As a candidate last fall, Rep. Ernie Leidiger took a hard stance against the $1.9 billion in K-12 education funding shifts used to balance the 2010-11 state budget:
In less than 24 hours, the House took up its third version of a omnibus K-12 education bill, sent it to conference committee, took it up again and passed it, only to have it rejected by the Senate. In the end, school funding was left virtually unchanged, except for the $1.9 billion Democrats borrowed from schools just to balance the state budget. So now they’ve delayed payments to school districts. They build up the infrastructure yet can’t fund it.
Last night, Rep. Leidiger voted to shift an additional $700 million away from K-12 education to balance the budget, raising the state’s debt to its school districts up to $2 billion dollars. If this is the Republican notion of “fiscal responsibility”, count me out.
Leidiger voted dutifully along party lines in the special session (except for his vote on the bonding bill — more on that later), after thumping his chest earlier in the week about how he was going not convinced that the additional spending in the bills were necessary.