The Silence in the Aftermath
The Florida legislature will conclude this session (at $40,000+ a day) by passing a budget that is not a lean or mean to higher education as initially feared. It's not clear how much political pressure came down on the legislators to forge this deal (all behind closed doors), but it's interesting to see the reaction. I've scanned the local newspaper (the gainesville sun) for articles discussing how the proposed budget will affect UF. Nope, the sunday headlines are about graduation at UF (not bad, two articles on swine flu and discounts at area theme parks. UF is the economic driving force in the city and the cuts, whatever they might be, are going to hurt the city. The city does not seem to care.
Perhaps this lack of attention is precisely what the legislators learn early on in their political careers. They are probably told that they'll hear complaints for a couple of days and then the complaints will stop. So why not forge ahead with deals that will aid their political careers no matter how damaging it might be to many of their constituents. In politics, it seems that action taken is far less important than promises made.