OKLAHOMA CITY -Governor Keating is itching to veto a record appropriation for higher education, but because he doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger, he's yanking pay raises from state employees, according to a Senate leader.
"Governor Keating has exhibited a hostile attitude toward higher education from the day he stepped into office. He would like nothing better than to veto the higher education investment approved by the Legislature, but he doesn't have the guts," said Senator Kelly Haney, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.
"The Governor found out the hard way last year that higher ed has a lot of friends, and like the bully who got his tail whipped, he doesn't want to face another licking. So in order to duck another confrontation with higher education, he's taking his aggressions out on his second favorite whipping boy, state employees."
In his veto messages and statements to the media, Governor Keating has indicated that his vetoes of agency budgets are designed to compensate for a $31 million investment of one-time moneys in higher education. The Governor has indicated he opposes the higher education appropriation, but has conceded he will probably approve it anyway.
"That is the most pathetic excuse for leadership I have ever witnessed," said Senator Haney.
"If the Governor doesn't favor the investment in higher education, he should stand up for his convictions and veto it. If he supports it, he should sign it. He shouldn't be compensating for his lack of intestinal fortitude by picking on state employees."