Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ahh!

It's great to be back working on my Java application. Our team is using Oracle's Jdeveloper to develop a system. It's a great tool and it really helps developers without a Java background create a decent, working application.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

It's Over!

Early this morning the Minnesota legislature passed a "lights on" bill that will restore government services for agencies affected by the shutdown. Hallelulah! It's about time.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Sticking Points

It seems that a major sticking point in the budget impasse in Minnesota is state-run gambling. The governor wants to put slot machines in at a local horse racing track. His agenda was dealt a major blow yesterday when one of his party members stepped down from his negotiating position because he could not support the tax increases on cigarettes and the plan to have state run gambling.

Meanwhile, I have vacation available but I must use most of it to move in with my elderly mother at the end of the month. My mom has memory problems so I plan to move in with her in order to help her out. We don't know yet whether she has alzheimers; she is being evaluated. It's a difficult time for us both. She is frightened by the implications as you can imagine. It's just one more challenge that we both must face.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Sympathy

I am deeply saddened by the news of terrorist attacks in the London transit system. My thoughts are with the people of London at this terrifying time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Day 6 and counting....

We are now in day 6 of a partial government shutdown. Our government leaders seem to be no closer to an agreement. We can't even get a lights on bill out of them. It's very agonizing. If you're angry too, I've included a link to the state of minnesota website where you can email or call state legislators and let them know you are tired of the shutdown and want state employees back to work. www.state.mn.us

At the least the weather is beautiful here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Victim of a State Government Shutdown

Day 5. The daily countdown reminds me of a hostage countdown and to many of us who have been displaced by the government of minnesota, this feels like a hostage situation. Friday morning I awoke expecting to go to work but instead I was broadsided and forced to stay home. Oh, and by the way, none of us is collecting either a salary or unemployment; we are on unpaid leave for up to 2 weeks. I, like the rest of my nearly 10,000 colleagues, have bills to pay and others to provide for. I want to work, I need to work but I cannot. Meanwhile, within the capitol, the finger pointing continues as the governor and legislature play a macabre game of chicken with 10,000 + lives. We are in a stalemate with no end in sight and it is scary for those of us living paycheck to paycheck. As state employees we can't afford this.

I'm sure that there are some out there who believe that this is "just desserts" for state employees. However they forget that state employees are tax payers too. The majority of them work very hard, just like workers in private industry, public servants are extremely dedicated to serving the public.

I was amused by a state senator who claimed that if the racino bill passed (an idea unpopular among the majority of both republicans and democrats) then this stalemate would be over. Perhaps we need to look at the other side of the coin, if the top 4% of income earners accepted a tax increase (one they can well afford) then perhaps this stalemate would be over. Think about, those who have little are sacrificing so that those who have the most can avoid contributing to society. Doesn't sound very fair to me.

Meanwhile, the stalemate drags on and families worry how to make ends meet, if they will lose their healthcare coverage and if they will become unemployed.