Owens Appears At JBC Hearing
Post Fourth of July fireworks at the capitol on illegal immigration:
In a dramatic show of force, Gov. Bill Owens and several members of his administration showed up en masse at a Joint Budget Committee hearing on illegal immigration this morning.
The JBC, chaired by a Democrat, had called eight state department heads together to ask them on how much the state is spending to provide services to illegal immigrants. The hearing comes one day before a special legislative session convenes to study the thorny issue of illegal immigrants.
Owens told the JBC this morning that he understood lawmakers need information before Thursday’s special session, but he was frustrated that it was called on such late notice and didn’t include local government officials, who feel the brunt of illegal immigration.
Democrats said they weren’t expecting to be hit with a Republican onslaught this morning, and the tense exchanges between the Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled legislature was further evidence of how illegal immigration has become political dynamite for both parties.