The bottom line is - it doesn't look good as the state's revenue continues to decline.
Over the last year, more than $4 billion dollars has been sliced from the state budget with a prospect of even more cuts in 2010.
Sen. Douglas jokingly said that this will be an easy year for our elected officials because every money request was going to be met with a "no."
The senator's light-hearted comment is probably not far from the truth.
We feel comfortable that both Douglas and Holt, conservative Republicans, will be looking out for our best interests this year. Nobody wants to pay more taxes - many of us simply cannot afford to - and the key for both of them will be to consider that the state's business is their own business and they will be personally responsible for all of our personal welfare in dealing with water, transportation and health issues.
We are sure it's not fun being a politician in today's economic climate - just like its not fun being a small business owner.
We wish both of them well.
We would be remiss in not mentioning that Rep. Toney "No Show" Collins or Rep. John Lunsford did not attend the pre-legislative meeting.
Collins was elected during the last presidential election by a majority of the voters of District 95 who apparently did not know or care if he was even a real person.
None of our staff members have seen him at any function in Newton County before or since his election.
So, to on behalf of our phantom legislator we have written a special letter to Santa Claus asking that he bring you a GSP so you can find Newton County and a calendar so that you can keep your appointments and commitments straight. For The News, we simply have asked Santa to leave us a photograph of Old "No Show" Collins so that we will know what he looks like once he finally finds his way to Newton County.