Next year the Amendment Convention will meet and make their proposal. I believe it should be called the Reagan Amendment, in honor of the greatest President of the 20th century.
It will be more than a balanced budget amendment, although balancing the budget will be its goal. It will be an economic growth amendment, a regulatory reform amendment, and a federalist amendment. It will be a political realignment amendment. Though it will contain nothing that is not directly related to balancing the budget, its ancillary effects can be so significant that it could set the course of this country for a generation.
We’ll unveil the Reagan Amendment in June in Denver. A lot of work needs to be done in preparation, but there’s plenty of time. It’ll be fun, as long as I don’t have to travel too much. My current plan is to go to Olympia, Salem and Boise the week of the 23rd. It’s possible Idaho Senate Majority Leader Davis will like the Reagan Amendment so much that we get our bill this year. It will depend on how much sense he has.
I’m really looking forward to meeting Washington Senate President Pam Roach. When I sent the pledge letter to her last summer she gave me a call, and we had a good talk. She’s kind of a character. I checked her out on the internet. A couple years ago she was booted out of the Republican Caucus for obstreperous behavior. I’m thinking maybe she’s not an ideal sponsor. Then I find out she gets elected President of the Senate! This sounds like my kind of gal.
When I was in Juneau I talked to Sam Cotton, the Commissioner of Fish and Game. He was Speaker when I was House Minority Leader. Sam’s a good guy. He told me my name came up recently in some budget talks. With the low price of oil, Alaska will burn through $3 billion in cash reserves this year, and next year they’ll need to access the Constitutional Budget Reserve. We set that up when I was in the House, and they needed my vote. I gave it to them on the condition that no withdrawals could be made without a 3/4 vote in House and Senate. The Republicans had been in the minority since statehood, practically, and I wanted to make sure they couldn’t get the money without our votes. 2/3 wasn’t good enough for me. I figured they could always buy off a couple Republicans, so let’s make it real hard to do. Now the Republicans have a 3/4 majority in the Senate, but only 2/3 in the House. So guess who they have to go to in order to get to the money? House Democrats.
Those guys owe me a beer.