Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Legislators: Take the hint, finish the budget

It is almost ironic that on the same page we advocate for people driving more safely as school begins, we also learn that Wake County schools have decided to suspend driver’s education operations until the legislature can figure out budgetary matters.

Wake school officials say they’ve already spent half a million dollars on driver’s education without assurances from the state that it will repay those expenses in the form of a budget which at least maintains the status quo.

And, just as Wake schools and others – think Johnston – worry about the shifting burden of driver’s education program, they are also waiting to learn the fate of hundreds of teacher assistants who do everything from helping our children learn their alphabet to driving school buses before and after classes.

With Wake’s decision to pull the plug, at least temporarily, legislators ought to get the hint that not every government can or will maintain the status quo until the General Assembly makes up its own sweet mind.

Budgets at their core, should be simple. This much money comes in. The same amount goes out and is directed to the uses legislators desire. All it takes is for legislators to schedule their votes, give the budget a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Assuming most of those thumbs would go up, since the majority party writes the budget, it would give local governments the ability to make their own adjustments and carry on.

There’s no reason legislators need to take this long to figure things out.

In the meantime, a whole host of young, would-be drivers are left swinging in the wind.