March 22, 2010

A look at how you've gotten under the skin of legislators

Yes, it’s true. Most of the Legislature and the governor wish you would just go away. Your constant presence at the Capitol in our unmistakable AFSCME Green shirts, the job actions around the state, the phone calls, the e-mails, the petitions have all served to keep your issues alive.

It irritates them when they hear that you’ve sacrificed $1 billion already, it’s not fair to balance the budget on your back and worse balance the budget on the backs of the people and causes you serve, the abused, the elderly, the disabled, the vulnerable, public safety, clean natural resources, safe workplaces, safe highways.

It got to the point in Saturday’s House debate on the revenue bill that one prominent legislator lashed out at you and implied you’re taking from the very people you serve.

“Now we’ve come to the point where everybody that has a sense of entitlement shows up in the galleries or is wearing colored shirts out in the hallway and demanding that we give to them, that we take from our neighbors, and give to them,” said Rep. Bill Hinkle of the 13th District, the minority whip in the House Republican Caucus.

“Now you tell me that’s justice. You tell me that’s what our forefathers died for.”

Instead, said Hinkle, when legislators head home, “We won’t have those union guys calling us because guess what -- they’re going to get their paychecks.”

No mention was made of how state employee families sacrifice, how many state employees have second and third jobs to make ends meet, how many state employees still volunteer in their schools, churches, youth groups and all of their community.

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