Tom Crawford updates us on the Perdue vs. Speaker Richardson feud & writes: "This is a party that looks more and more like a dysfunctional family."
Richardson escalated the battle at the GOP convention when he told delegates that he was, in effect, going to take control of the state budget next year. Richardson said he will issue an order to all state agencies that they submit “zero-based” budgets directly to the House of Representatives when the Legislature begins work on the budget. Richardson’s speech, which he made after Perdue had already left the convention center, was a direct challenge to Perdue’s constitutional authority because department heads report to the governor and the governor rolls all of their spending plans into a consolidated state budget that he submits to the Legislature.
Richardson has basically declared that when it comes to setting the budget for state government, he will supersede the governor. That might not sit well with Perdue, who will doubtless instruct agency heads not to send a zero-based budget to the Legislature. Richardson was asked what he would do in that instance. “They’ll get a zero-based budget,” he said coldly. “We’ll do it for them.” Richardson’s comments will set off more battles with Perdue if the governor insists on retaining control of the budget - and Perdue isn’t about to give up one of the most important functions of his office.