There have been two great quotes we didn't want to let slide by for too long. Balancing lobbying and blogging is very consuming and with so much going on in the G.A., it can be hard to get to it all. But these are worth pulling out of the bag. On Friday, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), on the Senate Floor, speaking against SB 713, the billion dollar gas tax increase, noted that the governor himself earlier in session said that "while businesses and families are struggling, it's not the right time for them to do more."

The senator then said:

"If true, send word to him to notify this chamber that he will reject this bill. I'll talk long enough for him to do it."

A week ago Thursday, on February 7, Delegate Bill Janis (R-56, Glen Allen) had a gem. Speaking to the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Health and Human Resources, which was hearing his HB 1543, a bill to require physicians to report complications from outpatient elective surgery, he held up the fiscal impact statement from the Department of Planning and Budget filed with the bill's substitute, which had stripped out criminal penalties and anything remotely considered an expense to the state. (If there are two changes to the process needed to end the blocking of good legislation and needed reform, it is the use of these impact statements and government lobbyists fighting against taxpayer interests with tax dollars to discredit good policy.)

Said Delegate Janis, in his first words to the committee:

"Mr. Chairman, the more I whittle this bill down, the more expensive it gets! I stripped out the criminal penalties. Why are commonwealth's attorneys still listed?"

Exactly. Which is just another reason there needs to be some reform in the methodology of the computation of these impact statements. Until then, legislators need to take them with a grain of salt.