We mock the trick around here often. Budget cuts are called for, and so a sacrificial lamb is offered. One that will cause a public outcry so that cuts don’t have to be made.
At the local level it is usually reduced police and/or fire service. Let a few houses burn or take 20 minutes to respond to a home invasion and the public is usually ready to pay more taxes to fund the existing bureaucracy.
At the state level it gets more dicey. The Board of Regents managed this successfully a couple of years ago when it threatened to cut the 4-H program from UGA. That program reaches to every corner of the state. The calls and letters came in, and the cuts were quickly restored.
There’s not much the SOS office can cut in terms of total service. A few less voting machines, but people are going to gripe about the lines anyway. So when he was asked to offer THREE WHOLE PERCENT from his budget, he chose to close the state archives. After somewhat of an outcry, he appears to have won this round:
Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget to keep the Georgia Archives open until at least the middle of next year.
The emergency move came two weeks before the archives faced closure as a full-time facility.
So, the governor asked for cuts, and instead the SOS office gets more money. Without having to answer any other questions about his existing budget. For now, at least.
Well done Secretary Kemp. You played this one like a pro.