Why does our state legislature need to be in session for almost six
months out of every year? It's wasteful, and expensive, especially
when we supposedly had a more than 1/2 Billion dollar budget crisis!
And judging by their performance this year, they could have wrapped
up all of the "must do" legislation and adjourned in about 3-4 weeks
and still accomplished everything in a more thoughtful and transparent
fashion with sufficient time to actually have public hearings, debates,
and waiting periods on every bill like their rules require.
Instead, they wasted the first 5-1/2 months of the session on trivial
matters and then jammed all of the real work into the last week--mostly
the last two days. They ignored the House & Senate Rules that they pass
merely so that they can hold them up and say "See, the legislative
process is transparent and open to the public".
From January 12th to June 17th they passed seven actual bills (a total
of 11 pages of legislation), and 52 non-binding resolutions honoring
various persons or organizations, and recognizing various events or
causes, from "Bisphenol A Exposure" to "Poppy Month".
Then in the last week & a half of the session, when it was much too
late to follow the House & Senate Rules (that were written to ensure
that legislators had adequate time to read each bill and debate its
impact and that the people could voice their opinions and concerns)
they got down to the dirty work of passing lots of ill-considered
bills--56 of them on June 22-29. And on the last day they went hog-wild
and passed another 91 bills! There is no way any of them had a clue what
they were voting for most of the time on the 30th.
Yet, even during that mad rush, they still found the time for another
22 resolutions, including my personal favorite, HCR 59 "Dwarf Awareness
And to top it all off, as one of their last actions of the session, they
voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution! Regardless
of what you think of the 17th Amendment (Popular Election of U.S. Senators)
this was a complete waste of time & taxpayer dollars because it already
had the necessary 3/4th of the states and was adopted in 1913! Why was
this so urgent? After 97 years, one might think this pointless vote could
afford to wait until next year, if not forever...