Legislature Needs to Get on with the People’s Business

The North Carolina General Assembly returned to Raleigh from its summer vacation on July 13 with a bunch of unfinished business still on the state government’s plate…and it’s anybody’s guess when the legislators will finish their work and adjourn.

Recently, attorney Hugh Overholt, a member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation, said that trying to predict what the legislature will do “is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.”

In order to keep the state government running in the new fiscal year that began July 1, the General Assembly ratified a “continuing resolution” to keep the government open.

The Charlotte Post newspaper reports the cost to taxpayers to keep the state legislature in session is about $50,000 a day…and “every dollar we spend on running the General Assembly past the (July 1) deadline, is another dollar taken away from education or roads.”

The budget impasse could go on for weeks or even months.

A film critic once said watching the General Assembly play out is a “tragicomedy,” blending aspects of both tragedy and comedy.

The term can variously describe either a tragic play that contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood or, often, a serious play with a happy ending.

Either way, the state taxpayers are eager to see the Looney Tunes sign-off message flash across their screens: “That’s All Folks.”