Click To Refresh and See Other Posts
Finger People - Universal Language - Honduras

Friday, April 8, 2011

Press all cover one story and poorly cover the JFC hearings! That's Show Biz!! 4/8 Upd Forward

Yesterday we were setup to believe that there would be a big turnout at Stevens Pt. when the JFC convened its budget hearings.

Today we are told that few showed up.

Few attend budget hearing in Stevens Point

The hearings were available on and could be listened/seen remotely.  Either they or I had technical difficulties from time to time but I think I had at least 3 to 4 hours of listening time and viewing time limited by the video camera shot.  I am disappointed with the reporting in general, both the unattributed hype about turnout and the very limited coverage of content even in a summarized form.

My impression is that there seemed to be about 100 to 200 people most of the time in the space.  The most annoying thing was the "2 minute warning" timer constantly ringing out.  I suppose that the legislators were afraid to silently keep time and then politely interrupt the speaker - I would encourage them to be brave next time.  Another impression is that a good number of speakers had prepared materials and exhibits to provide the JFC - but the JFC initially only seemed to have an ad hoc process for collecting them.  I would like to see a list of exhibits and speakers if possible - is it available somewhere, public record, open meetings request?

There certainly seemed to be a partisan divide about people sticking to just 2 minutes ... one side - we have to keep to it or not everyone will be heard... if there were so few how about some flexibility - fairness?  There were constant reminders that people should stop clapping their approval of speakers - it would lengthen the process too much.

If people only have two minutes they have to be extremely focused on a limited issue - not that they do not have a lot of issues.  I suspect that is why the number of exhibits were prepared by speakers.  People knew they were going to have to say just a little bit about big issues.  Optimistically they wanted it in the JFC record.

My summary would be that I did not hear people supporting this budget.  Perhaps one would not expect it in such a context - although in Madison there were a whole group of people who supported the Budget Repair Bill (how and where they came from remains a source of contention).

I heard a few people talking about raising taxes (especially on beer).  I heard people saying they should (JFC, Legislature, Governor) start over on the budget.  I heard people express that their communities, schools and libaries were being severely constrained by this budget (perhaps meaning the Budget Repair Bill).  I heard young and old say the UW System should remain intact.  I heard a lot of testimony on the human costs of this budget and how it is going to create more problems and not really save any dollars.

How many people did provide testimony?  

Multiple choice: less than 25, 26-50, 51-100, more than 100?

The NEXT Day -
JFC in Superior - 2nd Public Budget Hearing  

JFC Budget Hearing - Superior Telegram - Friday - Local Impressions and MN 


K said...

Over a sqauble about the commitee members being give time to ask questions, the chair indicated there were 150 people signed up to speak.

Bill Gates said...

Good answer - Thought "you" would be listening ... and I heard that too ... since they had been in progress I'm assuming more ... but maybe it was just the total at the time as well ... so will we ever know???