Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anticipating a Great Day tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day wife and I have been looking forward to for a couple months. Our son, his wife, and our granddaughter will be arriving for a week’s visit. MGD and I have been very busy preparing our house for their arrival. I’m not sure just how important it really is, but it’s important to MGD that the house is spotless. What’s important to her is important to me, too, but I’m not sure it’s the condition of the house the kids (son is 40) are coming for or to see us.

We haven’t seen them for several years. They live in a west coast state and travel is expensive. We’ve reached an age where health determines travel ability, and for us retired folks, it’s also expensive. Seeing the lad, talking with him, hugging him is going to make us very happy. Add to that the chance to hold our granddaughter will be a wonderful experience we have only had one time before. And, of course, we’re looking forward to visiting with our daughter-in-law, too.

Getting back to today, it’s Wednesday. All this winter Wednesday in Maine has meant just one thing: a storm. Yup! It’s snowing right now. The weatherman says, however, that this snow in our part of the state will be short-lived and will shortly turn to rain. The rain will be heavy at times right through tomorrow morning. Then clearing will begin and our family should arrive in good, but windy and cold weather. Other parts of the state won’t be so lucky. Folk in far northern Maine will be getting plowable snow.

Maine budget crisis continues. The Appropriations and Taxation committees who held public hearings last week on Governor’s proposed cuts continue to want to restore some. It hasn’t announced alternative methods to reduce the budget except mention the possibility of “revenue enhancements,” otherwise known as tax and fee increases. The debate continues. Republicans announced a plan that would reduce the eligibility for MaineCare, this state’s name for Medicaid, to bring it in line with Federal guidelines. It also called for state workers and legislators themselves to pay a portion of their own now-free to them health insurance. It might be safe to say the proposal was not too well received.

The speaker of the Maine House raised a few eyebrows over the weekend. In the middle of a crisis of a revenue shortfall, Glenn Cummings authorized the expenditure of $40 thousand to buy ten computers for legislators. Cummings wants to demonstrate that using computers could be more beneficial and cost effective eventually leading to the purchase of computers for all legislators. Some folks have indicated that the money could have gone toward reducing some of the cuts the legislators want saved or possibly to buying many families oil as art of the Liheap program.

Meanwhile, on another front, yesterday the chairman of the Maine Republican Party presented an Internet conducted petition to legislative leaders. The petition called for cutting spending to balance the budget and raise no taxes or fees. In less than two days Mark Ellis gathered over a thousand electronic signatures. When I last checked yesterday, the count was climbing close to 15-hundred.

Today is March 19th. The Legislature is trying to get the budget work completed by March 31st. The debate continues as Time marches by.


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