Tracking How a Bill Becomes Law

For anyone who wants to learn more about how legislation turns into law in the Hoosier state, the Indiana Chamber has a handy guide free of charge.

Among what’s included: a diagram of the bill process, a glossary of often-used terms and a look at where bills commonly get tripped up. We encourage you to download the 11-pager and follow along with what’s going on at the Indiana General Assembly.

The Indiana Chamber will be providing updates and issuing pertinent documents throughout the session at www.indianachamber.com/legislative.

 

Cameron to EU: I’d Like to Dispute This Charge

I find Europe pretty intriguing at times.

It’s apparent based on the recent secession vote — although it didn’t quite pass — that many folks in Scotland are not happy with the United Kingdom. Well, now it seems the UK is not too enthusiastic about the European Union (EU).

The EU recently presented UK Prime Minister David Cameron with a bill for over 1.7 billion Pounds — to be paid by Dec. 1. It’s an additional payment to the 8.6 billion Pounds the UK currently pays. Cameron was rather displeased.

“It is an unacceptable way to treat a country which is one of the biggest contributors to the EU,” he told the BBC. “We are not going suddenly to get out our cheque book and write a cheque for 2bn euros. It is not going to happen.”

Considering Germany’s also been butting heads with its European partners over its commitment to austerity, it seems there’s a lot of friction across the pond.

Health Care Bill Draws Ire for Questionable Numbers

Jeffery H. Anderson of the Pacific Research Institute has a column published in today’s New York Post, labelling the latest health care reform bill as a harbinger of fiscal disaster. He also calls it a fraud (so, you know, not a fan). He contends:

The Senate Finance Committee yesterday voted on a fraud: Sen. Max Baucus’ "responsible" health-reform bill is actually a recipe for fiscal disaster — and the Congressional Budget Office report that supposedly bolstered the bill actually exposes it.

As others have noted, Baucus used all manner of budgetary gimmicks to oblige the CBO to give him the headlines he needed — a supposed pricetag of "just" $829 billion over 10 years, with enough other spending cuts and tax hikes to avoid adding to the federal deficit. But the CBO exposed the truth by taking the rare step of calculating what the bill would cost in its second 10 years.

In its second decade alone, the CBO projects, the bill’s costs would triple — to $2.8 trillion. The taxes and fines it levies would also triple — to $1.8 trillion. And its cuts to Medicare and related federal health programs would quadruple — to $1.9 trillion.

In its first two decades combined, the bill would cost $3.6 trillion and would raise taxes by $2.3 trillion.

Baucus’ most elementary trick was to have the bill’s "first 10 years" include several years when it hadn’t really kicked in. It was scored for 2010 to 2019, yet it wouldn’t be in full swing until 2015 — when its costs would exceed those of its first five years combined.

In fact, the bill wouldn’t cost anything in 2010. In its real first decade (2011-20), it would cost more than $1 trillion.

Furthermore, the CBO projects that, by the end of 2030, the Baucus bill would have cut spending on Medicare and other existing health programs by more than $2.6 trillion.  Continue reading

Ohio Woman Sends Michigan Bill for Gas Wasted in Traffic

Drivers were recently stuck on Michigan’s I-275 for 50 minutes and Carol Greenberg, well, she ain’t happy. The Ohio woman sent the Michigan Department of Transportation a bill for $16 to compensate for the estimated gas she burned while waiting for the traffic jam to open.

Most noteworthy was this paragraph:

Mrs. Greenberg said in an interview that the delay was doubly unpleasant for her Maine coon cat, Sammy, who howled through the entire experience in a pet carrier in the back seat.

Man, that is one irritated kitty. But you can glean that just by looking at the article’s photo. I’d imagine he was later quoted as saying:

"I’m just a little fired up right now,"  Sammy stated, while bathing himself. "I was in Michigan to test for allergies, so I wasn’t feeling too terrific with all this grass flying around. Then I have to deal with traffic when all I want to do is get home and scratch my post … Oh, and ‘meow.’ Is that what you wanted? You wanted me to say something cat-like for you so you can be all cute and put it in the paper? Well I won’t dance for you people anymore. You know what, this interview is over. Get that recorder out of my face (hiss)! Carol, show Bob Woodward here the door."

Moral of the story: Gas prices are creating even more of an impetus for states to ensure that drivers — and their passengers — can move along interstates in an efficient manner.