September 2, 2014

Veteran senator critical of party, House, as budget talks start (AUDIO)

Final negotiations are starting on the next state budget with some members of the House and Senate blaming each other’s chambers for a shortage of money. 

The pressure is on five members of the House and five members of the Senate who will try to reconcile some practical fiscal divides in a climate of some political rivalries and disputes and philosophical differences.

Some House members say the Senate’s refusal to do a tax amnesty bill  is a reason for a 70-milion dollar difference in the proposals of the two chambers.  Some Senators say the state would not be where it is if the House would work on reforming the tax credit system.

Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield thinks tax amnesty is a reward for poor behavior and tax credit reform is the real key. But he says the House prefers giving away 4250 million in tax credits to developers each year while cutting benefits to blind people.

He’s critical of his own Republican party for that situation. “Republicans can go after people on social services because they’re not our voting bloc. But the people we can’t go after are the developers,” he says on the senate floor. 

 He says he’s tired of cuts in state funding for the poor while the legislature continues to let developers avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

 Purgason was on the House and Senate appropriations committees for 14 years.

 AUDIO: Senate debate 1:15:26