris Collins has all but declared himself the sole sovereign and king of Erie County. Christopher du Lac Spaulding, as successor to King Joel the Fail, has unilaterally declared the Erie County Legislature to be a nullity.

The Six Sigma-dependent big spender has naturally relied upon dubiously correct hypertechnicalities to justify his lack of regard or respect for co-equal branches of government.

While Collins may be the chief budget officer, he is also the executive – the legislature is the board of directors and speaks for specific constituencies to whom they answer every two years.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Collins or the Democratic legislative caucus – the issue has become whether you respect the rule of law and separation of powers. Collins du Lac clearly doesn’t. He claims that the Democratic budget amendments would raise people’s taxes up to $3.00 per year, but shows absolutely no math to back up that assertion. The legislative Democrats have provided proof – in writing – that their proposal does nothing to raise taxes, and has issued documentation of how it achieves balance.

Not Collins, though. Le comté, c’est lui.

Tomorrow, the legislature will take up Collins’ remarkable veto statement and attempt to override it. Many of the specific cultural line items were supported by 10/15 legislators, and the library funding was supported unanimously. According to majority leader Maria Whyte, Kevin Hardwick said he would override Collins’ vetoes on certain cultural line items if he had proof that no tax increase would result.

During today’s press conference, Betty Jean Grant said Collins’ claims that the Democratic budget amendments raised taxes were “fearmongering.” Lynn Marinelli said that Democrats were proud to show their math – Collins is for some reason afraid or unwilling to do the same. Addressing Collins’ media blitz and direct voter contact, Tom Mazur said Collins should be ashamed of himself stoking fear through robocalls. Tom Loughran said that Collins wasn’t elected “to destroy this community”. Barbara Miller-Williams lamented a “sad day” for Erie County and pleaded with Collins to work with the legislature.

Tomorrow we’ll see just how sad a day it is, and Collins will be forced to deal with a co-equal branch of government whether he’s bought it or not, whether he likes it or not.  Caution. Litigation ahead.

2011 County Budget: Getting Ready for More Rumbling

8 Dec

Chris Collins only wants a very select list of 10 cultural organizations to receive county funding, and slashed money for the libraries.  Over the past couple of weeks, the county legislature worked through a process whereby it restored funding to the culturals and the libraries one by one, oftentimes by veto-proof majorities. The library re-funding was unanimous.

In the process the Collins-friendly “reform coalition”, (three Democrats who for various reasons aligned themselves with Collins and the Republican minority on the legislature, thus forming a de facto Republican majority), seemingly broke down.  Tim Kennedy has no use for the coalition anymore, since it’s outlived its get-me-t0-the-Senate usefulness.  Next, West Seneca’s Christina Bove dissented leaving Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams alone, warning lawmakers to beware Collins’ veto pen and/or wrath.

Last week’s shenanigans lead to this week’s bickerfest, with Collins firing the opening salvo.  Although the Democrats were careful to balance the budget through its re-funding of culturals and libraries, Collins claims that all of this will lead to a tax hike. He pledges to veto $400,000 for youth programs and $1.2 million for culturals – money that goes to help fund our very way of life.

But when you reduce “life” to numbers on a balance sheet, as Collins does, those arguments will fail.

And while Collins can’t veto legislative reductions to his budget, made to help pay for the cultural re-funding, he’ll try to declare them “null and void”.  The Buffalo News reports:

When pressed by reporters Tuesday, Collins refused to specify the percentage of increase he saw as necessary. In total, the Legislature moved around $8 million of a more than $1 billion budget that relies on about $235 million in property tax income. Even if all $8 million was in dispute, which it’s not, that would require a property tax hike of around 3 percent, or $15 a year on a $100,000 home.

After Collins issues his “veto message,” the Legislature will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday for its “veto override” session, which gives the Legislature a crack at mustering the two-thirds majority needed to override a county executive’s vetoes. The key will be the six-member Republican conference, which has been all over the board.

Democratic Majority Leader Maria Whyte points out, however, that the budget as-amended by the Democratic caucus spends $100,000 less than Collins’ proposed budget.

The “fun” continues Thursday.