“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
Mad Hatter, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
I won’t try to guess if the Maine government will be up and running when this column is printed. Since Maine legislators can’t spend money without a budget, maybe the best thing to do is vacate the State House in Augusta, lock the doors and throw away the keys. When they decide to come to their senses by agreeing to get along and do the best that they can do for us Mainers, then someone can let them back in to do some real work. It’s that or do away with political parties in Maine and other places as well. And please lock the governor in the Blaine House and throw that key away as well.
It would probably take a miracle or better yet, new legislators, to come up with an earlier deadline to have the state budget decided a couple of months before July 1. It’s really stupid to go down to the last days of June and pray that everything comes together for a new budget. Here’s an even better idea: If the Maine legislators and the Maine governor haven’t created a new state budget by July 1, then all of them are automatically removed from office and new elections are held in two to four weeks.
Another great idea is to copy our elections after our neighbor to our north, where elections usually last between 35 and 55 days. Canadians did complain about the 2015 election period, which lasted 78 days. If the research I read was true, Canada has stricter conditions on political spending and contributions to political candidates. I really like that one.
The true shame that comes with the state government being shut down is that it makes us look like fools, so thank God not many states run into this problem. Oops, research just showed that isn’t true. As of July 1, other states without a budget are Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin and Delaware and a couple of other states where the governors haven’t signed the proposed state budget. Illinois hasn’t had a budget in a couple of years. I would care to guess that at least Connecticut and Illinois can no longer dream up any new methods to suck more money away from citizens and corporations.
In Maine, what’s really funny but not strange is if Republicans want income taxes reduced they come up with either a new tax on something or increase some other existing tax. This year it looks like a significant increase in the lodging tax at a minimum. I am cautious about saying more, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we have other taxes hiked as well, which won’t be discovered until the final budget is approved. It’s either that or we will discover some new cuts in funds for local schools and municipalities. As I have stated in the past, once I find out if both the school and municipal sides of Windham government received additional funds, I will make that known.
My previous column was about a partial wastewater system for the North Windham business district. The town councilors were briefed about a private-government proposal but the details were so vague that I will wait to see what the next step will be, and I am sure it will include a study to two. I have yet to determine my final feelings on such an arrangement as it could set a dangerous precedent for the citizens of Windham. I would have to see what each side of the arrangement gets and possible conflicts that could arise. The existing septic systems in North Windham should be properly maintained and repaired if necessary by the owner, not the taxpayers of the rest of Windham.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham wonders where the tens of millions of dollars will come for the dreams emanating from Windham Town Hall.