Senator Rave: Budget Doesn’t Do Enough, and That’s O.K.

Michael Larson properly spotlights the mediocrity epitomized on Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave’s closing comments in the Senate’s debate of HB 1208, the general appropriations bill, passed late Friday evening:

Senator Tim Rave (R-25/Baltic)
Senator Tim Rave (R-25/Baltic)

I’ve been here thirteen sessions, and never have we had a budget that does enough, and that’s o.k., because that’s why we’re elected to come back next year, and the next year, and the next year. That’s our job. We’re here to take care of the taxpayers and the citizens of this state. That’s why they send us out here. Every year we do something to make this state just a little bit better than the year before [Senator Tim Rave (R-25/Baltic), remarks on HB 1208, South Dakota Senate, 2015.03.13, timestamp 2:37:00].

The Legislature’s budget does just a little bit to improve South Dakota, but not enough.

I am reminded of shoveling snow with my dad. On one of my first outings with him, when I was old enough to handle the shovel while he ran the snowblower on the big driveways, I cleared one shovel-width path down the sidewalk and called it good. I thought I’d improved things a little. Dad was not impressed. For Dad, “enough” wasn’t “just a little bit better.” “Enough” meant doing the whole job. And we didn’t go back to our nice warm house until I’d done the whole job and shoveled the whole sidewalk, edge to edge, alley to curb.

The Legislature did not do the whole job. The Legislature did not raise teacher pay $10,000 to compete with neighboring states; it left in place the status quo that will underpay teachers and worsen our teacher shortage. The Legislature did not tackle $240 million in road repair needs; it came up with a plan that addresses just over a third of those needs. The Legislature did not expand Medicaid to save lives and money; on that issue, legislators didn’t even shovel my single path.

When I shoveled my single, sloppy path to make the sidewalk “just a little bit better,” Dad didn’t say, “That’s o.k., we’ll come back next weekend, and the next.” He said I needed to do the job right and right now, because if I didn’t, we wouldn’t get hired back.

My dad still moves snow, although he’s moved up from a snowblower to a skid-steer. Senator Rave, you should come shovel snow with my dad.

9 Responses to Senator Rave: Budget Doesn’t Do Enough, and That’s O.K.

  1. shirley Harrington-Moore

    Interestingly enough, a recent poll in the RCJournal show that by a LARGE majority the voters think the Republican led legislature didn’t do much of anything.

  2. Shirley, if the RCJ is on your case, you REALLY didn’t do enuf!!!! :-)

  3. How uninspiring, such low ambition those GOPers that run SD have.
    Don’t just settle for ok, SD. Dems, here is your chance to take a statement and use it to your advantage. Would some hardworking dems please stand up and run?

  4. Roger Elgersma

    very good Cory. When you can use their own arguement to prove them wrong might seem to easy but they can not argue back. Sadly when some get honest about their problems they start to think it is ok. But there really needs to be a real improvement. Like you say, they need to get the job done like good successful people do.

  5. I’ve been here thirteen sessions, and never have we had a budget that does enough, and that’s o.k., because that’s why we’re elected to come back next year, and the next year, and the next year.

    It seems to me that State Senator Rave is suggesting you should slack off on the job so you have a reason to come back next year.

    Is this the best South Dakota voters can hope for? Politicians who willingly admit they never do enough but instead just care about getting elected time and time again?

    If this is the attitude in Pierre, then perhaps we need “one and done” term limits to ensure our elected leaders do everything in their power to enact positive change each and every term instead of assuming they can make a real difference next time around.

    The entire thing reminds me of the planned obsolescence of politicians just like we have with our cell phones and computers. The difference is our gadgets tend to get better over time… politicians not so much.

  6. Notice, Craig, that Senator Rave also included a couple too many “next years”. He has one more next year before he faces another election. I’m hoping his District 25 voters (and a determined Democratic challenger) ask him some serious questions about why not doing enough is o.k.

  7. Deb Geelsdottir

    Craig, your last paragraph is the best. Funny!

    Does Rave think that if they Really do their job, there won’t be a need for the legislature to show up again? Not likely.

    I mean “not likely” that they wouldn’t need to show up again. And “not likely” that they’d Really do their job.

  8. mike from iowa

    Why aren’t they getting the job done? It isn’t like Dems fillibuster everything in sight,is it? Nothing gets done because that is the way they want the gubmint to be.

  9. rave on the daschle,bill can you beleive that but what do you expect from a do they elect somebody like this.