It’s budget time in Tennessee. Yeah, we have a battle for a new state song (shouldn’t we just set up a state radio station and add a song once a year because this always seems to be something we are talking about in the legislature.)
This, my friends, is when things get ticky, bipartisanship does not exist, and everyone wants something cut as long as it’s THEIR something not cut.
Good times. Sort of like good times of being stranded with a flat tire on a back road during the middle of a tornado.
Health insurance, even on a day when unicorns are flying about and puppies are sleeping next to kittens in a pillow of strawberry ice cream cones, is
hard to understand for the lay person. Of course I’m talking as much about myself as anyone. In my last five years of working for a small corporation (they will tell you business, I say corporation) our insurance was changed about three times. Our salaries never went up due to the economy but our health insurance premiums soared. This has happened to countless people over the years and is not a new story.
It doesn’t matter who it happens to because those of us who have been through it knows it hurts something awful.
According to Betsy Phillips at Pith in the Win, state employees are experiencing the same dilemma. They are also looking at pay cuts.
State employees I’ve talked to are angry and concerned and feel like they are being pressured financially into participating in something they don’t really understand, but suspect is not as benign as is being claimed. They are also, obviously, not willing to go on record to say so, times being what they are and new jobs being hard to come by.
And that’s not the only thing happening. The Board of Regents are talking pretty hefty increases from 6 percent to 22 percent for technical schools. Because right now tech schools are the place unemployed folks are going to reeducate themselves after unemployment has whopped them upside their heads. Not everyone, but it should be noted. Stimulus money only goes so far and it will have to be replaced because it runs out next year.