Ramsey Comes Back at Williams: 'I Do Have the Answer'

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At his own little sit-down with reporters today, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey gave a different view from House Speaker Kent Williams on what's shaping up as the biggest budget fight of the year: How much should the state drain its "Rainy Day" fund to mitigate cuts in social services? Here's what Ramsey said:
"We'll dip into the rainy day fund some. I don't know how much, a couple of hundred million dollars I suppose. We need to keep some money laid back because we haven't seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet. I'm sure this has sunk in with some our members just how bad this is. We can't be like Washington, D.C. We can't print money. There are going to be some tough decisions.

"That will be the fight this year. Obviously, I have a vested interest in this. I want to make sure as governor we do all we can to make sure we don't use nonrecurring funds for recurring expenses. We've got to hold that to a minimum."

As for the House speaker's crack about the gubernatorial candidates, Ramsey said, "I think everybody who ever runs for office has all the answers. And I do have the answer: Don't dip into the Rainy Day fund. That's the answer. I'd like to leave at least two-thirds in there."

Update: House Democratic caucus chairman Mike Turner weighs in: "We're in the worst economy since the Great Depression. If that's not raining, I don't know what is."

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