Former President Bill Clinton will address a joint meeting of the Legislature on Wednesday morning at 10 am. Most of us have seen Mr. Clinton on several occassions over the years, but I consider it an honor to be sitting on the front row while a former President of the United States talks to me and my colleagues. Security will be tight and I am looking forward to the day.
The tobacco tax bill was signed by the Governor today at 2:30, and I, along with several other Senators and Representatives, attended the news conference. Like everyone else who voted for the tax, and the healthcare initiative attached, I've taken a fair amount of heat on my vote. In the end, I'm glad the money will be there for much needed healthcare problems, but I also understand the position of those who voiced opposition. I doubt it was an easy vote for any of the 75 Reps or 28 Senators who sent this to the Governor. I'm sure everybody had a better idea on how to fund the proposals, but HB1204 was the legislation presented and nothing else really had a chance to get any traction. That's the reality of it, and if you're the Governor, and you get the Speaker and President Pro Tem to go along with it, chances are you're going to pass the legislation. Politics 101. So most of us had to decide the greater good; though many of us weren't comfortable raising taxes on a specific group in uncertain economic times. Issues here aren't always black and white, even though some would have you believe otherwise. It's time now to make sure the money gets to those who need it and the 200 lives saved becomes a reality.