So, what is the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates (GACRE), is it important, and would you participate in its meetings if you were the Lieutenant Governor?
We alluded to this a little bit in our most recent podcast and Tim Watson of Virginia Virtucon has the details.
This has all come up because Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Jody Wagner brought it up, and claimed that it is important enough for the LG to attend, particularly if he’s going to be critical of the budgeting process (specifically the revenue projections).
On first glance, it is a pretty solid blow by Wagner. Wagner writes:
“The Committee plays a critical role in the bi-partisan process of revenue forecasting. Each year, Lt. Governor Bolling has been invited. Each year, he’s failed to show up-including the latest meeting, held yesterday in Richmond.”
Upon reading this, you might say this looks like dereliction by Bolling. Then she goes onto say:
“For the last four years, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates has played a key role in helping Governor Kaine and the Secretary of Finance-a role I filled for three of those years-project the state’s future fiscal revenues. I was proud to work with that group, which is a critical component of our bipartisan budget process.”
This statement, of course, makes her appear in control and bi-partisan. Another good point.
So, again, at first glance, you might have to give Wagner a couple of respectful nods for this statement…the trouble is, she’s overstating things again.
Based on Tim’s research and Jody’s recent radio appearance, even by her standards this release is totally off the mark.
First and foremost, it’s an advisory committee. The governor and the Secretary of Finance have no obligation to listen to it.
Second, it infrequently meets. It meets perhaps for an hour or two once or twice a year. So is she telling us that complex budget revenue questions are finalized in just a few minutes?
Third, while the LG may have been invited, he’s not on the committee. What’s he supposed to do during these meetings, show up and sit there?
Fouth, Wagner said on her radio appearance that no matter what she did, she couldn’t help the final outcome. If you accept that premise, then the advisory committee is completely useless because it informs HER decision.
I could go on, but you get the drift.
All in all, a nice effort by the Wagner campaign to sting Bolling…too bad it was baseless. Much like her revenue projections, she’s off by a mile.