Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore
"Two days ago, we formally asked Governor Keating and Republican legislative leaders to present us with a budget proposal that reflected the most current revenue situation so that we could begin budget negotiations.
"Judging from the governor's press statement, that request was far too difficult and complex for them to comply with.
"As usual, Governor Keating is long on bluster and short on facts. As he should know by this stage of his term in office, we cannot consider the original executive budget that he presented in February because subsequent revenue projections have thrown it out of balance.
"Our budget plan, on the other hand, is balanced, includes all available funds and protects public education, health care, veterans, mental health and other important programs while implementing a five percent cut to other state agencies. Our legislative subcommittees, composed of Republicans and Democrats, have held more than a dozen meetings to work through the appropriations bills to implement that agreement and are continuing that work. Governor Keating may be baffled by this process, but the members of the Legislature obviously understand it quite well.
"In order for Governor Keating to get involved in this process, he has to present us with a budget proposal that reflects the current revenue realities. To date, he hasn't bothered to do that. If he were truly 'ready, willing and able' to begin negotiations, he would do a little bit of work and put together a budget plan for consideration."