The two men most responsible for the education budgets rejected by Governor Bob Holden stand by their spending plans and reject the Governor’s call to raise taxes. Neither House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden nor Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman John Russell see their chambers changing a thing to the two bills vetoed again by Governor Bob Holden. Bearden adds he sees no change of heart in the House about taxes, though he won’t rule out tax increases in the future, no matter which party controls the Governor’s office. Bearden says state government needs to get its house in order, before voters should be asked to increase taxes. He wants a scaled back government, supported by performance-based budgetting. He doesn’t see that happening in this special legislative session. Another option could be using more of the federal assistance from Washington, but Senator Russell is comfortable with the House position to place $300-Million off limits for now. Budget leaders do say that $300-Million could be tapped into should the deficits projected by the Holden Administration prove accurate.
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