Sunday, July 5, 2015

"Out of the Past" ideas for change at Legislature

In the St Paul Pioneer Press today there was an article by Bill Salisbury, entitled "Remember the legislative chaos?  Minnesota lawmakers trying to find a better way" Parts of the article came up with various suggestions by legislators to prevent the "chaos".

The story reminded when I was interviewed by Shawn Towle in the late nineties (1996-98?), for his Checks and Balances column.  He interviewed a number of people who influenced the legislative process for a story on lobbyists, paid or unpaid.

At that time, I had been at the legislature for a long time, of course longer now in 2015.  He asked me what changes I would like to see at the Minnesota Legislature.  I said the following:

"I'd like to limit the amount of legislation that gets passed because the volume of legislation dilutes the oversight of laws and creates inequities.  For that reason, I'd like to see a rule by which legislator's could only introduce 15 bills a session so they'd have to choose which are the most important to them.

I would also like to see a process by which individual citizens could introduce legislation directly, rather than going through their Representative or Senator.  I believe some states have this type of process currently in place.

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