Thursday, May 18, 2017


Yesterday was a very unfortunate day for (some) children in this, the Great State of Nebraska. Children in the Juvenile Justice System, children in the Foster Care System, children in the Developmental Disability System, and also children who are sick as well as poor, on the Medicaid System, they will indeed and undoubtedly suffer from votes taken Wednesday on the Nebraska Unicameral Floor.

The Governor has line-item veto authority on the budget, and he exercised that this year on a number of DHHS and Nebraska Supreme Court programs. Nebraska is supposedly crafting our best shot at weathering a very real economic downturn. His stated purpose for the vetos was to not touch the "rainy day fund", presumably to put the state at a lower risk of a Special Session resulting from revenue catastrophically lagging forecasts over the interim. On a number of the overrides, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee stated he felt the reduction in the Reserve was appropriate, and that the amounts of money were so small, that the reductions to the Reserve would be virtually insignificant.

The cuts were particularly viscous to a particular class of people, those at the margins of society. Normal people are often honestly ignorant of the plight of these Others. Sometimes we simply don't see them... and other times we decide not to. Riding the bus I do see some of these, The Unfortunates: The single moms wearing a McDonald's uniform whose stroller blocks the aisle, the convicts on work release taking about their "old-ladies" and their kids back in freedom, the dirty jeans construction worker with a lunch box that looks just like mine - they are people. Also where I live informs me of these Unfortunates, literally, between the Governor's Mansion one block to the West, and drug houses in a blighted area one block to the East.  I see barefoot and shiftless kids playing in yards of houses with overgrown weeds and missing windows, completely ignorant of how the middle-class white preacher's children experience childhood. These are the people impacted by these senseless budget actions.

I cannot say for certain what is the content of my fellow Nebraska Christians' hearts, for "what man can truly know another man?" But I hear these "Christian" Senator's arguments, I see their votes which represent their constituents. If you claim the cross and you aren't ashamed of your state government putting party politics before people, I'm ashamed of you... which doesn't really matter much in the greater scheme of things.