Remarks of Representative Craig V. Hickman on Enactment of the Biennial Budget - June 30, 2017
Madam Speaker, women and men of the House, this morning I was disturbed by the stench of a steaming pile of manure that I considered this biennial budget to be and had every intention of voting against it.
This afternoon, however, at lunch with my beloved, a metaphor originating in the dawn of this nation fell from his mouth and never left my mind: if we don’t pass this budget, he said, we will burn down the plantation. Madam Speaker, no matter how much I abhor the situation that is upon us tonight, no matter how much I despise the process by which we arrived here, no matter how much I detest that the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box just last November will not be honored, I simply cannot participate in such destruction.
I am a farmer, Madam Speaker. Farmers build soil, we do not destroy it. And so if I know nothing else, I know this: a steaming pile of manure will eventually break down, and with the addition of a few amendments, it will turn into a pile of black gold that smells as earthy and sweet as the forest floor, a pile of black gold out of which the best food in the world will grow. And that, Madam Speaker, at the root, is what all of this is about—making sure that the people of this great state, especially those who serve the public as civil servants, will still be able to put food on their tables.
It’s as simple as that.
We cannot shut down state government.
We just can’t.
And so tonight, Madam Speaker, women of men of this House, we must vote to keep these doors open, we must vote to keep state government up and running, and we must vote to make sure that people can feed themselves and their families. Food is life. Everybody who wants to live needs to eat.
Food is life.
The time is nigh.
Let us all come together, at last, and enact this budget forthwith.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.